“BARCCing” up the Right Tree
BARCC is a veterinary managed, specialised, small animal rehabilitation and conditioning centre. As a practising veterinarian with a passion for rehabilitation BARCC focuses on treating the patient as a whole. Going beyond the confines of conventional medicine using a multimodal approach creating the best wellness plan for each individual.
Small animal rehabilitation adapts human physical therapy techniques to increase the function and mobility of joints and muscles in animals. Animal rehabilitation reduces pain and enhances recovery from injury, surgery, degenerative diseases and age-related compromise. The goal of rehabilitation is to improve quality of life, decrease pain and improve functionality.
Multimodal health care makes use of nutrition, supplementation, weight management, appropriate therapeutic exercise, alternate means of pain control as well as traditional medicine to tap into the positive effects of each process minimizing the possible negative properties.
BARCC offers rehabilitation assessments, custom made therapy regimes, home programs, acupuncture, land based therapy, water treadmill facilities, massage, kinesio taping and house calls for home based therapy. We encourage that, if possible, owners stay for their companion’s therapy sessions reassuring them, making therapy something that patients love. Quality time with guardians, positive reinforcement and endorphin release is a recipe for success.
Patients are dynamic, ever changing and so should their health care be. Holistic care is far more than a once-off visit every year, it is a relationship that we develop as our companion’s needs change.
MEET THE TEAM
When asked why I decided to become a veterinarian, I find my answer difficult to explain. As a child one of my favourite books was The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams and perhaps clarification of my response lies therein. “You become.” I have a passion for pain management and geriatric care, a love for “the velveteens.”
I am a qualified veterinarian obtaining my Bachelor of Veterinary Science from Onderstepoort, University of Pretoria in 2011. I went on to become a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner receiving my postgraduate diploma from the University of Tennessee in 2014. I have also been certified as a veterinary acupuncturist through the Chi Institute, University of Florida.
It was in my final year as a veterinary student that I was exposed to the powers of rehabilitation. I was assigned a surgery case, his name was Tabasco, a male Doberman that had cervical spondylomyelopathy or wobbler syndrome. This is a condition of the cervical spine where the spinal cord and/or nerve roots are compressed causing pain and neurological compromise. Tabasco underwent the normal paths of treatment namely radiographs, myelography and surgical decompression. A naïve student, I eagerly awaited Tabasco’s return to consciousness after surgery, expecting my patient to arise, ready to heal and go home. Tabasco awoke but his body did not, a patient unable to raise his head never mind walk. In dismay I turned to my superiors both medical and surgical but was met with uncertainty as there was not much more that could conventionally be done. I was shown to a room of coloured balls, heating pads, slings and hoisting apparatus. A room of hope, of options, of survival.
For the remainder of my time on that surgical rotation, myself and veterinary nurse students worked tirelessly on Tabasco, lifting him, turning him, massaging him, moving him. We never gave up and neither did he. By the time I had to leave Tabasco he was standing and, all be it weakly, he was walking. Tabasco still had some work to do but as he continued on his path to recovery he showed me mine.
Tabasco taught me that there was more to veterinary medicine than the conventional. He taught me to look at the soul in front of me as a whole, an individual, requiring customised and targeted health care. He taught me to strive for holistic treatment options addressing body, mind and spirit.
I have a pati
Dr Tamsin Price
BVSc CCRP CVA
The beginnings of BARCC, the inspiration, the becoming…….
“The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old that his brown coat was bald in patches and showed the seams underneath, and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces. He was wise, for he had seen a long succession of mechanical toys arrive to boast and swagger, and by-and-by break their mainsprings and pass away, and he knew that they were only toys, and would never turn into anything else. For nursery magic is very strange and wonderful, and only those playthings that are old and wise and experienced like the Skin Horse understand all about it.
“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”
“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”
“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.
“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”
“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”
“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
“I suppose you are real?” said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive. But the Skin Horse only smiled.
“The Boy’s Uncle made me Real,” he said. “That was a great many years ago; but once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.”
The Velveteen Rabbit ― Margery Williams Bianco