The University of Melbourne’s U-Vet Werribee Animal Hospital has started a fundraising campaign to establish a rehabilitation and pain management treatment centre for pets.

The Animal Integrative Pain Clinic will be the first of its kind in the state of Victoria.

Hospital anaesthesia and pain management head Thierry Beths said that while some other Victorian vet clinics offered some rehabilitation services, the integrative aspects of the new facility would make it stand out.

The clinic will involve U-Vet staff – including surgeons, neurologists and an oncologist – lending their expertise to pet rehabilitation and pain management.

While the hospital has recently purchased a $60,000 underwater treadmill for the project, veterinary staff said they were hoping the fundraising campaign would collect an additional $30,000 to buy other rehabilitative equipment. So far, the campaign has raised bout $4000.

One of the hospital’s veterinary technicians, Shasta Mendez, is also studying through the University of Tennessee to become a certified canine rehabilitation practitioner.

With the help of other staff members at U-Vet, Ms Mendez has started performing rehabilitation for animals using existing hospital resources.

The staff provide massage and exercises, using a vibrating mat and exercise balls, and also teach dog and cat owners exercises and massage techniques for home treatment.

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