The University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine is preparing to launch a new clinical service at the Veterinary Health Center. The college is in the process of building a state-of-the-art facility for the new Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Service. This service will focus on meeting the unique needs of athletic and working animals as well as all animals in need of rehabilitation therapy. The field of sports medicine and rehabilitation is a relatively new and rapidly growing specialty, overseen by the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation.
The CVM is looking to provide this unique service to Columbia and surrounding areas that have been underserved, according to Bryan T. Torres, DVM, PhD, DACVS, DACVSMR, an assistant professor of small animal orthopedic surgery and director of the Motion Analysis Laboratory. Torres is also board-certified in veterinary sports medicine and rehabilitation.
“With this new service and facility, the CVM wants to develop the most well equipped and advanced program possible,” he said. “We plan to have the most highly trained staff available so that the CVM can provide advanced diagnostic and treatment options to all cases.”
The CVM has hired Bess Pierce, DVM, DABVP, DACVIM, DACVSMR, to oversee the service. Pierce was most recently at Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine and will be moving to Columbia to serve as a teaching professor of veterinary sports medicine and rehabilitation.
“Having Dr. Pierce join the CVM is an incredible opportunity,” Torres said. “She is internationally known in veterinary sports medicine and rehabilitation, and she will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the CVM and VHC. “Her clinical expertise and teaching experience will help advance and expand our treatment options as well as providing much needed training for the next generation of veterinarians graduating from Mizzou.”
Currently, the college is in the planning and development stages and the VHC will soon be undergoing renovations to house the new facility. This renovation has been made possible in large part by a generous gift to the CVM from Tom Wallenberg of St. Louis. Wallenberg and his mother were clients of the VHC who brought their dogs in for treatment. Tom Wallenberg, who is a self-described dog lover, recently decided to provide a gift to the CVM because of the exceptional care their animals received and their overall positive experiences while seeking treatment for their pets.
The new Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Service will expand upon previous rehabilitation options that were available at the VHC, which were halted several years ago following the departure of the prior director. The facility will be located adjacent to the CVM’s Motion Analysis Laboratory, which Torres directs. “Historically we have seen a lot of interaction between motion analysis techniques and the conditions commonly seen and treated in most veterinary sports medicine and rehabilitation services,” said Torres. “Our plan is to eventually increase student training by having students rotate through this clinical service, as well as potentially training veterinary interns and residents. All around it’s going to be a great addition to the VHC, and we are all very excited about the new facility, service, and the addition of Dr. Bess Pierce to the Mizzou CVM family.”
By Nick Childress