One of the professionals with the most experience both in rehabilitation and in the use of radiofrequency is Leticia Estudillo, a rehabilitation veterinarian and owner of the Rehabilitaria Center in Seville (Spain).
Her long experience and great trajectory has allowed her to see the evolution of rehabilitation in veterinary medicine, as witness and actively iover the years. In this interview, she told us that the specialty “fortunately continues to advance and it does so with a stronger training foundation”. Here the complete interview.
You are one of the veterinary professionals in Spain with a lot of experience in animal rehabilitation. Tell us what it was like to start in this area.
When I decided to start training in rehabilitation, there were not many colleagues who accompanied me, nor those who knew the specialty. Training in physiatry was very scarce, the veterinary literature very limited and the demand for the service low. I particularly remember only receiving cases from the university’s trauma and neurology service. Despite all this, I think it has been the best career decision for me and today we enjoy a specialty that has great support, with extremely well trained colleagues and we really want to continue to grow.
How do you see the evolution of the specialty over the years?
Fortunately, it continues to advance and it does so with a stronger training foundation. I had the opportunity to go into the specialty in Italy, a country where it was somewhat more developed than in Spain, for example, people were working with electro-medicals (electro-physical agents) such as radiofrequency which was not widely used or were not usually applied on animals.
A few years ago, it was unusual to imagine a veterinary rehabilitation center but we continue to grow everyday and become better equipped.
It is gratifying to know that for a lot of colleagues it has also become another tool that’s used to improve animal welfare, either by integrating it into the service already provided by clinics or by referral to specialized centers.
Speaking of technologies, how did you find out about radiofrequency?
It was in Italy in 2009, it was already integrated as instrumental therapy in rehabilitation centers and that was how I began working and training with it for years until it became a fundamental part of my therapies.
What benefits did you find with radiofrequency that the other modalities did not offer you?
The speed of response and the large number of pathologies or injuries that I can treat it with without so many contraindications.
Applying a treatment without limit of depth is a feature that I find really interesting and that I consider key when treating a patient because it changes the outcome of the patient’s progress.
Do you have a relevant case that has really stood out as exceptional in your years of experience?
I had the case of a 12-year-old canine female that underwent surgery due to a cervical hernia, and presented with post-surgical tetraplegia for 4 weeks, until she arrived at the center and I began to treat her. The inflammation in the area disappeared, the post-operative pain control was complete and the spasticity in her forelimbs disappeared. I also had the opportunity to consistently track and record the progress of the animal, which allowed me to fully visualize the work that was being carried out with the patient.
Finally, what message do you want to send to those who undertake animal rehabilitation?
I encourage them to go into the specialty with great strength and patience. In physiatry, you build a close relationship with the patient on a daily basis, allowing you to enjoy the profession 200%.
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