What's Happening at TOPS Veterinary Rehab
Featured Employee: 
Allison Bilinski

Doctor's Assistant /
Administrative Assistant
Our featured employee this month is Allison Bilinski, who happens to be the newest member of the TOPS family. Allison joined TOPS mid-October as a Doctor’s Assistant and Administrative Assistant. While this is her first job in the veterinary field it’s not her first rodeo when it comes to working with dogs. Since she was little she’s had a love of working with animals of all shapes and sizes. Allison worked with a wildlife rehabilitator and helped get baby raccoons, squirrels, bunnies, and possums back on their feet and into the wild. From there she honed her skills as a trainer and groomer, working with many people and learning from their experiences.

Currently Allison owns two border collies and a German shepherd, all of which are working dogs and compete in a variety of sports.  As a hobby she does pet photography and loves capturing the perfect moment. On most days, you won't find her far from her camera or her dogs. You can check out her photography page by clicking here

Allison has been a great addition to our team.  Her calm demeanor, both with clients and patients, and dedication to doing things right are a great asset for us.  We are sure those of you or your clients that have met her will agree!

Veterinary Rehabilitation and Integrative Medicine Credentialing

Credentialing of those performing veterinary rehabilitation (as well as integrative medicine services) in Illinois is somewhat of a confusing topic.  Because "rehabilitation" is not a protected term, it is not something that is exclusively limited to any particular profession.  Therefore, it is important for you to know the credentials of those you are referring your patients to.  At TOPS, we believe strongly that veterinary rehabilitation clinics should be staffed by licensed veterinarians, certified in rehabilitation by either the Canine Rehab Institute (CCRT certification), or the University of Tennessee (CCRP certification).  These clinicians supplement their veterinary training with a specific and rigorous education focused on the rehabilitative aspects of veterinary medicine.  In addition to certification for veterinarians, these organizations also certify veterinary technicians.  It is our steadfast belief that any organization providing rehabilitation services with technicians also have a certified veterinarian on staff conducting the evaluations and overseeing the technicians.  For those clinics that are also performing acupuncture or chiropractic treatments, there are certifications associated with those modalities as well.  Chiropractic certifications are available through Options for Animals as well as The Healing Oasis.  Acupuncture certifications are available through the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society as well as The Chi Institute.   

Featured Patient "Happy Jack":  Therapy Dog, Search & Rescue Dog, TV Star
Meet Happy Jack, a 7 year old Labrador-Golden Retriever.  Jack is not only a patient of TOPS, but is also a budding TV star, and importantly, provides invaluable and critical services as a Disaster Stress Relief Dog.  With this much going on, it's important to keep him in tip-top shape.  Unfortunately, Jack was born with some joint issues that needed to be addressed:  bilateral hip and elbow dysplasia.  His owner, Raine Ray, is not one to sit and just hope for the best.  She brought Jack to TOPS immediately and has been treating him regularly since he was diagnosed.  At the clinic, Jack receives routine chiropractic and laser treatments, along with exercises.  At home, we taught Raine how to massage Jack and perform range of motion exercises, which she is religious about doing.  Jack has responded extremely well to the treatments.  As an outgrowth of his  exercise routine, Raine used the at-home exercises to to incorporate a series of tricks for Jack to learn.  Jack seemed to love doing that, and built up quite a repertoire of tricks.  That led to a 6 year career performing trick shows and wowing audiences.  Jack has some busy days, as he is in demand for TV commercials, videos and photo shoots.  He is an active Disaster Stress Relief Dog certified by Therapy Dogs International, and also is a member with the very rare Level 1 certification with Illinois Task Force 1 Search & Rescue.  He has traveled widely, responding to disasters by providing comfort to victims and first responders. We are proud to be able to work with Jack to keep him active, productive, and providing relief to those in need.  To learn more about Happy Jack, check him out on his Facebook page.  Go Jack go!
Question of the Month:
What is TOPS Rehab Philosophy?
At TOPS, we believe that veterinary rehabilitation is as much an art as it is a science.  Just knowing how to insert an acupuncture needle, how to make a chiropractic adjustment, or which settings to use on the cool laser isn't enough.  On a case by case basis, we must develop a therapy plan individualized for the patient.  We must consume ourselves with the goal of helping the patient recover.  We must never be willing to accept a treatment plan that is "good enough".  We must never fall into the trap of "this is how we've always done it."  We must always be willing to accept new and fresh ideas, not only when progress is slowing, but when the patient is progressing too.  The bottom line is that veterinary rehabilitation is what we do...and we're committed to doing it the best we can.  For additional information, read our Mission, Core Values or Operating Principles
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