The Vet and Rehab Center of Cape Elizabeth

207 Ocean House Road
Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107

(207)799-6952

vrcce.com

Clinic gives pets the human treatment

WGME News 13

April 28, 2015

CAPE ELIZABETH (WGME) -- There's a room full of happiness at a building off Ocean House Rd. in Cape Elizabeth. A room where there's no pain, no punishment, and lots of puppy massages.

"Nothing that happens in this room hurts," said Dr. Ginger Browne Johnson, owner of the Veterinary and Rehabilitation Clinic of Cape Elizabeth.

"This is Reese," Dr. Johnson says as she introduces a 12-year-old brown lab-mix who limps as she walks.

"In 2013, Reese went to see a neurologist who found a legion on her back, and that's really interrupting the message from her brain to her back legs," explained Dr. Johnson.

"She'll actually lock her joints in her hind limbs, and if we don't encourage her to maintain that flexibility, she'll lose a lot of muscle back there."

So once a week, Reese comes to see Dr. Johnson and Deb St. Laurent who are both are certified canine rehabilitation therapists. They're only two of seven in Maine.

They run the only fully-certified veterinary rehabilitation center in Southern Maine, complete with an underwater treadmill.

"We're really trying to decrease pain, and increase mobility," said Dr. Johnson. "That comes with working with flexibility and working with strength."

Mindy Charles, of Cape Elizabeth, says veterinary rehab works, and her 6-year-old Maltese named Chewey is proof.

"One day her back legs just kind of gave out, and one day she couldn't walk."

Chewey needed reconstructive surgery on both hind knees in September 2014. Seven months later, Chewey has made a full recovery.

"Like new, like nothing ever happened."

Chewey did therapy on the underwater treadmill as well as strength exercises that included work at home and at the clinic.

Dr. Johnson says the rehab doesn't cure all patients, but it can help them live a little more comfortably.

"It's a joy for us to see them recovering, and improving from whatever ails them," said Dr. Johnson.

Veterinary rehabilitation can cost thousands of dollars, but Dr. Johnson says they try to make it more affordable for families by offering packages that fit a patient's budget.

New doctor takes over Cape vet clinic

From South Portland-Cape Elizabeth Sentry, Published July 20, 2012, Vol. 16, No. 51

On July 11, 2012, Dr. Ginger Browne Johnson purchased The Veterinary Centre of Cape Elizabeth (207 Ocean House Road, Cape Elizabeth) from Dr. Lynda Bond, who had owned the practice for 29 years.

As a 1992 graduate of Cape Elizabeth High School, Johnson said she is thrilled to return to her hometown to become the owner and head veterinarian of The Veterinary Centre of Cape Elizabeth. Johnson is a graduate of the Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine and has been practicing in the greater Boston area for more than eight years. Most recently, she was the owner of MVP Vet, a mobile veterinary practice based in Stoughton, Mass. Additionally, she had been working with Bond in Cape Elizabeth for nearly three years on a part-time basis.

Johnson attended Brown University and the New England Conservatory of Music before attending veterinary school at Tufts. In addition to continuing general medicine and surgery, as a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner, Johnson brings some of her own interests and expertise to the practice.

"Services such as dentistry, behavior management and rehabilitation will improve each animal's quality of life," Johnson said.

Johnson purchased the practice from Bond, who is opening a new alternative care practice, Energetic Veterinary Health Care. Bond's new practice will provide care through traditional Chinese medicine with acupuncture and herbs, classical homeopathy, western herbal medicine, quantum energy and laser therapy.

 

 

BUSINESS BLAST: MVP VET 

Ginger Browne Johnson, DVM, CCRP
By Staff reports
Stoughton Journal
Posted Jan 09, 2010 @ 11:37 PM

Ginger Browne Johnson, DVM, CCRP, realized at a young age that that she wanted to work with animals. Her father, a pediatric surgeon, brought her to a zoo, where Johnson made an emotional connection with one of the animals. Johnson, 35, now owns MVP Vet, a veterinary house call practice based in Stoughton. She previously was an associate veterinarian at Lloyd Animal Medical Center and Randolph Animal Hospital, and veterinarian-in-charge at Animotion Animal Rehabilitation Center. She is a graduate of Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine), New England Conservatory of Music (Master of music in Vocal Performance) and Brown University (bachelors of arts in Human Biology and Music). She lives with her husband and two daughters live in Stoughton, along with a yellow Labrador Retriever and a black cat. The Journal asked her the following questions.

When did you realize you first wanted to be a veterinarian?

When I was 5-years-old, my father, a pediatric surgeon in his residency, assisted with the medical care of a baby endangered Western Lowland Gorilla from the Cincinnati Zoo. My father brought me to meet the gorilla. As the baby peered up into my eyes, he reached towards me and grasped my extended index finger just like a human baby would have done. The experience made a great impression on me in terms of the depth of the non-human animal soul, our ability as humans to relate to other animals and our inherent responsibility to care for them. 

After I completed music school and realized a career in opera wasn't in the cards, I found myself still struck by that formative childhood experience. Instead of following my parents? example into the human medical field, I chose veterinary medicine as a way to dedicate my life to the stewardship of animals and the fostering of the human-animal bond.

What was your first pet?

 My first childhood pets were a Golden Retriever, named Max, and a white Maine Coon mixed cat, named Patch.

From the animals' viewpoint, what is the most important aspect of treating pets?

Approaching animals with a compassionate confidence, respect, on their physical level and in relation to their innate body language. This sets the right tone and begins a relationship of trust that allows further care. Rushing and forcing compliance during examinations can be very stressful and frightening for animals.

Where and when did you first find out about the traveling veterinarian business?

The veterinary industry began with large animal medicine and farm calls. As people brought animals into their houses as pets, James Harriot and his compatriots cared for these companion animals as well as the farm animals. The majority of veterinarians today practice companion animal medicine. Because of the relative ease of moving small animals as compared to cows and horses, the practice model has changed to bringing our patients to the hospital rather than going to them. Despite this, the value of the house call remains and more and more veterinarians are returning to their roots as house call practitioners.

Why is making house calls more beneficial for pets than office visits?

House calls benefit owners, their pets and veterinarians alike. Many busy professionals and stay-at-home parents find house calls provide convenience and save valuable time. In-home veterinary care allows independence for the elderly, disabled and those that don't have access to cars.

Animals appreciate house calls too. Indoor cats, pocket pets and exotics that don't normally leave the house, find car rides and hospital visits stressful and scary. Puppies may get car sick and large, older dogs with limited mobility have trouble negotiating the trip. For routine preventive medicine, there is the benefit of not exposing healthy pets to germs present in a hospital. 

House call veterinarians have more time to spend with their clients and patients than during the office visit. Behavior problems can be easier to diagnose and treat, as valuable first-hand information is available when viewing the pet in its own environment.   

What is your most exotic pet you've treated?

I was given the responsibility of attempting to rehabilitate a partially paralyzed opossum in veterinary school. This along with my own dog's arthritis prompted my interest in rehabilitation or physical therapy for non-human animals.

What advice could you offer pet owners to keep their pets healthy?

Three things that are largely overlooked in pet ownership but can greatly enhance the quality and longevity of pets? lives are: physical fitness, dental health and training with socialization and exercise. 

Our pets, like Americans, are suffering from an epidemic of obesity. This directly relates to dietary related conditions such as diabetes, types of liver and heart disease. It has been documented that by simply limiting a dog's diet, an owner can lengthen their pet's life by as much as two years and reduce the signs of arthritis in later life. 

Pets have teeth too. Pet teeth are exposed to the same daily buildup of plaque as our teeth. Because they don't get the same level of dental care, pets have remarkable amounts of periodontal disease (imaging not brushing your teeth for 3 ? 5 years or more). Even if you can't brush your pet's teeth, having them regularly scaled and polished by your veterinarian can greatly increase oral health. Oral health has been linked to the health of the entire body (especially the liver, kidneys and heart).

Too often behavior problems lead to pets being relinquished to animal shelters and even to euthanasia. Especially during the holiday season, pets are purchased or adopted without realistic consideration of their needs. Pets need owners to commit to their physical and mental well-being. Getting them appropriate training, socialization and exercise allows pets to be valued and well-mannered members of the family and develops a human-animal bond that cannot be broken.