Who is Rehabdeb and Why do These Programs Work?

2021, September 15

Hello, and I hope you are finding your way around my site. I do need to put a lot of work into it and intend to do so as soon as I’m able!

I am currently unable to respond to client requests or take on clients for rehabilitation consult or work. I am dealing with several “estates” as well as many related circumstances. I am removing the contact form, which is usually below, for the time being. Please continue to read the info on this page so that you find more direction about using my rehab programs.

Thank you!

Deborah, Rehabdeb

Who is Rehabdeb?

I am Deborah Carroll, “rehabdeb”, and I have a functional recovery and rehabilitation practice focused in small and large animal veterinary medicine as well as with humans dealing with chronic disease and with athletes.

I have over 40 years’ experience in animal and human sport science, exercise physiology, recovery program design, sport training and nutrition.

Rehbdeb is a nickname that others tacked onto me early in my career. I don’t mind it, and it’s super easy to use as a website address. My original website address was the name of my business, Rehabilitation and Conditioning for Animals. People can more easily remember rehabdeb when directed to go to my site.

I often have to explain why I developed the term “functional rehabilitation” for my practice and why I don’t call it pet “physical therapy”. We cannot call pet rehabilitation “physical therapy” in veterinary rehab because the human therapy-oriented association, The American Physical Therapy Association, says we cannot. The way I approach solving body function problems and my broad experience in wellness and biological health seems best represented by the term “functional rehabilitation”.

Rehabdeb Random Highlights –

Me giving massage to a cute Spaniel at a dog event For those of you who do not know me, I began the animal rehabilitation and conditioning department for a veterinary specialty hospital in Austin, Texas, at the end of 2004.

I designed the rehab facility layout & function, including acquiring equipment and contracting extra construction needs, and developed original rehabilitation programs that I worked to use in that venue for two years.

I decided to leave the specialty hospital at the end of 2006. In January of 2007, I began an independent and mobile rehabilitation practice. This meant I could work with a larger number of pets than I could in an exclusive clinic. I also saw the need to work in a broader environment to develop my non-surgical recovery programs. I have used advanced sports medicine and recovery practice techniques that exist in human medicine and turned them into a wider variety of successful recovery programs in small animal veterinary medicine.

Prior Experience –

Prior to building the rehab department for the hospital, I had extensive and varied experience working in recovery venues. I’ve worked with injured world-class athletes  and with regular humans who have difficult or multiple medical issues. Please see my LinkedIn profile for more information.

I had also already been designing training programs for endurance sports since the 1970’s. It is aspects of both background experiences that have lent the most depth of knowledge and experience to my program designs for recovery from injury or surgery for our companion animals.

Naturally, this same background is imperative for designing training programs for competition animals! This is not taught to most veterinary rehabilitation professionals, and I hope to change that!

Rehabilitation Certification –

I also completed the coursework to become a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner (CCRP) through the program at the University of Tennessee in 2005. I chose to complete both the veterinarian courses and the physical therapist courses. Unfortunately, exercise program periodization, exercise program design, and exercise physiology are not taught to practitioners seeking certification in veterinary rehabilitation. I hope to change that.

I develop techniques marrying the extensive information we have available from the “human side” about the above topics and about advances in neuroscience and neuro recovery as well. We need to change that this knowledge is not taught in our vocation.

Gus the Great Pyrenees supported on his front porch in a sling rehabdeb built
Gus Maxwell Porch Swing Sling

I believe knowledge of and experience working in the above italicized disciplines is necessary to do the best work and meet the best outcomes in veterinary rehabilitation.

Sports Medicine and Strength Training Certifications –

I am a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist® (CSCS®) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), which I have been a member of for several decades.

I am also a member of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) .

And I regularly attend conferences for both of these organizations.

I use principles of human sport science and functional recovery to improve the lives of the pets I work with, either in person or via this website and my books. It is this background that has given me the most informative tools to create and apply successful rehab programs.

I am also a…

Certified CPR/First Aid/AED (required for my CSCS and WFR certifications)

Wilderness First Responder (WFR) through National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and the Wilderness Medicine Institute (WMI)

Member Capitol Area Veterinary Medical Association (CAVMA) 2005-2017

Member International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM) 2007-2008

I use low-level (class IIIb) laser therapy to aid toward healing and have been to two international laser conferences.

Additional thoughts…

I often design my own tools or make something simple in order to work on something complicated.

Sully the formerly paralyzed Great Dane supported in a stand rehabdeb built

(Sully in Sully Station to do His Neurological Recovery Drills)

I volunteer locally with Team Survivor, The Breast Cancer Resource Center, the Pink Ribbon Cowgirls, and the Texas Mamma Jamma Ride. It is very important to advocate for exercising after cancer diagnosis, during and after treatment, and I have focused on that extensively. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 after finding my own enlarged lump, a calcification that had been on my mammograms for several years.

Today is July 21, 2020, and I am chronologically 57 years old. Ultra trail running and a road cycling are my current personal focus sports, and I’ve also competed in fencing (sabre, foil, epee) and different equestrian disciplines, as well as triathlon, pistol shooting, track and field, and swimming. I worked for the US Cycling Federation (now USAcycling) for several years as a contract practitioner and also attended a cycling training development camp at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO in the 1980’s.  I have created my personal recovery programs for my own large variety of injuries and surgeries!

Multi-modal pain relief, “pain control”, is very important to me. Giving appropriate pain medications post-injury and post-surgically for humans and other animals is important. I rarely work with a veterinary case wherein the pet is receiving enough of the “right” pain meds for their body and situation. See my pain post for more info.

I do 99% of my own social media, website fixing, marketing, writing, information technology, etc, etc…so this website rarely gets the updates it needs! I have been intending to add to this post (as I’m currently doing) for over a year.

Contact Info…


I am often unable to respond quickly to contact or comments because I am traveling and/or working. If I am traveling, I might not have consistent email, internet, or phone access.

I discuss many issues on this site, so I recommend you look through the Q&A . Please use the search feature to find specific topics. More info about how to get the most out of this site is on this page, How Do I Find Help For My Pet on This Site?.


More info about my practice and scheduling an appointment with me:

Here are details about my practice and how we get started working together. When you first contact me, I would like your pet’s name as well as their veterinarian’s name(s) for my records. I may ask for a few other details after we set our first appointment and otherwise will get all other info from you during our first consult.
Below is a lot of information, and I hope you really take the time to read through it. So many of your questions will be answered below, and you will be better prepared for our first consult, which will put you ahead of the game and also save you time and money!
Hopefully you wandered some more around my website (which I do know I need to edit and such) and found out more about my practice. If not, or not much, I’ll attach some links for you to check out soon if you’re able.
My practice is entirely phone/telemedicine-based and mobile, and I do not have a brick and mortar clinic setting. We will begin working together by having a paid phone consult to cover all the background information that I would like to know and we will cover any questions you have, too.
During the course of our first professional consult via phone we will discuss the next appointment and how that will be conducted. I always begin with a phone consult, whether a client is in my same area or in another state or another country. When a client and I are in the same area, then I may combine phone and in-person consults & hands’-on work during the time we are working together. I have a lot of clients around the U.S. and even elsewhere in the world, so I’ve had plenty of experience conducting successful paid phone consults!
Because I do not have support staff, I will communicate with you by email at first, to make the first appointment, and then we’ll be scheduling future consults while we’re talking in a consult, via text, or via email along the way, as the situation warrants. I do not answer new or additional medical or rehab questions via email or texting or phone outside of a paid consult, but if you have a simple yes/no clarification about something we just discussed, you should email or send a text to me about that so you don’t get lost somewhere in the program we’re doing with your pet. Please only use email for medical information, for sending photos or videos, and for any questions or reports about your pet’s health. I need that info in an email to easily save for my records for your pet, and I don’t do that via texting.
My current Summer phone consult hours are M-F, 1-4pm CST. If you contact me to schedule and I’m traveling, I will update you with regard to my availability. I do not schedule any appointments in the evening, at night, or on the weekends.
My current charges (as of July, 2020) are $150 per hour in person and $100 per hour on the phone, and both of those are prorated according to how much time I am with you. If we only spend 45 minutes, then you’re only charged for 45 minutes and if we are together an hour and 13 minutes, I will charge you for an hour and 13 minutes. My charges are based on the whole time I am with you, either on the phone or in-person. Most of the time that is clear to people, but once or twice it hasn’t been, so I decided to clarify that here. There is also a nominal mileage charge in some long-distance travel cases, but you’ll know about that ahead of time if it is to ever affect you.
The time our first consult takes will likely depend on how much you have already read of my website and materials in the links. You will be better prepared if you have already searched the site and read some about your pet’s problem. There is a lot of info I do not yet have posted on this site. I’ve been busy with appointments and just haven’t had resources to create more content in the past few years.
During our phone consult I will be giving you things to do so that you can start with your pet’s rehabilitation. Also, I can cover a LOT of info in a short amount of time, so I definitely recommend you have paper & something to write with to take a lot of notes during our consult(s).
I have several decades of experience working with a variety of recovery modalities and several species, experience with a very wide variety of body insult and recovery situations, and lots of experience with popular and promoted rehab activities and tools that just don’t work…and with lots that do.
I focus on reviewing what you have been told about your or your pet’s situation, come up with appropriate individualized functional recovery solutions, and sometimes serve also as a patient navigator and patient advocate. It is likely that I will give you volumes of information about your situation and how to work with a variety of modalities and practitioners, including me, toward resolution of your or your pet’s issues.
I prefer to use Venmo for phone consult payment, but I will use PayPal under certain conditions. In person I’ll accept Venmo, PayPal, cash or sometimes checks.
Also, please check out these links on my site, in case you missed them. These links are possibly related to your pet’s situation as you described it, even if the titles of the posts don’t seem related …
Many people all over the world find my most basic info, follow it to a “T” and have extremely successful results. That is the least expensive method of utilizing my knowledge and experience in the rehab arena, however I prefer to be able to also work with people and pets after they complete the basic foundation program (contained in the booklets from the first links), and I highly recommend up to at least 12 total weeks of progressive work.
Most of my rehab practice is based on helping people learn what is good and truly productive in functional therapy for their pets. Most people who come my way embrace the idea of learning for themselves, and as I propose protocol that they follow, they are encouraged because the more they follow my recommendations, the more success and/or relief they experience, for themselves and their pets.
Due to resource constraints, I am unable to get onto the phone for conversations outside of our scheduled appointments. If you have a question that is a medical one and/or related to changes in the rehab program path we have discussed, I will recommend we discuss it further in a phone consult. Please send in-depth medical information for me about your pet after we are working together and I request certain information. Send medical info only in an email and not via texting. If you are calling me with an emergency, please know that I am not a DVM and that you should definitely call your vet instead and/or get to an emergency clinic.
I tell every client that they are welcome to pay me to come perform every bit of work (which really isn’t feasible for most people in most cases), but that my practice is strongly based on educating people to work with their pets toward their goals using principles of functional recovery, neuroscience and neurology, exercise science, and strength & conditioning along with medical treatments from your pet’s veterinarian(s). Most veterinarians are not exercise physiologists or conditioning specialists with broad experience nor are they recovery science specialists with a long history of understanding where and when to place certain adjunctive treatments, so using my expertise complements the medical diagnoses and treatments of your veterinarian. I encourage veterinarians to contact me about cases, and I look forward to working as a team where that is possible.
Hope your are healthy and safe-


(Updated Sept. 15, 2021. First posted April 28, 2011)

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