Who is Rehabdeb?

I am Deborah Carroll, “rehabdeb”, and I have a functional rehabilitation practice focused in veterinary medicine.

I love working on functional rehabilitation for animals.

I have over 35 years’ experience in animal and human sport science, exercise physiology, program design, and nutrition.

Rehbdeb is a nickname that others tacked on 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 only changed the name of the site after so many people were already referring to me or my business by Rehabdeb.

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 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) .

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

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 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. I am an advocate of exercising after cancer diagnosis, during and after treatment.

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. See my pain post for more info.

I have created my personal recovery programs for many of my own injuries and surgeries!

And I do 98% of my own social media, website fixing, marketing, writing, information technology, etc, etc…

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 don’t 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?.

I would love to answer everyone individually, but I cannot do that right now. I am trying to make this site as full of helpful information for you as I am able. There is a contact form below. Use this form if you would like to schedule a paid phone or in-person consult with me for rehabilitation for your pet.




(Updated February 13, 2018. First posted April 28, 2011)