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Meet Our Advisors

Our advisors take an active roll in helping us find and deliver the best content available.

Barbara Bockstahler, PD, DVM, DECVSMR, DACVSMR, FTA, CCRP 

Barbara Bockstahler studied veterinary medicine in Vienna, Austria, where she later headed a joint veterinary practice. In addition to her private practice (1996 – 2002), since 1999 she is head of the section for Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation at the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna. In the course of her clinical and scientific career Dr. Bockstahler has held numerous national and international lectures.


Dr. Bockstahler was certified as a Specialist for Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine in 2004 (Austria) and as Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner in 2007. She conducted intensive research on gait analysis in dogs since 2003 and finished her habilitation 2009. She became Diplomate of the American College for Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation 2016. She is founding member and chair of the interim committee of the European College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation since 2017.


Matthew Brunke, DVM, CCRP, CVPP, CVA


Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation


Dr. Brunke is a native New Yorker, growing up in Queens. He received his BS in Animal Science from Cornell University in 2000, and his DVM from Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in St. Kitts, graduating in 2004.


He received his certification in rehab in 2008 from the University of Tennessee CCRP program. He is also certified in pain management (IVAPM) and acupuncture (Chi Institute). He teaches for the UT CCRP program domestically and internationally.


He completed the practice experience pathway for the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation in 2017, and passed ACVSMR boards in January 2018.


He practices in the Washington, DC area. As a Diplomate of the VSMR college, Dr. Brunke believes in a big picture and practical approach to his patients, and enjoys both orthopedic and neurological cases. 


When not working, he enjoys running, biking, swimming and competing in marathons and triathlon, and traveling the globe.


Adelaide his 3 year old Newfoundland who enjoys long walks and Penny is his 4 year old pit bull running buddy/ training partner.

Shermann Canapp, DVM, MS, CCRT,
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Surgeons, Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation

Dr. Sherman Canapp, originally from Maryland, completed a combined DVM/MS at Kansas State University, an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at the University of Missouri followed by a three-year residency in small animal surgery at the University of Florida.  Dr. Canapp is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and Charter Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, where is Past President of the college. 


Dr. Canapp currently practices orthopedic surgery and sports medicine at the Veterinary Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Group (VOSM) in Annapolis Junction, MD where he is owner and Chief of Staff. Dr. Canapp routinely receives referrals for sports related injuries, arthroscopic procedures and regenerative medicine treatments from domestic and international sources Dr. Canapp is also the President and CEO of Orthobiologic Innovations LLC, where he is actively engaged in concept and product design and development for orthopedic and arthroscopic devices, instrumentations, medical systems, biologics and regenerative medicine technologies. 


Dr. Canapp established the VOSM Academy, LLC educational training programs for veterinarians in the areas of sports & regenerative medicine, rehabilitation therapy, diagnostic musculoskeletal ultrasound and arthroscopic procedures.  The VOSMA Certification Program was then created to allow practices and clinicians trained and certified by Dr. Canapp to become a VOSM affiliate member.  Certified locations include Seattle, Philadelphia, Finland and Australia. 


Dr. Canapp is a consultant for national working and performance dog organizations, as well as pharmaceutical companies and veterinary and medical schools.  His particular area of interest, research and publications lies in regenerative medicine for treatment of soft tissue injuries and osteoarthritis, sports medicine and minimally invasive surgery. Dr. Canapp lectures nationally and internationally on these topics and teaches advanced courses in arthroscopy and regenerative medicine treatments. Due to the significant translational application of his work in regenerative medicine for soft tissue injuries he has had the honor of being an invited speaker and panelist at numerous human conferences.  In 2015, Dr. Canapp established Project GO (Global Orthopedics for Animals).  Project GO is a non-profit foundation dedicated to helping animals with musculoskeletal injuries from working dog government organizations, rescue organizations, wildlife organizations that have significant budget constraints as well as pet owners with financial hardship.


Currently, Dr. Canapp and his wife, Dr. Debra Canapp (VOSM’s Medical Director and Director of Rehabilitation and Diagnostic Musculoskeletal Ultrasound), along with their daughters Allyson and Isabella and son Caden live in Howard County, where they share a home with their Doberman Ygritte, Border Collie Enzo and hairless cat, Decan.  His personal interests include playing drums, racing cars, mountain biking and playing tennis.

Debra Canapp, DVM, CCRT, CVA, Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation

Dr. Debra Canapp began her journey in sports medicine and rehabilitation with her certification in canine rehabilitation through the Canine Rehabilitation Institute in Loxahatchee, Florida in 2005. She has since continued an exclusive career working in small animal sports and rehabilitation medicine.  In order to expand the rehabilitative services offered to VOSM's patients, Dr. Canapp became certified in the art of traditional Chinese veterinary medicine and acupuncture by the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society in 2006. In 2007 she further enhanced VOSM’s rehabilitative portfolio when she received her certification in stem cell therapy, a practice that has shown promise in returning our injured canine companions and athletes to their prior function. In 2010-2011, Dr. Canapp pursued studies and advanced training in diagnostic musculoskeletal ultrasound and is currently utilizing this tool, as a leader in the small animal field, diagnostically and therapeutically through ultrasound-guided regenerative medicine injections. In 2012, Dr. Canapp obtained the next level of expertise in her field by becoming board certified in the new American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation.

For the past 14 years, Dr. Canapp’s exclusive area of interest, clinical work, lecturing and research has revolved around sports medicine and rehabilitation therapy, specifically canine sports-related injury, sport rehabilitation and performance.  She has completed advanced courses in canine rehabilitation, hydrotherapy, acupuncture, sports medicine, orthopedics and stem cell therapy.  Currently she is practicing sports medicine, acupuncture, musculoskeletal ultrasound and rehabilitation at VOSM.  Dr. Canapp is active in teaching rehabilitation medicine to visiting veterinary students, rehabilitation therapy certification candidates, and veterinarians. She is also active in teaching musculoskeletal ultrasound to veterinarians all over the world with her distance learning courses utilizing lectures, hands on practice and homework assignments. Dr. Canapp is engaged in several clinical trials involving sports medicine and rehabilitation and reviews for scientific veterinary journals and grant committees.  Dr. Canapp has been published and lectures on the subjects of osteoarthritis, sports medicine, regenerative medicine, musculoskeletal ultrasound and rehabilitation therapy at national and international continuing education meetings.  Dr. Debra Canapp, along with her husband, Dr. Sherman Canapp, is currently lecturing both domestically and abroad on the subjects of diagnostic musculoskeletal ultrasound, orthopedic injuries in the sporting/working dog, and the current rehabilitation techniques used to treat them.

Steve Ettinger, DVM, DACVIM (SAIM and Cardiology)

After graduating from the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University in 1964 Dr. Ettinger completed intern and resident training at the Animal Medical Center in New York City. He was one of four veterinarians who participated in the first intern class at the AMC. His specialty training was a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellowship in Cardiology, completed at the Bronx Veteran’s Administration Hospital and the Animal Medical Center, in New York City. He practiced veterinary medicine in New York City at the Animal Medical Center until 1971.


Dr. Ettinger and three other specialists founded the Berkeley Veterinary Medical Group in California in 1971. This was the first group veterinary specialty practice in the United States. During this period Dr. Ettinger was also a Clinical Professor of Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis (1972-1980). He taught at UC Davis one day weekly for a decade. He relocated to the California Animal Hospital in Los Angeles in 1980. That group developed into a 25+ DVM specialty-general medicine (hybrid) practice and veterinary post graduate teaching hospital. It has now been merged into the VCA family of hospitals. In 2011, Dr. Ettinger was a Visiting Professor at the Veterinary School at the University of Sydney in Australia for three months.


He completed a four-year term as an elected member of the

Board of Trustees of Cornell University (2007-2011) in Ithaca, New York and New York City, N.Y. His term was of particular pride to him as the first Veterinary alumni elected to serve in that position.


In 1970, Dr. Ettinger co-authored with Dr. P.F. Suter, the first veterinary small animal specialty textbook, Canine Cardiology (1971) and he has been author and editor of the Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine, a two volume treatise on veterinary medicine, available in five languages since 1975.

The 8th edition of the textbook published in January 2017 includes over 550 video recordings, digitized heart sounds, a searchable format, open-access indexing and over 250 client information sheets, all digitally incorporated and up loadable.


Dr. Ettinger has presented talks throughout the world and has published over 170 professional articles in the veterinary literature. His areas of specialization are small animal veterinary internal medicine, small animal, cardiology, hospital management and professional veterinary development.

He is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (Cardiology and Small Animal Internal Medicine) and is an Emeritus Fellow of the American College of Cardiology (FACC) and the American Heart Association (FAHA). He recently has become a certified canine rehabilitation Practitioner (CCRP). He currently practices cardiology at West Coast Veterinary Specialists two days weekly and spends a day weekly at Two Hands Four Paws a veterinary rehabilitation group. 

Leslie Gallagher McMahon, CCMT, CCRT

Leslie was raised on a farm in Northern California. After attending Choate she studied extensively in Quito, Ecuador, Oxford, England and Seville, Spain and received her B.A. in International Relations at Scripps College in Claremont, CA. She worked for the Peruvian government before becoming the Director of International Affairs for Grupo Televisa/Univision. In 1998 she created Two Hands Four Paws, the premier canine physical rehabilitation center in Los Angeles. While pioneering the rehabilitation industry in California she received multiple certifications in massage therapy, studied veterinary technology while working for a boarded surgeon, and subsequently earned her CCRT from CRI. She, her veterinarians and therapists practice state-of-the-art small animal rehabilitation, employing modalities such as massage therapy, laser therapy, acupuncture, ultrasound, PEMF and hydrotherapy in two water treadmills and a large saltwater pool.  Her facility treats everything from osteoarthritis to torn cruciate ligaments, ruptured discs, dysplasia, cancer and obesity. All members of her rehab team are certified in canine physical rehabilitation. Her West L.A. location treats approximately 50-60 animals/day. The full-sized pool is also used for weekly “Fun Swims” for animals who have either graduated from therapy or who just want to swim for exercise and to build/maintain cardio fitness.


Leslie’s Medical Director, Dr. Steve Ettinger, also certified in canine rehabilitation has now included a chapter on rehabilitation in the gold-standard “Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine.” It was their goal that every veterinarian in the world learn about canine rehab. She routinely lectures throughout the state of California on the benefits of canine rehabilitation. Fluent in Spanish, Leslie has appeared in many television and radio shows in the USA (Animal Planet, Fox, Univision, KTLA) and on networks in France, Ireland, Germany, Sweden, Japan and Egypt. She’s been featured in over 50 articles worldwide and has been featured in ads from American Express to Chase Bank.

Janice Huntingford, DVM, DACVSMR, CVA, CVPP, CCRT, CAVA

Dr. Janice Huntingford is a 1984 graduate of the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, in Guelph, Ontario. She is certified in chiropractic, acupuncture, rehabilitation and pain management. She is the owner and medical director of the Essex Animal Hospital in Essex, Ontario. In 2015 she became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, a consultant for the VIN Rehab/Sports Medicine/Chronic Pain board and a survivor of sled dog research at the Yukon Quest in minus 40 C.


Dr. Huntingford has lectured nationally and internationally on rehabilitation and pain management to veterinarians and veterinary technicians. She has co-authored several text book chapters on Rehabilitation and published a number of peer reviewed manuscripts on sporting dog nutrition and exercise physiology.  When not practicing she enjoys spending time on her farm/winery with her chef husband, Harold, a menagerie of dogs, cats and horses and even a few adult children!

Chris Horstman, DVM, MS, MBA, DACVS

He attended and graduated from Kansas State University in May 2000.  While in veterinary school he became intrigued with veterinary surgery.  His confidence and calm behavior while in the surgical suite lead him to pursue advanced training in small animal surgery. 

After leaving Kansas State University he moved to Athens, Georgia where he completed a small animal rotating internship at the University of Georgia.  During this year, he honed his skills in surgery, medicine, emergency care, anesthesia, radiology, and other aspects of veterinary services.

In July 2002, he joined the staff at Iowa State University as an orthopedic research fellow.  During his fellowship, he worked on numerous projects; some of which were funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH).  He also completed several publications and wrote a variety of research grants.  He started his small animal surgical residency at Mississippi State University in 2003.  Here he refined his surgical skills, completed the requirements for board certification, and obtained a Master’s Degree in Veterinary Medicine while writing a thesis on the use of radiofrequency in animal joints.


After completing his residency, he moved to Las Vegas, NV.  He joined the Las Vegas Veterinary Specialty Center (LVVSC) as a staff surgeon in 2006.  He acquired board certification and became a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (DACVS) in 2007

Kari Koudelka LVT, CCRP, VTS-physical rehabilitation (OC)

Kari Koudelka graduated with her AAS degree in Veterinary Technology from Tomball College in 2004. Following graduation, Kari began working in rehabilitation for Dr. Richard Wall. Since that time, she has been director of rehabilitation and the head rehabilitation technician for the Center for Veterinary Pain Management and Rehabilitation in The Woodlands, Texas. She achieved her certification as a certified canine rehabilitation practitioner (CCRP) through the University of Tennessee’s Canine Rehabilitation program in 2005. In 2007, she completed courses in Traditional Chinese Medicine for Veterinary Technicians at the Chi Institute in Florida. Since 2012, Kari has helped Dr. Wall annually, and sometimes bi-annually, as a staff member for the Canine Myofascial Trigger Point Course through MyoPain Seminars. Kari has also been involved with the creation of a VTS—or Veterinary Technician Specialty—in physical rehabilitation and has served on the organizing committee first as president and currently as executive director of the Academy of Physical Rehabilitation Veterinary Technicians (APRVT). She has also served as a founding technician and technician liaison board member for the American Association of Rehabilitation Veterinarians. Kari has written peer reviewed articles for Veterinary Team Brief and contributed to the textbook Pain Management for Veterinary Technicians and Nurses. She is actively on the advisory committee for the Veterinary Technology program at Tomball College and works with their internship program as a specialty practice. In March 2017, She was honored as the 2017 Veterinary Technician of the Year from the Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA).

Denis Marcellin-Little, DEVD, DACVS, DECVS, CCRP, DACVSMR

Dr. Denis Marcellin-Little is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and a charter Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation. Dr. Marcellin-Little specializes in orthopedic surgery.


Dr. Marcellin-Little graduated from the French veterinary school of Toulouse, France in 1988. He did an internship at Hollywood Animal Hospital in Hollywood, Florida, followed by a small animal surgery residency at North Carolina State University, where he was on the faculty from 1994 to 2017.


Dr. Marcellin-Little's areas of interest include total joint replacement and the management of limb deformities. His research interests include biomodeling and the fabrication of custom orthopedic implants using metal 3D printing and other methods. Dr. Marcellin-Little is an AO faculty member who teaches at AO Orthopedic courses nationally and internationally.


Dr. Millis received his BS and DVM from Cornell University, MS from the University of Florida, and completed an internship and surgery residency at Michigan State University.  He is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, a founding charter Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, and is Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, where he served as chief of surgery. 


Dr. Millis is currently the Director of the CARES Center for Veterinary Sports Medicine and is a co-editor of the Textbook of Small Animal Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation; Essential Facts of Physiotherapy in Dogs and Cats; Small Animal Physical Rehabilitation: Veterinary Clinics of North America-Small Animal Practice; and Multimodal Management of Canine Osteoarthritis. He is a primary faculty member of the University of Tennessee Certificate Program in Canine Rehabilitation, which received the Outstanding Non-Credit Program Award from the Association for Continuing Higher Education.  This course is now taught in five continents: North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa.  He is also the President of the International Association of Veterinary Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy. 


Dr. Millis has received the AVMA Career Achievement Award in Canine Research, the World Small Animal Veterinary Association Iams Paatsama Award, the Pfizer Award for Research Excellence, the Distinguished Postdoctoral Veterinary Alumnus Award from Michigan State University, the Charles and Julia Wharton Distinguished Professor Award and the Chancellor’s Award for Professional Promise in Research and Creative Achievement from the University of Tennessee.  His primary areas of research interests include osteoarthritis, physical rehabilitation, and modulation of fracture healing with growth factors.  Dr. Millis has delivered over 900 presentations at state, national and international meetings, and has authored over 45 publications, 50 textbook chapters, and 100 abstracts/proceedings.              

Helen Nicholson, PT, MS, PhD

Dr Helen Nicholson began working with animals in 1999. Since then, she has become the first in the world to attain both Masters and PhD degrees in animal physiotherapy, and the first to earn the title of Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) Animal Physiotherapist. Helen is a visiting professor at Yamazaki Gakuen University in Japan and is a published author. She has served as chair of the Animal Physiotherapy Group of the APA and was recently invited to be a board member of the International Association of Veterinary Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy. At last count, Helen had 1 dog, 2 cats, 17 chickens, 4 kids and 1 very long suffering husband!


Dr. Otto obtained her DVM from The Ohio State University and her PhD in Veterinary Physiology from the University of Georgia. She is a tenured associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Veterinary Medicine in Philadelphia, PA. As a board certified specialist in Veterinary Emergency Medicine she served as an attending clinician in the Penn Vet Emergency Service between 1991 and 2014. As a result of her deployment with PA-TF1 (a Federal Urban Search and Rescue Team) to hurricane Floyd and 9/11, she initiated an AKC-CHF funded longitudinal study of search dogs that worked at 9/11 and was inspired to create to the Penn Vet Working Dog Center (  Her experience with these amazing canine athletes motivated her to become a board certified specialist in Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation (DACVMR-canine) and a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist. She currently serves as the executive director of the Penn Vet Working Dog Center where she oversees the fitness and medical care of the detection dogs in the program, provides rehabilitation and conditioning for police and other working dogs and conducts vital research including the effects of naloxone in detection dogs.  She has published over 60 peer reviewed articles, numerous book chapters and is an internationally recognized speaker in both emergency medicine and working dog medicine. She was named Pennsylvania’s 2002 “Veterinarian of the Year” and received an Alumni Recognition Award in 2006 and the OSU Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2008 from the Ohio State University. She was a top 20 finalist in AVMF’s America’s Favorite Veterinarian in 2014 and recipient of the Philadelphia Kennel Club’s Dog’s Best Friend Award in 2016.

Debbie (Gross) Torraca, PT, DPT, CCRP

Dr. Debbie (Gross) Torraca has been involved in the field of canine physical rehabilitation and conditioning for over twenty years.  She began her career in human sports medicine and quickly made the transformation over to canine physical rehabilitation and sports medicine.   She began with a BS at Boston University, an advanced MS from Quinnipiac College, and a doctorate at the University of Tennessee.  She is also a certified canine rehabilitation practitioner, and is one of the founding persons involved in the University of Tennessee Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner program.  She continues to play an integral role in the continued growth and advancement of the program.

Dr. Torraca has been teaching throughout the world on many topics related to canine physical rehabilitation and canine sports medicine and is widely published on the topic of canine physical rehabilitation, photobiomodulation in a rehabilitation and performance setting, joint mobilization and manual therapy, as well as canine performance.

Zoran Vrbanac, DVM, PhD, CCRP, DACVSMR

Dr. Zoran Vrbanac earned his veterinary degree and PhD in Clinical Veterinary Sciences at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine University of Zagreb, Croatia. In 2008 he completed training in veterinary acupuncture at the College of Veterinary Medicine, China Agricultural University in Beijing, PR China.


Dr. Vrbanac is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Radiology, Diagnostic Ultrasound and Physical Therapy, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine University of Zagreb, Croatia. He was one of the founding members of VEPRA (Veterinary European Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Association) and has served two terms as president of VEPRA. He became Diplomate of the American College for Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation 2016.Dr. Vrbanac’s research and publications focus on exercise physiology and bone metabolism.


Dr. Wall graduated with his BS degree from Texas A&M in 1978. He completed his DVM from Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1979. In 2005, he completed the University of Tennessee’s Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner (CCRP) credential and received the Certified Myofascial Trigger Point Therapist CMTPT from Myopain Seminars, Bethesda, MD in 2009.

Dr. Wall was appointed Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation in 2009

Ernie Ward, DVM, CVFT

Dr. Ernie Ward is an internationally recognized veterinarian known for his work in the areas of general small animal practice, life extension and longevity, practice management and leadership, long-term medication monitoring, special needs of senior dogs and cats and pet obesity. He has authored three books, including “chow hounds: why our dogs are getting fatter.” Dr. Ward has been a frequent guest on television programs and served as the resident veterinarian for the “Rachael Ray Show” from 2007 until 2014. He has over 100,000 followers on Facebook, and serves over 20,000 on his Twitter accounts, YouTube vlog, and popular weekly podcast, “Veterinary Viewfinder,” and is a highly sought after veterinary media expert.


Dr. Ward is the founder of Seaside Animal Care, a National Practice of Excellence award-winning small animal veterinary clinic and Doggone Healthy, a practice dedicated to nutritional, behavioral and integrative care in Calabash, North Carolina. He also owns an international veterinary consultancy, E3 Management, LLC. Dr. Ward has authored and been featured in more than 100 practice management and peer-reviewed medical journal articles in 11 countries, co-authored the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) weight management guidelines, co-authored the peer-reviewed Veterinary Clinics of North America Small Animal Obesity textbook, and is a 1992 graduate of the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine.

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