Your Veterinary Voice Episode 12: Drs. Sherman (MS, DACVS) and Debra (CCRT, CVA, DACVSMR) Canapp

April 22, 2017

They were into rehab before rehab was hot. Hear how this husband-and-wife duo, who split their practice right down the middle between orthopedic surgery and rehab, started up and their excited takes on internet-smart clients and flyball (youll know after you listen).

This podcast with rehab and surgery experts Debra (DVM, CCRT, CVA, DACVSMR) and Sherman (DVM, MS, DACVS) Canapp starts with the tremendous satisfaction Debra enjoys with her patients, who come back again and again for laser therapy or massage or other rehab modalities at the orthopedic surgery, rehab and sports medicine practice she and her husband, Sherman, co-own in Annapolis, Maryland.

This practice-owning duo originally wanted to do veterinary rehab like this before it was hot. Back then, however, Sherman tells us he got a "no" from his corporate bosses at the time, where he did orthopedic surgery and desperately wanted to offer the follow-up treatment to patients. You can imagine where that went with these two enterprising doctors. Listen in here to our podcast interview with the Canapps at a recent CVC conference.

Need some other highlights?

"With a lot of injuries, they don't need surgery, they need rehabilitation."

- Sherman Canapp

At 06:14, Debra speaks powerfully about the joy of rehab ... why aren't YOU doing it?! She used to do emergency medicine (i.e., saving lives every day) but explains how much more rewarding it is to do rehab.


"The bond I made with pet owners and patients with rehab work was more important than anything I can explain."

- Debra Canapp


The ultimate Fear Free: "Rehab patients run into the clinic and flop on their side and wait for their massage and their treatment."

- Debra Canapp

At 09:56, dive into the important question: flyball ... heard of it? Don't feel bad. Sherman and Debra hadn't heard of it either. Now they know all about it thanks to some work they did fixing a canine athlete's technique based on Michael Phelps' swimmer's turn ...


"More important is being able to prevent future injury in rehab, not just treat. That's key."

- Sherman Canapp

At 14:37, Sherman says sports and rehab solutions don't have to be expensive! Debra cautions against assuming your clients won't pay. Sherman says orthopedics doesn't have to mean expensive surgery. What's this about joint injections? What about regenerative medicine?


How important are rehab and orthopedics? "When a working dog's not working, the handler or police office isn't working either."

- Sherman Canapp

At 17:24, Debra and Sherman discuss getting clients from all over the country and all over the world. They are the happy recipients of a wickedly high level of word-of-mouth, much of it on the internet. But Debra says it's not just internet referrals that rule. She and Sherman love the educated client.


"We love educated clients. We love clients having an opinion."

- Debra Canapp

At 20:45, Sherman shares the No. 1 misconception folks have about the work they do in orthopedics, regenerative medicine and rehab: Stem cells are magical. (They're amazing, but not magical, and they can't cure everything.)

At 23:43, can we just address the elephant in the room? Husband and wife working together. How do Debra and Sherman make it work? Deep respect for each others' unique skills, they say, and delegating the business to other smart folks.