By LYDIA GEORGE
Sydney Chik posing with Kakak in her customised wheelchair.
Rehabilitation and physiotherapy for pets in Malaysia is a relatively new field when it comes to veterinary treatments. Canine physiotherapist, Sydney Chik decided to start her own pet rehabilitation centre, currently known as Paws Rehab Centre.
Located in SS18, Subang Jaya, Paws Rehab Centre is a home based centre which offers electrotherapy, heat therapy, treadmill exercises, gym ball exercises, aquatic therapy and cryotherapy.
After graduating from her degree in United States, Sydney realised the growing need for pet rehabilitation in Malaysia. Right after graduating, she worked for animal shelters such as Furry Friends Farm, Second Chance, Lost Animal Soul Shelter and Cherish Life Home. She then decided to put aside an investment to start her own place.
She expressed how canine rehabilitation may take a long time to bloom here in Malaysia and admitted that it was tough when she started her career three years ago.
“It is quite difficult to become recognised here in Malaysia as a canine physiotherapist.
“Getting certified is tough, so that’s why my rehab centre is home based,” said Chik when asked on the possible opportunities for canine physiotherapists here in Malaysia.
The common cases Sydney receives on a daily basis would be arthritis, senior cases, hip dislocations in young dogs and even paralysis. She gets three to five cases on an average per day and each session can go up to RM 80. Sydney further explained that owners have to book her one week in advance in order for her to plan ahead.
“Each session usually takes a maximum of one hour, and I don’t allow any dogs to board overnight so each owner is always with their pet for the whole session,” said Chik when asked on whether dogs are allowed to board overnight after their session.
She expressed that she would be willing to work together with Taylor’s Paws Club if ever given the chance. Chik further added that since she works alone now and if her business picks up, she'll definitely be open to students working part time for her.
“I never knew there was a rehab centre just for dogs, it would be really interesting if we could spend a day with Sydney at the rehab centre to get to know more about what she does,” said Taylor's School of Communication in Broadcasting student and member of the Taylor’s Paws Club, Sandhya Nair, 20.
Not only did Sydney set up a rehab centre of her own, she even designed her very own wheelchair device to help dogs who are paralysed. Each wheelchair is custom-made to suit the size of each dog who needs it.
“I definitely would love to move my current centre to a shop-lot while providing grooming and boarding services.
“The location for this would definitely be in Subang Jaya,” said Chik when asked on her possible career plans for the next few years.
She continued to express on how she hopes the very best for her business to take off. Helping dogs who can’t help themselves makes her happy and that has always been her main strive in why she chose to be a canine physiotherapist.