My Story

I was five years old when I made the decision to be a veterinarian. It is a calling – a vocation. I spent the next 21 years focusing on that goal. I never wavered. I did not change my mind. I set out to qualify as a vet. I was never as proud of myself, or as excited, as I was on the day I graduated with a degree in veterinary science. There have been numerous iterations of being a veterinarian. I started to work as a small animal practitioner in a practice that performed all aspects of medicine and surgery. This was a great foundation. I owned my own practice (as the sole charge and with a business partner). When I sold the business, I provided locum services for a spell. Following on from that I established my current veterinary business which is to offer physical rehabilitation and pain management for dogs and cats.

Each of these changes of direction has a story but the one I wish to tell today is that of how I came to be a teacher. One day, one of my clients (who has become a very dear friend) suggested that I present a workshop for pet parents. Her argument was that as I invested so much time in sharing my knowledge and expertise with the individual, a workshop format would benefit more animal guardians, and ultimately more animals. I was surprised, to say the least! My immediate reaction was to push aside the suggestion BUT a seed was planted. I began to see myself from another perspective. I consolidated my notes into a more rational format. I spoke with clients and asked them what they wished to learn. I started to believe that it was possible for me to present a workshop! 

This new direction was not without obstacles. The first of which was to make the space to create course material while running a business, and simultaneously consulting within that business. I had to ask for help. This was not an easy admission for me. However, I swallowed my pride and called on my husband for moral and practical support, a close friend with experience in writing (to assist with editing), and I delegated certain treatments to my longest-standing therapist. The second, and most difficult challenge was to overcome my inherent shyness and lack of confidence when in a group. One to one consultations are intimate, personal, and specific for an individual patient. I had honed this skill over years as a practising vet. I had to change my mindset. I attended a workshop on public speaking, which was a huge help, practically. Finding the courage to step into a group setting was petrifying! I worked a lot on myself (meditations, role-playing, self-reflection, and I hired a business coach). After all of this, I was replaying the same story in my head about my inadequacies when I realised that there were many people who believed in me, and I could help so many more animals. That was when I took the plunge….

Almost 13 months after my friend’s suggestion, I presented my first workshop on osteoarthritis in dogs. I had nine attendees. Their participation was incredible. I loved being ‘on stage’. Their feedback was astounding. This spurred me on to create more workshop and course material. I now present a 12-month online course on canine physical rehabilitation to veterinarians worldwide. I have hosted numerous first aid workshops at the request of clients, and at different venues throughout South Africa. I regularly present online webinars to members of my profession, as well as lecturing at congresses and conferences. One of the areas in which I have the most fun is weekly Facebook Live talks. This platform emerged because of lockdown, and I wanted to stay connected to my clients.  

Throughout my career there are three things that have driven my decisions and actions. First, I honestly wish to help my animal patients to feel better. Second, it is my goal to solve the problem that is presented by the pet parent. Third, is to provide information to the guardian to assist with understanding the condition (of the animal companion). I see that when the companion improves, the human feels better. This has a ripple effect on the family and work colleagues. How cool is that? I appreciate that information is enabling and empowering and both the human and animal benefit. 

My current version of veterinary medicine concerns itself with physical rehabilitation and pain management in dogs and cats. There is much misinformation and misunderstanding of the nature of pain in our animal companions, the use of medication and their response to these medicines. There are many complementary therapies that can contribute to reducing pain and improving quality of life. This 5-module course explores pain in dogs, how to recognise it and teaches you to help your beloved companion.

Education and Skills

Dr Tanya is a qualified Veterinary surgeon with surgical capabilities and the ability to perform prolotherapy, gold bead implantation and intra-articular injections in small animals. She is also a qualified Veterinary acupuncturist with Western and Eastern training and obtained her certification through the association of British Veterinary Acupuncturists and the CHI institute.

Dr Tanya’s passion is to improve her patient’s quality of life, and in doing so is able to give her clients more peace of mind. She is able to achieve this through a number of treatment modalities. As every patient is unique and responds differently, and every client is unique, Dr Tanya is able to work with the client’s available resources the most limiting of which is often time and money. Dr Tanya always seeks to provide a solution which is best for the whole family.

Dr Tanya is a certified canine rehabilitation practitioner and her small animal physical rehabilitation skills include (but are not limited to) analysis of conformation and gait, full physical assessment, manual therapy skills such as massage and myofascial release techniques, hydrotherapy (pool and underwater treadmill), therapeutic exercises for dogs and cats, ability to set appropriate goals according to tissue trauma and phases of healing. More recently she completed a course in Canine Sports Medicine hosted by Dr Chris Zink..

Teaching and Lecturing

Dr. Tanya also loves to share her knowledge with veterinary professionals, pet owners and anyone that is interested in enhancing their life (and the lives of their companions) through information and skills.

Dr Tanya has developed an online continuing professional development certificate course for veterinarians: Canine Integrative Physical Rehabilitation. She is the tutor and mentor for the duration of the course, which is 12 months. The course is supported and delivered by The College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies in Australia (CIVT). Her wildly improbable goal is to establish a foundation that supports all veterinary professionals on every level – be it physical, emotional, spiritual, personal or through business education, financial aid and learning skills that enhance our hands-on abilities.

Dr Tanya is also a lecturer and examiner of veterinary physiotherapy students (canine), for Equine-Librium College, Plettenberg Bay and hosts their third and fourth-year students at Animal Health and Hydro, as part of the integrated learning component of their qualification. Animal Health and Hydro is also an approved facility (University of Tennessee) for CCRP externship hours.

More recently Dr Tanya has started offering free Facebook Live webinars for the public, and with her team of therapists has started launching online courses for pet owners.

Public Speaking

Dr Tanya was a guest speaker at the 2019 Biannual South African Veterinary Council congress held at Emperors place. Dr Tanya gave three talks at the congress on the following topics; Canine Hip Dysplasia, Intervertebral Disc Disease in dogs and case studies in Canine Physical Rehabilitation.

Dr Tanya was also a guest speaker at the 2020 Vet Expo held online, owing to the COVID19 pandemic. Dr Tanya’s talk was sponsored by SAAPRA and she spoke about the importance of physical rehabilitation in both surgical and non-surgical cases, in order to improve a patient’s outcome.  

Dr Tanya has also done a “Winning with Wobblers” talk for Online Pet Health.

Dr Tanya has also completed a series of webinars for the College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies (CIVT) on the following topics; Hind limb awareness in juvenile dogs, Home exercises to improve the outcomes in dogs with Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) and What to expect from the conservative management of Cranial Cruciate Ligament Disease.

Publication Contributions

Dr Tanya was a regular writer for the popular veterinary trade magazine “Vet News” and to date has written over 40 articles for the publication. More recently she has submitted articles to the Nurse’s Industry Magazine “Paws for Thought” as well as the new South African Publication “DQ Magazine” a magazine with content aimed at pet-parents.

Business, Coaching and Mentoring

Since 1995 Dr Tanya has owned and run her own businesses. Since starting Animal Health and Hydro is 2009, she has gone on to open three branches, in Benoni, Pretoria East and Fourways. Dr Tanya’s business skills include business strategy development and management including industry specific development. She has spent the past 5 years working with Action Coach, business coach Geoff Fairhurst.

Dr Tanya firmly believes in motivating and mentoring her team members with varying academic and practical skill levels, to become the most that they can be. Dr Tanya actively encourages the further learning and development of all her team members in a number of skills ranging from business education to new areas of study or in new treatment modalities.

Nominations and Accolades

In 2020 Dr Tanya was nominated as one of eight international finalists for the Veterinary Rehabilitation Therapist of the year award, by the International Association of Veterinary Rehabilitation Physical Therapists.

In 2016 Animal Health and Hydro won the award for the most innovative business by the Business Excellence Forum and was a finalist for the 702 Small Business Awards in the same year.

Corporate Social Responsibility

Dr Tanya is also involved in several community outreach projects such as the Thanda Inja project which is responsible of assisting the underprivileged community of Daveyton on the East Rand. Through the Thanda Inja project Dr Tanya has participated in sterilisation and vaccination programs in the area. Dr Tanya also offers a number of pro-bono rehabilitation treatments to non-profit rescue organisations such as Pug Rescue and Husky Rescue.


Dr Tanya is married to her husband Hugh Grantham, together they love to be with her animal companions (horses, dogs and cats). Dr Tanya is a keen trail runner and experiences great joy when she is running with her horse beside her.

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