Posts Tagged ‘arthritis’

PET PAIN GO AWAY

Just as there are many types of pain there are many ways to treat pain in both pets and people. Pets can become painful for numerous reasons. Dogs and cats experience bone pain, joint pain, ligament pain, tendon pain, skeletal muscle pain, neurologic pain and internal organ pain. Depending on the type of pain your pet is experiencing there specific therapies will help relieve the pain.

Probably the most common type of pain pets experience is musculoskeletal pain. Osteoarthritis is the most well known cause of pain in older animals. Arthritis can be seen in both young and old pets but by far osteoarthritis is the most common type of old age disease that veterinarians treat on a daily basis. Traditional veterinarians treat arthritis with non steroidal anti inflammatories and narcotic pain killers. And although these remedies often work quite well to relieve pain and inflammation when used long term they can not only damage the pet’s joints but also cause liver, kidney and gastro-intestinal damage. That is why holistic veterinarians prefer to use therapies that not only relieve pain but also help repair damage tissue. Acupuncture, chiropractic, micro-current therapy, infra-sonic therapy, pulsed magnetic therapy, cytokine therapy and homotoxicology are all effective pain relievers and help repair damaged tissue. Said another way, these therapies do not just mask the pain; they also help the body repair itself.

A torn cruciate ligament in a dog’s knee is quite painful and probably the most common orthopedic injury a dog incurs. It is almost always an injury of large dogs. A common history veterinarian here is that when the owner let the dog outside he or she was walking perfectly normal but walked back in with a painful hind leg limp. Traditional veterinarians recommend that these dogs -have the leg surgically repaired. However, many holistic veterinarians know about a technique known as prolotherapy which they can use in place of conventional surgery. Prolotherapy involves a series of monthly injections of a special “sclerosing agent in and around the damaged joint. These injections create inflammation which eventually causes scar tissue to form and tighten the hyper-mobile, painful joint. Once the joint is tightened the dog can once again walk without pain. Cold laser therapy, cytokine therapy and adequin therapy can all be used along with prolotherapy in order to repair a damaged painful knee joint.

Injuries that involve a dog’s spine are extremely painful and the pet may litterly scream out in agony. Spinal cord pain may result from inter-vertebral disk degeneration or hyper-mobile vertebrae as are present in Wobblers disease. Ruptured inter-vertebral disks can be present anywhere along the spine and put pressure on the spinal cord. The muscle spasms that results from a ruptured disk putting pressure on the spinal cord are excruciatingly painful. Traditional veterinary medicine recommends the use of prednisone, muscle relaxants, narcotic analgesics and spinal cord decompression surgery. On the other hand holistic veterinarians recommend electro-acupuncture, micro-current therapy, pulsed magnetic therapy, infrasonic therapy, systemic enzymes, and cytokine therapy.

Dr. Jerry Tennant has discovered that where ever there is chronic pain there is almost always an area of low voltage or increased acidity. Consequently, in order for chronic pain to be alleviated and for healing to begin tissue voltage must initially be increased to greater than what is considered normal voltage. Once the tissue has healed the voltage decreases to normal. The additional voltage needed for healing can be obtained by reducing tissue acidity or increasing alkalinity. This can be accomplished thru adding antioxidants to the pet’s body, adding oxygen, or by using electrical magnetic devices which add electrons to the pet’s body. Such devices include the Russian Scenar, the Tennant Biomodulator, and pulsed magnetic therapy units.    To learn more about holistic methods of healing visit  www.Doc4pets.com

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Woodside Animal Clinic is a unique, very personal,  one doctor practice where, for over 35 years, Dr. Simon has been healing dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, rodents, and reptiles with both conventional and alternative medicine.  Dr. Simon is certified in Acupuncture, Chiropractic and Stem cell therapy.  He is the author  of 4 pet care books, a past president of the Oakland County Veterinary Medical Association and a regular contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine.   Visit us at Doc4pets.com

Woodside Animal Clinic sees pets from all over Michigan but primarily from the greater Detroit  area  including Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw, and Livingston counties.   Cities in these counties including Royal Oak, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, Detroit, Redford, Livonia, Hazel Park, Madison Heights, Warren, Centerline, Clawson,  Troy, Sterling Heights, Southfield, Birmingham, Lathrup Village, Bingham Farms, Franklin, Beverly Hills, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Novi, Wixom, Brighton, Livonia, Plymouth, Commerce, Ann Arbor, Ortonville, Waterford, Clarkston, Union Lake,  Rochester,  Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, Utica,  Grosse Pointe Farms, Grosse Pointe,  Romeo,  Flint, Hartland,  Lansing, Okemos, Flint, Howell,  Brighton, White Lake, Romeo, Saline, South Lyon, Windsor Canada, Toledo Ohio

HOLISTIC PAIN MANAGEMENT FOR PETS

There are many types of pain.  Some are very severe and others more tolerable.   Although we think of pain as bad it is actually the body’s way of letting us know that something is wrong.   It tells us to slow down and protect the damaged area.    Without pain we would not be aware that we were damaged in some way and we would continue doing things that would make the pain worse.    Of course, if the pain is severe using pain killers to make life more tolerable is often necessary.   However simply masking the pain without taking additional steps to help the damaged area heal would be a big mistake.

Pets can develop painful conditions for a number of reasons and what relieves their pain depends to a great extent on what causes it.    Common painful conditions that dogs and cats develop include musculo-skeletal diseases which include injured muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage and bone.    Specific problems such as arthritis, a torn cruciate ligament, a torn muscle, a torn menisci, hip dysplasia, a dislocated hip, osteomyelitis  and  osteosarcoma are all diseases causing musculoskeletal pain.   Other painful conditions may originate from the diseases of the nervous system including spinal cord compression from intervertebral disks disease, narrowing of the spinal canal known as vertebral stenosis. and spinal arthritis (vertebral spondylosis) which often compresses spinal nerve roots.    Gastro intestinal pain may result from gas distension, a gastric ulcer, and an intestinal foreign body causing intestinal obstruction.    Urinary tract pain can arise from stones in the kidney or passing down the ureters.   Stones lodged in the pets urethra can cause the bladder to distend and become very painful.    Oral pain can arise from loose teeth, a cavity, a tooth root abscess, or expose dental pulp.   A corneal eye ulcer, a foreign body in the eye or glaucoma can all cause severe eye pain.   To reiterate it is important to keep in mind that pain is a protective mechanism the body uses to tell the pet or person to avoid using the area while healing is occurring.  Consequently masking pain with pain killers although sometimes necessary may encourage the pet to use the limb before proper healing has occurred.

Before pain can be treated it must first be recognized by either the pet’s guardian or the veterinarian.    Because animals can’t tell us where it hurts and when it hurts caretakers and veterinarians must learn to recognize subtle signs of pain.    Sometimes pain is obvious such as when a pet walks stiffly or limps, or screams out when he or she moves in a certain way or is touched at a certain spot.   However, some dogs or cats are more stoic and pain may not be so obvious to the pet’s caretaker.    The less obvious signs of pain include a change in posture,  subtle changes in gait,  a change in ear, tail or head carriage, less activity, a decreased appetite, an increased heart rate, dilated pupils,   excessive panting, a personality change such as a more aggressive or fearful nature.

Once pain has been recognized and hopefully localized, there are many holistic options for reducing pain and making the pet more comfortable.   These options include herbal and nutritional anti-inflammatories like:     Valerian root, Rosemary, Ginger, Celery seed, Phenylalanine, DMSO, MSM, Hops, and Boswellia.  Glucosamine, collagen type 2, Hyaluranic acid, Yucca, and Ultra-InflammX .    Homotoxicology remedies like Trammel, Zeel, Spascupreel and Traumeel are all used to treat painful conditions.   The herbal or homeopathic remedy Arnica has long history of being used for pain management

Other  techniques  which can minimize pain include acupuncture, chiropractic, veterinary orthopedic manipulation (VOM), pulsed magnetic therapy,  Frequency Specific Micro current (FSM), infrasonic therapy, Class 4 Laser therapy,  massage therapy, trigger point therapy, prolo-therapy,   physical therapy,   Rubeolla viral Immune Modulator injection (RVI),  and finally Adequin and Legend injections.

The above therapies for pain can be used alone or in combination.     Keep in mind that what works well for anyone animal may not work as well for another.    Pets are like people and each individual has a unique physiology which determines which remedies or modalities work the best for them.   Consequently, it may take several trials before the best solution is found.

It is important to point out that holistic solutions are commonly not as fast acting as drugs but are much safer.     For most herbs or nutritional remedies pain relief may take as long as 2-3 weeks and consequently the quicker acting drugs may have to use in the initial stages in combination with the slower natural remedies.

Finally, one thing pet caregivers must realize is that it is very important to keep their dog under control during the healing process.    As we reduce the pets pain they want to run after birds, rabbits or squirrel in spite of their discomfort and in doing so commonly reinjure themselves.    Short easy walks can be beneficial but if the dog is pulling hard on the leash the walk may be contra-productive.

For more information on alternative and holistic medicine please visit us at www.doc4pets.com.

 

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Woodside Animal Clinic is a unique, very personal, one doctor practice where, for over 35 years, Dr. Simon has been healing
dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, rodents, and reptiles with both conventional and alternative medicine.  Dr. Simon is
certified in Acupuncture, Chiropractic and Stem cell therapy.  He is the author  of 4 pet care books, a past president of the Oakland County Veterinary Medical Association and a regular contributor to  Awakenings magazine.

Woodside Animal Clinic sees pets from all over Michigan but primarily from the greater Detroit  area  including Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw, and Livingston counties.   Cities in these counties including Royal Oak, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, Detroit, Redford, Livonia, Hazel Park, Madison Heights, Warren, Centerline, Clawson,  Troy, Sterling Heights, Southfield, Birmingham, Lathrup Village, Bingham Farms, Franklin, Farmington, Farmington, Hills, Novi, Wixom, Brighton, Livonia, lymouth, Commerce, Ann Arbor, Ortonville, Waterford, Union Lake, Rochester,  Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, Utica,  Grosse Pointe
Farms, Grosse Pointe,  Romeo,  Flint, Hartland,  Lansing, Okemos, Flint , Howell,  Brighton, White Lake, Romeo, Saline, South Lyon, Windsor Canada, Toledo Ohio

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LATEST THEORY ON HOW ACUPUNCTURE WORKS IN PETS AND PEOPLE

There are many theories as to why and how acupuncture works in pets and people.     It is believed that  pet acupuncture increases the blood levels of many different substances in the blood and spinal cord.    Cortisone, endorphins, and serotonin are just a few of the body’s pain killing chemicals that are produced when acupuncture is performed.      In just the last few years the discovery that the inner lining of blood vessel produces a substance known as nitric oxide which controls vascular dilation and constriction has led to the most cutting edge theory of acupuncture.

It has been known for some time that  chronic inflammatory areas of the body are often painful and have a decreased blood supply.   This decreased circulation leads to decreased tissue oxygenation and increased tissue acidity in the animals body.   Poor oxygenation and acidity resullt in pain and dysfunction.     In just the last few years  research has discovered that an increase  “nitric oxide synthase” activity   is present around acupuncture meridians channels and acupuncture points.    It is now accepted as  fact that, by causing vaso dilation and vaso constriction, nitric oxide is  a key regulator of  blood circulation and tissue oxygenation.    Research has further shown that when acupuncture is used to treat areas of chronic disease, blood plasma levels of nitric oxide increase and blood flow to those areas subsequently increases.    Double blind studies have shown that when acupuncture was performed on normal body areas the blood flow did not increase whereas it did when acupuncture was used to treat chronicly inflammed tissue.   It is believed that when acupuncture needles are inserted and rotated in soft tissue, they stimulate the fascial sheath  that surrounds cells and increases nitric oxide production, vasodilation, increased tissue oxygenation and pain control.    Of course the production of endorphins, cortisone and serotonin also occurs with acupuncture and no doubt further helps with pain control.

Regardless of which theory is right we continued to be amazed at how effective acupuncture is when treating intervertebral disk disease in dogs and cats.    Many people who can not afford $2500 for an MRI and $3000 for disk surgery have found acupuncture to be a life saver.    Of course acupuncture is also effective for many other  problems such as hip dysplasia, arthritis, chronic licking, and epilepsy.

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Woodside Animal Clinic is a unique, very personal, one doctor practice where, for over 35 years, Dr. Simon has been healing dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, ferrets rodents, and reptiles with both conventional andalternative medicine. Dr. Simon is certified in Acupuncture, Chiropractic and Stem cell therapy. He is the author of 4 pet care books, a past president of the Oakland County Veterinary Medical Association and past board member of the  American Holistic Veterinary Association.   Visit us at  www.doc4pets.com

Woodside Animal Clinic sees pets from all over Michigan but primarily from the greater Detroit area including Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston and Washtenaw counties. Cities in these counties including Royal Oak, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, Detroit, Redford, Livonia, Hazel Park, Madison Heights, Warren, Centerline, Clawson, Troy, Sterling Heights, Southfield, Birmingham, Lathrup Village, Bingham Farms,  Franklin, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Novi, Northville,Wixom, Brighton, Livonia, Plymouth, Commerce, Ann Arbor, Ortonville, Clarkston, Waterford, Union Lake, Rochester, Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, Utica, White Lake, Grosse Pointe, Romeo, Swartz Creek,  Shelby township, Washington,  Flint, Hartland, Lansing, Okemos, Howell, Brighton, White Lake, Romeo, Saline, South Lyon, Battle Creek, Saginaw, Windsor Canada, Toledo Ohio

Cold Laser Therapy for Animals – A Non Surgical Approach to Pain & Lameness

The future is here and medicine is now able to heal tissue with light frequencies, sound frequencies and pulsed magnetic waves.    The  most futuristic of all healing modalities is the use of  low energy laser beams  to heal tissue, reduce pain, and provide the patient additional energy.   The term laser is an acronym that stands for  “Light Amplification thru Stimulated Emission of Radiation.  There are both high power and low power lasers.   The high powered “hot” lasers are cutting lasers and are used in surgery, industry, or by the defense department.  The low power or cold lasers are used  in supermarket barcode readers, compact disc players, lecture pointers, laser light shows and medicine.    The therapeutic uses for  low energy soft lasers in medicine includes the promotion of tissue healing and the reduction of pain and swelling.   Lasers are being used by medical doctors, veterinarians, dentists, chiropractors and  physical therapists.  Holistic equine veterinarians have used lasers to perform acupuncture and treat joints for over 20 years.  The first therapeutic lasers produced were either infrared or red radiation.   More recently green and blue lasers have come in use.  Each colored laser has advantages and disadvantages over the others.   Regardless of color these low energy lasers produce no heat and there are very safe to use with the exception of the danger they may pose to the eyes if the patient or physician stares directly into the beam.

It was in 1973 that Friedrich Plog in Canada discovered that lasers could be used in place of needles to stimulate acupuncture points.  Later that decade Dr. Endre Mester a professor in Butapest performed a number of animal studies and subsequent human trials where he used laser irradiation to heal patients suffering from chronic unhealed wounds that were unresponsive to other treatments.  These patients provided the first direct evidence of the photobiostimulative potential of low energy laser therapy in humans.

Based on the reported successes of Plog and  Mester a range of research projects were intiated, principally in eastern Europe, China and the Soviet Union.  The positive findings of this research has resulted in cold laser therapy becoming a popular modality in those countries and is reflected in the large number or researched papers which originated from these countries.   However for some reason the acceptance of  soft  l laser therapy in the USA has been much slower to catch on and many new innovative lasers licensed in Europe have not been licensed by the FDA.

Within the medical profession the  use of low level laser therapy is most enthusiastically used by  physiotherapist.  In a survey of physical therapists they rated low level laser therapy more effective than any other form of electrotherapeutic modalities including, ultrasound and pulsed electromagnetic therapy when it came to wound healing, pain relief and the reduction of tissue swelling (edema) .   I have used red and infrared lasers to  treat dogs and cats for arthritis, hip dysplasia, intervertebral disk disease, spinal arthritis (spondylosis) and torn cruciate ligaments.

I have recently updated my  class 3B laser to a class 4 laser.     The increased power allows for greater tissue penetration and greatly reduces the time it takes to a painful or debilitated dog or cat.    It also allows for treatment without the need to shave the hair on thick coated pets.  Frequently I will combine this new laser therapy with prolotherapy or acupuncture hasen clinical results.

Low level laser therapy may be applied directly to the skin or applied from 1 to 3 inches above the skin.  This form of laser application is referred to as “transcutaneous” (through the skin).     When applied to the skin red lasers penetrate only to a depth of   1/8 inch whereas infra red lasers can penetrate to a depth of 8 cm. and can actually have an effect on internal organs.   When applied to vascular areas of the skin, lasers can  be used to irradiate circulating red blood cells and produce a systemic effect. .   Lasers can also  irradiate blood through  intravenous application.   Regardless of which method is used the effects of laser blood irradiation are as follows:

1.   an improved immune system function with increased numbers of white cells(lymphocytes and phagocytic neutrophils  which engulf bacteria)

2.   a reduction in blood clotting time making strokes less likely

3.  an increase in microcirculation and tissue oxygenation

4.  an  increase in cellular energy production (ATP) through stimulation of the  mitochondria

5.  a relief of pain and swelling

6.  provides antispasmotic, anti inflammatory effects

7.   improves liver and kidney function

8.  Stimulates microcirculation in the central nervous system- specifically the hypothalamus and  limbic systems leading to stimulation of hormonal, metabolic, immunologic, and    autonomic nervous system function

9.    stimulates the the antioxidant enzyme system

10   improves the red blood cell regeneration (erythrogenesis)

Specific Applications

1.  Intervertebral disk disease (slipped disk in back)

2.  Degenerative joint disease

3.  Cruciate ligament tears

4.  Soft tissue injuries: muscle, tendon, and ligament strains and sprains

5.  Acute and chronic ear disease

6.  Sinusitis and rhinits

7.  Pre and post surgical care

8.  Wound care

9.  Re energizing sick and debilitated animals

10.  Rehabilitation and physical therapy

11.  Immune system support

12.  Autoimmune disease

13.  Acute and chronic pain relief

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Woodside Animal Clinic is a unique, very personal,  one doctor practice where, for over 35 years, Dr. Simon has been healing dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, rodents, and reptiles with both conventional and alternative medicine.  Dr. Simon is certified in Acupuncture, Chiropractic and Stem cell therapy.  He is the author  of 4 pet care books, a past president of the Oakland County Veterinary Medical Association and a regular contributor to Natural Awakenings magazine

Woodside Animal Clinic sees pets from all over Michigan but primarily from the greater Detroit  area  including Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston and Washtenaw counties.   Cities in these counties include Royal Oak, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, Detroit, Redford, Livonia, Hazel Park,  Madison Heights, Warren, Centerline, Clawson,  Troy, Sterling Heights, Southfield, Birmingham, Lathrup Village, Bingham Farms, Franklin, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Novi, Wixom, Brighton, Livonia, Plymouth, Commerce, Ann Arbor, Ortonville, Waterford, Union Lake,  Rochester,  Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, Utica,  Grosse Pointe,  Romeo, Shelby township, Washington, Flint, Hartland,  Lansing, Okemos, Howell,  Brighton, White Lake, Romeo, Saline, South Lyon, Windsor Canada, Toledo Ohio

Arthritis in Cats and Dogs: An Alternative Holistic Therapy for Lameness

Arthritis is probably the most common of the chronic diseases that progressively steels quality life from our senior dogs. Osteoarthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that can effect any size dog or cat but is seen much more often in larger breed dogs. Arthritis often starts with stiffness and is first noticed when the older dog has a hard time rising in the morning. In time the owner may noticed that their dog is getting more lame, slower going up the stairs and may be reluctant to jump into the car.. A dog with hip displasia or hip arthritis tends to run like a rabbit using both back legs at once. As the arthritis progresses the dog will usually become more lame and betining kjl to hold up or favor one limb. He or she may walk with short stiff steps and the dog’s gait may show a hind end instability (swaying). At the end stages of arthritis the pet may not be able to rise without the owners help. It is a sad thing to see otherwise healthy animals euthanized because their caregiver is undable to lift them up in order to get them outside when they need to eliminate.

It is my opinion much of the arthritis our dogs experience could be eliminated by changing their diets from a grain based food to a more meat based recipe. Just because the first ingredient on the ingredient list is meat does not make the diet meat based. The only way to distinguish if a food is meat based is to asked the company’s nutritionist (not customer support person) “what percent of their food is meat when measured on a dry matter basis ?” Judged on this basis, most pet foods are no more than 20% meat. Grain based diets are hard for carnivores to digest and the poorly digested large grain protein molecules act as allergens which damage the intestinal lining and result in a “leaky gut syndrome”. This leaky gut allows grain protein molecules to get into the blood stream where they can migrate to the pet’s joints and set up an inflammatory reaction. Feeding a meat based diet helps to prevent the above sequence of events. Supplementing the diet with digestive enzymes, fish oil, and antioxidants will help reduce the likelihood of arthritis.

If your dog has already developed arthritis there are a number of ways to help slow the progression and reduce the discomfort from the disease. Injections of “chondroprotective” substances which increase joint fluid production and encourage cartilage repair can be very effective arthritis remedies. Personally I am not a big proponent of using non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) to reduce inflammation and pain because their long term use may result in gastro intestinal, liver, and kidney disease. It has also been shown that long term use of NSAIDs in humans actually results in cartilage degeneration. Providing glucosamine, chondroitin , MSM, Gerizyme, Adequin, Legend, Zeel , Trameell,systemic enzymes, hyaluronic acid, Comfort Zone and antioxidants in place of NSAIDs can help restore joint integrity and, in my opinion, is a much preferred approach.

Other ways to treat advanced arthritis include physical therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic, “infra-sonic therapy”, “pulsed magnetic therapy”, prolotherapy, gold bead implants, cold laser therapy, Electro Crystal Rebalancing and massage therapy. Teaching pet owners how to massage their pet and provide passive range of motion can be very helpful in extending and enhancing their pets quality of life.

Finally, I want let my readers know about a very exciting advance in arthritis therapy. Adult stem cell technology is now available to help treat advanced arthritis. The stem cells are harvested from the patients own fat. These stem cells can be injected intravenously or directly into joints. These injected primitive cells will develop into connective tissue and cartilaginous cells which will help to rejuvenate the damaged joint. This technology is has already been used successfully in hundreds of dogs and horses and although still on the expensive side is now available to the family pet. Presently I am one of the few veterinarians certified to provide such therapy.

Detecting the early signs of arthritis and instituting early treatment can make a huge difference in the success of therapy. Providing a high quality meat based diet, with omega 3 fatty acids, digestive and systemic enzymes and antioxidants along with weight management can help prevent the onset of arthritis and help extend both the quality and quantity of the pet’s life.

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Woodside Animal Clinic is a unique, very personal, one doctor practice where, for over 35 years, Dr. Simon has been healing dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, ferrets rodents, and reptiles with both conventional andalternative medicine. Dr. Simon is certified in Acupuncture, Chiropractic and Stem cell therapy. He is the author of 4 pet care books, a past president of the Oakland County Veterinary Medical Association and past board member of the  American Holistic Veterinary Association.   Visit us at  www.doc4pets.com

Woodside Animal Clinic sees pets from all over Michigan but primarily from the greater Detroit area including Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston and Washtenaw counties. Cities in these counties including Royal Oak, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, Detroit, Redford, Livonia, Hazel Park, Madison Heights, Warren, Centerline, Clawson, Troy, Sterling Heights, Southfield, Birmingham, Lathrup Village, Bingham Farms,  Franklin, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Novi, Northville,Wixom, Brighton, Livonia, Plymouth, Commerce, Ann Arbor, Ortonville, Clarkston, Waterford, Union Lake, Rochester, Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, Utica, White Lake, Grosse Pointe, Romeo, Swartz Creek,  Shelby township, Washington,  Flint, Hartland, Lansing, Okemos, Howell, Brighton, White Lake, Romeo, Saline, South Lyon, Battle Creek, Saginaw, Windsor Canada, Toledo Ohio

Prolotherapy in Dogs: Non Surgical Joint Repair of Cruciate Ligament Tears & Arthritis

You have probably heard of athletes rupturing their “ACL” but didn’t really know what that meant. The abbreviation ACL stands for “anterior cruciate ligament”. This ligament is found inside the knee joint and helps to maintain its overall stability. When this cruciate ligament is stretched or torn as a result of a sudden traumatic movement the knee joint is no longer stable and begins to move in abnormal ways. This abnormal movement called “drawer movement results in pain, cartilage degeneration and eventually in arthritis. Conventional medical advice for a cruciate ligament (ACL) rupture would be to have the knee repaired surgically. There are several surgical techniques which are all quite effective in returning the knee joint to normal function, however, they are all quite expensive and have a 3 to 6 month re-cooperative period where the dog is significantly favoring the leg and placing additional stress on the opposite leg.

In a large breed young animal cruciate ligament surgery may be the smartest thing to do but in an older animal the surgery may not be the best route to follow. Consider first that neither anesthetic nor surgery is easy on an older animal. Secondly, understand that the surgery will cause the animal to bare weight entirely on the opposite limb for a good 3 months. This added stress can lead to both arthritis and occassionaly a cruciate ligament tear in the opposite hind leg. The two most recommended cruciate surgeries are the “ lateral suture technique” and the “TPLO”. Both are equally effective in the long run and both have inherent problems. The suture technique surgery uses a heavy duty suture to stabilize the joint. Although rare, this suture can slip, break or even get caught up on arthritic spurs already present. The TPLO is a more aggressive surgery where a portion of the tibial bone is purposely broken in order to change its alignment with the femur. The TPLO knee surgery has more risk of bone infection and could even result in a non union fracture. It is a significantly more expensive surgery and produces no better long term outcome than the less aggressive less expensive suture technique. The TPLO surgery may fail to produce the hoped for stability and is more likely to result in arthritis than the lateral suture technique.

For all of the above reasons, do not jump into surgery without first considering other options. If you search the internet you may discover articles on “prolotherapy” as a method for rehabilitating damaged joints. Prolotherapy has been used for over 30 years to repair hyper-mobile, unstable joints in humans. It however is just starting to take its rightful place in veterinary medicine, although it is still considered to be in the realm of alternative medicine. Prolotherapy, proliferative, or sclerosing therapy are simply different names for the same thing. Prolotherapy is a way of tightening up loose unstable, hyper-mobile joints by injecting a “sclerosing” agent in and around the joint. The sclerosing agent produces a thickening of the joint capsule and of the external ligaments of the joint. This thickening of the ligaments act like scar tissue and eventually contract with time. The thickening and contraction of the ligaments and joint capsule increase joint stability and relieves joint pain. Prolotherapy commonly takes place in 5 to 6 sessions spaced approximately 3 weeks apart. During each session the joint is shaved and disinfected with a surgical scrub. Then multiple injections are carefully placed in the ligaments and joint capsule and even into the joint space. Because of the number of injections most dogs will need to sedated but usually not anesthetized. Although I tell caregivers not to expect any positive results until at least the third treatment I am occasionally surprised to see improvement after just one treatment. Although side effects from prolotherapy are rare, a joint infection is possible and consequently I surgically scrub the knee before each prolo session and give antibiotics to go home. In very rare occasions it is possible for prolotherapy to injure a nerve passing by the knee however this has never happen to me and should not happen if care is taken to apply the sclerosing agents only to those areas of the knee where nerves are abscent.

In order to encourage more rapid fibrosis and joint thickening I often apply soft laser therapy to the knee with a non cutting therapeutic laser device that employs 5 lasers of various frequencies . Soft lasers are therapeutic devices that should not be confused with surgical lasers. The soft laser is painless, quick and has next to no adverse side effects. Soft laser therapy supports the prolotherapy by further encouraging fibrosis of the joint capsule and external ligaments. I also recommend that oral doses of “Orthoflex” and vitamin C be given at home throughout the prolotherapy process. Another modality I often recommend be used in conjunction with prolotherapy is pulsed magnetic therapy. The pulsed magnetic waves reduce pain and help the joint recuperate. Finally, to further support the prolotherapy, injections of “Adequan” and “Legend” can be given to encourage cartilage health, joint fluid production and overall joint rehabilitation.

Prolotherapy for torn cruciate ligaments may not be successful if there is a torn meniscal cartilage in the joint. It is also possible that in spite of multiple injections the thickening of the external ligaments may not be adequate to stabilize the joint and consequently the dog’s lameness remain. That being said, when the choice is between joint surgery or prolotherapy, prolotherapy being safer, less invasive and less expensive makes more sense especially in the senior patient.

Prolotherapy can be performed on almost any joint of the body. Personally I have performed prolo on knee joints, elbow joints, hip joints, the sacro illiacs joints and the lumbo sacral joints.  It is a good choice of therapy for hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia,  shoulder dysplasia or for any joint problem where there  is arthritis resulting from stretched ligaments.

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Woodside Animal Clinic is a unique, very personal, one doctor practice where, for over 35 years, Dr. Simon has been healing dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, ferrets rodents, and reptiles with both traditional and alternative medicine. Dr. Simon is certified in Acupuncture, Chiropractic and Stem cell therapy. He is the author of 4 pet care books, a past president of the Oakland County Veterinary Medical Association and past board member of the  American Holistic Veterinary Association.   Visit us at  www.doc4pets.com

Woodside Animal Clinic sees pets from all over Michigan but primarily from the greater Detroit area including Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston and Washtenaw counties. Cities in these counties include:  Royal Oak, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, Detroit, Redford,  Allen Park, Romulus, Trenton, Livonia, Hazel Park, Madison Heights, Warren, Centerline, Clawson, Troy, Sterling Heights, Southfield, Birmingham, Lathrup Village, Bingham Farms,  Franklin, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Novi, Northville,Wixom, Brighton, Livonia, Plymouth, Commerce, Ann Arbor, Ortonville, Clarkston, Waterford, Union Lake, Rochester, Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, Utica, White Lake, Grosse Pointe, Romeo, Swartz Creek,  Shelby township, Washington,  Flint, Hartland, Lansing, Okemos, Howell, Brighton, White Lake, Romeo, Saline, South Lyon, Battle Creek, Saginaw, Windsor Canada, Toledo Ohio

Holistic Concepts About Arthritis, Lameness & Stem Cell Therapy

Arthritis is probably the most common of the chronic diseases that progressively steals quality life from our senior dogs. Osteoarthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that can effect any size dog or cat but is seen much more often in larger breed dogs. Arthritis often starts with stiffness and is first noticed when the older dog has a hard time rising in the morning. In time the owner may noticed that their dog is slower going up the stairs and may be reluctant to jump into the car. A dog with hip displasia or hip arthritis tends to run like a rabbit using both back legs at once. As the arthritis progresses the dog may begin to hold up or favor one limb. He or she may walk with short stiff steps and the dog’s gait may show a hind end instability (swaying).  The pet’s hind legs may shuffle along the ground while walking.  At the end stages of arthritis the pet may not be able to rise without the owners help. It is a sad thing to see otherwise healthy animals euthanized because their caregiver is unable to lift them up in order to get them outside when they need to eliminate.

It is my opinion much of the arthritis our dogs experience could be eliminated by changing their diets from a grain based food to a more meat based recipe when they are young.  Just because the first ingredient on the pet food  ingredient list is meat does not make the diet meat based. The only way to distinguish if a food is meat based is to asked the company’s nutritionist (not customer support person) “what percent of their food is meat when measured on a dry matter basis ?” Judged on this basis, most pet foods are no more than 20% meat. Grain based diets are hard for carnivores to digest and the poorly digested large grain protein molecules act as allergens which damage the intestinal lining and result in a “leaky gut syndrome”. This leaky gut allows grain protein molecules to get into the blood stream where they can migrate to the pet’s joints and set up an inflammatory reaction. Feeding your pet a meat based diet will help prevent the above sequence of events. Supplementing the diet with digestive enzymes, fish oil, and antioxidants will help reduce the likelihood of arthritis.

If your dog has already developed arthritis there are a number of ways  to help slow its progression  and reduce the discomfort it produces.  Personally, I am not a big proponent of using non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)  like Rimidyl or Deramax to reduce inflammation and pain because their long term use may result in gastro intestinal, liver, and kidney disease .  Injections of “chondroprotective” substances, like Adequin and hylauronidic acid which will increase joint fluid production and encourage cartilage and ligament repair can be  a much more effective arthritis remedies.   It has also been shown that long term use of NSAID drugs in humans actually results in cartilage degeneration .   Providing  oral glucosamine, chondroitin , MSM, Gerizyme, Adequin, Legend, Zeel , systemic enzymes, hyaluronic acid, Comfort Zone and antioxidants in place of NSAIDs can also be very helpful in restoring joint integrity and, in my opinion, is a much preferred approach to the more problematic drugs.

Other  alternative/ holistic ways to treat advanced arthritis include , acupuncture, chiropractic,  Frequency Specific Microcurrent therapy (FSM), “infra-sonic therapy”, “pulsed magnetic therapy”, prolotherapy, gold bead implants, cold laser therapy, physical therapy,  and massage therapy.  Teaching pet owners how to massage their pet and provide passive range of motion can be very helpful in extending and enhancing their pets quality of life.   Of course it goes without saying that keeping your pet at the proper weight and frequencly trimming your dog’s nails will make a big difference in how he or she walks.  Prolotherapy is a non surgical approach to treating torn cruciate ligaments and in my hands has been quite successful in repairing unstable  the knee joints in dogs.    

Finally, I want let my readers to know about a very exciting advance in arthritis therapy. Adult stem cell technology is now available to help treat advanced arthritis. The stem cells are harvested from the patients own fat. These stem cells can be injected intravenously or directly into joints.  Fat derived stem cells are “non embryonic” andwill develop into connective tissue and cartilaginous cells which will help to rejuvenate the damaged joint.  This technology  has already been used successfully in hundreds of dogs and horses and although still on the expensive side is now available to the family pet. Presently I am one of the few veterinarians certified to provide such therapy.  Adding “cold laser therapy” to stem cell therapy has improved  my chances of a successful outcome.

Detecting the early signs of arthritis and instituting early treatment can make a huge difference in the success of therapy. Providing a high quality meat based diet, with omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants along with weight management and regular exercise can help prevent the onset of arthritis and help extend both the quality and quantity of the pet’s life.

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Woodside Animal Clinic is a unique, very personal, one doctor practice where, for over 35 years, Dr. Simon has been healing dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, ferrets rodents, and reptiles with both conventional andalternative medicine. Dr. Simon is certified in Acupuncture, Chiropractic and Stem cell therapy. He is the author of 4 pet care books, a past president of the Oakland County Veterinary Medical Association and past board member of the  American Holistic Veterinary Association.   Visit us at  www.doc4pets.com

Woodside Animal Clinic sees pets from all over Michigan but primarily from the greater Detroit area including Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston and Washtenaw counties. Cities in these counties including Royal Oak, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, Detroit, Redford, Livonia, Hazel Park, Madison Heights, Warren, Centerline, Clawson, Troy, Sterling Heights, Southfield, Birmingham, Lathrup Village, Bingham Farms,  Franklin, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Novi, Northville,Wixom, Brighton, Livonia, Plymouth, Commerce, Ann Arbor, Ortonville, Clarkston, Waterford, Union Lake, Rochester, Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, Utica, White Lake, Grosse Pointe, Romeo, Swartz Creek,  Shelby township, Washington,  Flint, Hartland, Lansing, Okemos, Howell, Brighton, White Lake, Romeo, Saline, South Lyon, Battle Creek, Saginaw, Windsor Canada, Toledo Ohio

Physical Rehabilitation for Pets

Physical therapy is something that people who are injured or who have undergone surgery expect to go through as part of their recuperation. Unfortunately it has only been within the last 8 years that physical therapy has been readily available for injured animals.  Orthopedic injuries, neurological problems, trauma, and arthritis are all maladies that can benefit from  physical therapy.

There are number of therapies that can be utilized to help rehabilitate injured or painful pets.  Among them are acupuncture, chiropractic, nutritional and herbal support,  intravenous and transcutaneous lasers therapy  , pulsed magnetic therapy,  infrasonic and ultrasonic therapy,  microcurrent stimulation, underwater treadmill, hydrotherapy,  prolotherapy, range of motion and therapeutic exercise, massage therapy, balance and proprioception equipment.  Other supportive measures we use are systemic enzyme therapy, antioxidant therapy, DMSO, homeopathy, and herbal therapy

The following conditions are just a few we have successfully treated with rehabilitation therapy: Wobblers and intervertebral disk disease,  arthritis, cruciate ligament tears, post surgical cruciate ligament repairs, lumbo-sacral stenosis,  hip dysplasia,  degenerative myelopathy and any soft tissue injury involving post surgical wounds, damaged tendons, ligaments, and muscles.

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Woodside Animal Clinic is a unique, very personal,  one doctor practice where, for over 35 years, Dr. Simon has been healing dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, rodents, and reptiles with both conventional and alternative medicine.  Dr.  Simon is the author  of 4 pet care books and he writes a monthly pet care column in the Mirror newspaper.   He is a past president of the Oakland County Veterinary Medical Association and has served on the board of both the South Eastern Veterinary Medical Association and the American HolisticVeterinary Medical Association.

Woodside Animal Clinic  sees pets from all over the greater Detroit Michigan area including Royal Oak, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Ferndale, Pleasant Ridge, Detroit, Hazel Park, Madison Heights, Warren, Centerline, Clawson,  Troy, Sterling Heights, Southfield, Birmingham, Bingham Farms, Franklin, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Novi, Wixom, Brighton, Livonia, Plymouth, Commerce, Ann Arbor, Ortonville, Waterford, Union Lake,  Rochester,  Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, Utica,   Romeo,  Windsor, and Toledo.