Posts Tagged ‘infrasonic therapy’

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

KEEP YOUR PET HEALTHY WITH EXERCISE

Dogs are natural athletes that thrive when properly exercised.   Just as with people,  lack of exercise can predispose to obesity and poor health.   Dogs love get outside and just run for the heck of it.   They enjoy jogging with their owners or competing in agility competition.    Hunting dogs can’t wait for the beginning of hunting season, Frisbee dogs want a chance to display their agility and coursing hounds love the chance to compete and show off their speed.  As caregivers we need to provide these athletes a chance to get out of the house, have fun and get rid of all their pent up energy.   If you do nothing more than takes your dog for regular walks you will be doing both yourself and your pet a great benefit.    A young naturally active dog that is not given a chance to walk, run and jump will very likely become bored and stressed and look for ways to entertain him or herself in the form of destructive behavior such as chewing on furniture, lamp cords, shoes, and clothing.   A properly exercised dog on the other hand will be too tired to indulge in such activities.

Any dog owner knows that his dog is a phenomenal athlete who is capable of running rings around them but just because their dogs have natural speed and agility it should not be assumed that they have natural endurance and that they are immune to muscle, tendon, ligament and joint injury.     Dogs are mammals just like humans and although they maintain a four legged posture their basic anatomy is quite similar.   Dogs can sprain joints, rupture ligaments, bruise bones and tear muscles just as easily as we can and these soft tissue injuries can take weeks or months to heal, especially if the pet continues the same activities that encouraged the injury.    A dog that is not regularly exercised will develop sore tight muscles just as we do when we get out and play tennis or touch foot ball once a week.   If we want to jog or bike with our dog we need to approach such activities intelligently and work up gradually to a higher level of activity.    It is important to realize that dogs do not sweat so they may have a harder time getting rid of the heat produced from muscular exertion especially during the hot summer month.   If you are not sensitive to your dogs limitation of exercising him or her on a hot humid day could result in heat exhaustion.    Providing adequate water during such activities is essential for maintain proper body temperature and hydration.   Pouring some water over your dog’s neck and back can also help with controlling elevation in body heat.    During exercise of any kind pay attention to your dog’s behavior; if he appears to be slowing down and panting excessively then stop and allow your pet to catch his breath.    If you are on a walk or jog and your pet begins to limp, lag behind or just sits down then end the walk.    If the next day after exercising your dog has a hard time rising, seems wacked out or whimpers on being picked up then you need to reduce the intensity or length of exercise.

In order to help your pet recover more rapidly from exercise it would be good to massage your pet down either side of his or her spine from head to tail.   If your pet resists then lighten up on the pressure.   Find the level of pressure that he is comfortable with and then slowly increase the pressure and work deeper.   Giving your pet herbal or homeopathic “arnica” after exercise will help reduce muscular aches and pains.

If you are competitive canine sports enthusiast and you are trying gain a competitive edge over your competition you will be particularly interested in the following advice.    Feed your pet a homemade meat based diet using a professionally balanced recipe.  The diet should consist of at least 40% meat protein, fresh colorful veggies, and very limited grain.   Adding digestive enzyme, omega fatty acids, and trace mineral, and probiotic supplements will enhance nutrient absorption, reduce inflammation, prevent leaky gut syndrome, and properly alkalinize the body.   Glucosamine, chondroitin, dimethyl glycine and MSM are nutraceuticals which help to prevent injury by strengthening   and repairing connective tissue structures such as joint cartilage, ligaments, and tendons.  Creatine is an important supplement to consider if you want to help build your dogs muscle mass.   The addition of L carnitine, alpha lipoic acid, arginine and coenzyme Q10 will help enhance cellular energy production and consequently strength and endurance…     Dimethylglycine and Megahydrate are nutraceuticals that help to oxygenate, hydrate and detoxify muscle cells.    Homeopathic such as Traumeel, Spascupreel, and Thalmus can be placed in the pet’s drinking water and will reduce pain, inflammation and muscle spasm after strenuous competition.   Post competition   systemic enzymes,   will reduce inflammation and prevent tendonitis, myositis, and ligamentitis.    Of course it goes without saying that you should never knowingly use supplements or drugs to mask serious pain.   Doing so may help you win the competition but may cause permanent damage to the animal.

To maintain a competitive canine athlete in optimal conditioning you will want to consider holistic veterinary care in the form of chiropractic, acupuncture, cold laser therapy, trigger point therapy, pulsed magnetic therapy, and infrasonic therapy.    Professional canine massage therapy is another very beneficial modality that can help reduce musculoskeletal pain increase joint mobility and range of motion.

Always try to make exercising fun for both you and your pet.   Combine playing with training to help keep the dogs attention.   Read a book that teaches canine massage, canine stretching exercises and trigger point myotherapy.   Pay particular attention to your pet’s gait and posture  when he is in good health so that you will be able to pick up subtle  signs of pain and lameness in their earliest stage.  Remember that exercising is not only fun for you and your pet it is also very important for maintaining an ideal weight and for overall good health.

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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 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, 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

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Pet Back Pain, Lameness & Paralysis: Ruptured Disks & Other Spinal Cord Disease

Dogs and cats have a number of diseases involving the spinal cord that produce lameness, paralysis, weakness and incoordination and consequently are easily confused with each other. These diseases include inter-vertebral disk disease, , degenerative myelopathy, Wobblers, lumbo-sacral stenosis, spinal cord tumors, and fibro-cartilagious infarcts. On initial physical exam all these diseases have a number of symptoms in common. Diagnostic tests which help further define the problem include radiographs, myelograms, and MRI’s.    All of the above diseases can cause hind leg weakness, incoordination and gait abnormalities. All cause a break in communication between the brain and back legs such that the head does not always know what the back legs are doing .   Such a communication breakdown results in the paws knuckling over, the hind end swaying or collapsing,  the dog having a hard time rising or going up stairs and the loss of bladder control.   Of these diseases, we can expect that pain may be present with only 3:  disk disease, wobblers and lumbo-sacral stenosis. Of the six diseases mentioned, inter-vertebral disk disease, wobblers and fibrocartilaginous infarcts usually have the a sudden onset. .

Intervertebral disk disease in the dog is an all to common problem especially in breeds with long backs and short thick legs, aka. chondrodystrophoid. These breeds include dachunds, bassets, beagles, welsh corgis, Lhasa Apsos, Shih Tzus, American cockers, Bichons and French bulldogs. In these breeds the problems may occur as early as 1 to 2 years of age.  IVD may also occur in non chondrodystrophoid breeds but usually at 6 to 10 years of age.  The most common symptoms of disk disease are pain, weakness, loss of coordination, and paralysis. The disease can also affect bladder control. However in very early stages of disk disease the dog may experience only pain and display an anxious uncomfortable attitude, a hunched back, tense abdomen and decrease in activity.   As the condition advances the pain commonly becomes very severe and the dog may cry out when he or she moves in a particular way or is picked up under the abdomen.  The next stage of disk disease  is often hind leg weakness, incoordination and/or paralysis. At this point the pain may or may not disappear.  Commonly this progression happens within days but can extend to weeks. If the disk protrusion occurs in the dog’s neck the pain is often more severe. Just petting the dogs head may cause him or her to cry out.  The dog will hold his head and neck in a rigid head down stance and will will turn his whole body instead of bending his neck.  Cervical (neck) disk disease can cause neurological problems in both the front and back legs whereas disk disease in the mid back will affect only the back legs.

It is difficult to distinguish cervical disk disease from a disease commonly known as Wobblers. Wobblers (aka cervical vertebral instability)  is, as the name implies,  a result of an unstable joint in the neck producing pressure on the spinal cord.  Wobblers is usually a disease of large, fast growing dogs. Great Danes usually develop the disease as puppies where as in Dobermans the problem occurs more often in adults. The disease most commonly presents as a dog with severe neck pain and gait abnormalities in both front and back legs. To distinguish this disease from a ruptured disk or a spinal tumor requires either a myelogram or an MRI.    Of course it is possible for the above symptoms to be caused by a blood clot in the spine or spinal tumor, neither of which occurs with any frequency.  Finally, if the breed of dog is correct for disk disease, and if there has been no sudden onset or trauma then there is approximately a 95% chance that a disk rupture has occurred.

Another disease that can easily be confused with inter-vertebral disk disease is Degenerative Myelopathy.  Degenerative myelopathy is a slow progressive disease of large older dogs, most commonly the German Shepherds.   In its early stages the dog owners often mistakes it for arthritis.   Degenerative myelopathy is an insidious, inflammatory, autoimmune disease that develops slowly over years. It is a result of degeneration of the fatty myelin sheath that surrounds most nerves and acts as an insulator.  One of  the first sign of degenerative myelopathy is the dragging of the top side of the nails on the back feet. This dragging can be detected either by the sound of the gait or by examining the top side of the back nails for abnormal wear. As the disease progresses the hind limbs become weak and an obvious incoordination develops. The hind legs may cross with one another and the dog may look drunk in the hind end. He or she may stumble. If you place the dog’s foot in a position where the top of the toes are on the floor, the dog will often not return the foot to the proper position or take a long time doing it. This is because there is a loss of “conscious proprioception” which means that the brain does not know the position of the back legs. If a dog has Degenerative myelopath then pushing on the dog’s rear end from side to side often causes the dog to fall over or have a hard time keeping his balance. In the later stages of this disease the hind end will become so weak and uncoordinated that the dog will be unable to get up. If the dog does manage to rise he or she will quickly fall down after taking only a few steps. The only good new about this disease is that there is never any pain involved. It is important to rule out a chronic disk disease before accepting degenerative myelopathy as your pet’s fate. Unfortunately that requires an expensive MRI or myelogram to make such a decision.

Lumbo Sacral Stenosis is known by a number of names such as lumbo-sacral instability, lumbo-sacral malformation, lumbo-sacral malarticulation, spondylolithesis, and cauda equina syndrome. All of these describe arthritis involving the last lumbar vertebrae and the sacrum which is a part of the pelvis. This disease often involves the disk as well. Together both problems progressively narrow the spinal canal which in turn puts pressure on the spinal nerves and causes pain and dysfunction. The most common symptom is pain which involves the back, both hind legs, and the tail. Dogs usually have trouble rising. Defecating and urinating are difficult because of pain.  Dogs with this problem find defecation and urination difficult due to pain on squating.  They may become incontinent and may be seen biting at their rear end.

Blood clots and fibro-cartilaginous infarcts can also cause similar spinal cord disease but they are quite rare and so I will not discuss them at this time.

Now back to intervertebral disk disease (IVDD). Conventional treatment for IVDD  involves medicating with steroids, antioxidants,  muscle relaxants, cage rest and surgical decompression. If surgery is indicated a myelogram or MRI must be performed to pin point the exact location of the lesion and confirm the physical diagnosis. These tests commonly can run into many thousands of dollars and should only be considered if the owner is planning to follow through with any surgery indicated by the information these tests provide.  ” Disk fenestration” surgery or a vertebral “ hemi-laminectomy” are the surgeries performed to reduce pressure on the spinal cord.   Both surgeries can run into the thousands of dollars and the diagnostics plus the surgery could easily run between 4 to 5 thousand. If you have a dog that may require these surgeries you should know that the surgeries are not always successful in restoring function and on occasions dogs can come out of surgery in worse shape than when they went in.   You should also be made aware that these surgeries especially those involving the neck require long periods of recuperation.

Owners who are hesitant to put their injured older dogs through anesthesia, surgery, and an extended recuperative period may want to consider holistic modalities as an alternative. For those who cannot afford the expense of high tech diagnostics and surgery I also suggest you take a look at alternative or holistic modalities. The holistic therapies I am talking about include electro acupuncture, cold laser therapy, infrasonic therapy, pulsed magnetic therapy, chiropractic, electro crystal rebalancing, nutritional therapy, prolotherapy, bio identical steroid therapy, antioxidant therapy, megavitamin therapy, and systemic enzyme therapy.    Please understand that there are no guarantees with any one or a combination of the above alternative therapies, each case being unique in its own right. We have, however, had some excellent results with these alternative approaches and can offer testamonials to their effectiveness.

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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 the past president of the Oakland County Veterinary 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.