Posts Tagged ‘lameness’

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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Treating Spondylosis & Disk Disease With Rubeola Viral Immunomodulator

Rubeola Virus Immunomodulator (RVI) is an extremely dilute injection of Rubeola virus.   It was originally licensed  for veterinary use to treat myositis and fibromyalgia in horses.   It has recently become available to small animal veterinarians but only with specific stipulations.   The use of RVI in small animals has been primarily for the treatment of spondylosis and intervertebral disk disease.  However Iam sure it also helps muscle inflammation as it does in horses.   Back in 1992 Dr. Don Polley wrote an article in a veterinary journal which discusses his experience using RVI on dogs.    In this article he was extremely enthusiastic about his results and it was because of this article that I became interested in the product.   When I first tried to get a bottle of RVI  I was told it was not yet available for use in Michigan but later was approved for veterinary use for dogs but only after the veterinarian got  special written permission  from the  Office of the State Veterinarian.
Spondylosis is an arthritic disease which produces “bone spurs” at the end of each vertebra.   These bone spurs continue to enlarge and will eventually bridge the intervertebral disk space and form a calcified splint across the joint.    It Is believed that the formation of these spurs , bridges and calcified splints is the body’s way of stabilizing a hyper-mobile joint that results from a disk collapse.   If these bone spurs become large enough they will impinge on the spinal nerve root and slow nerve transmission.    Bone spurs and calcified bridges can easily be seen radiographically.   Often multiple vertebral segments are involve.   Giving  a series of  RVI injections can reduce inflammation,  restore the nerve transmission and strengthen the gait.     The injections are given just under the skin and not in the muscle so they are not uncomfortable.     Response to these injection is often  rapid and within 1 week to 10 days we will usually be able to determine if therapy was successful.     Success is based on the disappearance of such symptoms as hind leg weakness,  knuckling over and dragging the toes, and a drunken appearance to the gait.   RVI injections  are quite safe and few to no reactions have been reported.     Electro-acupuncture, natural hydrocortisone therapy, pulsed magnetic therapy, soft laser therapy and infrasonic therapy are other modalities that can be used in place of RVI therapy or sometimes along with it.

At this writing I have only performed this therapy on 5 animals and have had good success on three.    Of course if the above mentioned symptoms are a result of an acutely ruptured disk,  a spinal tumor or a fibro cartilaginous infarct the RVI series will probably not produce a significant change.

RVI therapy usually consists of a series of 6 daily injections.

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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

Veterinary Chiropractic Care, Spinal Adjustment, and VOM for Dogs and Cats

Chiropractic medicine whether for humans or animals is a very misunderstood medical modality.   Most people who go to chiropractors for treatment, think that when they get an adjustment the chiropractor is actually “putting  bones back in place”.  They believe that they feel relief from the chiropractic adjustment because their spine is immediately realigned .  This misconception stems from old chiropractic theory that actually taught chiropractors that they were  “putting bones back in place”.   Newer chiropractic theory however teaches chiropractic students that when they perform an adjustment they are creating movement in the joint but not putting the bone back in place.  The movement they create in the vertebral joint stimulates “mechano nerve receptors” in that joint to produce a reflex that blocks pain transmission.   The blockage of the pain reflex provides pain control  by alleviating muscle spasm and by dilating blood vessels.    The relaxation of the paraspinal muscles resulting from the thrust of the adjustment is what indirectly results in the spinal  realignment.

Chiropractic care can do more than eliminate back and neck pain. Through the stimulation of  “somato-visceral reflexes” chiropractic care can support  internal organ function.   Chiropractic care can also produce “myofascial release” by stimulation of the “golgi bodies” in the muscle tendons.  Consequently chiropractic  can help people and pets  with “myofascitis” and “fibromyalgia”

Human chiropractors get their training at chiropractic schools whereas veterinarians receive their training in spinal adjustment via an intense postgraduate course offered by special schools.  There are 2 schools of training in veterinary spinal adjustment .  One school of training is in association with the   American Veterinary  Chiropractic Association (AVCA).    The other  school of training  is offered by VOM (Veterinary Orthopedic Manipulation).  AVCA is primarily a manual adjusting group which means they use only their hands to perform an adjustment.  VOM on the other hand teaches adjustment using mechanical and electrical devices called accelerometers.   Dr. Simon has been trained in both approaches.  In addition he performs a third type of adjustment known as “Logan Basic” .   Logan Basic is a very gentle form of chiropractic that was developed and first taught at Logan Chiropractic College.   It involves putting pressure on the pelvic sacro-tuberous ligament in order to relax the para-spinal muscles.  This relaxation allows adjustments to be done with very little force.  Dr. Simon frequently utilizes Logan Basic in conjunction with VOM.

Please keep in mind that just as with acupuncture, chiropractic care requires a series of treatments to get desired results.   Also remember that chiropractic  is not limited to musculoskeletal and neurological problems but can also be used to treat a wide variet of internal organ problems.

Dr. Simon is aware that there are human chiropractors who attempt to adjust pets at night after their regular office hours.   He would like to warn pet owners that only those human  chiropractors that have attended and graduated from a  recognized post graduate program  in veterinary anatomy and neurology should attempt such adjustments and only under veterinary supervision.

VETERINARY ORTHOPEDIC MANIPULATION:   VOM

Veterinary Orthopedic-neural Manipulation otherwise known as VOM is a non-invasive healing technology that is similar to classical chiropractic medicine in that it locates areas called subluxation that exists along the animal’s spinal cord and reduces the subluxations such that proper nervous tissue communication is re-established.   A “spinal accelerometer” is used to assess the health of the spine and adjustments are made using this same instrument.    As the practitioner tests the entire spine with the accelerometer,  he watches for specific reflexes, called “reads”, to occur.   These reads are evidence of pathology called “subluxations”.   Subluxations cause vascular constriction, reduced circulation and decreased oxygenation to muscles and other tissues of the body.   The results of these subluxations changes can be seen as muscle spasm, pain, swelling, and reduced range of motion.  After identifying these abnormal areas along the vertebral column the practitioner will use the same instrument to apply light force to the vertebrae in the affected area.   The motion created will stimulate a nerve impulse in the mechano-receptors  of the vertebral joint.   These nerve impulses will  travel to the spinal cord where they in turn stimulate cells called “interneuron’s”.   Interneuron stimulation dilates blood vessels, increases circulation and oxygenation of muscles, reduces spasm, stops pain, and increases range of motion.

Most abnormal functions of the body are a result of muscle spasm of one sort or another and consequently reduction of subluxations can have far reaching health benefits.

The VOM  technology uses very gentle adjusting techniques which are safer than classical chiropractic methods.  The VOM practitioner is termed a “chiropractitioner” as opposed to a chiropractor.     However, just like chiropractic care VOM therapy is not accomplished in a single visit or adjustment.   Follow up evaluations and adjustments scheduled at very specific intervals are required if long term healing is to occur.

For more information on the VOM technique and to watch a video of the technique in action please visit the website:  LABH.com/vom

The VOM technique is often followed by the MFR technique which produces myofascial release.   MFR enhances VOM by further relieving the increased muscle spasms and fascial tension caused by subluxations.   The resulting decreased muscle spasm provides the animal  with pain reduction and decreases the recurrence of subluxation.  Consequently the overall healing process is accelerated.

VOM can be used to treat non-musculo-skeletal conditions including organ disease (somato-visceral disease).  VOM is used to promote a balance between the sympathetic (fight or flight) and parasympathetic (organ function) components of the autonomic nervous system.  Using VOM in this way complements its use on musculo-skeletal system by further altering the blood flow and nervous stimulation to all areas of the body.   VOM utilizes sites on the body similar to acupuncture points as well as other sites to return balance too the autonomic system.

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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,  Washtenaw and Livingston 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 and Flint, Hartland,  Lansing, Okemos, Flint ,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