AAH: How did you first learn about the Assisi Loop?

Dr. Zenoni: I learned about the Loop at my first job in rehab at TOPS Veterinary Rehabilitation [in Grayslake, Illinois]. I worked with Dr. Laurie McCauley, and she used to get to try all the fun things. We had the Assisi Loops, and I tried it on everything. I have learned that cervical pain and lumbosacral pain respond well. I also use it in other areas but it is my go-to for those.

I have some sporting/agility patients, and they have their own Loops so if there’s a soft tissue injury they can start treatment sooner, until they can get in to see me. I have a few clients that I’ve lent my own Loops to, and if they like it, they go and buy their own. Clients often feel it sounds a little too voodoo, so if I give them mine for a week or two, they try it, they see that it works, they’re far more willing to buy one themselves.


What have been a few of your favorite cases that used the Loop?

My absolute favorite case was a seven-year-old male neutered Peke-a-poo, who would get recurrent neck and back pain every few months. The episode would last a day or two; the owners would give him pain meds, but it would take while for it to work. When they put the Loop around his neck, within five minutes he was walking around again. This was my most dramatic response.

We started with a loading dose of four times a day, then went down to three times a day, and we weaned it down so that they were just using it when he had the episodes.

Another one is a 16-year-old Maltese mix. She has a lot of health issues: a torn cruciate, luxating patellas, hip arthritis, Addison’s disease, hypothyroidism, hypertension, chronic skin issues, cleft palate, head tremors, and elevated liver enzymes. With all of these health issues, she wasn’t able to take many medications, and we couldn’t laser her because she had a history of cancer.

This was a good case for us to use the Loop with, because we were so limited in our options. We did the Loop on her knee, hip, and back. I can’t say which it helped the most; but she just was overall feeling better and moving better in the rear. We started twice a day on her leg and I added her back in a bit later as it was persistently sore.


Do you ever combine the Loop with other therapies?

I have a 14-year-old dachshund patient who, of course, has back pain and cervical pain, which started seven years ago. With her, we used more of a multi-modal approach and the owners wanted to do as much as they could at home. We started using the Loop four times a day on her back and neck and reduced it gradually. She now receives the Loop treatments every other day.

It took a while to get her off much of her pain medications as she was on the medications for a long time before she came to me for her neck issues. I started her on acupuncture, laser, massage and the Assisi Loop.

The combination of things has really seemed to help her. We were able to add in stretches and strengthening exercises to reduce risk of further spinal injury. I’m still seeing her, and she’s doing really well.


You mentioned how the Loop is particularly good for clients who can’t get into the clinic. What kind of cases do you see that kind of improvement with?

I have a 13-year-old Standard Poodle with severe elbow OA along with a history of a hock injury. His mom purchased a Loop for him when they went on vacation since he couldn’t get his weekly therapy. He was very active and had a lot of stairs so she wanted to keep him comfortable.

I have a 4-year-old sheltie patient whose owner drives 1.5 hours to see me. The dog has an iliopsoas injury which has been an on-going issue for several months. It may be related to her having an extra lumbar vertebrae. Since she is an agility dog, the owner had a Loop at home already so she had been able to incorporate that into her therapy.

I use it especially for these kinds of situations: for clients who can’t come to see me, for the dogs that are doing well but owners want something for flare-ups at home, for clients who are limited on funds, and those who need to be able to do more things at home. It’s a great option.


What are generally your go-to diagnoses for which you prescribe the Loop?

I love it for necks and backs, since I feel it is where I get the best results. It can be helpful for elbow cases which can be frustrating to treat. You don’t always see the best results in gait, but in comfort you will. It’s a great product to give the owner something else to do for pain, especially at home when they need it.


Doctors like Deanne Zenoni incorporate the Assisi Loop® into their treatments.