Liz.jpgMany clinicians have told us they value the Assisi Loop as a tool for managing neurological inflammatory conditions. We’re pleased to share a case looking at the benefits of the Loop for IVDD as presented by Lis Conarton, LVT, VTS (Physical Rehabilitation), OC, CCRP, CVPP. Ms. Conarton is with CARE Pet Therapy at the Veterinary Medical Center of Central New York. Dr. Polly Fleckenstein was the supervising veterinarian on Puppers’ case.


Puppers, an 11.5-year-old cocker spaniel, began receiving physical rehabilitation at the Veterinary Medical Center of NY under the care of Dr. Fleckenstein in 2013 for hind end paralysis after a hemilaminectomy on his right side.


Puppers had presented to VMC’s surgical team as deep pain negative (unaware of pain or sensation) and non-ambulatory in his hind end. After discussing the risks, Puppers’ owner chose to pursue surgery in hopes that it would decrease the chance of Puppers developing long-term spinal pain.


Following hemilaminectomy surgery, Puppers had fecal and urinary incontinence, weakness and reduced muscle tone in his hind end, and was still in deep pain negative with no withdrawal present. Medications were provided to aid in bladder control. Over the next two weeks, a decrease in pain medication was recommended.


Puppers spent three months in physical rehabilitation before his post-surgical recheck evaluation was scheduled. During the evaluation, it was determined that Puppers would remain paralyzed in his hind limbs.


Puppers’ owner decided to continue Physical Rehabilitation and Pain Management to maintain comfort throughout his life by returning for bi-monthly appointments for rehabilitation. Puppers rehab routine at the Medical Center of NY included laser therapy, massage/soft tissue mobilization, and underwater treadmill to aid in compensatory discomfort and maintain muscle mass in his hind limbs.


His owner was prepared to provide the necessities of good nursing care, including medications, supplements, and a home exercise program for the long term. Puppers was fitted for a wheeled cart that allowed him and his owner to continue to enjoy daily walks together. Puppers loves to watch wildlife and play in his yard and was able to do so on his own with his wheels.


Early in 2017, Puppers developed cervical pain with signs of nerve irritation in his left forelimb. He was limping and elevating his left forelimb which is troubling for a dog with who is paralyzed in his hind limbs. His owner decided to pursue medical management as his appetite was unchanged (he loves his food!) and personality remained vibrant. Puppers’ gabapentin dose was adjusted, tramadol was given regularly and additional medication, methocarbamol was added. NSAID therapy continued as needed. His home support plan included heat and cold therapy, massage, passive range of motion and supplements were continued (omega 3 fa’s, duralactin).


Puppers’ was able to improve on medications. However, he relapsed a short while after running in his cart while chasing animals in his yard. Amantadine was prescribed and he continued to return weekly to every other week for laser therapy, massage, and mobilization.


Throughout the summer, Puppers’ owner noticed behavioral changes. Puppers began panting often at night, as well as moving to reposition. There was no significant pattern and other disease processes were ruled out with tests that would cause painting, trembling increased thirst and restlessness.


Puppers’ owner wanted to do more for him as adding on additional pain medications has caused drowsiness continuing through the next day. She was concerned about his quality of life and how she could provide more comfort for him.


We discussed the Assisi Loop, a medical device we have often recommended for clients who have pets with osteoarthritis, nerve pain and neurologic conditions among many other issues and ailments. The Loop delivers targeted pulsed electromagnetic field therapy to accelerate anti-inflammatory processes. Puppers’ owner was glad to have an additional tool for her home exercise and care plan that she could use daily. We chose to add the Loop to Puppers’ multi-modal treatment plan.


The Loop was used every 8 hours over the C4-C5 of his cervical area. Within two weeks, Puppers was sleeping through the night and, for the first time in four years since his surgery, laid on his side to rest. Puppers’ owner was excited to share this information with us since this was the only recognizable change in his schedule over the past year. Puppers’ owner was glad to have an easy to use device which provided comfort for her beloved boy. She feels it was the Assisi Loop that gave Puppers comfort and rest.


During rehabilitation at CARE Pet Therapy, it was noted that a greater range of motion and improved comfort performing cervical mobilization was achieved compared to sessions from the two weeks before the Assisi Loop was integrated.


Puppers is currently under the primary care of Chittenango Animal Hospital and checks in with Dr. Fleckenstein as needed for pain management. Assisi Animal Health wishes Puppers the best in his rehab and continued therapy.