What to Expect
WHAT IS PETLIGHT THERAPY?
The PetLight system is the Veterinary version of LightMD’s patented light therapy system. Approved by the FDA in 2015, for human therapeutic use, the PetLight system is non-invasive and stimulates the body’s natural healing response using flexible polymeric pads containing hundreds of solid-state superluminous diodes. PetLight’s efficacy comes from LightMD’s patented high output superluminous diode (SLD) system that is designed to provide the highest light output with built in safeguards to insure safe application of the photonic energy.
Using PetLight, patients can expect the following effects:
- Increased circulation by increasing the formation of new capillaries, which are additional blood vessels that replaced damaged ones. New capillaries speed up the healing process by carrying more oxygen as well as more nutrients needed for healing and they can also carry more waste products away.
- Stimulation of collagen production. Collagen is the most common protein found in the body. Collagen is the essential protein used to repair damaged tissue and to replace old tissue. It is this substance that holds cells together and has a high degree of elasticity. By increasing collagen production less scar tissue is formed at the damaged site.
- Reduction in swelling through accelerated blood flow and lymphatic evacuation.
- Pain Relief through release of natural analgesics within the body.
Light Therapy and Laser Therapy for Animals
Animal Chiropractor, Animal Chiropractic, Dog Chiropractor, Equine Chiropractor, Veterinary Chiropractor.
Petlight Therapy Center is a licensed Veterinary facility that opened its doors in 2016 with the mission of resolving Neuromuscultoskeletal conditions in Dogs and Cats without surgery. By survey, over 30% of all visits to Veterinary Clinics and Hospitals are for the treatment of Neck or Back Pain in Dogs, Limping and Lameness in Dogs, Weakness and Wobbliness of the hind end in Dogs, or Hip and Disc related issues in Dogs. For many decades the only treatment available involved treating the symptoms with Anti-inflamatories, Muscle Relaxers, and Narcotics. Petlight Therapy Center offers the very newest FDA approved Therapeutic Light Therapy (not the older cold laser technology) for animals as well as a gentle and effective form of treatment called NMR-T that was developed over the past 33 years by our Chiropractor Kelly Thompson, DC. NMR-T is very different from current Animal Physical Therapy and Animal Chiropractic techniques and is based on the principal that distortions and derangements brought on by recurrent macro and micro trauma over time cause a cascade of compensatory effects throughout static and dynamic elements of the body’s system of connective tissue which eventually become permanent without effective therapeutic intervention. This is precisely why only treating the symptoms and the temporary relief this provides is merely “kicking the can down the road.” There is eventually a sad and expensive day of reckoning for the pet owner and their beloved companion. At Petlight Therapy Center it is our goal prevent this from happening to your pet.
IVDD in Dogs, Slipped Discs in Dogs, Ruptured Discs in Dogs, or Herniated Discs in Dogs.
Neck/Back Pain, Weakness/Wobbliness, Limping/Lameness, Disc and Hip issues, are far too often diagnosed as, “IVDD, Slipped Disc in Dogs, Ruptured Discs in dogs, or Herniated Discs in dogs” and are made far too often with little diagnostic evidence. Setting one myth to rest, with one exception, you can not Identify a ruptured disc or herniated disc in dogs on X-ray. The exception is if they use contrast media injected into the subarachnoid space (inside the spinal cord). Which most today would strongly recommend you avoid! MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging is the only way to definitively diagnose a Dog with a Herniated or Ruptured Disc. That said, be aware that just because your dog is weak and wobbly in the rear legs or even has lost the use of the rear legs all together does not mean that the only effective treatment is an expensive and invasive back surgery. The one exception is if upon examination the Doctor squeezes one of the knuckles hard in a rear paw and they fail to react at all. This is the “Loss of Deep Pain Sensation,” which evidences that the spinal cord is being compressed so severely that even the inner most nerve tracts are being cut off. This is a true surgical emergency! We have treated Dogs with Loss of Deep Pain sensation here at Petlight Therapy Center because the pet owners didn’t have the roughly $10,000 for the MRI and Surgery and were desperate to try anything to help their companion. However, our results are far less certain in these cases.
If your Dog has not lost Deep Pain Sensation then there is no surgical emergency. Do not let anyone including a Veterinary Neurologist try to convince you that your dog needs an $8,000 hemilaminectomy (Back Surgery) as the only treatment available to help your ailing pup. It is simply and patently not true. Conservative management in our opinion, as evidenced by our results here at Petlight Therapy Center, is far less painful, invasive, and costly. Additionally, over the years it is well understood that back surgery in dogs yields the following approximate results: 1/3 return to normal; 1/3 see a slight improvement; 1/3 see no improvement or are worse as a result of surgery. So you have roughly a 33% chance of seeing your dog return to normal with the surgical approach.
What do we do differently? NMR-T is gentle, painless, and non-invasive. In conjunction with our state of the art Light Therapy system that dramatically accelerates the healing process, the results are often spectacular, as the videos on this website attest.
Animal Physical Therapy, Physical Therapy for Dogs.
Animal Physical Therapy is a relatively new phenomenon in the Veterinary world. Over the years if your Dog was having neuromusculoskeletal symptoms such as weakness in the rear legs, loss of coordination like a “drunken sailor,” limping, or lameness, they would be prescribed NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and a tincture of time. Sometimes this would be enough to get your pup over the episode. Often times it wouldn’t, or when the Meds where done the condition would return. Pet owners were desperate for something more than just throwing anti-inflammatories at the problem. In the past 15 years there have been many advances in Physical Therapy for Animals. Most Animal Physical Therapy centers today offer “underwater treadmills,” tailored exercises regimens, and modalities such as infrared or cold lasers. Definitely a step in the right direction. However, when you consider that programs of care at these facilities often go on for months and months at well over $100 per session, resulting in many thousands of dollars spent with painfully slow improvement, one has to wonder if somehow despite the very best of intentions, they are just missing the mark. The reason for this is simple. Exercise and Laser therapy does not deal directly and effectively with the underlying problem in many if not most cases. These neuromusculoskeletal problems were not caused by a lack of exercise or activity. So why would a lay person or even a doctor think that exercise would resolve these issues.
Lets explore this further. Your dog suddenly begins to have difficulty getting up and seems weak, wobbly, and uncoordinated in the rear legs. One might consider balance exercises and strengthening exercises would be just what was needed. However, step back for a moment and consider that none of this was caused by inactivity or lack of exercise. Something has changed internally inside your dog. That something is compressing the nerve tracts that control proprioception. The majority of your spinal cord and that of your companion is made up of nerve tracts that deal exclusively with proprioception. Proprioception involves the awareness, both conscious and subconscious, of the position and movement of all parts of the body independent of vision. Simply put, this allows you to stand balanced without falling, move your arms and legs gracefully and efficiently, and lets you know where all your body parts are in space without having to see their position. You can improve this portion of the nervous system by doing balance exercises of different sorts and for those who have irreversible nerve damage, such as those who have suffered strokes or head trauma, enhancing what one has left of proprioceptive function makes sense. So taking nothing away from Animal Physical Therapists who diligently ply their craft, for the vast majority of dogs who suddenly become weak and wobbly in the rear end, their approach is akin to trying to fix the effects of a gaping hole in your boat by putting in more bilge pumps. Doesn’t it make more sense to just plug the hole! Doesn’t it make more sense to find the source of the compromise or neurologic interference and resolve that by gentle non-invasive means. Again see our before and after videos on this site to see what is possible.
Treatment for Arthritis in Dogs
Arthritis in Dogs is often diagnosed in older dogs and primarily affects the weight bearing joints such Hips, Shoulders, Knees, Elbows, Carpi (wrist bones), Tarsi (ankle bones). This is called Degenerative Joint Disease or DJD. This is used specifically to describe the “wear and tear” form of arthritis in dogs as differentiated from arthritides that are caused by an autoimmune condition. It is the most common form of arthritis in dogs and humans. It is caused over time when the forces of wear and tear slowly overcome the bodies ability to repair the damage accruing on a regular basis. To understand this better let us visualize a Massage Therapist using her fingers on a daily basis to dig deep into the tight muscles of her clients. Unfortunately finger joints were never designed to take this type of excessive and sustained axial loading and the forces of repair eventually can not keep pace with the forces that are damaging these joints on a daily basis. Our massage therapist will experience DJD in her hands far sooner than the average individual who doesn’t abuse their hands. This is true in dogs as well. Additionally because of congenital anomalies, some dogs are more prone to arthritis in joints that malformed because of their bad genetics. At Petlight Therapy Center, our new light therapy systems has shown dramatic effects on Dogs with arthritic condtions.
Arthritis in the spine follows a similar pattern. When your Dachshund jumps off the couch or the bed many times a day his front legs impact the floor first and some of the force of impact is absorbed by his shoulder muscles. However, the rest of the force of impact travels back through the spine towards the tail, while the hind end is still accelerating towards the floor. The forces meet in the middle of the back and like two freight trains colliding head-on the discs and facet joints absorb the impact. Now think of the effects of this going on day in day out, month in month out, and year in year out. Do your think that perhaps by 5, 6, or 7 years of age the spine has had enough and is showing signs of the wear and tear. The answer is most definitely yes. To compound the problem is the fact that, unlike other joints of the body, the spine encloses the spinal cord and spinal nerve roots as they exit through small holes call foramina. So when discs begin to deteriorate and bony spurs begin to form the room for error gets smaller and they are more likely to compress the spinal cord and or the spinal nerve roots. Further compounding the problem, if the gel like center of the disc finds its way under pressure through cracks and tears within the in the disc, brought on by ongoing damage, the spinal cord can be compressed even more dramatically.
How do you deal with Arthritis in your dog. First of all an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of trouble, especially in breeds with short legs and long backs. Stop the jumping off of high places. This also applies to larger breeds. Additionally running down hill regularly is similar in its effect as jumping from hight to low, and should be limited.
If your dog is already experiencing symptoms such as Neck/Back Pain, Limping/Lameness, Weakness/Wobbliness, hip, or disk issues then Petlight Therapy Center has your solution. We treat these issues all day every day with gentle, painless, and non-invasive methods to create a healing solution for your companion.
Treatment for Back Pain and Neck Pain in Dogs
By survey, over 30% of all office visits to Veterinary Clinics and Hospitals are for Neuromusculoskeletal issues. These encompass such things as, Dogs with Neck or Back pain; Dogs with Limping or Lameness issues; Dogs who have become weak or wobbly in the rear end; and Dogs with disc or hip issues. The standard treatment protocol at your Veterinary Clinic for Neck and/or Back Pain in Dogs is a regimen of anti-inflammatory meds, muscle relaxers, and narcotics. This protocol has not changed for decades. Different anti-inflammatory meds come and go because of side effects like gastro-intestinal, liver, and kidney problems. They are hard on these specific areas of your Dog’s body.
At Petlight Therapy Center we focus, not on just treating the symptoms of neck and back pain in your dog with anti-inflamatories, but correcting and rehabilitating the underlying issues that are causing your companion to suffer with neck or back pain. Our protocols have no known side-effects and are gentle, painless, non-invasive, and extremely effective. View some our videos on this site to showing just how effective.
Treatment for Dogs with Paralysis, Hind end weakness in dogs, Dogs with unstable rear ends
Many times per week a pet owner will call us. We can hear desperation in their voice. Their companion suddenly, without apparent provocation or injury, was unable to get up from their bed. Or the pet owner noticed that their dog was weak and wobbly like a drunken sailor. Their first idea after this happens is, “maybe my dog had a stroke.” Before calling us however many if not most have already taken their companion into their Vet, who subsequently referred them to a specialist, such as a Veterinary Neurologist. The Veterinary Neurologist performed an examination and then recommended an MRI followed by Back Surgery. We are often told by these pet owners that when they questioned the Veterinary Neurologist as to other possible options besides Back Surgery, that the Doctor in a condescending tone assured them that not only were there no other options, but that if they were not going to follow through with the surgery that they should just euthanize their dog then and there. We are hearing this increasingly from pet owners when they ultimately contact us, desperate for answers other than back surgery for their dogs. I can assure you in so many cases Petlight Therapy Center has the alternative. This protocol was developed to deal with these conditions gently, effectively, and non-invasively.
That said, the question most people have is, “how could this happen to my dog?” Lets take a broader look at this subject. It seems incomprehensible to most because you just don’t see people suddenly become paralyzed for no apparent reason or to lose control of their legs unless the have been imbibing. Unfortunately it has everything to do with how far from our dog’s original wolf like ancestors our breeding has taken them. Take the beloved Dachshund as the the perfect example of how far breeding has come. These and so many other short legged, long back breeds are genetic dwarfs referrenced under the broad heading of Chondrodystrophic dwarfism. They would never have existed in nature as this does not confer an evolutionary advantage and would not be propagated if it weren’t for humans creating designer dogs for specific tasks or appearance that is appealing to humans.
These breeds are the ones we see most commonly on a weekly, if not daily basis here at Petlight Therapy Center. Two things occur in these breeds with this genetic condition. First the discs of Chondrodystrophic breeds are more prone to accelerated degeneration. Second, in these breeds the spinal cord is not smaller but the spinal canal in which the spinal cord resides is. This makes the room for error much less. For humans where there is, relatively speaking, a fair amount of room inside the spine, it takes literally breaking the spine to paralyze a person. However, in these breeds where the tolerances are far less it doesn’t take much to impinge on the spinal cord. Sometimes just a single event such as jumping off a couch can cause trauma to the spinal cord, which leads to inflammation and swelling within the confines of the spinal canal. As the spinal cord swells, much like a finger swelling and being compressed by a wedding ring, it is compressed and interferes with the signals from the brain to the hind end. The degree of compression is directly related to the resulting compromise in function. With mild compression a dog might just be a little clumsy or uncoordinated in the rear legs. You might see “bunny hopping” where the rear legs move as one when trotting. They might be wobbly and sway like a “drunken sailor.” They may be unaware that they are standing on one of the paws flipped under or inverted so that the toes are pointing backwards, called, “knuckling.” With increasing compromise of the spinal cord a dog will show weakness and lack of coordination at the same time, so that perhaps they are unable to get up from the floor or balance on the rear legs, causing them to easily falls sideways if they attempt shake or are bumped. With increasing compression of the cord the rear legs can become almost lifeless. A dog might drag themselves along the floor on their behind with the rear legs stretched out forward offering no help with movement. With even greater compression, a dog will begin to pull themselves along with their front legs as their rear legs seemingly lifeless are dragged along behind them like a seal.
Now with this understanding, you might wonder how anything other than surgery could resolve this. However the great news is that when the tolerances inside the spine are tight, all a doctor has to do is decompress that area of the spine with gentle, painless, and non-invasive manual therapy and advanced light therapy to help reduce inflammation and accelerate healing. In cases where “deep pain sensation” is lost, then surgery is the best first choice in treatment. However, all other cases can and do respond with NMR-T and Light Therapy as evidenced by our many before and after videos.
Treatment for Lameness in Dogs, Dogs who limp.
Limping and lameness are often frustrating maladies in dogs because they are difficult to diagnose and consequently are difficult to treat. If you have had a dog who is holding their leg up and walking three legged it fairly easy to see which leg is involved. However most limping and lameness issues in dogs start out with a change in gait that is often subtle. This makes it difficult for most doctors to determine which leg is involved let alone the exact source of the limp. Consequently, the usual course of treatment is to prescribe anti-inflammatories and hope for the best.
With the diagnostic portion of NMR-T a skilled practitioner can trace the compensatory effects back the source of the limping or lameness in your dog. Often just a course of Light Therapy alone is enough to resolve your dog’s difficult lameness.
Hip Dysplasia in Dogs (Coming Soon)
Dog Massage (Coming Soon)