Laser therapy and rehab can add years to the lives of dogs affected by Degenerative Myelopathy

If you knew there was therapy that could extend your dog’s life by 3-4 years, would you do it?

Degenerative  myelopathy or  DM is a non-painful disease of the spinal cord similar to ALS in people.  If you’re a dog parent with a dog suspected of having DM, you already know the prognosis is poor and the life expectancy is short. This disease causes a dog to develop a clumsy kind of movement in his hind end and lack of body awareness (proprioceptive ataxia).  The condition progresses to rear weakness (paresis) caused by damage to the spinal cord.  Sadly this eventually causes paralysis of the back legs and moves forward in the spinal cord, affecting the forelimbs.

 

I remember when I was first told my beautiful girl likely had this disease.  Initially, I was in denial but I couldn’t ignore the signs. 

One of the most frustrating things about this disease is  the lack of a known treatment.   Up until recently, intense daily physical therapy was the only known therapy that could slow the progression of DM, extending life from a few months to about a year (Kathmann et al., 2006). The complete exercises can be found in the study provided in the references at the end of this article.

 A new retrospective review study now gives hope to dogs and dog parents! This study examined intensive rehabilitation combined with one of two laser therapy (photobiomodulation) protocols. 

🌟Retrospective Observational Study and Analysis of Two Different Photobiomodulation Therapy Protocols Combined with Rehabilitation Therapy as Therapeutic Interventions for Canine Degenerative Myelopathy🌟

Lisa A. Miller, DVM, CCRT, CVA, Debbie (Gross) Torraca, DPT, MSPT, OCS, CCRP, and Luis De Taboada, MSEE

Continue reading “Laser therapy and rehab can add years to the lives of dogs affected by Degenerative Myelopathy”

 A new retrospective review study now gives hope to dogs and dog parents! This study examined intensive rehabilitation combined with one of two laser therapy (photobiomodulation) protocols. 

🌟Retrospective Observational Study and Analysis of Two Different Photobiomodulation Therapy Protocols Combined with Rehabilitation Therapy as Therapeutic Interventions for Canine Degenerative Myelopathy🌟

Lisa A. Miller, DVM, CCRT, CVA, Debbie (Gross) Torraca, DPT, MSPT, OCS, CCRP, and Luis De Taboada, MSEE

Continue reading “Laser therapy and rehab can add years to the lives of dogs affected by Degenerative Myelopathy”

Can CCL tears be managed conservatively…. it depends!

This is a question I get a lot form pet parents/owners. There is no easy answer and it is a controversial subject. It depends on the size, age, breed, health, activity level, function, finances, and degree of tear, just to name a few factors. In many, but not all cases, surgery is often encouraged.


If your dog has been diagnosed with a cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) tear, regardless of whether or not you surgically or conservatively help your dog — *EARLY INTERVENTION IS KEY FOR RECOVERY! A partially torn CCL is painful and the pain causes disuse. Disuse can lead to further changes in joint health, muscle atrophy (weakness) and nobody wants their dog to be in pain. In addition, research shows your dog is at a higher risk (about 50%) to injure the other knee. Talk with your vet, Orthopedic surgeon, and canine rehab therapist; and make some decisions on how you are going to help your dog and do it as soon as you can. While some dogs can definitely be managed conservatively, and surgery is not appropriate for every CCL tear, I do need to say the unthinkable, if you choose to manage conservatively, there is still a RISK that down the road YOUR DOG MAY FULLY BLOW THEIR CCL and still REQUIRE SURGERY. Continue reading “Can CCL tears be managed conservatively…. it depends!”