Laser light therapy, acupuncture, and electro-acupuncture can be very beneficial in assisting with re-establishment of nerve connections in the body. These therapies can aid in kick-starting the body to self-repair nerves.
Laser light therapy is contra-indicated with tumors. X-rays are used to rule out other diseases that can mimic a disc problem such as tumor, fracture, etc.
— During conservative treatment, any time out of the recovery suite is a dangerous time for the healing disc because there has been no surgical removal of misplaced disc material. When using conservative treatment which requires strict restriction of movement of the spine, the benefits of acupuncture/laser treatments must be weighed against the risk of transport, particularly when IVDD symptoms are mild, such as wobbly walking or knuckling, or when transporting a large dog that cannot be lifted. Mobile vets and rehab therapists who make house calls are an option. In addition, some lasers come with an app for the professional to monitor the treatments and give the owner feedback.
Not all at-home laser products are created equal so be sure to do your research. If you choose home laser therapy for your IVDD dog, work with an IVDD knowledgeable vet or therapist who is qualified in the use of lasers.
The most important aspect of conservative therapy for a disc episode
The most important aspect is cage rest. For the disk to extrude, the annulus must tear. The annulus is a ligament. So, just like a sprained ankle will often heal if you stay off it, the annulus can heal if we minimize the stress on the ligament. There is no medication that will speed this up. Medication treats only the symptoms, i.e., the pain. Acute IVDD treatment. William B. Thomas, DVM, DACVIM
With more severe neurological damage, these therapies work best when given together rather than separately. With more severe paralysis, electro-acupuncture can be very effective.
Finding a veterinarian in pet acupuncture
http://www.ahvma.org/find-a-holistic-veterinarian/ [holistic vets]
http://aava.site-ym.com/search/custom.asp?id=1530 [AAVA (American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture]
http://www.ivas.org/vets/ [IVAS International Veterinary Acupuncture Society]
Left to right images showing therapies:
- Acupuncture with needles stimulates nerve points.
- Electo-acupuncture sends a microcurrent of electricity to and from acupuncture points… the big nerve bundles.
- Post-op laser therapy