Extracorporeal Schockwave Therapy 

Extracorporeal shockwave therapy uses the application of pulsed mechanical waves to the tissues via a had held trode to aid in healing from a variety of conditions.  It is a non-invasive treatment for many types of pain and injury in our patients. Within the head of the hand piece a wave is created (in our case using peizoelectric crystals) and that waves passes through the tissues.  As the waves pass from tissues of different densities, like joint fluid to cartilage or cartilage to bone, energy is dissipated into the surrounding region and induces cellular and tissue responses including growth factor release (substances that promote healing and tissue recovery), muscle relaxation, changes in blood flow and tissue metabolism, and other biochemical and biomechanical responses.  We have used our machine in a wide variety of cases including patients with arthritis, ligament and tendon injuries, back pain, muscle tension and spasm, and wound management.  The treatment is well tolerated and has offered extensive relief to patients with challenging pain conditions. 

Additional Resources:

Musculoskeletal Therapies For Animals- this is the machine we use specifically at Red Sage and tends to be very quiet and comfortable for use, this not requiring sedation. There is also a video of a treatment you can watch. 

Shockwave Therapy for Dogs with Arthritis- This is an article from the Whole Dog Journal about an owners experience with shockwave therapy and offers a nice summary. 

Effects of radial shockwave therapy on the limb function of dogs with hip osteoarthritis- this is an abstract of a scientific article on treating dogs with hip arthritis. 

Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy for Shoulder Lameness in Dogs - This is a scientific articles on using shockwave for multiple types of shoulder issues in dogs. 

What is a treatment like? Does it hurt?

With this newer shockwave technology we do not require sedation for a treatment.  Our patients typically enjoy a small frozen snack while the area is being treated and the treatments last about 10-20 minutes, depending on the number of sites being treated.  We do look for some response from the patient, but the treatment should overall be comfortable. Rarely there is some mild soreness after a treatment for 1-2 days, but often there is a quick response with pain relief.  There are also delayed responses that can take months to reach their full effect as tissues regenerate and recover.  We can continues to see benefits for a long time after treatment, these are the effects are often in joints and signal a long term change in tissue health for the patient.  Typically, though plans are adjusted to meet the specific needs of a patient, we perform a series of three treatments about 1-3 weeks apart. 

Dr. Fry and Teri using Shockwave to treat Ariel at the WOLF Sanctuary to help manage her severe hip arthritis and pain. 

Get back to being a dog (or cat)! 

email us at - redsagevets@gmail.com

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