Pulsed Signal Therapy-it’s not just Hocus Pocus!

Pulsed Signal Therapy is a relatively new technology used to treat chronic pain in pets. Used internationally for years on people, it has finally been approved by the FDA in the United States for use on animals.  Pulsed Signal Therapy or PST uses a series of controlled electric pulses to painlessly mimic pets’ natural electric signals to stimulate their body’s innate regenerative response. Basically, it tells the body to start repairing itself.  The treatment is non-invasive, painless, and requires nothing more of the pet other than to sit relatively still for nine consecutive half hour sessions. Human clinical studies show PST to be over 80% effective for people, and owner feedback shows much of the same results for pets.

Why do we have it/ who is a candidate for it?

We brought PST to our hospital over six years ago as part of our pain management program.  This pain management therapy can be used on its own or in conjunction with other rehabilitation modalities. It is a great alternative for animals who do not tolerate medication, or who have reached the limit on medication dosages and are still experiencing pain. Currently, we suggest PST for pets who have diagnosed osteoarthritis, tendon injuries, and those pets with non union fractures (broken bones that won’t heal).  Following treatment we expect to see pets have increased mobility, improvement in their activities of daily living, and a better quality of life within 16 weeks. We have had reports that pets have shown a noticeable positive difference in their lives in as little as four weeks. With no known side effects, this therapy is perfect for small animals including those that are elderly who may have other medical concerns that limit what kinds of pain treatments they can tolerate safely.

Layla’s story

I would like to share with you Layla’s story. Layla is a beautiful, sweet, eleven- year- old golden retriever who first came to see me back in April of 2012 for hind end weakness and a front limp. X-rays showed Layla to have hip dysplasia and because her rear legs were so painful, she was over-compensating with her forelegs to provide herself with pain relief. Unfortunately for Layla, this over use led to the human equivalent of two torn rotator cuffs in her front legs. She developed a terrible limp and had problems getting up. This was a dog that had four bad wheels and she was still limping despite treatment with numerous medications. She could hardly walk up the three stairs into our building. I discussed PST with Layla’s family who decided to give it a try on her back legs because they were the root of the problem. Within 6 weeks there was a noticeable improvement in Layla’s rear legs. Her hind end was stronger and she no longer had to rely on her front legs to compensate for her back ones. Based on these results, Layla’s family decided to use PST on her front legs.  Four weeks later, Layla’s family reported that she was pain free and no longer limping. Layla still comes to rehabilitation and she now bounds up our steps, eager to see her favorite staff members and spend some time on the underwater treadmill.  Her playfulness has returned and she has been able to get off most of her medications. Layla’s family is so pleased with her results they are now in the process of using PST on their other dog. When asked why she agreed to PST, Layla’s Mom said it best, “She still has so much life to live. I couldn’t let her go on living like that.”

We are proud to offer Pulsed Signal Therapy as one of our Modalities at our Hospital and Rehabilitation Center because we have seen what it can do and we know it works.

~Dr. Erin Troy is Chief of Medicine at the AAHA accredited Muller Veterinary Hospital and The Canine Rehabilitation Center. A pioneer in the field of pain management, she is a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner and will soon be one of only two doctors in the state of California to be a Certified Pain Practitioner. For more information on PST or The Canine Rehabilitation Center go to Mullerveterinaryhospital.com or facebook.com/mullervet