ATLANTA, Feb. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite its frequently and easily misconstrued name, shock wave therapy, a technology first introduced to the human market, is making waves in veterinary medicine now benefiting dogs struggling with osteoarthritis. Common in obese and elderly dogs or those suffering from an injury that has progressively become worse, canine arthritis is a chronic and painful condition that can be debilitating. Available treatment options are limited and primarily focus on pharmaceutical intervention. Veterinarians, however, are now embracing cutting-edge alternatives such as shock wave sound energy technology to supplement current treatment approaches.
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Geared towards reducing pain and improving mobility, shock wave therapy involves delivering high-energy, deep-penetrating sound waves (called "pulses" or "shocks") to tissue to create various biologic reactions. Among its many benefits is stimulating proteins that help reduce inflammation most common in the hips and elbows of arthritic dogs.
A recent clinical trial in dogs with hard-to-treat elbow arthritis out of the University of Tennessee's School of Veterinary Medicine showed a significant decrease in lameness in dogs treated with shock wave technology compared to untreated dogs. Results were comparable to that of daily non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), daily medications that are frequently difficult for dogs to consume, may have undesirable side effects and can be costly for dog owners over time. A recommended shock wave therapy protocol for arthritic dogs is 2-3 treatments, 2 weeks apart. A follow-up may be needed in 6-12 months depending on the severity of the disease. (specific toVersaTron®4Paws device*)
Dating back over 30 years, shock wave was first used as a more effective and less invasive form for breaking up kidney stones in people (lithotripsy) and later for the treatment of plantar fasciitis, tendonitis and tennis elbow. The technology, first referred to as Extracorporeal Shock Wave Technology (ESWT), has advanced significantly. A staple in equine veterinary medicine for more than a decade now, the evidence supporting use of the technology in dogs is growing rapidly. Most recent animal studies highlight the benefits of shock wave in slowing the process of cartilage deterioration which defines arthritis. 
Shock wave is also used for tendon healing (i.e. Achilles tendon tears), non-healing bone fractures, post-surgical inflammation, back pain and chronic wounds in dogs.
As leading veterinary clinics look for alternatives to treating pain and lameness in dogs and possibly reducing pain medication use, shock wave is offering a well-studied and viable treatment alternative.
To see a video of a shock wave sound energy treatment and for veterinarians available to discuss their use of the technology on dogs, visit www.HealFido.com.
 Millis, DL. Vet Comp Orthrop Traumatol, 2011
 Wang CJ. Chang Gung University. 2011
*(c)PulseVet Technologies. 2013.
SOURCE PulseVet Technologies