In addition to our advanced surgical, dental, dermatology, internal medicine, and emergency services, LePar Animal Hospital offers alternative medical and therapeutic options for your pet. Dr. Joe Whalen, Dr. Elizabeth Cutright , and our support staff offer several alternative healing modalities including acupuncture, veterinary chiropractic treatments, chinese herbal medicine, nutritional supplementation, massage and veterinary rehabilitation (through Chicago Animal Rehab).
With all new clients, it’s very important that you fill out our online new client form and have your records faxed, sent or e-mailed to us prior to your visit. This allows us to review your pet’s medical history before your visit and spend more time during the exam discussing therapeutic options and prognosis. If x-rays are important to your pet’s condition, please bring them with you at the time of your visit. If you’re coming from a referring veterinarian, we will fax them our records within 1 week of your visit.
Acupuncture patients are seen approximately once a week for three or four weeks of treatments. Young pets, or those with acute injuries, may not need additional treatments. For geriatric or chronic disease patients, the treatment interval is extended to the greatest time period that the patient’s clinical signs remain controlled (4-8) weeks. Acupuncture is an invaluable tool in healing. Stimulation of nerves and the reduction of pain and inflammation are the most obvious immediate benefits.
Most pets are relaxed during their treatments and many fall asleep. When deciding on acupuncture points to use, Dr. Whalen takes into consideration your pet’s previous medical history, age, environment and constitution. By doing this, in addition to treating the primary problem, we often see beneficial “side effects” such as improved sleep and elimination patterns, improved appetite and an overall happier pet.
Veterinary Chiropractic Treatments are a foundation for maintaining and achieving optimum health in your pet. They are used in almost all of our pets with previous back and neck problems as well as those involved in rehabilitation. Adjustments facilitate normal movement in the spinal column, limbs and pelvis. These treatments are crucial to preventing injuries in athletic dogs and for reducing pain and inflammation in injured pets. Most chronic patients are seen initially, then 2 weeks after, then 2 months later and then as needed.
We have a separate facility dedicated to rehabilitation in conjunction with some of the same therapies offered above, called Chicago Animal Rehab (CARE). Dr. Whalen heads up CARE, located just ten minutes away in Chicago Ridge. Physical Therapy and therapeutic exercises have been a very important part of human rehabilitative medicine for a long time. They are valuable tools in the treatment of conservatively or surgically managed orthopedic injuries, neurological problems, illness, trauma, arthritis, obesity, and other problems. We use similar techniques to help animals recover from many of the same conditions.
There are a number of therapies that can be utilized. Among them are acupuncture, chiropractic, medications, supplements, underwater treadmill, laser therapy, electric stimulation therapy, ultrasound therapy, massage, and therapeutic exercise. Using agility techniques, theraband limb work, exercise balls and balance and proprioception equipment, we can work with the animal and owner to design a Home Therapeutic Exercise Prescription that will work best for them.
An initial Rehab exam can either be scheduled at LePar Animal Hospital or Chicago Animal Rehab. Dr. Whalen will review your pet’s medical history and perform a thorough exam. If indicated, a veterinary Chiropractic treatment and Acupuncture will then be performed. Also, if recommended, an underwater treadmill will be included. If scheduled well in advance at Chicago Animal Rehab, an underwater treadmill treatment can be performed immediately, following the initial exam. This treatment can also be scheduled for another time. For services not described in our above handout, (ie. Underwater Treadmill, Ultrasound, or Laser therapy) please ask our staff for a CARE handout or visit the CARE website listed above.
Regenerative Stem Cell Therapy
LePar Animal Hospital and Dr. Joe Whalen, in association with Vet-Stem, are now able to offer regenerative stem cell therapy. Vet-Stem is a regenerative stem cell company that isolates autologous stem cells from your pet’s own fat sample. Vet-Stem Regenerative Cells contain stem cells and a variety of cells to help regulate inflammation, promote revascularization, modulate immune function, and regenerate tissue. These are used to treat a variety of traumatic and degenerative diseases such as tendon and ligament injuries, bone fractures, osteoarthritis, and polyarthritis. (Read more).
Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy
Platelet Rich Plasma, or PRP, is a treatment option for various orthopaedic injuries and conditions which have traditionally required surgery or other extensive treatments. PRP is blood plasma with concentrated platelets and other growth factors. The concentrated platelets found in PRP contain huge reservoirs of bioactive proteins, including growth factors and signaling proteins that are vital to initiate and accelerate tissue repair and regeneration. PRP injections are used in orthopaedics with increasing frequency and effectiveness. Injuries currently being treated with the PRP technique are arthritis of the hip, knee, shoulder, ankle, and other joints.
Also, PRP is utilized for soft-tissue injuries such as tendonitis, muscle sprains and tears and various types of ligament injuries such as Achilles tendonitis and knee tendonitis. PRP is also used to treat various injuries and conditions affecting joints such as rotator cuff and meniscus injuries. Using a small amount of the patient’s own blood, specifically prepared platelets are taken and re-injected into the affected area.
These platelets release special growth factors that lead to tissue healing. The body has a remarkable ability to heal itself, and by re-injecting concentrated platelets, we are facilitating the natural healing process.
Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) is the directing of red and near infrared light over tissues to stimulate cellular function. The body’s cells convert the light energy into chemical energy to promote healing and pain relief. The cold laser produces no heat or damage to the skin and has no known side effects.
Effects of LLLT include accelerated tissue repair and cell growth, faster would healing, reduction in scar tissue, improved vascular activity, improved nerve function, pain relief and anti-inflammation.
Condition treated with LLLT include wounds, muscle, ligament and tendon injuries, trigger points, arthritis, pain, edema, chronic non-healing wounds and lick granulomas.