Effect of targeted PEMF therapy on canine post-operative hemilaminectomy: a double- blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial.

Alvarez LX1, McCue J1, Lam NK2, Fox P1, Gulce A3
J Am Anim Hosp Assoc. 2019 Mar/Apr;55(2):83-91.

  1. The Animal Medical Center, 510 E. 62nd Street, New York, NY
  2. VCA Family and Oahu Veterinary Specialty Center, 98-1254 Kaahumanu Street, Pearl City, HI
  3. Weill Cornell Medical College, Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, 402 E. 67th Street, New York, NY

Intervertebral disk disease (IVDD) is one of the leading causes of paralysis in dogs. Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF) has been advocated for improving wound healing and pain reduction, however, robust clinical trials are lacking. The present prospective, double-blind placebo-controlled trial evaluated targeted PEMF therapy administered to 53 client owned dogs that underwent hemilaminectomy for naturally occurring disk extrusion IVDD. The dogs were randomized to receive either targeted PEMF (N=27) or sham treatment (N=28). Wound healing, evaluated by visual analog score and wound evaluation scale, was significantly improved at 6 weeks postoperatively in the treatment compared to sham group (p= 0.010 and p= 0.023, respectively). Pain medications were administered less frequently in dogs receiving PEMF treatment during the 7-day postoperative period compared to the sham treatment group (p= 0.010) with codeine administered 1.8 times more frequently in the sham group. No untoward effects were recorded in either treatment group. More frequent evaluation of outcome measures with larger patient numbers, as well as histologic samples may be useful in future studies. Dogs receiving PEMF therapy following post-operative hemilaminectomy demonstrated improved wound scores at week 6 and reduced mean number of owner administered pain medications compared to sham therapy.

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