Horse wound care with the Assisi Loop

The Assisi EuroLoop is an ideal tool for horse wound care. Below are some amazing photos of a severe wound on a horse treated with only the Assisi Loop. The owner of the horse is a Dr. Aurelio Chaux, a retired thoracic surgeon at Cedar Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. He now resides on his horse farm with his family in Ocala, Florida.

“The colt Retorno de Maria was taken out of his stall and placed with two other colts in a pasture paddock. He was kicked in the leg and the injury was discovered after 48 hours; for this reason the wound was considered infected (or at least contaminated) and the decision was made not to suture the skin and instead to wash the wound thoroughly, cover it with antiseptic ointment and wrap the leg.

Treatment with the Assisi was started the same day the wound was washed and wrapped (Photos 12/30/09). Treatment was given with the Assisi twice a day for 25 minutes for 5 days. The device was used in the manual mode and removed after 25 minutes of treatment. The leg was wrapped for the first two days of treatment only and the colt received no other treatment or medications. After the initial two days the wound was left open and unwrapped (photos taken 01/02/10), the inflammation and edema had decreased significantly.

I left to go to LA and when I came back asked about the colt and was told by David and Janine that the colt had not received any other treatments or medications since the time I left. Unfortunately, no other photos where taken until the ones on 01/31/10. To my surprise the wound had healed completely and the remaining scar is small, there is no residual pain and movement in the leg is normal. Once month later, there is no swelling or lameness.”

Day 1: The initial wound.

Horse wound care: bandage and application of Assisi Loop:

One month later:

The Assisi Loop uses low level electromagnetic pulses to stimulate the healing process after a wound or incision and reduce inflammation. The first inflammatory stage of healing is essential as it involves specialized cells cleaning out debris and bacteria and making way for new tissue generation. At the same time, prolonged inflammation delays healing, be extremely painful and result in a poorly healed or chronic wound.

The Assisi EuroLoop is a promising treatment for horse wound care and may help in preventing the development of proud flesh in wounds.

Patient Spotlight: Petey, Healing skin wounds in dogs

This adorable guy, Petey, was abandoned in the middle of the hot July summer in Montgomery, Alabama. Someone found him and brought him to the kind people at the Bell Road Animal Medical Center in Montgomery. Dr. Eric Lewis began treating Petey’s wounds immediately on July 16, expecting at least two months or more of recovery time before they would be able to offer Petey up for adoption. Even with newer therapy technology like the therapy laser, the extent of Petey’s wounds warranted a delayed healing process, but he was shocked at the speed of healing using the Assisi™ Portable.

Dr. Lewis is the practice owner and primary care veterinarian at Bell Road Animal Medical Center. After graduating veterinary school at Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1990 he began practicing at Bell Road, and became the primary DVM there in 1992. After 23 years, he continues his practice there today, improving the clinic’s offerings with the latest in medical technology for animals. If you live near Montgomery and need medical care or boarding for your pet, check them out at www.bellroadamc.com

I’ll let Dr. Lewis tell the story of Petey:

Petey was found here in Montgomery. When he was brought to us he had a wound on the side of his left forefoot that extended from the carpus on the lateral side, down to the proximal lateral digit. It was deep enough to have exposed some of the tendons on the dorsolateral aspect of his meta-carpals. There was no bone exposed, but the lateral extensor tendon was clearly visible. He also had a seroma (a fluid filled pocket) or hygroma type lesion on the dorsal aspect of his right carpus.

Our best guess is that Petey was in a car or truck with an open window and jumped out. After doing so, he must have landed on his right carpus and caused the seroma to come up. We believe the injury to his left foot may have occurred when the edge of a tire rolled over it, just pinching that tissue. The skin covering that area was still attached to the foot, but it had been “degloved” from the side of the foot and had begun a process of decay and had dried out.

When Petey first arrived the wound appeared to be between 3 and 5 days old, based on the amount of granulation tissue we saw, and the fact that the loose skin tissue had already had time to desiccate. We were able to debride that tissue with just a pair of scissors, without topical anesthetic, as the tissue had already died and he couldn’t feel any pain from it.

It was July 16th when we began treatment. The individual who brought him in and dropped him off left phone numbers, but none of them were functional, so were unable to get back in touch. We were left with no acceptable alternative other than to take on his care ourselves.

Petey is a very sweet dog with a good disposition-a very adoptable dog. He’s an intact male about 8 months old. At that time he also had hookworms, and no history of vaccinations, so we started with core vaccines and deworming while we began wound care. We put an e-collar on him so he wouldn’t chew the bandage off.

Our initial wound care was just cleaning it with a chlorhexidine solution and bandaging the wound with Silvadene cream on a non-stick type topical bandage and wrapping the foot in a light wrap of cotton padding and vet wrap.  Initially we changed the bandage daily because the wound itself was quite suppurative. The bandage the next day would be soaked with all the fluids produced by the wound. We also put Petey on oral cephalexin during the first 4 weeks.

We began using the therapy laser with the infected wound setting on the first day. After two or three days into his therapy we were starting to see really good healthy granulation tissue to start. We had at that time what we considered a pretty decent blood supply to the new tissue established. At that point, on the 20th, we started using the Assisi Loop Portable™ on the wound, which  was around the fourth day of care.

By July 20th the granulation tissue had spread out and reached the edges of the wound. On the 23rd the granulation tissue started looking healthier so we started leaving the bandage off for a few hours at a time to let some oxygen get to the tissue, but we continued to keep the dressing on it overnight. Around the 24th, the wound was starting to show some contraction. Originally the 4 inch wide non-stick pad was not quite wide enough, the wound was maybe 3-5mm longer than the bandage would fit.  By the time 10-11 days had elapsed, it was already starting to shrink so the bandage would cover it. At that point there was significantly less suppuration from it. When we changed the bandages they would be wet but not soaked through like previously.

On July 26th, 10 days after initial presentation, we started leaving the bandage on for 2 or 3 days at a time, using the Assisi Loop treatment with the bandage on, and giving a laser treatment when the bandages were changed and the skin was exposed. The Laser will not work with the bandages on, but that doesn’t prevent the Loop™ from working, providing us a method to encourage wound healing without having to continue daily bandage changes.

Now, by the 15th of August, after just 4 weeks of treatment, the edges of the wound have completely epithelialized. There’s now a space only about 3cm by 6cm that still has granulation tissue on it. It’s getting progressively smaller every time we change the bandage.

The Assisi Loop certainly seems to have sped up the process. I would have thought it would take 6 to 8 weeks to get where we are now, and it’s only been 4 weeks. It’s taken at least 30% less time to heal than I thought it would, and I expected it to go fast because I’ve certainly seen the laser make a difference, but it went faster because the Assisi Loop was involved.

I’ve had the laser for 3 or 4 years now, and we use it on many patients unless it’s contraindicated. Until now I’ve only used the Assisi Loop™ on a few cases of arthritis or hip problems. I’m looking forward to trying the Assisi Loop on some other conditions based on this experience.

Pain Management for Animals

We are pleased to introduce a 3-part series of interviews with Dr. Erin Troy, Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner. In part 1 of the series, Dr. Troy talks about the process of getting certified in pain management and how to educate pet owners to recognize and treat pain.

Assisi Animal Health: I understand that you received the title of Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner.  Tell me a little bit about what that means and why you chose to do that.


Dr. Troy: I started the whole process into physical rehabilitation about 12 or 13 years ago, and one of the things I realized a couple of years into it, is that we can do a lot of rehabilitation therapy – but if the patients are not comfortable, we’re not going to do them any good. So, I started figuring out what I need to do first to get them comfortable – to get their pain controlled – and then rehab them.  It started me on this adventure, so to speak, of starting to seek more education and training and then I fell into the IVAPM – the International Veterinary Association of Pain Management.

When I joined them, I read about this certification program. For me it was a personal and a professional goal – being 20 years out of vet school, I didn’t want to get stale and flat, I wanted to keep the learning curve up. Your brain gets a little saggy when you’ve been out of school for a while.

The depth of what it brought to my practice was the best part – it opened up our eyes to not only helping our acute pain or surgery patients with all the things we do for that, but certainly our chronic pain patients as well. For us, it became this multi-layer opportunity to provide a better level of care for our patients.

What is it that you have to go through to get this certification?

To qualify to take the test, you need 80 hours of pain-related continuing education. Five years ago, that would have been very, very difficult. Now? Pain is everywhere. (laughter) Well, pain education is everywhere. Pain is everywhere too, but education on pain in the veterinary field is far easier to find now than it ever used to be.

Within three or four years, you have to get your 80 hours of pain-related CE, and you have to document what you use in your practice with pictures and descriptions. They have a list of things that you have to meet the minimum number of including non-steroidals, drugs, all of what we use in rehab. That includes the Assisi Loop™, the laser, the hydrotherapy tank, the physio rolls that we use, masseuses and acupuncture.

You have to do two cases and they have to be of publishable quality, and you sit for an exam. Along with working 60 hours a week and having families and those kinds of things, that’s probably why there are less than 100 people in the world that have this certification.

You’ve said that you use studies in the human world to help pet owners understand their pet’s pain. Can you talk more about that?

So much of what we get is from the human world. When I talk with clients about technologies like the Loop and like laser, I have a list of references that I send them to on the web that are human. For some reason, people still put more credibility into human studies than animal studies. I have a lot of families that will read some of the studies done on the targeted pulsed electromagnetic therapy in people and say, “Cool. Where do we start? Sign me up for my dog.” I like that. I like that that exists.

The one study that I share with a lot of people was the study I read about using this technology for women following breast surgery. It was a pretty simple study. The numbers were impressive. Half the group used morphine only. Half the group used morphine and a Loop. The group that used morphine and the Loop used half the morphine than the other group did. That kind of speaks for itself. So when you try to relate that degree of pain to chronic osteoarthritis patients or trauma patients or IVDD patients, people have a much easier time understanding.

Believe it or not, there are still people out there that have said to me, “I didn’t really think that dogs felt pain.” Those are the people we need to educate. We need to educate them gently and we need to educate them with support — not be judgmental — because they wouldn’t be in our office if they weren’t looking for help, in some way.

How do you talk to pet owners about pain and help them to understand it?

I try first to ascertain which side of the fence they’re on. Are they there because they think their dog is in pain, or are they that middle-of-the-road group that says, “Doc, she’s been limping for about two weeks, but she’s not in any pain because she’s not crying.” If I had a nickel for every time I heard that. Or are they the people who come in for their every-three-year visit to get their rabies and their dog is barely hobbling in and they don’t recognize it.

The first group is pretty darn straightforward to deal with because they’ve already acknowledged that their dog is in some level of discomfort. I really try not to use the word “pain” because I find that some people feel either guilty about it or that we’re being judgmental about it, so I’ll say uncomfortable, discomfort, tender, sore and then work toward what we call “the four-letter word” around here.

We have a list of indicators of pain. It’s a great checklist for them to look at because there are things like: not covering in the litter box when the cat used to cover, or can’t get in and out of the covered litter box, or can’t get on and off the bed, sleeping in a different fashion, ears pulled back, eyes dilated, panting. There’s a big one in dogs. I say to clients, “Does your dog do any panting at home?”  “Yes. He does it in the middle of winter and I don’t understand that.” I tell them, “Your dog is panting because he’s sore.”

So when families come in with a focus on getting my dog stronger or keeping my dog from falling or helping my dog be able to climb back into the car or on the bed – if I find pain, I educate the client that “I cannot get your dog stronger until I get him more comfortable.” Because you don’t want to work sore muscles. You want to get them comfortable and then you want to work them. Clients get it.

Is it important to try to catch pain as early-on as possible?

The more pain you have that’s not addressed, the more pain the pet develops, and then the harder it is to control pain. From a pharmacological point of view, if we have a dog that comes in with 3 out of 10 pain, we can control that much more successfully than if they wait another 6 months and come in with 7 out of 10 pain. Then you’re throwing everything at them – everything you’ve got including strong narcotics to get that pain down to a manageable level. So that is why we have single-handedly taken on the responsibility of educating every pet owner we can.

First of all, pain is bad. Then it’s how to know that you have pain, then how to determine where it is and what it’s from and how to treat it. If you can’t convince people that pain is bad, you’ll never get to the other steps.

Do people actually have trouble understanding the concept that pain is bad?

Some people think pain is okay. I had a woman tell me the other day, to my face – and she’s an educated woman – that she had to take her dog off of pain meds because he was running around too much.  And I said, “What you’re telling me is that you would rather that he be painful and less active than pain-free and active.”  She said, “Yes.” And I said, “That’s not a medical problem. That’s a behavioral problem. That’s where we put the leash on, take him for walks, and we have lots of things to deal with.” I told her that it’s not fair to use pain as a restraint device.

How do you talk to pet owners who haven’t yet embraced the idea that pain is bad?

We talk about the physiological problems with pain and what it does to the brain and what it does to the rest of the body and what compensation pain is all about.  We deal with a ton of compensation pain. For instance, a dog comes in with a chronic tear to its cruciate ligament and for a variety of reasons the owners have elected not to do surgery. The owners look at me like I’m crazy when I’m palpating up around the neck and shoulders and front legs of the dog and they’re like, “No. No, doc. it’s back here.”  And I tell them, “I understand it’s back there, but feel this up here. Your dog has been shifting her weight forward for so long. Now she’s got a problem in her shoulder and her elbow.  It’s all connected. Pain just travels through the body.”

So when you talk about the depth of what the certification brought to your practice, the simple acknowledgment that “Pain is bad” is a big part of that piece.

Yes. Absolutely. It’s acknowledging the pain, recognizing that it is bad, learning how to assess it and learning how to prevent it. We want all our patients walking out of here looking as good as possible. Because we know they will heal better and it will be less stressful on their family.

Pain Management for Animals, Part 3

Nov 05, 2014

In the final installment of our 3-part series on Pain Management, Assisi Animal Health spoke with Dr. Troy about her use of the Assisi Loop in her practice. Part 1 focused on her IVAPM (International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management) certification. In Part 2, Assisi Animal Health spoke with Dr. Troy about the case studies she submitted to gain her certification with the IVAPM.

Assisi: I know the Assisi Loop is a part of your integrative strategy. What role does it play in pain management?

Dr. Troy: If I have a patient either in the general practice or the rehab practice, with a diagnosis of something more than pain – osteoarthritis, non-healed fracture, post-op cruciate ligament, post-op hip replacement, IVDD – any time I have a diagnosis with a location, it automatically makes that patient a candidate for a Loop.

So knowing the location of the pain is vital.

If I have a patient that comes in and is obviously painful but I don’t know where, I can’t pull the Loop out of my arsenal yet, because I can’t just hold it over the entire animal unless he’s very small. So that’s the first criteria for me. When I talk to the staff, I tell them it’s like laser or acupuncture – we have to have a sense of what we’re treating and where before we just throw the Loop, the laser or the needles at them.  

I talk to families very frankly about [the Loop], that it’s non-invasive and that there are no side effects – two things I cannot say about drugs. There’s no blood test monitoring to go with it. There’s a good amount of human literature that supports the technology behind it, because we certainly do have some clients more discriminating than others.

I have some clients who just say, “Doc, if you think it works, I’ll use it. You don’t have to tell me a thing about it, just tell me how to use it.” And then I have others that are maybe even a little bit suspicious, and they want to have a better understanding of it. I talk with them about the validity of it as far as the studies have gone, and then the convenience of it, because you can’t get any more convenient than something you can do in your own home. And as for the cost-effectiveness of it, the outlay may be a little more than clients are used to, but when you know you get 150 treatments for the cost, and they do the math very quickly in their head. Concerning the convenience level and the effectiveness level, I think every pet owner should have one, provided they can learn how and where to use it.

What made you decide to start using the Loop?

I’ve done this with almost every piece of technology we’ve brought in – even a new drug. I will pick a very good case to use it on, and we’re very selective – we pick the client we know we’re going to get compliance and feedback from, and that has made a huge difference on how we bring new treatments in. And for me, when you sent us our first Loop, and we picked a case – it was like, “Oh my god!” Because we didn’t think it was going to work! We thought it was hocus-pocus. And we were like, “Did you see how much better he’s moving?” And I’ll never forget the case. It was a little corgi. He couldn’t tolerate any drugs and he had a really sore back, and x-rays were normal – and we were like, “Let’s try the Loop!” And sure enough, a week later he came back, we did nothing else, they rested him and they used the Loop. And he was famously better.

We did a Patient Spotlight on one of your patients a while back – can you give us a recap?

I love using it for dogs that can’t tolerate non-steroidals because I think it’s a very strong option for them – Millie Burgelin being one of them. She’s a poster child for the Loop. If it had not been for when we started the Loop on her, she would not be alive right now. She was in that much pain. When they sent me that email over that weekend, that fateful weekend last year, they said “We think the time has come” – and I said, “OK, we’ve got one more thing we can try with her.” And they did the Loop through the following week. This was a dog that could tolerate no oral drugs and has multiple-limb arthritis – and when they sent me the picture of her running down the stairs, it brought tears to my eyes. In her case, it had to be the Loop because we had done nothing else. And you don’t just “get over” [such bad arthritis].

Can you talk about some other cases that have benefited from the Loop in your practice?

I have a woman who has a FEMA search-and-rescue task force dog. He has a lot of pain from the work that he does. He works on piles of destroyed property and that kind of stuff, and he twisted his back. X-rays were fine, neurological exams, MRI was fine – he just had really really sore muscles. We talked a lot about what our therapy options were, and we did a little bit of drugs for the injured knee that he had – and then the Loop. And she used the Loop four times a day with him because we knew exactly where it was and what hurt, and it wasn’t very long into the course of treatment that she was a believer. Now she keeps it in her travel bag, so if she’s deployed with him, either for training or for work, she has it. She will use it whether she thinks he’s hurt himself or not – but just to keep him in good shape. She loves it, she loves the portability of it, she loves the effectiveness of it.

The dog I sent home with one today – just a lovely, lovely older Labrador who’s carrying too much weight, horrible osteoarthritis in her elbows – and the family lives 50 minutes minimum away from me. So I talked to them about it. I said, “For me, this is going to be the mainstay of our therapy,because you don’t have to come see me every day, you can do it at home, we know exactly where to do put it, it’s easy, and there are no side effects.” This is also a dog that can’t tolerate non-steroidals. She did so much better on them, but kidney and liver values went up and she had vomiting issues. Clients come and they think there’s nothing they can do, so these are the clients that are so grateful when they’re given the opportunity to use a technology like the Loop. They see the results for themselves.

We also use it for mast-cell tumor surgery sites and anal sac adinocarcinoma surgery sites.   These are usually sites that are very tender, and skin is fragile. You can almost assure that it’s not going to be a good 10-day healing process, that it might be a 20-day or 30-day healing process. So we Loop them, because they heal so much better and they have less post-operative pain.

What we’ve done with some dogs is use a loaner Loop for dogs that are having surgery back by their anus, which is so uncomfortable and so tender back there. We send the loaner Loop out and we say, “We want you to do this for the first seven days, two to three times a day.” We give them the whole protocol, we have a signup sheet that they keep track of their treatments on. Since we’ve been doing that, I can’t tell you how much better these surgical patients look than the ones that didn’t do it before.  

So it goes from maybe 20 or 30 days down to – what are you seeing?

In half. I have one client who had an anal sac tumor done on one of their dogs, and when the other dog several years later needed it, she said, “Oh no, I’m not putting him through that.” I said, “I know, it was a tough recovery. I’ve got a new protocol. Bear with me, give this a try.” And she was absolutely thrilled.

Education is such an important factor in your practice, it sounds like educating them about the Loop is just a piece of the overall education process for you. Do they tend to do well with compliance?

I would say we have an 80% compliance rate with the Loop. I’m thinking of the few failures we’ve had, and what the failures will be is someone who we’ve demonstrated it for them, we’ve talked about the technology, why we think it works, what we want them to do with it, and then maybe they missed their next two appointments because they cancelled them. And then they’ll say, “Yeah, I tried it a couple times, and it didn’t really make a difference so I haven’t done anything more.”

We tell them specifically, this is a cumulative effect, we ask them to give it a minimum of twice a day for 21 days. I tell people, “If you’re looking for a quick fix, this isn’t going to do it.” I try and paint an honest picture and I try not to send it home with anybody that I think isn’t going to be compliant, because there isn’t any point in it. I don’t see any point in taking their money. I don’t see the point in giving them a reason to badmouth the technology. I would rather set everyone up to succeed than to fail.

Of the clients that I know are compliant, we have great reports back. A lot of it depends if our diagnosis is correct. You can treat a back leg with it but if the front leg is worse off than the back leg and you’re not treating the front leg, the clients aren’t going to see a difference.

It sounds like you really value the Loop as a non-drug pain management option.

I prefer to use the Loop rather than prednisone. We do have dogs that are intolerant of all different drugs. And I’ll use them in addition, certainly if it’s too difficult for them to get anywhere, or maybe the dog’s just too gosh-darn painful to get in the car, or he’s had a relapse. I tell clients, “You’re not going to overuse it.” So if you’re worried about them being a little bit sore, or if we have a dog that’s recovering and doing well, I tell them, “Put it on the shelf – and if he goes out and does something crazy at the dog park, and he comes back and you’re worried he’s sore, Loop him. You’re not going to hurt him. Use it as pre-emptive treatment as well.”

We’ll also use it for dogs that are either mentally or physically intolerant of acupuncture. I think it’s the most cost-effective way of fighting pain as long as we know where the pain is. The dogs don’t have to get in the car, drive over here, get out of the car, come into the hospital – they can just be at home. I think it has potential, when you have the right client, for very high compliance – if we educate the client correctly. Because how can they beat it? They just can’t beat it!

A huge part of your CVPP certification was learning how to educate your clients.

Absolutely. Sometimes people look at you like, “Are you kidding me?” and I say, “No, I’m not.” It does give a lot more credibility when you say, “This is used in people. This is not hocus-pocus. This is modern medical technology that is cleared by the FDA with accepted use in people all over the country.”  

If any of our hospital patients, pets that belong to staff, have any type of surgery, they all go home with a loaner Loop. And what a difference!

My business manager’s dog had a liposarcoma – a cancerous fatty tumor on his back. The surgeon took a strip of skin 17 inches long and four inches wide off of his back to get all of it. And we knew it was going to be a bear to heal – and I can’t tell you how beautifully it healed. She Looped that area three times a day. His pain was minimal, the healing was beautiful, everything about it was just perfect. And we’d all prepared ourselves that this was going to be a battle, and it was beautiful. I told her, “I know the Loop had a big part in it.”

It’s encouraging for us, too, because I have two very traditional vets in the practice who kind of raise their eyebrows every time we talk about anything that wasn’t taught in their base curriculum. We talk about things, we talk about different treatment options, and I say, “We’ve talked about the Loop before, why don’t you try the Loop on him?” And they’ll say, “Oh yeah, I just wasn’t thinking about that.” So they go talk to the client.

I like to move staff out of their comfort zone just a little bit, because otherwise you’ll never learn anything. You’ll never try anything new. This shouldn’t be new. Five years from now, this should be in every single veterinary hospital, clients should be asking for it, everybody should know what it is. Because it’s so easy and so safe and so effective.

Thanks to Dr. Troy for taking the time to talk to us about her personal experience with the Loop, and how it has benefited so many of her patients. Dr. Troy has a wealth of knowledge about veterinary pain management and we are thrilled to count her among our community of practitioners who believe in and prescribe the Assisi Loop.


Dr. Erin Troy is the owner of Muller Veterinary Hospital and The Canine Rehabilitation Center in Walnut Creek, California. Watch for Part 2 of this series where she’ll tell us about the cases she used to get her IVAPM certification. She will talk more about integrated pain management with the Assisi Loop as a part of the treatment protocol.

Special interview with Dr. Laurie McCauley

Dr. Laurie McCauley, DVM, CCRT, is a renowned lecturer and pioneer in animal rehabilitation. Recently Dr. McCauley shared with us how Assisi pulsed electromagnetic therapy has become a staple in her repertoire. Our interviewer and blogger, Naomi Grunditz, is pleased to include the transcript as part of a series of interviews with rehabilitation and veterinary specialists using Assisi.

N: Thank you so much for taking time out to do this interview with me! If you could to start, I love to learn a bit of little background about yourself and how you started using the Assisi loop. 

L: I’m a graduate of Colorado State Vet School, I did general medicine for six years, and now I have been doing canine rehabilitation for 14 years. We received the Assisi units from the Ivivi company to test with our patients, but we were in a bind because the animals couldn’t tell us if it worked or not, or how well it worked.  Instead of trying a product on animals to see if it worked and then applying it to humans we took the opposite approach.  We asked for volunteers from our employees to try it for different types of pain and learned that it worked very well for acute pain, acute on chronic pain, and pain from inflammation, but not for chronic pain or headaches. We have used it for acute pain and inflammation for several years now with good results.

N: So when is Assisi your go-to treatment for animals? 

L: We use it for acute pain with patients that back and neck injuries, either post surgery or if surgery was not indicated or available. We also use it for post op orthopedic patients, for example post cruciate surgery. Assisi is one of the many pain treatments we offer here, and it is especially great for people that come from far away and can’t come in frequently. It’s something we can send home with them, which is nice.

N: Are there any specific recent cases you can think of where you went, “Wow, this worked really well!”? 

L: Well I can tell you about my dog! I have an 11-year-old dachshund who had neck pain. We were thinking about doing surgery. We had done acupuncture with him and he hates acupuncture, and we had done chiropractic with him and he wanted no part of that. So we switched to a more hands-off approach and we did just the Assisi, oils, and laser. Just within 24 hours of switching to that, he was significantly better.  We didn’t need to do surgery.

N: Have you used Assisi with horses?

L: The only horse I’ve worked with is my niece’s horse. She had a horse that was lame constantly. If she didn’t  wrap the distal limb every night, when she came in in the morning it was swollen. She was showing him and he was not consistent. There was a 50 percent chance he would be able to show.   She started using the Assisi ring daily and the lameness and swelling just stopped. She did not have to wrap him and he showed consistently  from the time she started using the Assisi. It was very cool.

N: Do you like to talk about Assisi when you do your lectures and teaching engagements? 

L: Yes, absolutely. I presented Assisi at North American [Veterinary Conference] and then I just did a pain management for geriatric patients in March where we presented the Assisi research and information on that. Assisi was nice enough to supply a unit for each of the student participants in hopes that they could go back and see how well it worked and start using them.

N: When you’re doing one of these talks, what’s the key thing you want your students to take away about Assisi and its benefits? 

L: That there’s science behind it. I talk about the enhanced calcium-calmodulin binding increasing endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS). The eNOS is released in short bursts (long bursts create a different effect) which decreases pain. There is also significantly more angiogenesis.

A study done with rats that evaluated tensile strength post surgical correction of the achilles tendon found that with Assisi therapy there was significantly more strength of the tendon. We just recently had a dog that had an Achilles rupture that had been repaired. It was nice to show the client, hey look, here’s a research article that shows, at least in rats, it increased tensile strength so they’re less likely to re-tear it and it heals a lot faster. Then they know, “Oh wow, this is worth the money that I’m putting into it, it’s something I can do at home, it decreases pain as well as helping it heal.” And they’re excited about it.

N: So would you recommend Assisi to be among the repertoire that vets use for healing? 

L: Absolutely. Acute pain, post surgical issues, and to speed healing. The other reason we will use the Assisi is if we have a patient with a non-healing wound where they can’t come for laser. Selling them a unit in this instance is a great option.

A lot of my agility people and my other sporting people will purchase one because they travel a lot, and when they travel, if their dog gets injured, they need something to help them. It’s something they’ve got in their box of tricks.

The EURO-LOOP

ASSISI EURO-LOOPTM

  • Available in two sizes: Ø 10 cm (4 in) and Ø 20 cm (7.5 in)
  • Excellent for multiple uses including chronic and degenerative conditions
  • Shuts itself off after each 15-minute treatment. No timer needed!
  • Able to choose how often to treat according to the recommended protocol
  • Offers approximately 200 treatments à 15 minutes
  • Non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical treatment for pain and inflammation
  • Lightweight
  • Treats directly through wraps, dressings and casts
  • Easy to administer at home or in a clinical setting

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

By emitting bursts of microcurrent electricity, the ASSISI EURO-LOOPTM creates a field which evenly penetrates both soft and hard body tissue around the target area. This electromagnetic field causes a chemical cascade, which activates the Nitric Oxide cycle. Nitric Oxide is a key molecule in healing for humans and animals. The compound is released when we exercise, and when we are injured, for the body to naturally repair itself.

The Euro-Loop increases Nitric Oxide production to help speed healing of soft and hard tissues–that includes skin, tendons, ligaments, bones and organs. The specific ratio of frequency to burst width used by the Euro-Loop has been found to be the most effective at delivering the amount of current that is similar to what is already used by the body. More is not always better, and too much Nitric Oxide production can actually slow healing. When choosing a PEMF device, it is good to know that more power is not correlated with faster healing.

In general, tPEMF™ can be used to speed healing, reduce inflammation, and lower pain levels. For any kind of orthopedic injury or surgery, the Euro-Loop is a great tool to use in the recovery stage. The field penetrates fur, bandages, and casts to reach all the tissue in the target area.

The ASSISI EURO-LOOPTM can markedly increase blood flow and tissue oxygenation, which improves the overall tissue health and reduces pain associated with lack of sufficient oxygen. We often hear reports from pet owners that their animal relaxes as soon as they start their treatments with the Euro-Loop. With the many healing benefits that the Euro-Loop offers, this is not surprising.

Some animals will notice the increased blood flow because with increased circulation there is often a warming or tingling sensation. This is subtle, however, and many animals won’t notice at all. There have been some reports of twitching as a physical reaction to the tPEMF™ therapy. This is very rare and is most likely to occur with animals that have had some type of long term degenerative or chronic condition. Their condition may have resulted in extreme ischemia — a decrease in the blood supply to a bodily organ, tissue, or part caused by constriction or obstruction of the blood vessels. If the area is ischemic, then the introduction of increased blood flow may cause a reaction in the body such as feeling of warmth, tingling and, in extreme cases, twitching.

As such, we generally recommend that you reduce the treatment duration to 5 minutes rather than 15. Continue at the reduced duration until the twitching is gone and the area has assimilated to the increased perfusion of blood.

One such case of twitching was the case of Lil BUB, a cat with osteopetrosis, an extremely rare inherited disorder where the bones harden. Her owner continued treatments despite the twitching, and over time, the twitching decreased and mobility increased.

Regardless of what is being treated, we recommend that you start with 3 to 4 15-minute treatments per day for acute and chronic or degenerative conditions.

For acute conditions (such as post-surgical treatment or recovery from a trauma), we recommend that you continue 3 to 4 treatments per day for the first week or so and then taper off for the next 7 to 10 days or until the condition is fully healed.

For chronic or degenerative conditions, we recommend that you continue with 3 to 4 treatments per day for 7 to 10 days and monitor the animal until you see improved mobility and less pain response. Again, you can taper down to 1 or 2 treatments per day or even 1-3 treatments per week. With some chronic and degenerative conditions, the patient may get to the point that they would only be treated as needed for pain, particularly if it is a condition that is prone to flare-ups.

Ultimately, you want to consider that the ASSISI EURO-LOOPTM is catalyzing the anti-inflammatory cascade as well as accelerating the body’s own healing properties. We rely on veterinarians to assess the animal and to work with the pet owner on the best treatment protocols for each case.

For acute inflammation, you should see noticeable relief after the first or second treatment. With chronic or degenerative issues, you may not see notable results for 1 to 2 weeks. You’ll want to continue the treatments as recommended for continued long-term healing.

There are two ways to purchase the ASSISI EURO-LOOPTM: 1) get one from your veterinarian or animal rehabilitation facility, or 2) purchase one direct from here on our website.

Assisi’s relationship with veterinary professionals is paramount to your pet’s health. Veterinarians are able to determine the severity of an issue and are generally able to pinpoint the specific area in the animal’s body that needs treatment. Veterinarians work with clients and their pets directly and advise them on the most effective treatment plans. Often the ASSISI EURO-LOOPTM is a part of an integrated multi-modal treatment plan. Pet owners benefit from visiting their vets on a regular basis, getting assessments on their pet’s progress and up-to-date advice on continued treatment with the Euro-Loop. Pet owners have the advantage of monitoring their animals at home and determining with their vet the best course for long-term treatment.

If you purchase the ASSISI EURO-LOOPTM direct from Ecuphar, the cost is 279,65 € excluding shipping.

The ASSISI EURO-LOOPTM offers a minimum of 200 15-minute treatments.

The life of the Euro-Loop depends on the battery. You’re likely to get more than the minimum number of treatments noted above if you allow the Euro-Loop to recharge for 2 hours after every 15-minute treatment. At this time, there is no way to recharge or replace the battery. One Euro-Loop can last anywhere from 3 weeks to 6 months, depending on the condition being treated and the number of treatments required per day.

Most pet owner insurance will cover prescribed treatments. We recommend that you contact your insurance company for more information.

You may learn more about tPEMF™ in three ways. First, a general overview of tPEMF and how it was developed can be found on our technology page. Second, we’ve created a document on the Euro-Loops mechanism of action, detailing the characteristics of the tPEMF signal and how it affects the body. Third, for a more in-depth, scientific perspective on cell signaling with PEMF devices, we offer this Powerpoint presentation from the inventor of the ASSISI EURO-LOOPTM, Dr. Arthur A. Pilla. Dr. Pilla is a professor at the department of Biomedical Engineering at Columbia University and the department of Orthopedics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

To understand detailed treatment recommendations, visit our Assisi Euro-Loop Clinical Use Guidedeveloped by a team of experienced veterinary clinicians, including Laurie McCauley, DVM, DACVSMR, CCRT, CVA, CVC, Deirdre Chiaramonte, DVM, ACVIM, CCRT, CVA, CERP and Judy Korman, VMD, MBA.

The Guide is designed to answer questions you may have regarding the technology, the therapeutic benefits, and the therapeutic applications of the ASSISI EURO-LOOPTM and our companion products. It offers over 40 step-by-step, illustrated protocols for applying the Euro-Loop to almost 300 inflammatory conditions affecting different parts of dogs’ and cats’ anatomy. The Guide is available exclusively to veterinary professionals on Assisi’s website or may be downloaded as an app on Apple and Android devices (search for “Assisi Loop Clinical Use Guide” in your app store). Each has a search feature to assist in selecting the protocol that applies to their patient’s condition, its severity (e.g. acute, chronic), and the part of their patient’s anatomy that needs treatment. Once found, the applicable protocol can be downloaded in PDF form as needed.

The Assisi fabulous customer service team is available to help you gain access to the guide and to answer questions you may have as you start working with it. 

Treatment depth is approximately 2/3 the diameter of the applicator extending out on either side. For the larger Euro-Loop, the treatment field extends approximately 4.5-5 inches out on either side of the 20 cm (7.5 inch) applicator; for the smaller Euro-Loop, the field extends 2.5-3 inches out on either side of the 10 cm (4 inch) applicator.

Absolutely. There are no contraindications with other modalities, and the Euro-Loop is actually a perfect take-home treatment for pet owners to continue healing between laser or acupuncture treatments. However, given that the Euro-Loop and other treatment modalities have different mechanisms of action, we recommend that you allow 2 hours between treatments to be certain that each treatment is able to operate at its fullest efficacy.

Yes. There are no magnetic induction effects from the Euro-Loop’s signal on veterinary surgical implants, which are made of non-magnetic materials, and the size of veterinary implants are not sufficient to significantly distract, weaken or otherwise adversely affect the therapeutic effect of the Euro-Loop’s signal.

The FDA recommends against using the human version of the Euro-Loop over tissue known to contain implanted electrical leads, such as pacemakers. As such, we recommend against applying the Euro-Loop to animals who have pacemakers. If you are a pet owner with a pacemaker or other implanted medical device, when holding and treating your animal with the Euro-Loop, you should position the Euro-Loop BELOW YOUR WAIST (if you have a pacemaker), or at least six inches away from the implanted device.

Unlike diathermy, targeted pulsed electromagnetic field therapy (tPEMF) has no contraindication for the treatment of patients with cancer or for post-cancer surgical healing. To the contrary, much of the human clinical trial work that has been done has been for post-mastectomy reconstruction patients. There is a misconception about angiogenesis and cancer, in part due to the development of ‘antiangiogenic’ therapies in oncology. tPEMF has a pro-angiogenic effect but this is different from the angiogenesis of tumors. The angiogenic activity is not normal in tumors as the blood vessels, called tortuous vessels, are poorly formed. tPEMF delivered via the ASSISI EURO-LOOPTM accelerates ongoing anti-inflammatory processes, one outcome of which is the healthy growth of new blood vessels and normal tissue regeneration. tPEMF has been used in peer-reviewed human clinical trials on patients undergoing reconstructive surgery post-cancer with no adverse effects of any kind (Rohde et al., Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 2012). FDA has reviewed these studies and the FDA clearance for the human product does not carry a contraindication for treating cancer sites.

Each veterinary professional will decide the best use of the Euro-Loop for their practice, but in our experience, most sell the Euro-Loop to clients. This is what sets the Euro-Loop apart from many of their other treatment options. Pet owners are able to treat their animals in the comfort of their own home between visits with their veterinary professional. Some veterinary professionals rent the Euro-Loop by the treatment or by the day. They may choose to send it home for acute conditions or to allow the pet owner time to evaluate the Euro-Loop. Many pet owners who are treating chronic conditions decide they want the Euro-Loop for long-term use. As such, we recommend that you credit any rental fees toward the purchase price of the Euro-Loop.

There is a medical and a regulatory basis for the Euro-Loop’s sealed case. As a condition for clearing the Euro-Loop as a medical device, the FDA required that it be able to deliver its patented, therapeutic waveform consistently over its entire design life of 200 treatments. Sealing all of its operating components inside the case—the applicator connections to the circuit board, signal generator, microprocessor, power supply and the battery—provided the FDA with the required assurance of signal integrity. Breaking the case seal for any reason renders the device non-compliant with the conditions of its 510(k) clearance.

You can take the Euro-Loop to any store that offers electronics recycling such as Staples or Office Max. This will allow for responsible disposal of the lithium batteries as well as the copper wire.

Assisi Animal Health guarantees the quality of its products. If you believe your Euro-Loop has a factory defect, please contact us. If the Euro-Loop is defective, we will gladly replace it at no cost.

Webinars

Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) Therapy in Small Animal Practice

This webinar discusses pulsed electromagnetic field therapy. Discussion will include the science behind the technology and the applications for this integrative therapy in small animals. Case studies demonstrating its application in managing osteoarthritis, wound care, and the wobbler patient (cervical vertebral instability) will be included.

Electromagnetic Field (PEMF) Therapy in the Equine

Learn about pulsed electromagnetic field therapy. Discussion will include the science behind the technology and the applications for this integrative therapy in the equine. Case studies demonstrating its application in wound care, managing the wobbler patient, and horses with laminitis (founder) will be discussed.

Human Health Research

Rohde, C., et al. 2015. Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields Reduce Postoperative Interleukin-1β, Pain, and Inflammation: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study in TRAM Flap Breast Reconstruction Patients. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, May, New York, NY.

Pulsed electromagnetic fields have been shown to reduce postoperative pain, inflammation, and narcotic requirements after breast reduction and augmentation surgical procedures. This study examined whether pulsed electromagnetic field therapy could produce…Read Abstract

Rohde, C., et al. 2009. Effect of Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields on Post Operative Pain: A Double-Blind Randomized Pilot Study in Breast Reduction Patients.Bioelectomagnetic Society Meetings June, Davos, Switzerland.

Post-surgical pain increases patient morbidity and slows healing, particularly if narcotics are employed for pain management. Therefore the surgeon is continually looking for other means to control post-operative pain. There is a growing body of clinical…Read Abstract

Strauch, et al. 2009. Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields Increase Angiogenesis in a Rat Myocardial Ischemia Model. Bioelectomagnetic Society Meetings June, Davos, Switzerland.

Myocardial ischemia with consequent loss of functioning cardiac muscle, continues to be one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in our society. In response to ischemic injury the myocardium attempts to retain or increase its blood supply.…Read Abstract

Pilla, A. 2009. Unified Mechanism for Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Bioeffects: Cellular, Animal and Clinical Evidence. Bioelectomagnetic Society Meetings June, Davos, Switzerland.

The author proposed starting in 1972 that weak EMF signals could be configured to modulate ion binding at electrified cell membrane/aqueous interfaces using the electrochemical information transfer model. That model described all voltage dependent…Read Abstract

Johnson, et al. Modulation of carrageenan-induced paw edema and hyperalgesiain the rat with pulsed magnetic field therapy. Bioelectromagnetic Society Meeting, June 2008. San Diego, CA.

Post-operative acute inflammation continues to affect a significant percentage of surgical patients. Current anti-inflammatory agents rarely cause a decrease in recovery time, and harbor several potential side effects and adverse drug interactions.…Read Abstract

Pilla, A. 2008. A proposed electrochemical mechanism for EMF Bioeffects.Bioelectromagnetics Society, June, 2008. San Diego, CA.

This study proposes PEMF accelerates tissue repair by directly affecting the kinetics of Ca2+ binding to calmodulin (CaM). This allows a priori configuration of EMF signals to optimally couple to the Ca2+/CaM transduction pathway, from which further…Read Abstract

Heden, P and Pilla, A. 2008. Effects of Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields on Postoperative Pain: A Double-Blind Randomized Pilot Study in Breast Augmentation Patients. Aesth Plast Surg 32: 660.

Postoperative pain may be experienced after breast augmentation surgery despite advances in surgical techniques which minimize trauma. The use of pharmacologic analgesics and narcotics may have undesirable side effects that can add to patient morbidity.…Read Abstract

Casper, D. 2008. PEMF potentiates the Induction of Nitric Oxide by Glutamate and 6-Hydroxydopamine in a Neuronal Cell Line. Bioelectomagnetic Society Meetings June, Davos, Switzerland.

Nitric oxide (NO) is essential for neuronal viability, but it can also be toxic in high concentrations. Generally, neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) produces NO that participates in survival signaling pathways. During inflammation, inducible NOS (iNOS)…Read Abstract

Casper, D, et al. 2008. Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields Modulate cyclic GMP via a Nitric Oxide-Dependent manner in a Dopaminergic Neuronal Cell Line. Society for Neuroscience.

There is currently no neuroprotective treatment for Parkinson’s disease, where dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra degenerate. Experimental evidence provides several mechanisms by which neuronal survival might be increased that include;…Read Abstract

Strauch, et al. 2007. Pulsed Magnetic Fields Accelerate Cutaneous Wound Healing in Rats. Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 120: 425.

Previous studies of pulsed magnetic fields have reported enhanced fracture and chronic wound healing, endothelial cell growth, and angiogenesis. This study characterizes the biomechanical changes that occur when standard cutaneous wounds are exposed to…Read Abstract

Patel, M. el al. 2006. Limited Myocardial Muscle Necrosis Model Allowing for Evaluation of Angiogenic Treatment Modalities. Journal of Reconstructive Microsurgery, 22, 611.

The currently accepted model for creating infarcted cardiac tissue in a rat model involves ligation of the left anterior descending artery (LAD), either proximally or at the bifurcation level. This procedure requires significant technical expertise and,…Read Abstract

Strauch, et al. Pulsed Magnetic Field Therapy Increases Tensile Strength in a Rat Achilles’ Tendon Repair Model. J Hand Surg 2006;31:1131–1135.

To examine the effect of pulsing electromagnetic fields on the biomechanic strength of rat Achilles’ tendons at 3 weeks after transection and repair.Read Abstract

Weber, et al. 2004. Experimental Pulsed Magnetic Fields Applied to a Transferred Arterial Loop Support the Rat Groin Composite Flap. Plast. Reconstr.Surg. 114: 1185.

Pulsed magnetic fields have been shown to stimulate neovascularization in the authors’ laboratory. The rat groin composite flap was used to create a prospective randomized trial to test the effectiveness of these pulsed magnetic fields. The skin paddle to…Read Abstract

Roland, et al. 2000. Pulsed Magnetic Energy on a Microsurgically Transferred Vessel. Plast. Reconstr. Surg 105:1371.

This article reports the findings of a study that attempted to elucidate whether pulsed magnetic energy stimulates neovascularization in vivo, using a microsurgically created arterial loop model in a prospective randomized trial of 108 rats (n = 12/group).…Read Abstract

Kloth, et al. 1999. Effect of pulsed radio frequency stimulation on wound healing: A double-blind pilot clinical study. Electricity and Magnetism in Biology and Medicine, F Bersani, ed. Plenum, NY, 1999, pp. 875-878.

This double-blind, placebo-controlled, prospective clinical pilot study was aimed at determining the effect of pulsed radio frequency (PEMF) stimulation on the healing of chronic wounds in spinal cord injured patients. Based on other reports that…Read Abstract

Pilla, A., et al. 1996. Effect of pulsed radiofrequency therapy on edema from grades I and II ankle sprains: a placebo controlled, randomized, multi-site, double-blind clinical study. J Athl Train S31:53.

To determine the effect of PEMF therapy on edema volume in a ankle sprain injury. PEMF therapy was provided in a double-blind, placebo-controlled fashion, in addition to standard treatment (rest, elevation, compression, cryotherapy), for Grades I and II…Read Abstract

Veterinary Research

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

Alvarez LX, McCue J, Lam NK, Fox P, Gulce A.

J Am Anim Hosp Assoc. 2019 Mar/Apr;55(2):83-91.

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…Read Abstract



The effect of electromagnetic fields on postoperative pain and locomotor recovery in dogs with acute, severe thoracolumbar intervertebral disc extrusion: a randomized placebo-controlled, prospective clinical trial.

Zidan N, Fenn J, Griffith E, Early PJ, Mariani CL, Munana KR, Guevar J, Olby N.

J Neurotrauma. 2018 Aug 1;35(15):1726-1736.

Spinal cord injury (SCI) due to acute intervertebral disc extrusions (IVDE) is common in dogs and is treated by surgical decompression. Dogs with sensorimotor complete injuries have an incomplete recovery. Pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF) reduce…Read Abstract

Clinical Overview

Peer Reviewed Clinical Evidence

Animal Studies

  • Significant difference in incisional pain between Loop treated and placebo group (N. Olby, 2017).
  • Lower levels of GFAP when compared to placebo group (N. Olby, 2017).
  • Statistically greater degree of recovery of proprioception in Loop treated group (N. Olby, 2017).
  • Nearly 50% reduction in pet owner administered opioids (Alvarez, 2019).
  • Statistically significant improvement in wound healing scores 6 weeks post-operatively for Loop treated group compared with placebo (Alvarez, 2019).
  • No side effects were seen with Loop treatment (Alvarez, 2019).

Human Studies

  • 65% less pain at 5 hours, 52% less pain medication (Rohde, 2012).
  • 57% less pain at 5 hours, 55% less pain medication, 50% less IL-1b (Rohde, 2015).
  • 50% reduction post-surgical pain, 50% less pain medication (Heden, 2008).
  • 44% reduction in pain end of day 1, 60% at 6 weeks in osteoarthritis (Nelson, 2010).
  • 7-fold improvement in swelling following acute ankle sprain (Pilla, 1996).

Review Articles

Inflammation

tPEMF® has been shown to have positive effects on both acute and chronic inflammation. Assisi signals virtually eliminate pain and significantly reduce swelling in rigorous laboratory and clinical studies.1 These results are comparable or superior to NSAIDs, without the potential for side effects.2

Assisi helps your patient heal faster by accelerating the natural anti-inflammatory cascade – non-invasively and without drugs. Assisi’s technology is proven in laboratory experiments with results published in peer-reviewed journals with demonstrated effect on the known biochemical and cellular mechanisms of action related to inflammation.

In veterinary medicine, Assisi devices have been used to treat arthritis, tendinitis, laminitis and other known inflammatory conditions.

1Johnson MT, Ramanathan M, Owegi R, Pilla AA. 2008. Modulation of carrageenan-induced paw edema and hyperalgesia in the rat with pulsed magnetic field therapy. Proceedings, 30th Annual Meeting, Bioelectromagnetics Society, Frederick, MD, June 2008, p. 156.
2al-Swayeh OA, Clifford RH, del Soldato P, Moore PK. 2000. A comparison of the anti-inflammatory and anti-nociceptive activity of nitroaspirin and aspirin. Br J Pharmacol. 129:343-50.