Many vets new to the Assisi Portable™ wonder when and how to use PEMF therapy. While most vets have seen our research, and know that the Assisi Portable™ has been clinically proven to reduce inflammation, and speed the healing of surgical wounds, it's not always obvious what else the “Loop” can be used for.
Today we talk to Dr. Stephanie Medcroft who has been innovative in using the Assisi Portable™ for conditions beyond what have been proven in clinical trials. Dr. Medcroft has successfully used the Assisi Portable ™ in challenging and unusual cases, ranging from acute to chronic conditions. We asked her to share with us how she thinks about using the Loop, and what conditions she has seen resolve with PEMF therapy.
Dr. Medcroft is a small animal integrative practitioner in Maryland. She received her degree from Virginia Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in 1997, and has practiced surgery and critical care as well as primary care veterinary medicine. Her primary areas of interest are internal medicine, wound management, emergency medicine and critical care.
How did you start using the Assisi Portable™?
I first learned about the Assisi Portable ™ through one of the teaching assistants during my IVAS acupuncture course. At that time she was finishing up her residency in anesthesiology. We had a discussion about pain management for cats because there isn't a lot that is safe and efficacious for cats.
When I first purchased the Assisi Portable™ I used it tentatively because I really wasn't sure how it worked or what all the possible benefits of it could be. It took me a while to understand the mechanism of action and start thinking outside of the box to apply it to more and more cases.
I started using it primarily on back pain patients. I would have a little dog come in, usually a dachshund or similar classic IVDD breed and while they were in the exam room I would put the Loop on them and secure it with vetwrap for 15 to 20 minutes while I wrote the record and instructions and sometimes even went into the next exam room. Often, at the end of that initial treatment, the patient felt and walked visibly better than they did when they first presented. If the owner is willing, I usually send the Assisi Portable home for several days for them to use at home every 6 to 8 hours in addition to an NSAID with or without muscle relaxant and narcotic.
How do you help skeptical clients accept that the Assisi Portable™ could be valuable?
Many of my regular clients have either sought me out because of my integrative practice philosophy or I have introduced it to them in some fashion just by the way I practice. Often, when I first introduce a client to the Assisi Portable ™, we are discussing a number of therapeutic options. I am not a "pushy" veterinarian but I am very passionate about practicing medicine and I have been excited about the possibilities and outcomes I have seen with the Assisi Loop.
I also tell them it is the same technology that is successfully used in humans.
When else do you use the Loop?
There are a lot of ways you can use it in your practice. You can purchase just one of two of them and use them in the hospital for all post-operative cases during recovery or for anything that ends in "itis". I have found the Loop to be very useful for inflammatory conditions--internal as well as external and for wound healing-either surgically induced or traumatic. It is also a common tool in many of my chronic osteoarthritis treatment plans--especially cats when we have so little else that can be used safely and in dogs with lumbosacral disease and pain.
For acute conditions such as an anal gland abscess, bite wound, cystitis, etc. I may send the Assisi Portable ™ home for 4 days and have the owner use it every 4 to 6 to 8 hours around the area to be treated. We have created a rental system that allows clients to rent or borrow a “Loop” for 3 to 4 days. This system works well for acute conditions that I expect will only need it for a short time and for skeptical clients who don't want to commit to purchasing one at full price (these clients often return the rented Loop and end up purchasing one because their pet feels better than it has in a while).
You’ve shared some wonderful cases with me- Pixie, for example, an older cat who had an anal gland abscess. After treating it with the Assisi Portable ™ she resumed behaviors of a younger cat- jumping on windowsills and being more affectionate with her owner. Those are signs the pain of osteoarthritis was improving, and now her owner uses the Assisi Portable regularly to improve her quality of life. What other kinds of conditions have you seen improve?
Knowing the Assisi Portable™ helps with post-operative healing and cellulitis, I thought of using it on skin, soft-tissue and inflammatory problems. I’ve used it for healing a severe skin wound on the entire ventral skin surface of a small dog, probably from a spider bite. The Assisi Portable ™ didn’t regrow skin, but it made a healthy bed of granulation tissue for the new skin to grow over. I would use it for bite wounds, ones that have severe cellulitis and severe inflammation along the leg causing compartment syndrome. I would also try it on de-gloving wounds but I haven’t had any in a long time.
You’ve also seen cystitis and pancreatitis resolve in a day or two, even after it had dragged on for a week or more. How did you think to try the Loop for that?
Again, because it reduces inflammation. I had started using it with cats who had pancreatitis and saw they were improving, and then started using it on the early stages of cystitis. My own cat has had two episodes of cystitis and was blocked twice as an older cat. This year I think I warded off an impending blockage with the Assisi Portable™.
The Assisi Portable™ is part of a very integrative approach for me. I am not an experimental doctor. I don't want to just try one thing so when I have a patient that I feel is going to benefit from something, I use it. I have had such great feedback from clients that will do anything to increase the comfort and quality of life of their pets. I have many clients that started using the Loop as part of an integrative, multi-modal approach to pain management and have returned time and time again for additional Loops because it makes such a difference to their pets quality of life.
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