Introduction by Pogo's veterinarian, Dr. Jaime Gonzalez, of Bear Creek Veterinary Alternatives
I'm happily surprised with Pogo's results. I really think the Assisi Loop made a great difference in reducing all the inflammation Pogo had in his pancreas and intestines.
We do have a cold laser here too - but it's not mobile, so people can't take it home. I like the versatility and convenience of the Loop - being able to use it anytime at home. It's great that it's portable.
The Loop has been helpful for osteoarthritis, ligaments and cruciates. We've had good results with our arthritis patients. Some of our clients are snowbirds or don't live nearby, so it's very convenient that it's delivered right to their home. A lot of our clients seek us out because they don't want their animals to be on any non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory medications like Rimadyl or steroids.
In January of 2012, a small dog was surrendered to the Humane Society of Broward County with both of his front legs broken. As he healed, the pitiful sight was featured as a "Pet of the Day" on the local news. When Chris Wheeler saw his face, she knew she had to help him. The very next day she adopted the little dog, named Pogo.
"I made several trips back and forth for bandage changes and rechecks," Chris says, "and finally, about a month after we adopted him, they removed the bandages - mainly because his legs were full of sores from having the casts on. He healed well from that. Occasionally he'd limp, or he'd jump down off from the couch and pick up a foot here or there, but he was pretty active for having been through that. Everything was fairly normal."
The following November, however, Chris had Pogo on a holiday vacation when he got very sick. "He refused to eat, he had to be hospitalized with IV fluids," she says. "They never really got to the bottom of the problem. Finally, with lots of TLC, he recovered, but he recovered only to the point that he would drink water on his own. He would sometimes go two to three meals without eating and he would never eat the same thing two times in a row. His stools went back and forth from normal to very runny diarrhea."
On and off for the next few months, Pogo would sometimes refuse to eat. His stools never normalized. In the meantime, Chris began work as the practice manager at Bear Creek Veterinary Alternatives. She discussed Pogo's condition with Dr. Gonzalez.
"We talked about the potential for IBD or nerves," Chris describes. "We went back and forth, we tried some Chinese herbs, homeopathy and tinctures. Initially we would saw improvement and thought we were on the right track." However, a few months later, Pogo took a turn for the worse. "This past May, he didn't eat dinner one night, vomited during the night, and the next morning he wouldn't move. He was again hospitalized. His ultrasound showed that his pancreas was very inflamed, and there was a lot of fluid around his pancreas, and he was extremely painful. He tested positive for pancreatitis."
With help from twice-a-day laser therapy, lots of TLC, and plenty of IV fluids, Pogo eventually started to eat again, but he wasn't completely recovered. "Again, we're back to where he would skip a meal, eat a couple meals, and at that point his stool was going from constipated to normal to liquid diarrhea across the board."
Then, a client came in to Bear Creek with an Assisi Loop, and asked if Dr. Gonzalez would prescribe one for her dog. Chris found the technology intriguing, and did further research. Upon seeing it could reduce inflammation, she asked Dr. Gonzalez if he'd prescribe one for Pogo.
After starting treatments with the Loop - initially twice a day - Chris says, "within literally three days, his appetite returned to normal. He gets up in the morning when I get up, he follows me to the kitchen and asks for breakfast. He'd not done that in months. And then I started noticing other things - like, he was playing again. When he was so sick, I thought, 'Okay, maybe he's older than I think. He's five, but he's acting like a fifteen-year-old dog. All he wants to do is sleep, go potty and come right back in.' But after ten days of Loop treatments, he started playing with his toys again. He would get toys out of the toy box. He would play with a ball. I don't think he'd done that in a year and a half."
Whereas before all Pogo wanted to do was sleep, now he's "interacting with his neighborhood dog friends, and taking a stuffed animal and grabbing onto it and shaking it, bugging the cats again. He acts like a five-year-old little dog now. He loves to go on his walks. I saw some of that after we originally rescued him, after the casts came off and he healed - he did behave this way. He declined gradually, and I hadn't noticed just how many fun things he'd stopped doing, that he is now doing again."
One of the biggest conveniences of the Loop, says Chris, is that she can do it at home. When Pogo was very sick, she'd bring him to work with her at Bear Creek for twice-a-day laser treatments. But once Pogo started feeling a little better his presence became a distraction because he would bark at patients and cause a ruckus. Since the Loop can be brought home, it is perfect for Pogo and Chris. "It's so convenient that I can just sit here while I'm relaxing at night or waking up in the morning and use the Loop on him. He really seems to love it, because he lays in my arms like a baby on his back. It's really wonderful."
Furthermore, Pogo is not an acupuncture candidate - Chris says, even with the tiniest needles, he shrieks. He is also very stressed out by routine tests like blood draws, so to be able to know he's feeling great without medications that require blood tests, it makes everyone's life easier.
Pogo continues to do well, has a healthy and steady appetite, and has had normal stools since starting with the Loop. "He's so happy, and it's changed his life...and mine."
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