In addition to our complete offering of basic and special veterinary services – the ones you would find at most practices – Dr. Bradley Bays and her team are also proud to offer a variety of unique treatment options that have produced excellent results with respect to pain management and rehabilitation in animals who haven’t responded in the traditional manner to regular treatment.
Holistic and alternative therapies can be very useful in treating pets for many acute and chronic conditions. They work best when utilized in combination with traditional veterinary therapies. Although amazing results can be achieved, it is important that both the veterinarian and the owner discuss expectations for the therapies used. The most important goals would be to make the patient more comfortable as well as less anxious, and to have an improved quality of life.
At Belton Animal Clinic and Exotic Care Center we have training in traditional chinese herbal therapies that help not only to alleviate and manage both acute and chronic conditions, but also to balance the whole body so the body has the best chance to respond to the issue and so the immune system is supported during the process. These herbal formulas are combinations of 6-12 herbs and can be used to help with pain, arthritis, cancer, bladder stones, cystitis, skin conditions, ear infections as well as chronic issues such as kidney disease, Cushing’s disease and support for diabetes.
Cold laser therapy is utilized in human physical therapy and rehabilitation and is also a useful tool for treating our veterinary patients. The word “laser” is an acronym for “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation.” Thus, the definition of laser includes mention of a device with an output that is in the invisible region of the electromagnetic spectrum, which includes the entire range of radiation. Cold laser therapy incorporates a low-level radiation output, produced as a concise, targeted transmission that allows for minimal reflection and scattering while maximizing energy absorption at a specific depth. The energy is not the same as from the surgery laser which cuts and burns; thus the name “cold” laser.
By using what is known as photobiostimulation, the energy (in the form of photons) from the laser is transmitted to the cells of injured tissue. By increasing cellular activity (photons stimulate mitochondria to accelerate the production of ATP), the energy promotes healing. Local blood circulation is also stimulated, providing necessary nutrients to and bolstering the immune system in the affected area. Other physiological effects of laser therapy include the stimulation of fibroblast and collagen production (necessary for generating new connective tissue for wound healing), production of endorphins (natural pain killers), acceleration of the inflammatory process, and increased angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels) and lymphatic drainage. All of these things help to decrease pain and inflammation and to speed healing of injured and inflamed tissues.
This therapy can be used for anything that is any “itis” condition such as otitis (ear infection), pancreatitis, arthritis, and cystitis (bladder infection) as well as to help to heal fractures and to stimulate wound healing. Frequency of treatment depends upon the condition being treated, as well as whether the issue is acute or chronic in nature. The effect of cold laser therapy is cumulative, with each treatment building upon the last. A patient with lumbosacral degenerative joint disease (discopondylosis), for example, might receive treatments as follows: two per week for one to two weeks, then one per week for several weeks, followed by several monthly treatments, and then only once every three to four months or as needed to keep the patient comfortable. Every patient and every case is different, and just like with people, overuse of muscles and joints or newer acute injury might require a temporary increase in frequency. For wound healing, however, the frequency would be determined by healing response because each wound is different; generally, wounds require two to three cold laser treatments per week for several weeks.
Our clinic has training in and uses both microcurrent electrical therapy (MET) and cranial electrotherapy stimulation (CES), both generally known as Alpha-Stim®, are FDA-authorized prescription medical devices for treatment of anxiety, pain, depression, and insomnia in humans. Both METand CES have also proven to be useful in treating animals for pain and anxiety as well as for stimulating wound healing.
MET promotes healing, sterilizes wounds, and modulates pain by initiating and sustaining biochemical and electrical reactions that work with the body’s electromagnetic fields. CES works to normalize the overall electrical firing of the brain’s hypothalamus to bring it back into homeostasis. This is referred to as the alpha state, which is similar to that produced by meditation in people.
At Belton Animal Clinic and Exotic Care Center we use MET and CES, alone and in combination, on a regular basis for all species: as an adjunct therapy for surgical pain, to help large wounds heal faster, for stress and anxiety-related disorders (i.e. over-grooming, separation anxiety, etc.), as well as for lameness, arthritis, and other pain-associated problems. The electrical current stimulates healing, helps eliminate infection, decreases the amount of anesthetic needed for surgical procedures, and helps to eliminate or diminish anxiety and pain. The frequency of treatments is determined by the condition and individualized for the patient.
Alpha-Stim® is a non-invasive and drug-free therapy and since the electrical stimulus is in the low microamperes, even sensitive animals do not feel pain or discomfort from the therapy. Within five minutes they adjust to the application and within ten minutes they become more relaxed. When used in conjunction with other medical therapies, the two modalities have certainly helped our patients become more comfortable and heal faster. We have used MET and CES on dogs, cats, small mammals, birds and reptiles with great success, for arthritis, large traumatic wounds,, chronic gastrointestinal stasis, and head tilt as well as with anxiety and stress-related issues. Even in cases where the primary problem may not be correctable the therapy helps to restore musculoskeletal function that has been affected and eases the stress associated with the medical issues.
Dr. Bradley Bays has completed training and certification for Veterinary Medical Manipulation (animal chiropractic) which is a well tolerated and non-invasive way to help animals that are in pain and discomfort. Gentle traction and range of motion as well as joint mobilization techniques and specific adjustments in areas of restriction (lack of mobility) are performed that helps patients in restoring increased joint motion and musculoskeletal movement as well as provide neurological stimulation that is needed. Like in people, this therapy not only helps older patients with arthritis and mobility issues but also helps to maintain good health and immune function in younger animals and those used for agility, performance and sporting.
At Belton Animal Clinic and Exotic Care Center we have realized that many pets showing signs of aggression or that no longer want to be handled do so because of undiagnosed pain and restriction. Since we started to incorporate this modality for our patients along with other alternative therapies and traditional western medicine we have given second chances to many pets that were suffering from mobility and pain issues. Some of those pets even came in for euthanasia but instead have returned home with renewed health and quality of life that their pet parents never dreamed was possible.
All of the above alternative therapies have been also used in our exotic animal patients including birds, reptiles, and small mammal including rabbits, guinea pigs, rats and ferrets. Belton Animal Clinic and Exotic Care Center is one of only a few clinics in the United States that uses these modalities to help our exotic animal patients. We have treated rats for respiratory issues, mobility and arthritis issues, feather picking in birds, managed patients with cancer, and supported those with chronic medical conditions.
We are always looking for modalities and therapies that help all of our patients with pain, anxiety and chronic medical issues and to help to maintain quality of life and well being for longer.
“Bo, my granddog was diagnosed with lymphoma on 12/27. I was told he had maybe 30 days, I could not accept that. I called Belton Animal Clinic on Sat. 12/29 and talked to them about an appt. for that day, they were booked. Dr. Bradley-Bays took the time to talk to me right then and work me in that day. She could tell how upset and confused I was by the diagnosis I was given. Her compassion and understanding helped me so much that day. Since then we have been going in for aqua acupuncture and canine manipulation. Bo is doing much better and we are hopeful that we are giving him more time, as the lymph nodes have shrunk. The staff always goes above and beyond for us every week. They show compassion and patience with me, as I have never dealt with this type of situation before. You can tell it is not just a job for them.”
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1308 N Scott Ave,
Belton, MO 64012