ABSTRACT

Intervertebral disc disease is one of the leading causes of paralysis in dogs. Pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy 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 who underwent hemilaminectomy for naturally occurring disk extrusion intervertebral disc disease. The dogs were randomized to receive either targeted PEMF (n = 27) or placebo treatment (n = 28). Wound healing, evaluated by visual analog score and wound evaluation scale, was significantly improved at 6 wk postoperatively in the treatment compared with the control group (P = .010 and .023, respectively). Pain medications were administered less frequently in dogs receiving PEMF treatment during the 7 day postoperative period compared with the control treatment group (P = .010) with codeine administered 1.8 times more frequently in the control 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 postoperative hemilaminectomy demonstrated improved wound scores at 6 wk and reduced mean number of owner-administered pain medications compared with the control group therapy.

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