Gold Bead Implantation

Many conditions that are painful or degenerative benefit from regular acupuncture therapy.  Dr. Sherebrin offers permanent gold bead implants at specific acupuncture points as a form of long term therapy suitable for those pets that are not able to get acupuncture treatments often enough to keep them comfortable. These implants are only considered after acupuncture treatments have proven helpful in that pet.

Gold bead implantation for hip dysplasia can involve the placement of 2 gold beads in 3 acupuncture sites around the hip joint or other area of sensitivity or pain. If used for spinal arthritis, spondylosis, or Wobbler’s Syndrome the beads are placed around the vertebrae of the back or neck. Like acupuncture, the exact mechanism of action of gold bead implants is not fully understood, but researchers believe that the beads produce a negative charge in the joint membrane, which helps to control pain and prevent further arthritic changes in the joint. The gold beads stay in the site because they are embedded in the muscle and/or connective tissue (fascia). Most animals with gold bead implants do not require regular (weekly to monthly) acupuncture treatments, but they may require an occasional treatment during times of stress or for other issues.

Dr. Sherebrin performs gold bead implant surgery under general anesthetic. Pre-anesthetic blood work is required to determine if there are any organ issues that may affect anesthesia. Recent x-rays are also recommended to identify other potential issues that may affect mobility such as spinal arthritis or intervertebral disc disease.The area to be treated is shaved and surgically (aseptically) prepared for the procedure. A needle is then passed through the skin at the acupuncture point(s) close to the level of the joint, carefully avoiding any anatomical structures that could be damaged such as nerves and blood vessels. The gold beads are inserted into the hollow bore of the needle and embedded in the desired location. Gold beads for hip dysplasia are usually implanted on both hips even though only one hip may be currently painful, due to the structural abnormalities of the hip joints. X-rays are done after the surgery to assess placement of the beads, and to evaluate the condition of the hips if not already known. Recovery from the anesthetic is usually quick and your pet can go home the same day.

For the first 24 to 48 hours we ask that you keep your dog quiet, going out to toilet only, no walks, play or jumping. When you get home from the you should only give small amounts of water and a very light meal as sometimes there is a bit of nausea from the anesthetic. Watch for any redness or swelling of the implant sites (a small red spot is expected) and prevent your dog licking in the surgery area. Please call the clinic if you have any concerns.

After 24 to 48 hours you can give your pet their normal amount of exercise. Sometimes there is a transient period of discomfort 4 to 6 weeks after the gold bead implant procedure due to maturation of scar tissue at the implant site. It usually lasts only 5 or 6 days. You can use homeopathic Arnica in 30C or 200C potency every 12 hours or Traumeel if needed.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.