Gold Bead Implants for Wobblers, Arthritis, Dysplasia
I get many emails asking my opinion of Gold Bead Implants done for neurological reasons such as wobblers syndrome. I have found many dogs have great success with this procedure especially coupled with a sound feeding program to help with inflammation.
Dr. Terry Durkus of Marion, Indiana is the only vet I know that does this, but I am sure there are others and his office can assist in locating someone closer to your area. I do know people travel for miles for Dr. Durkus, he is a kind and gentle soul and well worth visiting.
Here is a story about a trip to see Dr. Durkus.
Here is a feed program that is helpful:
September 2009 - Here is a letter from Dr. Sagiv Ben-Yakir
Hi Great Dane Lady,
Dr. Sagiv Ben-Yakir
Gold Beads Implantation (GBI) The Scientific Basis
Dr. Sagiv Ben-Yakir BSc(Biology), DVM(in honor), MRCVS, CVA(IVAS), CVHomotox(Baden-Baden, Germany) -Received: January 2009
Noble metals, like gold, have been used since ancient times as cures for a wide range of diseases (1). The use of gold implants was originated from acupuncture where gold needles had been used in the Far East (1).
In the early 1970s some American veterinarians (Dr. Grady Young, followed by Dr. Terry Durkes) started to treat dogs suffering from hip dysplasia with gold implants (2). The implantation was usually done at acupoints GB-29, GB-30, and BL-54, which lie close to the affected hip joint. Other arthritic conditions (e.g. elbow arthrosis, spinal spondylosis etc) had been treated similarly by implanting gold beads in other local acupuncture points chosen accordingly (3). Today, many veterinary acupuncturists around the world implant gold beads, or short lengths of 24-carat gold wire, routinely to treat chronic diseases in animals.
The mechanism of action proposed by proponents of gold beads implantation (GBI) is that the gold implants emit a minute positive electrical charge that neutralizes a negative electrical charge of the point, producing analgesia and preventing further arthritic changes at the joint (2,4).
However, there is another possible explanation for the basic scientific mechanism behind GBI. On insertion of metallic gold beads, in vivo and in situ, it was found that gold ions are released from the implanted gold and diffuse out into the surrounding tissue. This phenomenon mimics on a local scale the treatment with gold-containing drugs used for arthritic conditions (5).
Almost immediately after implantation, local macrophages and other
inflammatory cells attach themselves to the metallic gold surfaces
(6). This attachment is mediated by activation of the complement system
as C3 adsorbs to the implant surface. The C3 forms complexes with
complement factor B or factor H resulting in the formation of C3b
or iC3B respectively. C3b or iC3B are both ligands for macrophages
The inflammatory cells (e.g. macrophages, other neutrophils) release cyanide into the dissolution membrane and into their immediate surroundings (7,8,9). The following chemical process occurs:
4Au + 8CN- + 2H20 + O2 = 4[Au(CN)2]- + 4OH-
The complex ion aurocynide Au(CN)2- , a relatively stable ion, inhibits the lysosomal enzymes of inflammatory cells in the synovial tissue and decreases the number of inflammatory cells in situ. Also, the aurocynide ions inhibit antigen processing and suppress NF-kappa B-binding activity and I-kappa B-kinase activation, and in turn reduce the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Aurocynide is the active substance that inhibits the cellular functions of inflammatory cells (10,11,12).
Also, these ions move from their dissolution membrane location into intercellular space, where they are taken up both by the macrophages and by other inflammatory cells further away.
It was found also that the longer the gold implant stays in the inflamed tissue, the further away gold ions are carried by inflammatory cells. It was also found that when the cells surrounding the gold implant become heavily loaded they leave their position on the dissolution membrane and are replaced by new inflammatory cells (5,6).