Learn How Animal Chiropractic Can Add Life to Your Dog’s Years
Published by Triplehchiropractic on December 16, 2015
One of the hardest aspects of the loving relationships between people and their dogs is the great disparity in their lifespans. Perhaps even sadder is watching beloved pets suffer in their advanced years due to aches, pains and decreased mobility that rob them of the enjoyment of a good romp or ball-chasing adventure.
Surely, devoted dog owners would do everything possible to make their furry babies’ last years as pain-free and pleasant as possible. While maintaining their general health through regular veterinary check-ups should definitely be on top of the priority list, there are other therapeutic efforts that can be employed to enhance the quality of their lives.
One holistic option to consider is veterinary chiropractic, where practitioners identify areas of restricted and abnormal movement in the animal’s spine, extremities and joints. Through gentle manipulation of the affected areas, the function can be restored to the misaligned spinal or joint segments.Animal chiropractic care has many benefits
While many pet owners have never heard of this option, veterinary chiropractic first began around the turn of the 20th century, at approximately the same time that the practice began for human patients.While it began predominately for horses, over time, the practice spread to treat canine and feline companion animals.
After first establishing preliminary diagnoses, veterinary chiropractors gently manipulate and adjust the animals’ vertebrae, cranial area and the joints of the extremities. Treatments have been found effective in relieving pain caused by arthritic conditions, sprains, strains and injuries that don’t respond well to traditional veterinary medicine.
In one study published in 2009, a Pomeranian with a history of recurring dislocated patellae, with accompanying restriction of the sacro-iliac joint, was treated with manipulations and myofascial massage. Results were favorable, eventually reducing the disability in a noninvasive manner.Cats get in on the act
As reported by the New York Times, an Ohio woman was distressed because her 9-year-old cat returned from a night’s prowl visibly injured. He was limping, and the elbow area of one paw was grossly distended and causing him obvious pain. His owner surprised that her cat may have injured himself in a fall.
A vet visit revealed that there were no broken bones, but no other treatment was given. The cat remained in agonizing pain, and his owner despaired, believing the only humane option remaining was to euthanize her pet.
Then she remembered that a Pennsylvania chiropractor had once given an adjustment to a puggle she owned that was suffering from injuries to his neck and head. She brought her injured cat to him for a consultation.
The accumulated fluid and accompanying swelling in the area was daunting, but the veterinary chiropractor performed some manipulations of the feline’s hips, neck and spine, “popping” the joints. To the woman’s delight and astonishment, the next morning her cat strolled by, walking with a normal gait with hardly any swelling. Like many other pet owners who have observed first-hand the benefits their animals derive from therapeutic adjustments, she became convinced of the healing properties of animal chiropractic care.How to decide whether veterinary chiropractic is an option
Not all pets’ conditions will be suitable for chiropractic intervention, just as some disorders in the human population aren’t. As such, it is vital to first have a licensed veterinarian examine and diagnose your pet’s condition before turning to an alternative holistic approach. Once that has been done, you may decide to proceed with a session of chiropractic manipulation.
Dog owners who observe the following symptoms in their pets may want to seek a veterinary chiropractor’s services:
- Obvious pain when petted or lifted
- Difficulty or reluctance to jump up or down or navigate stairs
- Adverse behavioral and attitude changes
- Problems arising from a prone position
- Sitting in an awkward position that they never used to use (some dogs sit and lie in strange positions all their lives, so watch for new developments)
- Inability to control bowels or bladder
- Gait changes; lameness
- Only lying on one side, or favoring a certain paw over the other
Cat owners should be on the lookout for the following indications that there may be difficulties which may be remedied through chiropractic care:
- Crying in pain when their bodies are stroked or they are picked up
- Changes in elimination habits, such as urinating or defecating outside of the litter box
- Obvious limping, or favoring one paw over the other
- Swelling, distention or lesions
- Hiding under beds, porches or in other secluded areas for extended periods
The adjustments and manipulations given to pets typically involve thrusts to a targeted area of the anatomy. While there may be momentary flashes of pain in an especially tender site, the pain should be minimal and fleeting.
Results from the manipulations usually manifest within one to three days. Below are some factors which may affect the length of time and/or efficacy of the treatment:
- Age of the animal
- Duration of time from the initial trauma to the chiropractic care
- Severity of the diminished range of motion or condition being treated
It is perfectly normal to see an initial improvement in the animal’s condition, followed by a relapse. Just as in chiropractic care for humans, it may be necessary to schedule some additional sessions in order for your dog or cat to reap the maximum benefits from the adjustments. Visits may be as frequent as monthly or as infrequent as a couple of times a year. For best results, discuss with your veterinary chiropractor the effects of the treatments, the duration of the relief and the pet’s recurring and new symptoms.
If you live in the Greater Houston area and believe that your pet could benefit from an adjustment, Triple H Chiropractic offers services to both pets and people alike. Dr. Heller will travel to the homes of her animal patients’ for treatment so they feel secure at all times. A 10 percent discount is offered for the first session, so call today at 832.658.9637.