Natural Treatments for Dogs with Arthritis

natural treatments for dogs with arthritis

As animal chiropractors, we see a lot of different conditions walk into our practice.  However, one of the biggest issues we see is arthritis.  Arthritis is particularly tough on a dog’s rear end, but can have whole body effects.  In this article, we want to describe some natural treatments for dogs with arthritis that we use in our practice.

How do we know if our dog has arthritis?  Some of the symptoms associated with the condition are:

  • Slipping and falling on floors
  • Inability to do stairs or to get in and out of a vehicle
  • Difficulty getting up from laying down
  • Difficulty getting comfortable and more

If you see these symptoms, there’s a reasonable chance your dog is dealing with some level of arthritis (although an x-ray will confirm the diagnosis).  Over time, the effects will become more pronounced.  However, there are natural treatments for dogs that can help slow the progression of arthritis and help provide relief.

Chiropractic care

Chiropractic is a great treatment for preventing and providing relief for arthritis.  This is because arthritis is the result of chronic inflammation and abnormal stress on a joint.  Both of these stresses are things chiropractic helps address.  When a joint quits moving well it leads to inflammation and abnormal pressure on the bones that hold a joint together.  Over time, these can contribute to bone spurs and other signs of arthritis that lead to discomfort.  By restoring normal motion, it helps slow the progression of arthritis – and provides relief for any dog already afflicted with it.

Supplements

Supplements are another one of the treatments for dogs with arthritis.  They can help repair damaged joints by providing necessary nutrients that a joint needs in addition to lubricating it.  When it comes to supplements, we tend to recommend fish oil and glucosamine products.

Fish oil has numerous benefits throughout the body, but who would have suspected benefits for arthritis?  We wouldn’t, but after reading through a few veterinary rehabilitation books it was noted multiple times in clinical trials.  The belief is that the anti-inflammatory effects are in part responsible, but there are probably other factors in play.  You can find fish oil at local pet stores or online.  We recommend a pump bottle fish oil since it recommends the dose per weight.  You can also add a turmeric supplement for additional inflammation support.

We also like to add glucosamine as one of the treatments for dogs with arthritis.  You can even begin adding joint supplements earlier in life to help prevent the progression of arthritis as well.  We tend to recommend holistic, more natural sources for joint health.  Brands we like are Super SnoutsWapiti LabsWholistic HealthConnectin, and other brands with similar ingredient panels.

Additional Products

For dogs that slip a lot in the house, we recommend runners.  When a dog is slipping in a house, they aren’t able to grip the ground correctly. This will lead to muscle atrophy over time since they aren’t able to use their muscles correctly.  In addition to runners, you can add additional items.  Dr. Buzby’s toegrips can make a difference or products such as Valfrid dog pads can help.   I tend to prefer gripping devices that aren’t a full sock design because the paw still needs air flow.  If you can change the sock periodically throughout the day, the Gripper brand may do the trick.

We also like to recommend pet stairs or ramps for getting into cars or getting up and down off furniture.  When it comes to choosing a product, part of it will depend on the size of your dog etc.  You certainly want something stable.  Pet Gear makes a portable option that can be used in the house for furniture and at the car.  They have multiple options worth considering.  Looking for something a little more aesthetically pleasing?  Check out Best Dog Supplies dog stairs.

Have a larger breed dog that needs help getting into the car?  You may need something a bit more heavy duty.  Pet Loader makes a sturdy option for you.  You can also check out some of the products from Pet Gear if your dog would prefer a ramp with no steps.

There are many natural treatments for dogs with arthritis and we plan to focus more content on it in future blogs.  In the meantime, if your dog is in their senior years and suffering from some of the symptoms we mentioned consider visiting a board certified animal chiropractor, adding some supplements to help their joints, and getting a few items to help with their mobility issues.  Have more questions or want us to focus on some other aspects of arthritis?  Comment on this blog!

 

*In an effort to be completely transparent, we do receive a commission if you purchase any of the products.  Doing so allows us to continue producing content like this to help pet owners.  However, there are many great products out there in addition to what we list in this article.  Feel free to explore other options

Animal Chiropractic for Senior Dogs

Animal chiropractic for senior dogs

Aging is not easy for anyone, especially our dogs. Their back end gets weaker, it is hard to get up and down, they quit using stairs, they experience discomfort, and so much more. This can be tough for a pet owner to come to grips with.

However, what if I told you animal chiropractic care could help? I see it all the time in our practice. It helps with mobility problems, comfort, activity levels, and can even slow the progression of arthritis. In this article I’ll define who is considered a senior dog, explain what animal chiropractic is, list some issues it helps, and then inform you how to find a properly trained animal chiropractor.

Who is considered a senior dog?

As many people know, dogs age much faster than we do.  However, did you know certain breeds and different size dogs age differently than others?  Generally speaking, smaller breeds live longer than larger breeds.  Since this is the case, I believe the best definition for a senior dog is any animal that is in the last 25% of their life based on the standard for the breed.  This is usually when we start to see weakness in the rear, discomfort getting up and down, a decrease in activity, and the progression of arthritis.  So, how can animal chiropractic help this?  We must first define what animal chiropractic is.

What is animal chiropractic?

Many people have at least heard of chiropractic for humans.  However, many people are confused as to what chiropractic actually is!  Chiropractors train to evaluate the spine for structural dysfunction, often referred to as subluxations.

Subluxations are areas in the spine that aren’t moving as they should or are in the wrong position.  When dysfunction like this occurs, inflammation can build up and stress joints, nerves, and more leading to pain and reduced function.  To correct this, a chiropractor palpates and motions the spine searching for heat secondary to inflammation, muscle spasm, and joints that aren’t moving well.  When they locate a problematic area, a correction is given via an adjustment to restore normal biomechanics.  When it comes to animal chiropractic, the adjustment is very gentle and there’s typically no cracking or popping!

What conditions might animal chiropractic help a senior dog with?

The spine of a senior dog has endured a lifetime of wear and tear.  This contributes to things we frequently see in practice such as:

  • Decreased mobility
  • Discomfort
  • Decreased rear muscle tone
  • Arthritis and more

Many of these symptoms are secondary to subluxations of the spine, and they often intertwine.

How does this happen?  Initially, a joint quits moving well.  This doesn’t cause too many problems at a young age, but things can snowball later if we don’t correct it.  Eventually, inflammation builds up to a point where it is uncomfortable for a dog to fully engage a joint.  When this happens, a pet owner might notice a dog doesn’t want to use stairs any more or really struggles getting rested in any position.

Over time, this discomfort starts to affect the muscles.  If it is painful to get up from laying down or to walk, a dog will not do it.  The muscles start to atrophy, and even more stress is placed on the joints because there’s less muscle to support it.  There’s an old adage that applies here, use it or lose it – and they will certainly lose muscle tone if they don’t use it.  This becomes cyclical and the discomfort leads to less movement and more muscle wasting, which leads to even less movement and even more muscle wasting.

Arthritis

This will also contribute to arthritis.  Arthritis is the result of chronic inflammation and abnormal stress on a joint.  Arthritis doesn’t form overnight.  It is the result of abnormal biomechanics over long periods of time.  A subluxation left uncorrected is exactly this.  The lack of normal motion in the joint will lead to an inability to pump inflammation away.  The longer the inflammation sits there the longer, the longer it eats away at cartilage.  In addition, this loads a joint up with abnormal stress and combined these progressively lead to arthritis.

The great thing about animal chiropractors is that they train to find and correct subluxations!  This will help alleviate many of the problems senior dogs deal with.  An adjustment will restore normal motion to a joint.  Restoring motion allows joints to pump inflammation away.  With a decrease in inflammation, there’s a decrease in pain.  When the pain is gone, the dog is more willing to be active and is much more mobile.  This will lead to increased muscle tone.

Needless to say, animal chiropractic can be a very important therapy for an aging dog.  However, who is trained appropriately to work with animals?

How do I find an animal chiropractor?

There are two routes to become an animal chiropractor.  A practitioner must first complete veterinary or chiropractic school and receive their doctorate.  After that, they will attend additional training for animal chiropractic at a different program.  These programs usually encompass hundreds of hours of additional training which includes a textbook and hands on curriculum.  At the end of training, they will then have an opportunity to certify with one of the major boards.  These boards include the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association or the International Veterinary Chiropractic Association.

My personal recommendation would be to search out someone who is board certified.  However, if there is no one local then my next recommendation would be to find a practitioner who attended a program that prepares them for these boards.  Some of these programs include Options for Animals, Healing Oasis, the Parker University animal chiropractic program, or ACES.

Unfortunately, it is inevitable that members of our fur family will age.  This is typically accompanied by decreased energy, discomfort, weakness in the back end, and reduced mobility.  However, there are natural solutions such as animal chiropractic that can help.  Is your dog entering their golden years?  Find an animal chiropractor today!

Interested in learning more about other ways to help your senior pet?  Check out our article on natural treatments for dogs with arthritis.

cbd oil

Must Have Supplements for Luxating Patella

Supplements for luxating patella

Many small breed dog owners deal with a condition known as luxating patella (or floating kneecaps).  One day their little pup is running blissfully around the back yard then out of nowhere they come up lame.  There is usually a yelp and the affected leg rises into the air.  It is heartbreaking, especially for someone who has never run into the problem before.  Your next step is a trip to the veterinarian where you leave with a diagnosis of luxating patella.

The truth is, it is somewhat common in small breeds such as Pomeranians, Chihuahuas, Malteses, and more.  Many veterinarians actually diagnose it without the owner even knowing there is a problem.  What is this problem?  Luxating patella is a condition where a dog’s knee cap will slip out of its normal location in a groove formed by the bones of the legs.  When this happens, the dog will come up lame and try to maneuver the knee cap back into groove.

There are grades for luxating patella

These are:

  1. Grade 1 – The knee cap slips in and out of the groove, but returns to the normal position spontaneously.
  2. Grade 2 – The knee cap slips out of the groove occasionally and can be replaced with manipulation.
  3. Grade 3 – The knee cap slips out of the groove most of the time, but can be replaced with manipulation.
  4. Grade 4 – The knee cap slips out of the groove and cannot be replaced manually.

Fortunately, grades 1, 2, and some of grade 3 respond favorably to chiropractic care, physical therapy, and more.  Grade 4 may require surgery.  However, every case benefits from joint protecting supplements!

What are the best supplements for luxating patella and why?

The problem with a knee cap that slides in and out is that it can rub against the joints and create inflammation.  This leads to wear and tear, known as arthritis, that can become debilitating at a later age.  To counter this, we need supplements to protect the joints.  There are a number of supplements out there that contain glucosamine, an important joint protectant.  However, they are often synthetic and aren’t easily absorbed by a dog’s body.  Instead look for more holistic options such as the products we review below!

 

Green Lipped Mussel

Joint supplements featuring Green lipped mussel are excellent for countering the joint damage of luxating patella.  They feature healthy omega 3 fatty acids in conjunction with glucosamine and chondroitin (key building blocks of joints and cartilage).  Super Snouts has a highly reviewed product that works well.

supplements for luxating patella
Proprietary Blends

Wholistic is a great brand that features many great supplements.  Their Canine Complete Joint Mobility supplement features glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, green lipped mussel, and adds other vitamins and minerals to boost your pups overall health.

supplements for luxating patella

InClover Connectin also offers a joint supplement with a proprietary blend that features additional herbs with anti-inflammatory properties.  Green lipped mussel is not present in this product.  However, it does pack quite the punch with the addition of numerous herbs.

supplements for luxating patella
Deer Antler Velvet

Another holistic joint supplement we see a lot features deer antler velvet.  Deer shed their antlers every year, which contain a ton of nutrients.  Antlers are one of the fastest growing tissues in the animal world and have impressive regenerative capabilities.  The velvet is processed and turned into a dietary supplement for your dog.  Wapiti Labs has a whole line that you can check out for your dog!

supplements for luxating patella

As you can see, there are many options.  When it comes to finding the right supplements for luxating patella, you want to focus on quality.   Many of the ones we listed are great examples, but they are far from the only options available.  You can certainly browse for other options, but definitely search for some of the ingredients we mention.

Luxating patella is certainly a troublesome condition.  However, starting supplementation at the earliest signs can help protect the joints over a lifetime!

 

*In an effort to be completely transparent, we do receive a commission if you purchase any of the products.  Doing so allows us to continue producing content like this to help pet owners.  However, there are many great products out there in addition to what we list in this article.  Feel free to explore other options.

maintenance care

Why maintenance care for dogs?

maintenance careMaintenance care is somewhat standard in “human” chiropractic.  Many people want to prevent the major issue they initially came in with from recurring.  To do this, they make periodic visits to their chiropractor and make sure everything is functioning correctly – even if they are not in a lot of pain.  It’s no different than getting the oil changed in your car every 3,000 miles or your tires rotated.  Maintenance is also a good idea for your pet.  Why is this?

Our pets don’t show pain typically

By the time an animal sees us, it is typically in a good amount of pain.  The reason for this is that animals are programmed to not show pain unless it is very advanced.  From an evolutionary perspective, this is of massive benefit.  If a predator sees an animal limping in the wild, they become a target for a meal.  Therefore, our pets evolved to now show pain until they couldn’t compensate any more.

Maintenance care is a great way to assess the spine for issues before they become an issue down the road.  Often, we find sensitivity, spasm, and areas in the spine not moving well that can snowball if left uncorrected.  We actually see this frequently, even if a dog looks healthy.

However, we mainly see dogs initially that are in a reasonable amount of pain.  Once we get them through the acute stage of pain (usually not more than a handful of adjustments) we recommend a periodic check up to help prevent the problem from recurring.  Certain conditions, such as IVDD and back pain respond well to this.  The reason being, once your pet has an issue with the spine it is more likely to flare up again down the road.

How often should an animal be seen for maintenance?

This isn’t a one size fits all answer.  We have many patients that bring their puppy in once every 3 months or so just to get checked.  The majority of the time, a puppy with 3 months in between visits still doesn’t require a ton of work!  However, an older may not have the same level of stability in the spine due to wear and tear over a lifetime.  Many of our larger breed older dogs come in every 4-6 weeks, while a smaller breed may be alright for about 8 months.  It is truly based on how well a dog responds on an individual basis.

Where can I find an animal chiropractor and what should I look for?

We get this question from people frequently.  You are going to want to visit a chiropractor or veterinarian that has been through a reputable program such as Options for Animals, the animal chiropractic program at Parker University, and Healing Oasis.  In addition, to training at one of these programs I’d recommend someone who board certified with the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association or the International Veterinary Chiropractic Association.

As you can see, maintenance care can be beneficial for a dog.  It would be great if they could let us know if they are experiencing discomfort.  However, a trained animal chiropractor can assess the spine and correct any issues before they become bigger issues down the road.

 

Want to follow our more regular updates?  Visit our facebook page at www.facebook.com/AdvancedAnimalChiro/ or our homepage www.advancedanimalchiropractic.com.

 

cbd oil

What is CBD oil?

cbd oil

CBD oil, specifically that derived from hemp, is catching on in the human and animal world.  It is a supplement you can get over the counter and seems to have many positive benefits.  However, many people are still nervous to use it because of the association with marijuana.  However, there is no need to stress.  In this article, I will describe what CBD oil derived from hemp is, some of the proposed benefits, and the conditions we see dogs use it for.

What is CBD oil and why do we prefer the source be hemp?

To begin with, CBD stands for cannababidiol.  This is the compound found in cannabis and hemp that has therapeutic properties.  However, this compound is often found along with THC.  THC is the psychoactive compound responsible for the “high” feeling you may have heard about when someone uses marijuana.  Hemp is great because it has cannabidiol, but minimal amounts of THC.  Therefore, you can get the benefits without any concern about your pup getting “high”.

What are some of the benefits?

CBD is believed to benefit many conditions including:

  • cancer
  • seizures
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • painful injuries
  • much more as the research comes out

There are CBD receptors all throughout your body and brain.  When you use a CBD supplement it interacts with these receptors.  This leads to a decrease in inflammation, pain, and more.  It has total body effects rather than only working with a certain organ system, etc.  Therefore, your dog is getting widespread benefits beyond just helping the particular issue you may be giving it for.

What conditions do we see dogs use it for?

We have a lot of clients try CBD hemp oil for their older dogs (although it is beneficial for any age).  The oil is great because it reduces pain and inflammation.  Chronic inflammation is a key contributor to many diseases, and unfortunately many Americans and their pets live pro-inflammatory lifestyles.

We believe many geriatric dogs benefit from it because it helps with arthritis and pain.  Arthritis is the result of abnormal pressure on a joint (chiropractic helps this) and chronic inflammation.  Therefore, when we address these issues older dogs begin moving better and without as much discomfort.  Geriatric dogs are a large part of our practice and we receive a lot of positive feedback from owners when they add hemp oil to chiropractic care.

As you can see, CBD oil has many benefits.  You can get it over the counter as well, which is great.  There is absolutely no reason to be nervous about trying it with your dog.  However, we do recommend trying reputable brands such as Pet Releaf.  Want to learn more, check out this article by dogs naturally!

Ellie the Shepherd Pup with a Knee Injury

Ellie was dealing with serious lameness and non weight bearing in her one hind leg. She was no stranger to limping as she is a two year old shepherd that LOVES to rough house with her 3 year old shepherd brother. The two are crazy and often times will come up with some sort of lameness. Something was different about this limp though, she wasn’t getting any better, in fact her limp appeared to be regressing. At that point, her parents decided to try chiropractic.

Ellie’s first visit was very typical of a pup with a cruciate tear. Her muscle tone had huge differences side to side, in fact it was inches of difference. She was very tender at her knee joint and had some mild gapping. Aside from all of this, she truly didn’t let it change her personality. Ellie was adjusted once a week for three weeks, and in that time period the change was astonishing. She went from non weight bearing to toe tapping, to fully weight bearing in three weeks. Her playfulness returned and her muscle tone was well on its way to recovery.

Ellie is one of many dogs dealing with knee injuries. These are tricky injuries as they aren’t often given many options as far as healing and prognosis. 9 times out of 10, surgery is recommended. Medications such as NSAIDs, steroids, and muscle relaxers are often times recommended. For those that want to try another option before going that route, chiropractic can be a great option, just look at Ellie! Knee injuries are rarely a time sensitive injury, which means there is no harm in trying an alternative route first!

 

slow feeding bowl

What is a slow bowl feeder?

Do you have a dog that inhales their food?  Puppies in particular are notorious for this, and they often end up vomiting right after!  Other breeds, such as hounds, also eat incredibly fast and often look bloated.  So, what can we do to help this issue?  The answer is to use a slow feeding bowl.

What is a slow feeding bowl

slow feeding bowl

A slow feeding bowl is a dinner dish that has a maze-like design.  When you put food in this, it forces your pet to slowly eat because the design doesn’t allow them to inhale everything.  The food sinks down in between the obstruction in the bowl (pictured in article) and your dog has to work harder and smarter for their meal.  It is a simple way to help slow an overlooked issue for many dogs.

Why is it potentially important to slow down your dog’s eating habits?

Eating too fast can lead to:

  • Choking
  • Vomiting
  • Gastrointestinal discomfort
  • Food bloat

All of these are issues that can be stressful for both the dog and the owner.  However, bloat is a very serious medical condition that can be life threatening.  A slow feeding bowl is a very effective way to help prevent some of these problems.  In addition, eating slower may help better absorb food – just like with humans.

Where can you get a slow feeding bowl

Many local pet stores will carry them.  However, if your local stores don’t carry them you can always visit www.chewy.com and see what they carry.  They are very affordable and are easy to use.

To sum things up, eating too fast can create a number of issues for our dogs.  The biggest problem is the potential for food bloat.  However, a slow feeding bowl is a very cost effective way to help.  Want to learn more about slow feeding bowls, visit this link here!

back pain

Preventing back pain in dogs

back painHumans deal with back pain pretty regularly.  As a matter of fact, it is one of the biggest health issues Americans deal with.  We treat it with chiropractic, physical therapy, medication, and much more.  Did you know your dog deals with back pain too?  The difference is that a dog doesn’t show signs of pain until a problem is advanced.  Unfortunately, our pets can’t communicate their discomfort with us and by the time we find out it is pretty severe.  Many people see their chiropractor every month or two when they start to feel a little “tight” to prevent it from getting worse.  Why don’t we provide our pets with the same opportunity?

Back pain in dogs

What causes back pain in dogs?  There are a number of things that could cause their pain.  For one, hard play can do the trick.  Have you ever watched your dog play and wondered how they aren’t in a full body cast?  They may limp briefly during “zoomies” or wrestling, but it quickly disappears and they continue as if nothing happened.  Something did happen, however.  Was it major?  Probably not, but left uncorrected over time it may become a larger problem.

Another big cause of pain is arthritis.  Sure, some amount of arthritis will develop as an animal ages.  However, arthritis is often the result of chronic inflammation and abnormal pressure on a joint.  As this abnormal stress remains on a joint, your body responds by fortifying the area with more bone, etc.  This is how arthritis develops.  Chiropractic care can help slow the progression of arthritis by correcting any dysfunction in joints , and works well for animals already afflicted with arthritis.

What are the signs of back pain in dogs?

There are a few potential signs of back pain that may appear before a dog is severely afflicted.  For one, many clients tell us that their dog quit jumping onto furniture or doing stairs.  Performing these activities puts a decent amount of force throughout the spine, and when an animal suddenly stops it could be a sign of discomfort.  Another sign is disinterest in things they used to enjoy.  We often hear that dogs suddenly don’t want to go on walks any more, or won’t play with their toys.  If you see some of these signs, it may be worth a trip to your local board certified animal chiropractor.

How can chiropractic care help?

Animal chiropractors are trained to evaluate the joints of the spine and limbs for any abnormalities.  These abnormalities, often known as structural shifts, cause inflammation and place abnormal stress on joints.  This leads to discomfort, arthritis, and more conditions down the road.  However, these issues can also be identified during regular check ups and corrected with gentle adjustments before the issue is severe.  Most young animals can go months at a time between check ups!  Even dogs in their golden years can typically go 4-6 weeks between visits.  Regular chiropractic care can address back pain before your dog has a severe issue.

Is back pain a big issue in dogs?  I believe it is.  They can’t tell us, but I bet many experience a little discomfort from time to time.  This isn’t too big of a deal.  However, if the issue goes uncorrected long enough it will build into something more severe.  Fortunately, there is an option to help prevent the big problem – and that is animal chiropractic.

Chiropractic care for puppies?

puppies chiropractic carePuppies are cute, full of energy, and possibly the most playful animals on the planet!  They are also rough and tend to contort their body’s in positions no one thought possible.  Typically, when an owner brings a puppy to see us there is something extreme going on.  We see limping, severe muscle spasm, significant structural dysfunction of the spine, and more.  These are obvious reasons to bring any dog in.  However, what about healthy dogs that show no signs of pain?  This blog will describe why it’s a good idea to get periodic check ups starting as a puppy to help physical development, even if there are no obvious symptoms.

Puppies don’t typically show signs of pain

In fact, most dogs won’t show signs of pain unless the issue is extreme.  From an evolutionary perspective, it benefits them to behave this way.  Before dogs were domesticated, they spent their days hunting for food – and also being hunted.  When an animal shows weakness, a predator higher in the food chain targets them.  Therefore, dogs developed to not show any signs of weakness until it was extreme to avoid becoming prey.  It would be great if our dogs could tell us when they were experiencing discomfort.  Since they can’t, the only way you will know is when they start to show a limp, etc.  and by then, it has been going on a while.  Therefore, a periodic check up for a puppy every few months keeps them ahead of any issues.

As the twig bends, so grows the tree

Have you ever heard this expression before?  It essentially means that something that happens early in life can affect  the development afterward.  As we all know, puppies play hard and do crazy things every day.  Some of these accidents can lead to structural dysfunction of the spine.  If these aren’t corrected, it could progressively lead to:

  • Arthritis – the abnormal pressure on the joints could lead to early development of arthritis
  • Injuries such as cruciate tears – The knee (stifle) in a dog is under a lot of pressure.  If the foundation of their body, the spine, is off – it can lead to abnormal stress on other joints.  This could lead to enhanced strain on joints and lead to an increased risk for cruciate tears, etc.
  • Behavioral issues during early development – this one isn’t as obvious, but we have seen some cases where a dog’s personality changes after an adjustment because they have been in pain for so long.  Puppies learn a lot early on and if they are bothered by pain it could affect their development

As you can see, structural dysfunction of the spine is a small thing that could lead to much larger issues.

The good news is that we don’t see many puppies for extreme issues in our practice!  They tend to be pretty resilient, even for all the crazy things they do.  However, many owners bring their pups in periodically (every few months) to make sure a little thing such as a minor tweak doesn’t develop to major issues down the road.  Is animal chiropractic right for your little one?  Visit our site to learn more about structural dysfunction of the spine and how it affects all animals by clicking here.

The benefits of chiropractic care for older dogs

 

We love our dogs.  They are a part of our family and we would do anything to help them.  That is why it hits us so hard whenever they struggle with their health.  One of the major populations in our practice are older dogs, and there’s a reason.  Aging is hard on the joints, muscle strength, nervous system and much more.  However, older dogs respond very well to chiropractic care and regular check ups help them throughout their golden years!

 

What issues do older dogs struggle with?

Many senior dogs make their way to us because their owner’s notice that they slip on slick floors, don’t use stairs any more, won’t go on walks or play, and much more.  Some of this is part of natural aging.  After all, we all slow down as we get older.  However, there is also a component of natural wear and tear throughout life that contributes as well.  For example, injuries that a pet sustains early in life can often manifest in a major way later on.  Have you ever heard the expression, “as the twig bends so grows the tree”?  Essentially, small issues early in life can compound and progress to big issues down the road.  Arthritis is one of these issues.

How does chiropractic care help older dogs with arthritis?

Arthritis is the result of inflammation and abnormal stress on a joint.  In response to this abnormal stress, the body will lay down bone to help stabilize the area.  This is the bony growth that a doctor often points to on an x-ray as a sign of arthritis.  So how does animal chiropractic care help slow and possibly prevent degeneration of joints?  By correcting structural dysfunction of the spine.

Structural dysfunction is what occurs when parts of the spine aren’t moving correctly.  It leads to chronic inflammation and abnormal stress on joints.  Additionally, when one area of the spine isn’t moving well, other areas have to move more to make up for the deficiency.  This is known as compensation.  The compensating areas of the spine are put under a lot of stress which can lead to arthritis and even vertebral disc injuries.  It is similar in nature to a broken link in the chain – when one part is weak, the whole is weak.  The key is to correct the broken links early, and animal chiropractors  are trained to do just that.

Chiropractic care and rehab

When it comes to structural dysfunction of the spine, a board certified animal chiropractor is your best bet.  They will identify any issues early on and correct them using very gentle adjustments.  In fact, there is typically no cracking or popping in animal chiropractic.  Additionally, we can add rehabilitation exercises for your dog.  Did you know physical therapy isn’t just for humans??  With exercises targeting weaknesses in your dogs muscular system we can stabilize the joints of the spine and limbs which helps with longer term quality of life.

Dogs are a loved and integral part of our family, which is why watching them age can be difficult.  They get weak in the back, deal with joint pain, lose muscle mass, and more.  The good news is chiropractic care can help prevent and slow some of the issues as our furry ones deal with as they get older.  However, it is much easier to address them early and follow up with periodic check ups then try correcting them when the issues are advanced!