Household Poisons

Soreness Post-Adjustment, Normal or Not?

sorenessWill My Dog Be Sore After an Adjustment?

 

Do dogs get sore after an adjustment? This is a question we get frequently in our practice, and it is a good one. After all, many people associate chiropractic with violent twisting and loud pops. This aggressive adjustment style may be the norm when it comes to humans, but it is not for animals. In fact, in animals popping sounds are extremely rare and the adjustment is so gentle you may miss it if you blink. However, an animal may experience a few down days after an adjustment. Why is this?

Can an adjustment lead to soreness?

While adjustments don’t typically cause pain, they can lead to soreness in a pet. This is similar in nature to what you experience the first few times you visit a gym. If you haven’t worked out in four years then bench press and squat for 45 minutes, you are going to be sore for a number of days afterwards. In fact, you may find yourself struggling to sit in your chair at work or lift your arms to put the dishes away at home. Is this a sign of a problem though? It typically is not. Rather, it is a sign of healing. Unfortunately, it takes your body time to repair the work you did in the gym and you will be sore in the meantime.

How long might soreness last?

In many animals, they won’t experience any soreness whatsoever. In other pets, they may look worse for a day or two immediately after an adjustment. Every animal behaves differently. However, our experience has shown that typically it does not last beyond 2-3 days. What are the results after this period of discomfort? We are often told that pets look better than they have in years once the body has had time to heal. This is because animal chiropractic is a natural treatment that depends on the body’s ability to heal itself. The faster the pet’s body can recover, the quicker they will improve.

Are there any remedies that may help?

To begin with, you can always ice the tender area on your pet. It is no different than the protocol you might use for your knee or ankle. Icing for 10-20 minutes (if your pet allows for it) can definitely help. In addition, you can utilize a homeopathic called arnica to help with any painful spots. Arnica can be found in an ointment form that can be spread directly onto the skin, or in supplement form that can be taken internally. It helps bruising, swelling, arthritis, and provides pain relief while your pet is on the mend.

In the end, pet owners want what is best for their pet. A couple days of discomfort after an adjustment can be worrisome. However, this is just part of the body’s natural healing process – much like recovering from a workout in the gym. Additionally, it typically doesn’t last long and is followed by a very happy pet!

Natural Solution for Paralyzed Dogs

One moment your dog is running blissfully through the yard – then suddenly, without warning, he begins dragging his hind legs.  A paralyzed dog is a terrifying ordeal for pet owners that typically results in a visit to the closest emergency vet.  After a set of x-rays, your vet will recommend steroids, pain killers, muscle relaxants, or surgery depending on the severity of the disc problem in your dog’s back.  Three of the options tend to hide the problem rather than addressing it.  The other one, surgery, is an expensive and invasive procedure – but, is unfortunately sometimes necessary.  However, for cases where surgery isn’t required (a large percent of cases we see), are there any other options for your pet?

In the human world, chiropractic is known for helping treat back and neck problems conservatively.  Did you know it is also effective for treating an under-served population, your pets?  At Advanced Animal Chiropractic, we provide IVCA board certified chiropractic care for your fur family.

How does animal chiropractic care help paralyzed dogs?

Certain breeds are predisposed to disc injuries, such as dachshunds.  As a matter of fact, the majority of paralyzed dogs that make it to our practice are doxies.  However, it can affect any breed.  Typically, the joints where the disc injury occurs are under a lot of stress.  Over time, the stress causes the dysfunctional area of the spine to quit moving as well as it should.  This leads to increased pressure on the disc and eventually it can bulge into the spinal canal.  When this occurs, the bulge applies pressure to the spinal cord and nerves resulting in paralysis in the back end.

To correct this, we need to correct the mechanics of the affected joint, and all of the joints around it.  This is where animal chiropractic comes into play.  Initially, we focus on traction to decompress the dog’s spine.  It is the same principle used in human chiropractic.  Since the joint and disc are compressed, we need to apply the opposite force to reduce the abnormal pressure.  Applying traction to the dog’s spine helps relieve compression.

Animal chiropractors evaluate the entire spine as well.  If the hips aren’t moving well, then other areas of the spine will need to move more to compensate.  This compensation leads to abnormal stress on joints which progressively contributes to disc disease over time.  Animal chiropractors are trained to find structural issues in the spine and correct them using very gentle adjustments.

Are there differences between human and animal chiropractic?

There are numerous differences between animal chiropractic and “human chiropractic.”  Some of these differences include:

  • There is no twisting or popping.  This is often a point of concern for many people trying chiropractic for the first time.  Don’t worry, your pet won’t experience any from a certified animal chiropractor.
  • It is so gentle it is almost underwhelming.
  • Animals respond much quicker. There is no need for care plans that last months on end.  We typically know within 3 visits whether or not an animal will benefit.

Animal chiropractors are specifically trained to work with your pets and are certified via the International Veterinary Chiropractic Association or the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association.  To complete the program, you must be a licensed veterinarian or chiropractor.

Want to learn more?

Advanced Animal Chiropractic serves Southeastern Michigan.  Interested in learning more about how we can help paralyzed dogs affected by disc disease?  Contact us here or give us a call at (248)606-0136.  Want to learn more about products we recommend for animals of all stages?  You can check out our favorite products.

To go or not to go: Constipation in Pets

Constipation and Chiropractic – What’s the Connection?

 

constipated                Have you ever noticed your pet straining to do their business, and yet nothing comes out? Constipation isn’t a condition that only affects humans, unfortunately. It can hinder our fur family as well. The good news? Chiropractic care helps many animals afflicted with this condition – especially those that don’t have success with traditional treatments. Why is this you ask? First, we must understand the causes of constipation. Then, we can discuss what animal chiropractic is and how it can help our pets.

What are the causes of constipation?

                  There are numerous causes of constipation. These include:

  • Dehydration
  • Swallowing a foreign object like a rock, etc.
  • Intestinal obstruction
  • Infected anal glands
  • Stress
  • Neuromuscular disorders involving injury to the nerves that supply the muscles of the colon

The last reason listed is of particular interest to animal chiropractors. To understand why, we must first understand what animal chiropractic care is.

What is animal chiropractic?

Animal chiropractors are vets or chiropractors who pursue post-graduate education in animal care and are board certified. They are trained to evaluate the spine and look for biomechanical abnormalities, often referred to as structural shifts. When they find these, they use very gentle corrections to return them to their normal position. Why is this a big deal? Structural shifts cause an inflammatory response that can affect the spinal cord and nerves throughout the spine.

How can animal chiropractic help our constipated friends?

Unfortunately, these spinal abnormalities can disturb the nerves that run to and from the intestine. This can impair the message between the control centers that initiate defecation and the muscles responsible for pushing. It’s like trying to watch satellite TV on a day when there’s a massive thunderstorm. The image is fuzzy because the message from the satellite cannot get through the obstruction of the storm.

The main nerves responsible for using the restroom come from the rear end area around the hips.   This area is also under a lot of stress as a result of the crazy things our pets do. Even something as simple as jumping onto a couch may affect the spine in the rear end. If this occurs, it can cause inflammation of the nerves running to the colon. Animal chiropractors are trained to detect these minor misalignments and gently correct them. This will result in a normal alignment that reduces the inflammation in the area affecting all the nerves. If there is a neurological component to your pet’s constipation, chiropractic can help them out!

To sum everything up, constipation is a condition that affects all species. There are many different reasons it may occur. However, subtle problems with the nerves as a result of biomechanical issues in the spine are hard to detect and may result in constipation. This is where animal chiropractors can help, and make your pet regular again!

Laser Therapy and Chiropractic Care: A Perfect Match!

Chiropractic and Laser – A Perfect Match for Animals?

 

Structure determines function. This statement is the foundation upon which the body and chiropractic works. Optimum structure is important for your spine – just as it is for your house. After all, if the foundation of your house sinks in by a few inches I imagine you will see problems in your walls, floors, roof, and more. Animal chiropractors are like engineers for the spine that help restore the foundation. However, how do we repair the damage done secondary to structural shifts of your pet’s spine? Low laser therapy may be the solution.

What is low laser therapy?

 

lasertherapy

Laser therapy utilizes the power of lasers to therapeutically treat ailments. Essentially, the concentrated energy penetrates the body and stimulates mitochondria in the cells of muscles, ligaments, organs and more. As you may recall from biology 101, the mitochondria produce energy for the body in the form of ATP. This stimulation helps promote cellular regeneration and healing by providing the cells with more energy to work.

What can laser help?

                  Laser therapy can help many problems in the body. After all, injured areas can always use more energy for healing. However, it is better known for treating the following conditions in animals:

  • Muscle, ligament, and tendon injuries
  • Post-surgical soft tissue trauma
  • Back pain
  • Ear infections
  • Arthritis
  • Degenerative disc disease

Many of these issues overlap with conditions that may benefit from chiropractic. Is this a coincidence?

Why does laser pair well with chiropractic?

                  Animal chiropractic focuses on normalizing structure in the body. The results of abnormal structure include inflammation, tendon and ligament injuries, arthritis, degenerative disease, and more. As we described previously, structural misalignments in the spine are like shifts in the foundation of your house. It can cause numerous problems throughout the body.

Once we fix the foundation, we still need to address the secondary conditions that are a result of the structural defects. This is where laser therapy is key. It will help flush out inflammation, repair soft tissue damage, help stimulate cells to heal themselves, and assist in treating more problems secondary to structural shifts of the spine. In a nutshell, chiropractic helps stabilize the underlying structure while laser enhances the repair of secondary problems.

As you now know, structure is important for function. To address the structural aspect, chiropractic is a great treatment. However, we still need to deal with all the issues secondary to problems with the abnormal alignment of the spine. That is where laser is the key to a well-rounded plan of care.

luxatingpatella

Luxating Patella and Conservative Treatment Options

Luxating Patella – What’s the Cause and How to Treat Conservatively

 

Luxating patella is a common orthopedic condition in a small animal practice, but what causes it? There are a few theories out there, but many cases appear related to genetics, trauma, or developmental issues. Don’t stress if your pet suffers from it, though. There are conservative options out there to help those afflicted. However, we need to first understand who struggles with the condition and why. Then, we can discuss natural treatments.

luxatingpatellaWhat breeds suffer from luxating patella and why?

As mentioned previously, many cases appear to be inherited – or related to genetics in some capacity. This evidence is so strong that some sources state dogs diagnosed with patellar luxation should not be bred. However, there are a couple of other possible factors that may contribute to the disease as well. For one, trauma may injure the knee leading to a misalignment of the patella. Another potential cause is developmental in nature. Developmental luxating patella may be a result of complex skeletal abnormalities affecting the entire limb, including:

  • Abnormal hip joints
  • Abnormal femur head conformation
  • Abnormal tibia conformation
  • Tightness or atrophy of the quadriceps muscle
  • A long patellar ligament

As you can see, there are many biomechanical issues that may be a factor in the progression of the disease.

Who suffers the most from luxating patella then? The condition appears to affect primarily small breeds including Boston terriers, Chihuahuas, Pomeranians, miniature Poodles, and many more. However, the disease continues to rise in large breeds. Akitas, Great Pyrenees, Flat-Coated retrievers, and the Chinese Shar Pei are now considered predisposed to the disorder. While it is progressively becoming a disease of all breeds, it still predominantly affects the little ones.

luxatingpatella2Conservative chiropractic care to treat luxating patella

As mentioned previously, many cases are genetic, developmental, or a combination of both. This means an animal is either born with poor structure, or progressively develops it. Since this is the case, a potential solution should involve a profession that works with the structure of an animal conservatively. This is where animal chiropractors come into play, particularly those that focus on structural correction.

Animal chiropractors perform examinations where they assess the quality of motion in the spine and limbs looking for biomechanical issues. When they find any abnormalities, such as a structural shift, they utilize a gentle adjustment to correct it. When this is done it helps the joint move the way it was intended to. This can alleviate many genetic or developmental components that contribute to a luxating patella.

Think about it like this, if the foundation of your house was off would you expect walls to crack and floor boards to pop up? I imagine you would see many problems that develop secondary to a structural shift in the foundation of a house. What might you expect if the foundation of your animal is off? There would be the potential for many secondary conditions such as luxating patella.

To sum things up, luxating patella is a relatively common disease in dogs. It predominantly affects small breeds, but is growing in larger breeds. Most causes appear to be genetic, but there are other factors such as trauma and developmental considerations. The causes all appear related to structure and many cases are suitable for conservative treatment such as chiropractic care. Interested in learning more? Contact a certified animal chiropractor near you today!

Laser Therapy For Your Pet

Laser Therapy

As technology advances, we continue to develop new treatments to treat a wide variety of conditions. One of the new medical technological breakthroughs utilizes lasers. Don’t worry, these aren’t like the lasers you may have seen strapped to a shark’s head in the movie Austin Powers. Rather, it is a small device that can be used to help your pet recover from many conditions. The question is, is it right for your pet? First, we need to understand what laser therapy is, what conditions it may help, and what a patient can expect.

What is laser therapy?
laserA laser is essentially a unique form of light that does not diverge like the normal light we experience. Instead, it concentrates its energy onto a specific area. Because of this, we can use this technology and apply it toward treating many conditions. Laser can penetrate deep into tissue without damaging it. The energy emitted can be absorbed by mitochondria in the cells of the body. Mitochondria are known as the powerhouse of the cell because they produce an energy source for the body called ATP. Injured tissue does not produce the optimal amount of ATP, so laser therapy can stimulate an increase that helps the body heal.

What conditions might laser therapy help?
Laser therapy can help many conditions. After all, it works at the cellular level to create energy for the body. However, a few major conditions it helps includes:
• Muscle, ligament, or tendon injuries
• Post-surgical scarring
• Arthritis
• Hip dysplasia
• Disc disease
• Ear infections
These are all conditions that can be difficult to treat conventionally. We now have a tool to help traditional treatments.

What can a patient expect?
Inevitably, people always want to know if the treatment will hurt their pet. The answer is no. The treatment is painless, and to your dog it may feel like a soothing, warm sensation. In addition, there doesn’t appear to be any known side effects. Finally, treatments don’t take too long. The length depends on the area, but typically, they are 5-10 minutes. The total number of sessions required will vary depend on the condition as well.

To sum things up, laser appears to be a relatively new therapy for pets. While lasers have been around a while, we are just now applying the technology to medicine. It can help a wide variety of conditions, and sessions aren’t particularly long either. Do you have a pet that hasn’t recovered as well as you would have liked? Maybe it is time to talk to your vet!

The Benefits of Titer Testing

Vaccine Titers and Your Pets

 

There’s a growing trend toward treating diseases naturally throughout the world – for both people and their pets. One of these natural health treatments involves vaccination. One school of thought states that vaccines confer total immunity to many conditions with minimal side effects. The opposition believes that many of the materials used to create vaccines, such as heavy metals, etc. lead to a laundry list of secondary problems. The purpose of this article isn’t to discuss the merits or disadvantages of vaccination. Rather, we will examine the potential benefits of blood tests that can measure your pet’s blood levels for anti-bodies – known as titer testing – to determine if a booster vaccination is necessary.

What does a titer measure?

When a pathogen enters your body, such as bacteria, your immune system recognizes that it is an invader and creates anti-bodies and many other cellular defenses to attack and eliminate it. This is the premise by which vaccinations work. The goal is to introduce weak forms of a pathogen to your body so that it stimulates an immune response without causing the disease. Therefore, after a vaccination we should be able to measure blood levels for certain anti-bodies and see if they are adequate. This is what titer testing does. For example, if your pet gets a rabies vaccine we should be able to test it in 6 months and see if there is still a high level of antibodies in circulation. Pretty cool, right?

The controversy of vaccination

             At first glance, it seems like vaccines are a genius way of getting ahead of diseases before they have a chance to attack. However, it is thought that the extra preservatives and other chemicals in a vaccine may trigger side effects. That is not necessarily unreasonable since many heavy metals are toxic for the body. Therefore, it would be great if there was a way to determine if an animal has sufficient anti-body levels without having to possibly inject a vaccination. This is where blood titers come in.

The potential benefit of blood titers

                  Early in a pet’s life they will receive a number of vaccines such as rabies, distemper, etc. This will boost their immune system and prepare them for these diseases. Usually, a booster will be required a year or so later to keep the anti-body level up. This is where the potential for a titer comes in. Rather than injecting your pet unnecessarily with potentially harmful chemicals, we can run a titer test. If the blood levels come back sufficient, then in theory we do not need a booster. This reduces the risk of any possible side effects of a vaccine while also determining that our pet is still resistant to these diseases. There is one downfall, however, and that is the price. A titer can run $40 to $200 – significantly more than the typical cost of a vaccine.

The debate is still raging when it comes to the efficacy and potential side effects of vaccines. However titers serve as a way to minimize any potential risk while also reaping the purported benefits. Anti-body titers appear to be a middle ground solution that both ideologies can agree with. Want to learn more? Ask your veterinarian about titers during your pet’s next regular check-up.

Hemp Oil for Our Pets?

CBD Hemp Oil For Your Dog?

 

Does your pet suffer from arthritis, immune issues, stress, aggression, seizures, anxiety, or digestive problems? If so, your pet may benefit from CBD hemp oil. According to the online magazine Dog Naturally, many dogs respond well to it. Why is this? Read on to find out.

Is hemp the same as marijuana?

                  There are similarities between hemp and marijuana, but they are not the same. They are both derived from the cannabis plant, Cannabis Sativa. These plants feature over 60 chemicals known as cannabinoids. The two major chemicals are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD’s are known for their therapeutic effects while THC is associated with feeling “high”. Knowing this will help us understand the difference between hemp and marijuana. Hemp features less than 0.3% THC while marijuana is composed of 10-15%. Therefore, hemp offers many therapeutic benefits without altering a dog’s mind.

How does CBD work?

                  As we mentioned previously, the cannabis plant contains many different chemicals. These chemicals can attach to receptors in the brain, nervous system, and other peripheral organ systems. When this occurs, the cells attached to the receptors begin operating differently. It’s almost like putting a key into your car’s ignition. When you do, the car turns on. The difference is that these receptors activate many effects including changes in:

  • Inflammation
  • Pain
  • Seizures
  • Appetite
  • Aggression
  • Anxiety
  • And more.

Is it safe?

Fortunately, hemp contains low THC content relative to its marijuana counterpart. Therefore, CBD from hemp won’t make your dog high. There are some possible side effects, however. The most common side effect appears to be that it makes dogs drowsy. The effect is similar to what your dog might experience if you gave it Benadryl. On rare occasions your dog may become excessively itchy or mildly vomit. If these issues appear you should stop giving your dog cannabis. However, CBD hemp oil is safe for the majority of dogs.

To sum everything up, cannabis oil derived from hemp is a natural, effective way to treat many conditions. These conditions include anxiety, stress, digestive problems and much more. Also, it won’t make your pet “high” due to its low THC content and it is safe. Does your dog suffer from any conditions we discussed and isn’t responding to traditional methods? It might be time to try CBD hemp oil.

 

                 

water fountain

Water fountains for Our Pets!

What are the benefits of a water fountain for your cat?

water fountain               Pet water fountains are popping up in American households nationwide. Is this some type of fad, or is there an actual benefit for our furry friends? According to sources, fountains may be more than just a decoration. In fact, there may be numerous benefits. In this blog, we will discuss how water fountains are beneficial for our cats.

Healthier water

One of the biggest benefits is that water from a fountain is cleaner. Stagnant water that sits in a bowl all day will accumulate toxins and nasty substances. A water fountain cleans water by utilizing a pump that circulates water through a charcoal filter. This filter will pull impurities out of water and help keep our pet healthy. This alone is worth the price of a fountain.

Complements a dry food diet

water fountain                 Many Americans feed their cats dry food. This can be an issue for an animal if they aren’t drinking enough water. Since dry food has little to no water, these cats need to hydrate more than their counterparts who receive wet food. If not, it can be particularly taxing on their kidneys and may contribute to urinary tract problems.

Imitates more natural sources of water

Some experts believe, cats may prefer running water. That is why you often see cats drinking from a dripping tap. They believe that:

  1. Cats may prefer running water because they can locate it with their keen sense of hearing.
  2. Cats can’t see stagnant water well
  3. Cats may be wary of still water because it indicates it is not fresh.

Cats evolved with many primitive instincts that keep them alive. This may very well be one of them.

As you can see, drinking water is more complex than what you may have considered when it comes to cats. A water fountain provides many benefits as an alternative to stagnant water in a bowl. It cleans their water, complements a dry food diet, and imitates more natural sources of water they would encounter in the wild. Interested in finding one for your furry friend? Visit any pet store in your local area or you can order a fountain online.

 

fleas

Fleas, Fleas, and more FLEAS!

Does Your Dog Have Fleas?

 

fleas                  Does your dog love being outside? When he hears the word “walk”, does he bounce around in pure joy? If so, there’s a chance your dog is making new friends during his outdoor adventures. These friends are tiny and annoying – and commonly referred to as fleas. Fleas can cause numerous problems for a dog. Therefore, it is important that we recognize signs of fleas and understand treatment options when our fur pets are affected.

What are the signs of fleas?

When there is a major infestation of fleas, signs are obvious. You can actually spot them moving on and off your pet’s body. When the infestation of fleas is smaller, the signs can be more subtle. You may notice your dog acting restless. For example, they may constantly scratch, lick, and chew more than normal in certain areas of the body. Another potential symptom is excessive shaking of the head or scratching of the ears. This scratching can progressively lead to hot spots and hair loss in areas where fleas are nesting.

What can you do?

                 The first step would be to give your dog a flea bath. Be careful to choose a shampoo carefully, some contain insecticides. Start shampooing at your dog’s neck and work throughout the entire body. Let the solution stand for 5-10 minutes before rinsing. Next, go through with a flea comb and remove any fleas present. Kill any flea you find as fast as you can. Finally, quarantine your infected pet. If you have other pets, you are going to want to keep them separated for the time being.

You will then want to treat your home. Begin by throwing all your pet’s bedding into the laundry. Next, you may want to consider an insect growth regulator spray. This product can get deep into the carpet to target any flea larvae that may be growing. Finally, be sure to vacuum thoroughly. A reasonable accessory to consider is a flea collar for your vacuum. This will make sure fleas die quickly upon being sucked up by your vacuum. Treating your home should help prevent another flea attack from occurring quickly.

Fleas are tiny, but present a large problem for dogs. They live outdoors where your pets love to play and strike when they get the chance. An infestation can lead to days filled with endless scratching and chewing – sometimes until hot spots form. If you see some of the telltale signs of fleas, be sure to check your pet’s body. If you do find some, a flea bath and combing can help resolve your pet’s problems. Afterwards, be sure to treat your house to prevent a relapse!