Posts

dogarthritis

Lucy with Arthritis and a Drunken Walk

dogarthritisMeet Lucy! Lucy is a senior Bichon that started coming to see us because she was dragging her back legs and had some significant arthritis. Though she was older, her mom knew it didn’t make sense for her to be in so much pain. Lucy walked as if she was a little drunk and her back legs crossed over one another from time to time. This was also concerning for her mom, as it seemed like she was showing symptoms of something more serious than arthritis.

After meeting Lucy and giving her a once over, she definitely was exhibiting symptoms of a pinched nerve, possibly even a minor disc bulge. She was uncomfortable and lower energy. Lucy did great getting adjusted and her mom was perfect at following her treatment plan. We first saw Lucy twice a month until she was out of pain (which took about two visits!), after that we started seeing Lucy less frequently as her adjustments were holding. Now, we see Lucy about every 6-8 weeks depending on her activity level.

After seeing Lucy this last visit, her mom told us that she is now doing stairs again and jumping on furniture, both things she has not done for over two years. She also doesn’t have any pain, her legs don’t drag, and she hasn’t tripped over herself since coming to get adjusted. Lucy was showing signs of the beginning stages of a disc problem, which can become quite serious. Her mom was proactive in getting her adjusted and now Lucy has more energy than she did two years ago. Pets are truly wonderful at hiding their pain and discomfort, so it’s always a good idea to get them checked out for prevention’s sake!

Chloe with Disc Disease and her Partial Paralysis

Chloe came to see us in the fall of 2017 partially paralyzed in her hind end. This little munchkin is a “senior” chihuahua but there’s nothing senior about her. She had no history of back end issues or lameness. What began as a wobbly walk turned into total paresis within 24 hours. After visiting the neurologist she was diagnosed with IVDD and likely a disc rupture that would require an MRI and surgery. Chloe’s owner wasn’t sold however and wanted to try the alternative route first.

At her first visit Chloe did not have any use in her back legs and she would drag herself everywhere. She had mild deep pain response and was severely hunch backed. She was sweet as ever but we could tell she was uncomfortable. After just her first visit Chloe was showing signs of improvement. Over the next two weeks Chloe was adjusted 4 times, and by her fifth visit she was standing and able to walk without knuckling.

After a total of seven adjustments her owner reported a 95% return to normal with only the occasional hesitation with stairs or jumping. Chloe was never on any medications nor did she do anything outside of her normal routine aside from chiropractic adjustments. It is absolutely amazing what can be done without ever needing surgery with dogs dealing with disc issues, and Chloe is a prime example!

Watch Chloe’s before and after video below!

Annie’s Partial Paralysis Reversal

Annie the sweet weim was always a healthy girl. She was active, happy, and never had any real health problems until she hit about nine years old. Suddenly she lost function in her back legs and things were looking quite bleak. Her fur dad sees a chiropractor himself and when he made mention of the issues his sweet girl was having, his chiropractor recommended a visit for Annie as well. Because of that referral, Annie has a new lease at life.

 

Annie came to see us one night and she had very little control of her hind end. She had to be helped up and supported underneath her backside in order to move forward. It was as if her back end and her brain were not communicating, or more accurately it was like her brain was speaking English when her back end only spoke German. Though Annie did have feeling in her back paws, once again her conventional options were limited.

 

Annie was probably one of the closest things to a miracle dog we have ever seen. Larger dogs struggling with paralysis often have a much harder time regaining function than small dogs simply because of size. Carrying around a much larger load makes it difficult to exercise without causing too much damage. Annie, however, defied the odds and within one week of her first adjustment was back up and walking with no added support. After two adjustments Annie was back to her normal self. It’s hard to believe she went from paralyzed to walking in less than one week without any medications or surgery. Check out her before and after video to watch Annie’s progress.

Annie’s Before and After

Daisy the Doxie Walks Again After IVDD

This little weenie pup is Daisy. She is sassy, sweet, and leader of her pack at home. So when she became partially paralyzed in her back end things did not look good. After visiting the conventional veterinarian, Daisy’s parents were told that they needed to do a serious surgery or euthanize. Sadly because of her paralysis this clinic even refused to trim her nails until a decision was made. Fed up and truly upset, Daisy’s family began asking around and looking at other options, which is when they found chiropractic.

 

Daisy had very little feeling in her back legs and wasn’t moving them at all on her first visit. She exhibited all the symptoms associated with a ruptured disc including a severe roaching of her lower back. She was curved in almost a U-shape. Daisy was not in any pain but she had lost all function.

 

On visit two Daisy was already pulling her legs underneath her. By her third visit she was able to get on top of her knees and by visit four Daisy was walking like a drunkard. Within six visits Daisy went from partially paralyzed to walking like her normal self. She was not on any medication and aside from chiropractic was not doing any other conventional treatments. Her fur parents were diligent and hopeful, and we are so thankful they put their trust in our hands! Watch a video of Daisy’s progress to truly see what a miracle she is!

Daisy Before and After Chiropractic Care

pinched nerve

Vegas and her Severe Pinched Nerve

pinched nerveMeet Vegas- a sassy and loving basset hound in the prime of her senior years. Not only is Vegas one cute number, she is also blind and partially hard of hearing. She’s been running into walls and bouncing off of them practically her entire life. Needless to say this unintentional reckless behavior did a number on her spine. Vegas woke up one day in excruciating pain, she was screaming and crying and her parents had no clue what was going on. At the vet’s office, they were given pain medication and steroids to give their girl, neither of which seemed to help at all.

 

Vegas couldn’t lift her head and turning from side to side was out of the question. When she would lie down she would have to flop over because she had no stability or way of containing herself. Getting up was an entirely different animal. On her first visit Vegas was struggling to just walk to the exam room because of her lack of mobility. She was in complete spasm in her neck region and severe pain.

 

Within one adjustment Vegas was already showing steady signs of improvement. She could turn her head side to side and lift it beyond her shoulders. She didn’t cry out upon palpation of her neck and the spasm was negligible. Within her next two adjustments Vegas was back at her puppy antics, playing games and running around with energy. Her neck issue had resolved and her inflammation was down without any need for pain medication, etc. Sometimes a pinched nerve rears its ugly head and when you relieve the pressure on the spinal cord and the nerve roots, everything resolves in a nice natural fashion!

What Dog Breeds Are Predisposed to Back Problems?

dachschunWhy do certain dog breeds suffer from back problems?

 

Did you know certain dog breeds are predisposed to back problems, like intervertebral disc disease, at much higher rates than others? Unfortunately, a combination of genetics, body shape, and daily activities contribute to this doggy dilemma. Is there anything we as pet owners can do to treat the problem? To answer this, we must first understand what contributes to disc disease.

What breeds are most affected and why?

                  The most common breeds affected by disc disease appear to be:

  • Daschunds
  • Beagles
  • Basset Hounds
  • Cocker Spaniels
  • Shih Tzus
  • Lhasa Apsos
  • Pekingese
  • Corgis

corgiThis is probably due in part to their genetics. Unfortunately, the sequence of genes in these breeds appears to predispose them to back problems at some point during their lives.

Another factor involves the length of your pet’s back. Unfortunately, a long back isn’t the best design for spine stability. Think about it like a bridge. When you are traveling over a small river, does a bridge need a ton of support in the middle? Probably not. Now, imagine traveling over a bridge multiple miles long. I bet you see support columns every couple hundred feet to help dissipate the stress over the middle of the bridge. If it didn’t, the bridge would succumb to the stress and collapse. This stress is what long backed dogs experience in their spine and discs.

pekingese back problemA final issue involves smaller breeds. The little ones tend to enjoy jumping up and down from furniture. Unfortunately, jumping can be stressful because it leads to a compressive load on their discs. Dog discs aren’t designed for a compressive force like a human disc because they don’t walk upright. Imagine for a second that a dog disc works like an Oreo. The cookie part of an Oreo represents the bones of the spine and the cream filling signifies the vertebral disc. Dog discs are designed to resist shear forces. This force is similar to what happens when you twist the cookie top off of an Oreo. When it is done this way, the icing usually remains in the middle and is stable. Now, what happens if you squeeze the cookies together? The icing squirts out! This is how a compressive load works and can lead to back problems for dogs over time.

What can we do?

There are multiple options depending on the severity of symptoms. When it comes to a structural solution, surgery and chiropractic are effective treatments. Chiropractic is a great conservative route because an animal certified practitioner can guide misaligned spinal bones back toward a normal position. When the spine is in a more normal position, inflammation and stress is reduced on the vertebral disc and nerves. This will relieve any secondary problems like back pain and even paralysis. If a course of conservative care doesn’t work a veterinarian may recommend surgery. A surgeon will be able to work on the disc and ideally relieve pressure on aggravated nerves.

Many dogs will experience back issues during their lifetime. If they are a breed listed previously, it is probably the rule rather than the exception. Vertebral disc disease can be scary for our furry friends. Fortunately, there are structural treatment options for our pets like animal chiropractic!

 

Heidi’s Paralysis

heidigrossHeidi here is one of our walking miracles. We say this because she had paralysis in both her front and back limbs. Heidi was fine one minute and the next her fur mom went to go let her in from outside and she couldn’t move. There was no rhyme or reason, no injury, no accident, just a little dachschund that could no longer stand up. After immediately rushing to the vet there was little that could be discerned other than a likely ruptured disc, a tumor, or something attacking her spinal cord. After running a myriad of tests there was still no definitive answer, and with that the veterinarian suggested trying chiropractic. He knew the importance of spinal alignment for the nervous system function, and realized that the reason a disc may have burst could easily have been from misalignment and lead to the paralysis.

At her first adjustment Heidi could hardly drag herself along. She couldn’t maintain a stand when put into the position, and her limbs were all fairly flaccid. Heidi was in severe pain in her neck and in her lower midback. Both areas were fixated and she had little to no spinal movement. She adjusted well and was sent home knowing this was going to be a long road. Well Heidi didn’t like that plan, she decided she didn’t like being an invalid. By the next weeks adjustment Heidi was walking. Though the gait was unsteady, she was actually lifting herself up and walking throughout the front lobby.

After her second adjustment she started running and her walking gait steadied. By her fourth visit Heidi was jumping again. You would never know this was the same girl that we had seen just one month prior. Heidi defied all odds and she continues to maintain her spinal alignment with monthly adjustments. We are ecstatic that she came so far so quickly, something that is certainly not the norm. The importance of alignment is shown clearly in her case. When joints don’t move properly, the discs become the victims and can easily bulge. A bulging disc can overtime turn into a herniated one, and a herniated one can easily become ruptured. The best thing fur parents can do is to make sure their babies get checked up now and again to ensure spinal alignment is good to go. Heidi here is a prime example!