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Daisy and her Knuckling Back Legs

Say hello to this beautiful 14 year old pointer named Daisy! Daisy came to see us just a few short weeks ago due to shaking, knuckling, and dragging in her back legs. What that means is that her back two legs had started to lag when going for walks or even just motoring around the house. Come to find out Daisy had started to slow down more recently and we weren’t really sure why, and her parents were told an MRI may be in order because it could be something neurological. While that is not incorrect, we thought perhaps her issues were more of a structural nature and her folks decided to give us a go.

Daisy had very slow response time in both her hind legs when flipping her paw over. In a normal situation, she should instantly turn her paw to “right” itself as opposed to letting it stay curled under. She was taking several seconds to realize that her paws were in a wrong position. She also had a significant hunch in her midback that her parents recalled developing over the last year or so. All of these things are not uncommon as our pets age. The good news is that often times chiropractic can really help alleviate some of the pressure being placed on the spinal cord, which in turn may be altering the communication between the brain and body.

This was exactly the situation with Daisy. Her roached up mid back was increasing pressure on her spinal cord, causing inflammation and leading to delays in communication and altered nerve interaction. After two adjustments her hunch was notably decreased and she no longer had a delay in her knuckling response. The dragging had stopped and our girl suddenly had that pep in her step back. Daisy has now seen us four times and she is 100% back to herself. We look forward to helping this girl hang around for several more years to come!

Ben and his Disc Bulge

Say hi to the sweetest boxer face in the entire world. Benjamin here is one of the happiest and healthiest guys around, but he wasn’t always this smiley thanks to a bad disc in his back. Don’t let his white face fool you, he can keep up with his younger siblings no problem now. When we first met Ben, he could barely move. He wouldn’t lay down because he was in so much pain and he would pace 24/7. He couldn’t get comfortable and his mom feared the worst, that his time had come and she would need to make an awful decision.

Before going that route, his mom decided to try chiropractic for Ben. On his first visit it was clear that Ben was dealing with a severely pinched nerve, likely caused by a disc bulge. He was hunched up and in a great deal of pain. His paw was knuckling under and he was exhausted from lack of sleep. That week he was adjusted twice, and after that first adjustment he slept more than he had in since the episode began.

After three adjustments Ben was sleeping like normal, he was no longer pacing, and he was able to relax during the day. Though he wasn’t back to 100% just yet, his improvement was remarkable. After six weeks of adjustments, Ben was back to himself and then some! He was active, playful, initiating play, running, jumping, and keeping up with his younger siblings. He couldn’t wait for his walks again, and mom was finally able to sleep in her bed again instead of curled up next to him on the dog bed. Benjamin is a rockstar, and we continue to see him to make sure he is able to maintain the progress he has made. You’d never know this man was 11, and we hope to keep him that way!

Louie with Neurological Issues

Say hi to Louie! This handsome cocker had back surgery a few years ago when he had paralysis in his back end. He went through two months of rehabilitation and was finally up and walking again. Since then he has always had somewhat of a drunkard walk and within the last several months had been having frequent episodes of slipping, knuckling under, spasm, and near immobility in his back end. He was diagnosed with neurological issues but there was no reason as to why or what could be done. Concerned for the worst, his parents decided to look into more  options to help this young buck out.

Louie was like a new man after his first adjustment. He was walking straighter, his walk seemed to stabilize and he had so much more energy. His progress was amazing and the neurological problems began to subside faster than anyone had hoped. The episodes became fewer and fewer and then got to the point where he wasn’t having them at all. He wasn’t in any pain and had truly returned to his pre-surgery self. 

With Louie we’ve found that his body responds well to monthly maintenance visits. The one time we extended this, Louie had a minor few episodes. Upon returning to his normal schedule, he’s been right as rain. Louie is a perfect example of how the body has to compensate after surgery. Though the surgery itself removed pressure on the spinal cord, years later the joints above and below had to make up for the one having been operated on. These in turn began putting pressure on the cord and causing him to have similar episodes to his first bout of paralysis. Now Louie has found something that works for him, he is medication free, and is truly a remarkable man!

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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!

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Guinness the Dachshund with IVDD

IVDDMeet Guinness the dachshund, he has IVDD. Guinness is just a baby and he began having some serious back pain because of the disc disease. After going to their veterinarian, Guinness was given several options including medication for now and potentially surgery later on, maybe a wheelcart, depending on his own situation. That was certainly a lot of information to take in for such a young and once spunky guy. He was diagnosed with IVDD, a very common condition in the Weiner dog world. Once they got him home from the vet, his fur parents really wanted to look into other options for his care.

Guinness came to see us shortly after this bout of pain began. He was crying, shaking, and unwilling to do his normal everyday activities. Even bending his head down to eat was a problem, and he certainly wasn’t jumping up onto the sofa anymore. It all had happened quite quickly and what seemed to be out of nowhere. Guinness walked in all hunched up and was a tight little ball of muscle spasm. We gave his dad a few different exercises to try with him and told him to get back in one week later for another visit to get the ball rolling.

Touching base with his dad a few days later, Guinness was already 70 percent back to himself. He wasn’t on any medications, he was walking and eating, and he was back to getting on his bed and the sofa. After visit number two his hunch had completely disappeared and he was walking completely normal. Guinness will always have IVDD, and the risk of him getting hurt is definitely higher, however, because his parents have chosen to supplement his standard care with chiropractic, we are hoping to prevent the majority of what normally comes with the diagnosis. We have no interest in seeing Guinness undergo surgery or end up in a cart, that’s why he has become a well adjusted dog!

luxating patella

Bonzi the Dog with Ear Infections and Luxating Patella

Say hello to Bonzi, and yes he is as fun of a dog as his name might imply. Bonzi is a young guy, in his very early years, and he was dealing with some serious struggles. He was limping on his back leg, was losing energy, and was having pretty chronic ear infections as well. Bonzi is a really active dude, so it stands to reason that he has probably thrown himself out of whack a time or two, which is exactly why his parents wanted to try out animal chiropractic!

 

Bonzi came in with significant muscle loss in his back right leg. Turns out he had been favoring it much longer than he had exhibited symptoms, as the muscle tone was so different between his left and right side. In addition, this guy despite him being a larger breed dog, had luxating patella in this same hind leg. It was both good news and bad, because it explained his lameness, however luxating patella in a large breed dog can be a little more troublesome to manage! On top of all his hind end issues, Bonzi had been a long time sufferer of ear infections. They didn’t happen constantly, but they did happen consistently. After giving him a good once over, he certainly needed some work!

 

Bonzi has been seen a handful of times now. During this time, his luxating patella has improved in the frequency with which it pops out thanks to chiropractic and his parents doing diligent at home exercises, his ear infections happen less often and when one shows up they know its time to get adjusted, and his muscle tone in both of his hind legs are equal as he no longer limps. Bonzi is a wonderful pup that gets to really enjoy his life again thanks to his parent’s interest in alternative therapy. We love this guy!

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Holden with Arthritis and a Cruciate Tear

It’s about time we introduced everyone to Holden. Don’t let his handsome face and boyish charm fool you, this senior dog was seriously on the struggle bus earlier this year. We received a phone call in the early spring regarding Holden. He was not weight-bearing on the right hind leg due to a cruciate tear and because of his fourteen years, was not a candidate for cruciate ligament surgery. He also did not travel well because he was horribly arthritic and it was uncomfortable for him to be in the car. Basically, Holden was a mess, and his parents were besides themselves trying to figure out what they could do to help him along his journey.

 

Holden had lost a significant amount of muscle by the time we met him. His strong leg was already weakened and unstable because of how much he had to favor it, and his injured leg had hardly any strength at all. He was only putting the tip of his toes down and that was on every seven or eight steps. Holden didn’t want to sit, lay down, or play. The simplest tasks were becoming hard for him. We explained how chiropractic can often help facilitate healing of the knee and cruciate ligament and stabilize the injury in situations such as Holden’s. Not only would an adjustment regimen help the injured leg improve, but it would also help with his arthritis and the rest of his ailments.

 

Because of the severity of Holden’s injury, we saw him three weeks in a row and then every other week for an additional month. At the end of those seven weeks this pup was fully weight bearing, walking, running, and sitting without trouble. His lameness was no longer present and his strength had returned. This fourteen year old was acting more like a six year old and you’d never have known that a few months earlier it seemed like he may be on his last leg. Between chiropractic and good parenting, Holden has been able to live a much better quality of life and he’s made 2017 a great year. Hoping 2018 turns out even better as he continues to maintain his strength and excitement!

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Monti Blu the Mastiff with Seizures and Ear Troubles

dogseizuresWe’d like to cordially introduce you to Monti Blu. Monti here is a rescue mastiff that is nearly 100 pounds of straight loving. Monti started having seizures this year in addition to having horribly infected ears and a scratchy coat with a huge hunch in his back. In other words, Monti was a mess. His mom and dad wanted Monti to have every chance at a great life, and since he’s only four, they figured better start now!

 

Monti’s first visit occurred the morning after he had multiple seizures in a row the day before. He had been on a cocktail of medications but none had seemed to help and most just left him exhausted and lethargic, yet restless to the point where he couldn’t sleep. The seizures started out of nowhere this past year and couldn’t be link to any one specific event, which is why we thought there may be a structural component to why they were happening. (Check out our blogs on seizures for more information on how structure can alter brain conductivity!) He had struggled with ear issues for some time and also a very scratchy, dandruff filled coat.

 

We started seeing Monti Blu every other week for the first two months, and during that time frame he didn’t have a single seizure. He began to sleep soundly for the first time in months and he had more energy than he had ever had previously. Carefully, we began to spread Monti’s adjustments out to see if he would hold. During the next four months, Monti only had two seizures and they were quite mild compared to before. He came out of them quickly and seemed to normalize without much trouble. During this time his ears also began to clear and thanks to the addition of coconut and fish oil, Monti’s coat no longer had any dry skin. In a matter of four months, Monti’s entire life changed just because his parents trusted chiropractic to help, and it did! We love Mr. Monti Blu and look forward to helping him age gracefully and hopefully near seizure-free!

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!

Sweet Cyda and her Constipation

Meet Cyda- this sweet Siamese cat is one we can’t help but adore. She’s dealt with a great deal of issues recently but one of them is no longer a problem…her constipation! Cyda has dealt with limping in both her back and front end, and several months ago it was due to her being “backed up”. This is a more common problem than most of us realize, and getting her to go made all the difference!

 

Cyda came to us because she was limping in both her back and front end. Last time this occurred it was because she hadn’t been able to poop. Her nerves controlling her ability to contract her bowels weren’t working properly and in turn this also affected the nerves controlling her back legs. Within an hour of her first adjustment Cyda was able to have a proper movement without straining.

 

Since then, we’ve know moved focus to the greater issue at hand which is really her front end, however that is a tale for another time. Right now, we want to say how happy we are that this baby girl hasn’t had any more bathroom issues. The straining is gone and she goes regularly without trouble! Her hind end is strong and she shows no weakness. This just goes to show how all the nerves work together, and when something is impacted (whether that be literally or figuratively) everything can be altered!