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Belle the Doberman and her Neurological Issues

Say hello to Belle. She is a beautiful 13 year old doberman that has been an incredibly healthy girl. Out of the blue, Belle began to walk drunkenly one weekend. It progressed rapidly to the point where she could barely walk at all, was dragging her legs, and not wanting to eat. The vet gave her dad some doggy aspirin and said the next step would be a trip to the neurologist. Now Belle’s dad would do anything for her, but he was concerned that he would be told she’d need invasive surgery and he knew that wasn’t an option for his girl. So his own mom recommended he come see us.

Belle was not wanting to weight bear on her back left leg much when she came in. Her head hung low and she was terribly stiff. Any fluidity to her movements were gone and we could tell she was in some pain. Her front paws had begun to knuckle under and we were worried that these neurological symptoms would keep getting worse. After her very first adjustment Belle walked out of the room a little steadier and her gait looked mildly improved. Upon her recheck later that week, Belle walked in on slippery tile and didn’t fall once. Her stability was better and she was holding her head up high.

By her third visit just one week later Belle came bouncing into the office without a care in the world. This girl was moving like a rockstar, without an ounce of stiffness notable. Her dad tells us she is almost 100% and is doing even better than he had ever imagined. She’s on joint supplementation to help maintain her progress and we will check in on her to make sure she stays up to snuff. Belle had pressure being placed on her spinal cord, and once that pressure was removed it was as if she were a new dog. Yay Belle!

 

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.

Why Puppy Sitting is only Acceptable in Puppies!

Is puppy sitting a bad thing? Well for starters YOU should NEVER sit on a puppy. But that’s not what we’re talking about! No we are talking about the way your little pooch pie sits!

puppy sitting

Is there anything more adorable than a puppy? Sure, they may eat your shoes and stain your carpet yellow – but they are still cute. Even the way they sit captivates you and your friends. However, puppy sitting (also known as sloppy sitting or the lazy sit) can indicate a problem for dogs after one- two years of age. Why is this? Find out below.

Normal sitting vs puppy sitting

                  Dogs after the first two years should sit up straight with their body directly over their hips. This is considered normal sitting. If a dog is sitting with their hind legs sideways, rather than under the hips, it is considered puppy sitting or sloppy sitting. This isn’t as big of a problem when dogs are young because their ligaments are very lax. However, older dogs should be more stable and sitting this way can indicate numerous problems.

What problems might be related?

                  There are numerous potential conditions that may be related to abnormal sitting posture. They are:

  • Hip problems – This includes potential items such as hip dysplasia, hip arthritis, or anything else that causes an inflammatory response in the joint.
  • Knee pain – This could be the result of something as serious as a torn cruciate ligament or something more chronic in nature as a luxating patella.
  • Back pain – Back pain may be the result of altered biomechanics, which would affect the joints involved in sitting.

Problems with the anal glands and other inflammatory issues related to the hind end may also contribute.

Buddies Pet Canine Pugs Sitting Dog Bench

What can we do?

                  If the issue is biomechanical, such as hip, knee, or back issues than a good treatment option includes animal chiropractic. The goal of chiropractic care is to restore normal alignment to abnormal joints using very gentle, specific corrections known as adjustments. These adjustments will help restore normal motion and help your pet sit comfortably. There are other potential causes though, and it may be worth a visit to your primary care vet.

So, is puppy sitting a bad thing? The answer to that is no – if your dog is still a puppy. However, abnormal sitting can indicate multiple other issues such as hip, knee, or back problems. There are options, however. Animal chiropractic via a certified veterinarian or chiropractor will help the biomechanical problems. A routine visit to your primary care vet can help rule out other issues. To sum things up, your puppy is cute but the way he sits isn’t after the first 2 years of development!

reversesneeze

Reverse Sneezing in Dogs

Reverse Sneezing And Your Dog – What Is It?

reversesneezeReverse sneezing is a common respiratory event in dogs characterized by sudden, rapid, and repeated inhalations through the nose, followed by snorts and gagging. This can be a terrifying experience for dog owners. The good news? It doesn’t appear to be harmful for dogs without underlying conditions such as heart disease. In fact, many dogs are normal before and after a reverse sneezing attack. Why does this occur then?

What is the cause?

                  There are a few potential causes of a reverse sneeze. However, the most common appear to be the result of soft palate irritation. This can be caused by many factors including:

  • Excitement
  • Eating or drinking
  • Exercise
  • Irritation of the throat via a leash
  • Foreign bodies in the throat

These potential irritators lead to a narrowing of the airway making it temporarily difficult to breathe. As a result, a dog will try and remove the offending aggravator by rapidly breathing in an out – which may sound like choking. This is the body’s way of trying to clear the affected respiratory area.

reversesneezeHow to treat reverse sneezing?

Typically, a dog will not need any treatment. Most episodes end up resolving quickly on their own. However, there are a couple of treatment methods that can be used depending on the severity of the condition. To begin with, some believe an episode can be shortened by closing the dog’s nostrils with your hand and gently massaging the throat for a few seconds. It is possible this works by helping the dog relax and forcing them to breathe through their mouth. If the episode doesn’t resolve quickly, or is chronic, vets may recommend anti-histamines. This appears to be rarely necessary though.

Reverse sneezing is a scary condition the first time an owner experiences it. After all, it can sound a lot like choking. It is rarely an issue for dogs though. In fact, most dogs are completely normal after an episode. It typically doesn’t require anything more than time. However, if you are concerned about your pet’s health, certainly contact your veterinarian.

 

Youtube Link to example:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=reverse+sneeze+dog

diabetes

Diabetic Neuropathy in Pets

With diabetes becoming ever more common in our furry friends, it’s no wonder that we are seeing an increasing number of animals with more severe complications from this condition. What I’d like to discuss today is diabetic neuropathy.

diabetic neuropathy

What is diabetic neuropathy?

Diabetic neuropathy is a complication of diabetes, usually in the long-term.

 

What are the symptoms?

“Neuropathy” literally translates to pathology of the nerves or nervous system. Diabetic neuropathy involves a staggering gait and severe difficulty walking. The animal will fall and tumble, often times unable to steady himself. Potty-ing can become an issue as well as they can fall backward into their business or into the litter box. Aside from the normal complications of diabetes, the high blood glucose levels will start to attack the organs as well.

 

diabetic catWhat can be done for diabetic neuropathy?

Recently we’ve had a great deal of success introducing chiropractic to animals dealing with diabetic neuropathy. Through nutritional changes and addressing the nervous system, both the neuropathy and the diabetes can be addressed. What once was such a damning diagnosis now has significant hope attached. When the nutritional component is addressed, the blood glucose levels often become regulated. As this occurs, the body is able to stabilize metabolically and maintain some sense of homeostasis. As the body no longer needs to focus such attention and energy on homeostasis, it is able to normalize.

 

Though neuropathy can be a very scary diagnosis, it is absolutely manageable going an alternative route. Quality of life can be improved as can overall health. Questions about your pet with diabetic neuropathy, neuropathy, or diabetes? Feel free to contact us for more information of what chiropractic can do for your fur baby!