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.