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Archie with IVDD and a Ruptured Disc

Meet sweet Archie. He is a senior dachshund that lost the use of his back legs thanks to a disc injury for the second time this past winter. The first time this occurred was one year ago, and with cage rest and medication, Archie was able to re-gain function in his back end. We suspect the first injury was a disc bulge secondary to IVDD. This year when it happened, his mom was worried because it appeared much worse and was likely a ruptured disc as opposed to just a bulging one. It was worse than last time and she didn’t see much change with just medication. She contacted us right away and decided to do chiropractic with him.
At his first visit Archie had only a mild deep pain response in his back legs and had no movement at all. His muscle tone was like jello, he had no bowel and bladder control, and his back was incredibly hunched up. His mom had to bring Archie in using a laundry basket. It was heartbreaking to watch, especially as this little guy did everything he could to try and get around. He wasn’t showing any signs of pain, just confusion as to why he couldn’t move!
Archie was patient as was his mom. She followed our instructions to a T, she used all the tools we gave her and did so religiously. It was 7 adjustments later when Archie came in on his own accord, without a laundry basket, and on a leash. We nearly cried. It had been two and a half months since Archie’s first visit and each time he showed slight bits of progress. His mom never gave up and she entrusted us with the care of her beautiful boy. While Archie may have IVDD, he is moving beautifully, he has tons of energy, and he has never let his ruptured disc bring him down. Check out his before and after videos below!

 

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Milo with IVDD and partial paresis

Milo is a young dachshund that  has had back problems due to IVDD on multiple occasions. The incident that brought him in to see us was more drastic than the previous ones. His back had hunched up, his neck was in spasm, and he was dragging his back legs. Milo was in significant pain and his back was like a rock. There was moderate sensitivity in his thoracolumbar junction. Poor little man was just not himself.

Milo started to relax even during his adjustment on day one. We applied some light traction and decompression therapy and he just melted. Getting pressure off of his disc was a huge relief for him. His parents were given some at home instructions and Milo went home. After two  visits Milo was back on his feet, his hunch had begun to decrease and he was holding his head up higher. He seemed happier and had gone back to eating normally.

After one month of treatment, Milo came trotting in to see us and didn’t even slip on the tile flooring. His back is almost totally flattened and his sensitivity level is well within normal. Milo is a sweetheart that is too young to be faced with a lifetime of back problems, and we are hoping with chiropractic we can help prevent future episodes by keeping his spine moving properly!

Milo before and after chiropractic!

Holly’s Disc Disease and Paralysis

ivddMeet Holly.  She is a 5 year old Dachshund who woke up one day and couldn’t use her back legs thanks to a bad disc.  Naturally, her mother was frantic and immediately took her to the vet.  The vet was not optimistic about her recovery and told the owner that she may want to consider putting her down if she doesn’t start using her rear legs within 48 hours.  The vet recommended a trip to the neurologist and surgery as the only option to alleviate her intervertebral disc disease (IVDD).  Her mom couldn’t afford the recommended surgical route and went to google to find an alternative solution.

Fortunately, she found us!  She called, and we immediately gave her a few tips to help slow the inflammation and secondary damage that results from a disc bulge.  We also gave her a few rehab exercises to stimulate the injured nerves until we could arrive the next day.  When we showed up, she was starting to use her back legs again!  Sure, they weren’t working optimally but we knew with some care and rehab she should return close to 100% of her previous self.

After evaluating her spine, we found some muscle guarding, restriction, and spasm in the mid spine region right where her disc disease was suspected.  We addressed these issues, as well as some problems in the hips.  With the dysfunction in these areas now corrected, it took stress off the parts of the spine pushing on Holly’s injured disc.  We are happy to report that after about a month she is pretty much her old self!  She is running around and as spunky as she has been in a long time.  Now, we are on a plan to check her periodically just to help stabilize the spine, so we don’t have any future issues.  We look forward to seeing her live another 10 years as healthy as her first 5! Check her out below 🙂

 

Tank the Boston Terrier with IVDD

Say hello to sweet Tank! Tank is a six year old Boston Terrier that lost complete function in his back end one weekend. After a trip to the emergency veterinarian, Tank was diagnosed with intervertebral disc disease that had caused a likely disc to herniate or rupture. The family was recommended to do an MRI and immediately follow with surgery, though there was no guarantee Tank would walk again after doing all of the above. After a little internet research, Tank’s parents opted to go the alternative route for a couple of weeks before making any other decisions.

Within his first adjustment, Tank went from unable to hold a stand to actually attempting to stand on his own. Though this is not the norm, we were amazed at how quickly his body rebounded. Three days after the adjustment Tank was able to pull his knees up underneath him. By the second visit he was actually pulling himself up to a stand on his toes. At his third adjustment Tank was using one of his back legs to walk while hobbling on the other. And after four visits, Tank is walking and even running, though a little funnily at first.

Tank had severe compression of his spinal cord from the intervertebral disc disease, when this happens the body has a natural reaction to shut down, which is where the paralysis comes from. As the vertebrae are able to move again, inflammation dies down as it is flushed out of the system and normal function is able to return. The beauty in chiropractic is that we are able to help return within normal function to the spine, and when that happens, we are restoring balance to the system, rather than just removing pressure from one zone and placing it on another. Because of this, we very rarely have seen pets relapse, which can happen with disc disease. Tank is an absolute rockstar, and we hope you’ll take a minute to see for yourself below!

 

Sky and her Partial Paralysis

Meet Sky! This perfect little munchkin was fine one minute and shortly thereafter she couldn’t use her back legs or her front legs. She was dragging herself around and seemed to be in significant pain. After a visit to the vet, she was diagnosed with IVDD and was recommended to do an MRI and surgery. She was prescribed prednisone and pain medication in the meantime.

Sky came to see us two days after the initial incident and at this point she had regained control of her front end, however her back end was not working. She couldn’t pick herself up and she would drag. Her mom would support her with a towel under her back end so that she wouldn’t tear herself up. Sky never lost her bowel and bladder control initially.

After her first visit, Sky began to regain control. Though the initial getting up part was still a little labored, she could do it and then walk close to normally without any assistance! Sky has been seen three times in the past three weeks and she has come a long way. She went from paralyzed to walking in a short period of time as the pressure on her spinal cord was released. Between chiropractic adjustments and at home exercises this girl has made a near full recovery, yay Sky! Check out her video below.

 

Sky Before and After!

Princeton the Dachshund and his Disc Bulge

Take a moment to meet Princeton. This handsome fellow was diagnosed with a disc problem that suddenly came out of nowhere. He began dragging his back leg and his parents feared it wouldn’t be long before he was partially paralyzed. They were told the options were surgery, a cart, and possible euthanasia. Princeton’s parents knew there had to be another option so instead they elected to try alternative care first.

At Princeton’s first visit we could see how much he was struggling with his one hind leg. It was knuckled under and dragging, he didn’t have much feeling in his back end, and we were concerned he may lose bowel and bladder control. He did, however, manage to wag his tail which was an incredibly good sign. It looked as though Princeton had the beginning stages of a disc bulge that if left alone could lead to a ruptured disc. 

Princeton was adjusted three times in two weeks and then once a week for the next couple of visits. By the second visit Princeton was already showing signs of improvement. He was resisting during his exercises and the feeling in his back leg appeared to be coming back. By his third visit Princeton had begun to lift his one leg up and attempt to use it. By his third week of treatments Princeton was actually utilizing the dragging leg. After a total of six visits, Princeton was back to himself. He is able to run and jump and his back leg no longer drags. His back moves beautifully and he continues to get regular chiropractic care just to maintain his mobility in his spine! Watch below to see his before and after video!

 

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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!

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.

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