degenerative disease and chiropractics - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-11-2012, 05:03 AM Thread Starter
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degenerative disease and chiropractics

I dont have much experience with chiropractics for pets. I do for myself and humans though.

Anyone here have success with chiropractics in making a full recovery or stopping progression of spinal degenerative disease?

My dog was bunny hopping and then I dont know what happened she started to do splits when getting up, her hind legs got really weak and she would have trouble getting up, when she walks she drags her paws (not her toe) due to weakness. I thought it was hip dysplasia and started to supplement fishoil and glucosamine and tried to put her on a diet. I also took her to the vet and he did some physical exams and did a lateral xray. He checked to see if she corrected her foot when he positioned it on the ground so her ankle is bent forward. She didnt and he said that's indicative of some neurological issues. Where? can't say.

He also said a VD/BD (?) xray will show hip dysplasia but she needs sedation so we'll have to do later. But I asked him if he can rule out degenerative disease with hip dysplasia and she said no. He said he tried clicking her hips and said her hips were fine with no clicking.
So, basically even if I were to get all the xrays and MRIs in the world, the treatment is basically pain meds, quality of life, and surgery if I can afford $40k. He was supportive of alternative therapies.

She is 9 years old.

I started looking into chiropractics and acupuncture and am wondering if anyone has any success stories?? Could use some.

I have heard lots of success stories with dogs using supplements for arthritis like Cosequin DS, glucosamine, and other anti inflammatory supplements like tumeric, curcumin, etc. so I will be doing that in the case she has hip dysplasia. Also will be reducing her weight. She weighs 75lbs at the moment and for someone with arthritis, may be a bit much.

Regarding degenerative disease, i dont know what to do. Her lateral xray shows spondylosis of her lumbar vertebrae but it was impossible to see any nerve compression. And even if you can see it, no real treatment.

I have spoken with an animal chiropractor (really genuine and nice older man, chiropractor for 40+ years, treats race dogs and horses) and he explained that it's possible that its something in her cervical area. He said there's no guarantee but he has seen cases stop progression and others that don't respond.

Any success stories let's hear them!

EDIT: Oh yeah, I remember a few months ago she was playing ball (Fetch) and for some reason she let out a small yelp and stopped retrieving. And I couldn't figure out what happened and the whole day she was holding her neck or back funny and wouldn't go into "down" position. I thought she had bloat or something but read about how she may have pulled a muscle in her back or neck. Now that I think about it, that incident could be she pulled her neck out of alignment. All of the hind leg symptoms started to appear after that incident. She didn't have that issue prior.

Last edited by pancake; 10-11-2012 at 05:07 AM.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-11-2012, 05:12 AM
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I had an interesting conversation along this line with a veterinary accupuncturist and chiropractor about this last year--this is a DVM who is also certified in those other areas.

She said that it's worth doing accupuncture (or chiro) on a dog who is showing symptoms of DM--but that if the dog has DM instead of another sort of problem, there will not be any improvement after a few months. A dog who has another problem (injury related, etc) will often show some level of improvement.


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-11-2012, 05:57 AM
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I have a post here on Grim which I quit updating-last post in April -and I will update today.

Basically I think acupuncture, cold laser, and oriental medicines are worth a shot. [short version]

We think it was a disc compression injury. Myelograms, MRIS, surgery-gave me abuot a 50% chance of doing any good and same for making it worse so we opted conservative management. They said why spend the thousands of dollars and anesthesia risk on the diagnostics if you are not going to do the surgery. [we did do x-rays]

My holistic vet and several other vets did not think the spondylosis on the spine near the end of the ribs was of much concern though. She saw what she felt was a little arthritis in the lumbar area. Hips were still top notch. She did not want to do chiro on a dog with degenerative changes though and opted for acupuncture and cold laser and oriental medicines

He actually got significantly better. Here we are in October, he can chase a ball but I limit it and now takes a daily Oriental herbal. Some days are better than others but all days are better than we started. I do think the acupuncture and meds made a difference. The acupuncture started at twice a week but not it has been over a month. It is not so overly expensive as high tech options so it may be worth a try.

On the bad days we have some instability and I can usually tell and back off some on any excercise. On the good days, his stance is wider than before and he walks with a wider stance but does not seem in pain. He is definitely a little weaker on the back than his younger days.


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-11-2012, 08:20 AM
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Jax bunny hops, has mild HD, but I saw a huge difference in her gait and speed after chiro adjustment. I would say absolutely go for it if you think her back is out. It certainly won't hurt to try

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-11-2012, 08:42 AM
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I have taken my dog(s) to chiro/therapy/ acupuncture/Chinese Meds..Found them ALL to be beneficial, I think the first thing 'they' should know tho, is structural status.

I know the chiro I used, wanted to see xrays before doing anything.

The laser really helped one of my senior dogs when he was showing neuro signs from anaplasmosis, water therapy can be good to

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-11-2012, 11:09 AM
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Chiro won't give a full recovery to a 9 year old dog with degenerative disease.

However, it will help A LOT, and will definitely slow further progression. If you think there was a specific event, such as that yelp, that may be something that will resolve completely with an adjustment. I have used chiro on my dogs since 2001 with great success.

Acupuncture/cold laer also effective, but nothing can affect the body in the way chiro does.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-11-2012, 06:02 PM Thread Starter
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Awesome this is all good news and great to hear. I'm actually hoping it is related specifically to that one incident I can recall and maybe it will help . either way I'm going to make an appointment and will update on how it goes. Fingers crossed*
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-11-2012, 09:57 PM
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The late Barker Sisters responded very well to Chiro/accupuncture. They were 6 & 9 or so when they started. Loved having the late gimpy BTE come out of chiro, walking straight and feeling so much better.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-12-2012, 12:54 AM Thread Starter
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That's great. Is there any cranking or twisting involved? How do they adjust a dog's spine?
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