Inspirational

Chiropractic Care is Not Just for People

By Dr. Andi Harper

I received a call to set up an appointment for a 10 year old Bassett hound, named Raisin, as she was having a lot of pain in her back. Her veterinarian recommended that she have a chiropractic adjustment. Raisinís owner had never heard of such a thing but trusted her vet and wanted Raisin to feel better and wished her dog would act like her old self as soon as possible. We set the appointment and I met a very sweet and painful Raisin two days later.

It was a low point when the dogís owner called a new vet, a mobile service, believing it would be to put her beloved Bassett hound "to sleep." She couldnít handle seeing Raisin in so much pain and her regular vet offered only one option. That option was an MRI to first diagnose the location of the problem and then surgery, which would have totaled about $10,000. Even though Raisin was loved very much, the price tag was just too much for Raisinís owner to consider.

This is where I come in. The second vet was aware of another option for the dog, chiropractic care. Yes, it is a sound practice for animals as well as people. When I first met Raisin, she was having a hard time getting around, weak in the back end with crossing of her back feet which is a neurological sign that a nerve is not transmitting the right or all the information from the brain, down the spinal cord to the injured area.

The first chiropractic visit is usually very strange for a dog and although Raisin was very happy to have company, she was not to happy to have me palpating her back to find the spots that hurt the most. After locating the most sensitive areas along the spine, I palpate or feel for the spinal joints that are not moving as well as other joints in the spine. Next, I adjust the animal moving the joints or vertebras so the nerves can operate freely and correctly. It is very small motion made with my hands and very quick; most owners donít even realize that I have just adjusted their pet. Usually the adjustment is non-painful but it does depend on how painful or acute the injury is when I see the pet. I am happy to report with a few head spins and a lot of squirming I completed Raisinís adjustments without incident. We set up another appointment for two weeks and for her to continue with her vetís directions. But I did warm Raisinís owner that she may be in more pain the rest of that day and that she should be kept very quiet and most likely will sleep a lot. With quadrupeds, those with four feet, it takes a little longer to integrate new neurological information than humans; therefore it takes up to three days for the pet owner to see the full results of the adjustments.

 

At our next appointment, two weeks later, I walked in to see Raisin up and about, walking around on all four feet, just a little wobbly in the back end. No more crossing of the back legs when she went to make a turn and her owner reports that she is getting around very well and having a much easier time getting up from a seated position. Raisinís owner was very excited by seeing that in a very small amount of time she went from thinking it was time to say good by to Raisin to having her dog back and about 50-60% better. Raisin would still have preferred a belly rub to all this adjusting stuff but I was excited to see her roll onto her back. If a dogís back is in pain, the last thing they will do is roll over onto their back and wiggle around.

There is a running joke in my family that I should have gone to vet school. I am happy to say being an animal chiropractor is even better! I get to be the fun doctor, the doctor that makes the pet feel better not the doctor that gives shots and takes their temperature in the you know whereÖ.And now I have the pleasure and the immense opportunity to help animals.

The most common question people ask, once they know about animal chiropractic is, "How do you know when your dog, cat, or horse needs a chiropractic adjustment?" My answer is where I ask the same question back, "How do you know when you need an adjustment? Those of you who have been to a chiropractor might answer, "Arthritis, muscle or joint injury, a previous injury that acts up, being a weekend warrior and overdoing it, muscle spasm, slips/falls. Some people choose wellness care and visit their chiropractor for a tune up once a month. It feels good and is good for your overall health and well-being.

I saw Raisin again 2 weeks later and she is still healing, yet is getting along great. She is still taking her veterinarianís advice of prescribed medications to help with the inflammation and healing. She now likes being adjusted and will sit like a perfect lady. She seems to understand that I have something to do with the fact that she experiences a lot less pain these days. She is doing so well that her follow up appointment is one month out because of her progress. It was my truest pleasure to meet Raisin and help her out of pain!! I love being an animal chiropractor.

Dr. Andi Harper graduated from National University of Health Sciences in April 2002 with her doctorate in chiropractic and completed her post-graduate course in animal chiropractic in January 2003. She has been practicing animal chiropractic for the past six years and decided to focus her practice exclusively on animals two years ago. She works out of several different veterinarian clinics around the Denver metro area. You may contact her below:

Dr. Andi Harper
Certified Animal Chiropractor
Laser Therapy
Harperís Ridge Chiropractic Care
303.518.3688
www.HarpersRidge.com

 

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