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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Canine Chiropractor - any experiences with this?
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Member Since:
30 January 2024
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1 March 2024 - 6:38 pm
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We met with a rehab vet yesterday; Trevor is two weeks post op for a front forelimb amputation due to chondrosarcoma. 

Our vet recommended he also see a chiropractor; her practice does not currently offer that service, though they do bodywork as part of their land therapy (stretching, strength, etc.) and hydrotherapy program. She has one she highly recommends, but it's quite a drive for me, and we're already  going to be seeing her twice a week for six weeks - and she's not that close by either. I have started looking for chiropractors closer to home, and she says she'll help me assess if they seem like good prospects, have the right certification, etc.  It seems this is a relatively new field within veterinary care? I could be wrong. It feels a bit like the wild west out there; some chiropractors treat both humans and animals. I'm just a little nervous about it for some reason. And hesitant to make this big drive to the place she recommends, although if it's the best place to go, I supposed I can do it. I want to do all I can to facilitate his healing, and I have good insurance; it's so far covering 90% of my recovery services, and it includes chiropractic work. But I also need to work - and find some balance for myself. 

I'm curious if anyone here has taken their dog to a chiropractor as part of their rehab process, and if you feel it was beneficial - and any red flags to watch out for? 


The Rainbow Bridge

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25 April 2007
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1 March 2024 - 8:36 pm
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Hi Diana,

There are many members here who have had good chiro experiences with their animals. I'm hoping Karen sees this so that she can chime in on her experiences.

Our recent interview with veterinary rehab practitioner Dr. Mandi Blackwell has a good discussion about chiro that starts at 18:50 in this video below.


The Rainbow Bridge

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25 April 2007
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1 March 2024 - 8:38 pm
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As far as chiro being new, no, not at all. But what is new is the amount of oversight states are now doing to make sure qualified people are doing it on pets. You want to make sure it's a veterinarian, as Dr. Blackwell suggests in that video. 

That's neat your insurance is covering so much of the care. What company are you using?

And I agree, there's your balance too! Put on your oxygen mask first. Good thinking!

Livermore, CA

Member Since:
18 October 2009
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2 March 2024 - 2:41 pm
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Hi Diana,

My first experience with a dog chiropractor was back in 2012 with my quad Pug Tani.  She had terrible arthritis as well as mobility issues due to a brain injury.  I was skeptical when my regular vet suggested I try a chiropractic vet, it didn't seem like it would help arthritis pain. She was already on meds but was still uncomfortable.  I was truly amazed how much it helped her!  She had a pep in her step for several weeks after each treatment.  I don't remember how often the treatments were, maybe 6 to 8 weeks.  It worked well enough that I continued treatments for two years or so, past her 14th birthday. 

I just started chiropractic treatments with my rear amp Tripawd Elly.  Elly is just over 9 years old and has been on 3 for 8.5 years, she lost her leg to a car accident when she was 7 months old.  About a year and a half ago Elly injured her remaining hip- the iliopsoas muscle specifically. We did rehab treatments that year and updated her at home exercise program.  Elly got better but had developed a new issue- she couldn't express her anal glands naturally which lead to once a month visits to our regular vet to have them drained.  Last fall we had our annual rehab check up an the new vet (the old one left) suggest a new med, an updated supplement as well as chiropractic.

I started the new med right away, added the updated supplement about a month later (because I was using up the old supplement) and she had her first chiro adjustment in January, she just had her second one last week.  The first adjustment was rough- her pelvis was way out of wack, several vertebra we out in her low back as well as near her shoulders.  She was sore that day and the next- I gave her some rimadyl to help (per the vet). It's hard to explain the change in her gait- the best I can do is that she was moving more fluidly.  At the second adjustment last week her pelvis was still out but not as bad, and she needed less adjustment in her vertebra. The chiro vet expects the pelvis to be 'out' every time we visit because she is missing all of her back leg.

The huge change... for the first time in over a year her anal glands were empty in February (between chiro adjustments).  I think the meds had something to do with that as well, I'm hoping the combination of everything were doing will keep her comfortably hopping for years!


Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls and Boy

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010


              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

Member Since:
30 January 2024
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2 March 2024 - 7:33 pm
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Thank you, Karen, for the encouraging stories about Tani and Elly! Sounds like it's really worked well for your pups, and in combination with other measures. It's great to hear you are seeing such gait improvement with Elly. Thanks for sharing your experience with this! 

Rene, thanks for the video with Dr. Blacker's discussion - super helpful! I will make sure whomever we work with is a veterinarian. You asked about our insurance; we have Trupanion, with a recovery rider. They didn't cover the initial evaluation with the rehab vet, but are covering the therapeutic services. 

The Rainbow Bridge

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25 April 2007
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3 March 2024 - 12:17 pm
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You are so welcome Diana! Glad to know that Trupanion is coming through in a big way.

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