K-9 Chiropractic? Who Knew?

posted April 12th, 2011 by
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Dr  Duree pic I

 For over 100 years here in the United States, Doctors of Chiropractic have been treating human spines and extremities.   Why not treat dogs too?   Doctors Certified in Animal Chiropractic do just that!

Chiropractic is the healthcare science that focuses on optimal joint function.  With chiropractic, the patient, as a whole person or a whole dog, is the center of care, not just the symptom or the disease process.   The goal of treatment is to restore and to maintain full function of the joints.  Doing so improves the neurological aspect of health.  

What usually brings a patient to the chiropractor is pain.  With dogs, pain may take on many forms.   Your dog may have difficulty climbing, jumping, or walking.   He may not be able to get up from a laying or sitting position.   He may resist any movement as you attempt tugging on the leash to go forward.  You also may see him shaking his head frequently.   There could be problems with eating or lack of interest in playing with toys.   Other signs of pain could include abnormal postures when standing or sitting, or holding the tail to one side instead of wagging it from side to side.   A dog may demonstrate behavioral changes like snapping, or may not be interested in playing with family members

What causes these changes in the dog’s ability to perform normal, usual activities?   It may be that the dog jumped from a great height or was hit by a car.   Or a series of micro traumas may occur over a span of time that has a cumulative effect.  Jumping in and out of cars, jerking at the leash and riding in a car with sudden starts and stops are examples of micro traumas.  Dogs that perform agility, flyball and herding may be prone to joint strain due to the high physical demands of these activities.

And with age, degenerative changes occur at the joints and the intervertebral discs just like with humans.   This degenerative process is accelerated if the joint dysfunction goes untreated. If the dog is overweight, the additional weight strains the joints in an ongoing way every minute of the day.

Chiropractic treatment helps to restore normal joint dysfunction.   And in so doing, the treatment relieves pain, helps promote full healing, restores and maintains full function and prevents accelerated degeneration.

Most dogs enjoy the treatment.   The doctor starts by performing a complete examination, including taking a complete history and doing a gait analysis.  Chiropractic adjustments are performed by hand in a gentle manner using very little force.  

The speed of recovery depends on many different factors.   The longer the condition has been present, the longer the recovery.   Older dogs will heal more slowly, but the quality of life will improve with treatment.  Much depends on how much damage has been done to the nervous system and the joints’ soft tissues, and/or damage to the spinal cord, the spinal nerve and/or the disc and joint tissues.   The speed of recovery also depends upon how well the dog’s owner cooperates with the recommendations of the doctor.  If the doctor recommends that the dog be rested in the kennel for two days, it is important to do so for the best result.   If the doctor advises that the dog be walked on leash and not allowed to run free, then it is important to do so for the best result.

The power that made the body also heals the body.  There are no unrealistic goals…only unrealistic time frames for healing.

Dr. Willa Duree, D.C., CCSP, CAC

Doctor of Chiropractic for humans, dogs and horses.

Utilizing spinal decompression and cold laser therapies.


Shawnee, OK  74802

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