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Chiropractic care beneficial for pets

posted February 21st, 2017 by
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Holistic healthcare for our families, both human and furry members, continues to gain popularity. If you haven’t had a chance to read about Dr. Corinna Tressler and her work with acupuncture, be sure to pick up the January/February issue of Tulsa Pets Magazine or read it online.

Also falling under the umbrella of holistic healthcare is chiropractic care, an Eastern medicine approach that deals primarily with the mechanics of the spine and associated joints. Exams include adjustments or a short, controlled thrust by hand directed at a joint to improve function and motion.

Dr. Willa Weisel, DC, CAC,bonnie_dr_duree_shoulder_adj_236x300 is a doctor of chiropractic care who is also certified in animal chiropractic through the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association. Her practice, American Chiropractic Clinic, is located in Shawnee but she makes monthly visits to Tulsa, Oklahoma City and Norman.

Many pet owners who seek chiropractic care for their animals do so because of an injury.

“If you have a dog or a cat, you know they have a tendency to be very active and to jump on and off of things. And that very thing is what can be the start of repetitive stressor that leads to a real significant disability for them,” Weisel said. “It’s almost always the case that I don’t see that dog or cat or horse until the problem is so big that it is really disabling for the animal.”

Weisel is also involved with a variety of canine sports and will attend agility trials and other events to adjust dogs that become injured on the spot.

“If you have a dog that is involved with sports, agility, fly ball, discs, those types of things, they are athletes just like you and I are athletes if we are out playing volleyball or running track,” Weisel added. “So they need to get checked. They are going to have problems just from the repetitive stress exerting themselves in a physical nature like that.”

While chiropractic does not replace traditional veterinary care, it does offer a drug-free and noninvasive approach that can be used preventatively as a wellness tool in addition to treatment for existing problems.

“It should be a wellness treatment, a supportive treatment,” Weisel said. “We all have bumps and grinds, everyday.”

Though Weisel began her career focusing on chiropractic for people, her first animal adjustment happened by chance in 1988. A client who wanted her to adjust a foal born with an S-curve in its back approached Weisel and she agreed to take a look at the horse and give it a try.

“I went out there and this little horse was really cute. She couldn’t go backwards and she couldn’t go to the right and so she had kind of adapted to that,” Weisel recalled. “She had taken the horse several places and they had all advised her to euthanize the horse and she just couldn’t bring herself to do it. This little horse was not thriving though. She had diarrhea and she wasn’t processing food. I made one simple adjustment on her pelvis and it was so interesting … I can still see this blonde little horse, she turned around and she touched her nose right on her butt to the right and then she galloped off to the right and kicked her heels up and came back around.”

From that moment on, Weisel knew she would pursue expanding her practice to animals. Shortly after becoming certified through the AVCA, Weisel moved to Oklahoma and opened her practice in Shawnee in 2006.

In addition to the cats and dogs that visit her in the office, Weisel has had the chance to work with goats, sheep, a rabbit, a duck and even a llama.

“I was very much interested in pursuing that part of my practice and it has just grown and I love it,” Weisel said.

Weisel books appointments in Oklahoma City the first Saturday of the month, in Tulsa the third Saturday of the month and in Norman the second Tuesday of the month. To make an appointment, call 405-275-6363. You can learn more about Weisel and her clinic at or follow her Facebook page.

- Lauren Cavagnolo, l[email protected].

Animal groups in need of donations

posted March 5th, 2014 by
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Two Tulsa animal welfare groups have recently asked for the public’s help.

The Humane Society of Tulsa on Wednesday pulled more than 100 animals from a puppy mill. On its Facebook page, the group posted the following:

We are going to need LOTS of supplies and adopters with big hearts due to the fact that many ofthese angels are senior pets. 

If you would like to donate, please check out our Amazon Wish List at and they will deliver the supplies right to our door. We will be taking cash donations this weekend at the Tulsa Home and Garden Show.

WING IT, Tulsa’s wildlife group, has recently been inundated with more than 50 baby squirrels as a result of high winds and tree trimmers knocking down nest. The group posted the following request on its Facebook page:

We are in desperate need of two items to continue to raise these babies. If any of you happen to have either item at home and would consider donating it, or if any of you might be able to pick either item up and drop it off at Forest Trails Animal Hospital, we would forever be grateful.

These are the two items we so desperately need:

1) CVS- brand Heating Pad, Moist/Dry Heat, standard size, 
with 3 heat settings – $16.99 

2) Mainstays Digital Kitchen Scale – Walmart $18.97

Of course, any heating pad that doesn’t shut off (most have a two hour max, then automatically shut off) or any small kitchen/postal scale would work (if it weighs in grams, that would be perfect!). 

If any of you are inclined to help, and could drop of either of the above items at Forest Trails Animal Hospital at 101st and Sheridan, we would be so appreciative….as would the tiny, wild ones.

Let’s support our rescue workers who are so generous with their own time and resources and help them get what they need. Thanks in advance, Tulsa!

-Lauren Cavagnolo, [email protected]

Spots still available for Reiki class this weekend

posted November 5th, 2013 by
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If last month’s article on Reiki for Rover piqued your interest, this is your chance to learn  the practice for yourself. And what better time than right before the chaos of the holidays takes off?

Reiki therapy uses a variety of techniques including meditation and breathing to create a relaxing and healing space, beneficial to both people and their pets.

Karren O’Sullivan, a level III Reiki practitioner, offers Reiki to the animals at Tulsa Animal Welfare on a regular basis. She is hoping to spread the knowledge of Reiki through teaching animal rescue volunteers and anyone else interested in learning.

The two-day group class is this Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. The cost is $250 with discounts offered to animal rescue volunteers and vet students.

Half of the proceeds go back toward Tulsa Animal Welfare’s adoption program. The tuition also covers a 100-page manual and certificate of completion.

To sign up for the class, call Karren at 918-636-1220 or email her at [email protected].

-Lauren Cavagnolo, [email protected]

Do dogs deserve rights? Yes!

posted October 17th, 2013 by
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Over the past couple of years, a group of scientists has spent their time training dogs to lie in an MRI scanner awake and unrestrained in a quest to find out how their brains work and what they think.

After studying a dozen dogs, Gregory Berns decided what most of us dog parents have already figured out: dogs are people, too.
He wrote about his findings for a recent Op-Ed piece in the New York Times and makes an argument for personhood rights for dogs.
Having been a part of dog rescue, I am very passionate about protecting these animals who can’t speak up for themselves and I would hope most people who read Tulsa Pets Magazine feel the same way.
Granting dogs personhood rights would protect them from the exploitations rescue workers and volunteers spend their time lobbying against.
“Puppy mills, laboratory dogs and dog racing would be banned for violating the basic right of self-determination of a person,” Berns writes.
Music to my ears if we could actually make that happen. But I agree with Berns that we are a long way off as a society from granting dogs the basic rights they deserve.
- Lauren Cavagnolo, [email protected]

Wildlife rescue vs. pet rescue

posted July 26th, 2013 by
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I hope everyone has had a chance to check out the July/August issue of Tulsa Pets Magazine. I learned quite a bit while writing my article on WING IT or Wildlife in Need Group in Tulsa. I just couldn’t squeeze everything into my article, so for the next few blog posts, I will continue to share what I learned from the group about wildlife in Tulsa.

If you haven’t already, read the article at

During the course of my interview with several WING IT volunteers, many of them mentioned their love for animals, especially the domesticated kinds we talk about so often at Tulsa Pets Magazine.

So why choose wildlife rescue instead of pet rescue?

“I’ve just been an animal lover my whole life, I’m a dog lover and I would probably do dog rescue except for the fact that I would fall in love and keep every one of them, said Karla Edmonds, WING IT volunteer. “This way I get my critter fix and turn them back to mother nature, I have no choice in the matter.”

Fellow volunteer Kathy Locker can relate saying, “I agree with the dog rescue thing, It’s such a big, awesome thing that people do, but I would be so attached.”

However, just because the animals they work with aren’t cats and dogs doesn’t mean they don’t still get attached. 

Above: Volunteer Kathy Locker bottle feeds a baby raccoon.

“I do get attached and it’s hard on the heart to release them…but it’s bittersweet because you know it’s a happy thing for them and when rehabbed correctly they really do become instinctually wilder which also makes it easier,” Locker said. “It’s so fascinating to see every little creature has their own personality.”

Dr. Paul Welch, DVM at Forest Trails, also points out that when working with a cat or dog group, owners must be secured.

“We don’t have to find owners, so that’s nice,” Welch said.

Not having to find owners for rehabbed animals means they can be released when they are ready, making more room for animals in need.

However, wildlife rehab can be more demanding in other ways depending on the animal being cared for, its age and whether or not it is injured. 

Baby birds, for instance, need to be fed about every half hour. Bunnies may only need care for two to four weeks while other animals may need several months of rehab.

Similarities and differences aside, the bottom line is animal rescue, be it pet or wildlife, is tough work. All of Tulsa’s volunteers deserve recognition for what they do for our community’s animal population.

- Lauren Cavagnolo, [email protected]

Road trip: Purina Farms

posted May 14th, 2013 by
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Our family recently took a road trip to St. Louis. A family of animal enthusiasts, one of the highlights of the trip was our visit to Purina Farms.

Animal lovers planning a trip to the St. Louis area should add this to their sight-seeing list.

Located in Gray Summit, MO, just outside of St. Louis, Purina Farms is free for visitors and open from mid-March to mid-November.

Upon arrival, visitors of all ages will enjoy the wagon rides, animal barn with baby animal petting area and canine agility, diving dog and flying disc demonstrations.

I loved petting the baby pigs and bunnies and especially loved my toddler’s reaction to the experience.

However, it is hard to top the excitement of dog agility demos. Our entire family was mesmerized.

And while we have all seen agility performances before, dog diving was new to us. A disc is tossed out over a pool while the dog gets a running start and dives in after it.

All of the dogs used in the agility performances at Purina Farms are rescue dogs.

For those interested in making a visit, reservations are encouraged. Get more information, including hours and directions, at

- Lauren Cavagnolo, [email protected]

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