Keeping An Active Dog Active with Chiropractic Care Alissa Grover, DC, CAC
• Neck pain – Your dog may be tense in the neck muscles and/or resist full range of motion of her neck. • Back pain – This can be detected by your dog arching her back, tucking her tail, and/or flinching her muscles when you run your fingers down either side of her spine. • Shoulder and elbow pain – Many dog sports require dogs to jump and land on their front legs, and this can jar the elbow and shoulder joints, forcing them out of alignment. • Uneven gait – A drastic change in gait may indicate a more serious injury, but subtle changes are often due to an unbalanced pelvic alignment. • Decreased performance – You can’t pinpoint a specific problem area, but your dog simply isn’t running as fast, jumping as high, or acting as energetic as usual. In addition, I routinely see many patients for wellness care. Periodic chiropractic adjustments (usually every 6-12 weeks depending on the case) are a great way to keep your dog balanced and in alignment, allowing her to perform at her best and helping to prevent any injuries from occurring. My goal is not to scare you out of keeping your dog active! For most dogs, the health benefits of staying active are worth the risk of injury. For dogs that are at a higher risk of getting injured, specific activities, exercises, and modifications can be suggested to keep their play more worry-free. I would venture to say that all pet parents receive a sense of satisfaction seeing their four-legged pals having fun. Whether through a sporting event, such as agility, or at home chasing a ball in the back yard, it is the highlight of their day — and ours! I encourage you to try chiropractic care as a holistic healthcare option for keeping your active dog active. Your pet will thank you!
Photo: Bridge Maloney-Hulslander
Pets In The City Magazine
The popularity of dog sports has increased over the last decade. Many pet parents are discovering that their pup is more fulfilled when she has a job and is enjoying activities, such as agility, flyball, dock jumping, lure coursing, obedience, conformation showing, weight pulling…and more. Others may not participate in organized sporting events but give their dogs exercise by going running, hiking, swimming, and chasing a Frisbee or ball. Keeping your dog active is a great way to help them stay healthy and content. Unfortunately, it can also lead to unwanted injuries. A recent survey by Clean Run magazine of over 1600 pet owners reported that 33 percent of agility dogs experienced an injury either during training or competition. Of those, over 40 percent were to the back, shoulders, or neck.
As an animal chiropractor, I see many dogs that come in for problems related to sporting events or rough play. Often a series of chiropractic treatments can help get them back into tip-top shape. In some cases, the injuries (such as cranial cruciate ligament tear, fracture, and severe disc rupture) are beyond what chiropractic care can help. That is why a veterinary exam is recommended after any injury to make sure there is an accurate diagnosis prior to any treatments.
So when is chiropractic a valid treatment option? For dog athletes, the most common problems that I treat are:
Dr. Grover is a chiropractic physician certified in animal chiropractic by the American Veterinary Association. She practices at the Animal Care Center in West Bountiful, Utah and travels throughout Utah to adjust animals. Learn more about animal chiropractic at her website, www UtahAnimalChiropractor.com.