dscf1540By Dr. Jackie Doval, Chiropractor

Photo is “Flash”, the mascot for the Houston SPCA

 As an animal chiropractor, I am faced with many challenges.  Challenges where clients reach to you with heavy hearts and tough questions:  “You are our last hope!” “Will our dog ever walk again?”, “If only our dog could have a better quality of life”, or “I was told what I see is what I’ve got!”

Animal chiropractic is often the pet’s last health resort. The same is true for the human counterpart.  Cowboy was suffering from degenerative disk disease. He had surgery for three blown disks in his mid-back and his veterinarian thought he would never be able to compete in agility again.  The owner just knew agility was her dog’s passion and she wanted to fight to keep the sport part of this life. 

 I shared stories of other canine patients I was able to help with chiropractic care and my treatment protocol for spinal cord injuries.  I also explained the risks including the possibility of further herniations, even paralysis.  She said she’d rather see him happy than dying of sadness so off to work we went.  She was going to be every part of Cowboy’s rehabilitation. 

 Three months after surgery, chiropractic treatment and rehabilitation, and subsequent veterinary evaluations, Cowboy was able to compete in agility at the AKC World Series of Dog Shows in Houston, Texas.  Cowboy went on to win three first place blue ribbons! 

If your dog has suffered any trauma, take your dog immediately to your veterinarian for evaluation and treatment.  An anti-inflammatory, muscle relaxant and/or pain killer may be prescribed.  If you are interested in a Chiropractic evaluation, obtain a veterinary referral from my website (www.docjackie.com). After a complete history, thorough interview and examination of your injured pet, I design an individualized treatment protocol and regimen.  The sooner the rehabilitation starts the greater the likelihood of success.

Spinal cord injuries can be reversible, irreversible or somewhere in between.  They can be progressive or static.  The spinal cord can be injured at neck, mid-back and/or low back by compressive forces due to blunt trauma, congenital defects, space occupying lesions (arthridities, fibrocartilage, disk material, tumors) and vertebral subluxations.  Not all spinal traumas are surgical cases. The severity of the injury is only one of the factors that dictate the length of recovery.  The treatment may be very tedious, time consuming and lengthy.  You need to determine if you are willing and able to commit the time and financial resources needed for stabilization, maintenance and after care.  

With time, proper chiropractic and veterinary care, the body does have the power to heal itself.  Other modalities that can help include acupuncture, Chinese herbs, homeopathy, massage, even animal communication! Not all case stories end as well as Cowboy’s story.  Eventually, his degenerative disk disease got the best of him and his suffering was humanely ended but not without his last Hurrah!

Dr. Doval is a Texas licensed chiropractor for both humans and animals. She will be presenting her treatment regimen and protocol for the rehabilitation of canines suffering from spinal cord injuries at the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association’s 2007 Convention.