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Need some advice....Dog Acupuncture and/or Chiropractic Success?

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  • Need some advice....Dog Acupuncture and/or Chiropractic Success?

    Hello COTHers!

    Sorry in advance for the long post....

    Looking for some advice...I have a large (155lb) 9 yo dog. She is 1/2 Great Dane and 1/2 Rottweiler. She is overall very healthy for a senior citizen. However, she has an old bone chip in her shoulder that bothers her periodically. It is bothering her now...of course it decided to bother her while I was on vacation for 10 days....

    Quick history: dog is on Cosequin DS 2X per day, also gets an additional joint supp 2X daily. Normally, this is good enough for her. Back in January, she was extremely (3 legged) lame overnight. Full set of X rays discover the old chip...good news is that her joints otherwise look perfect. Tried numerous NSAIDS to no avail. Zeta (my dog) has the sensitive stomach of a Great Dane, so everything we try either gives her Diarrhea or Vomiting. Back in Jan, I was at my wits end. I felt so bad for her, limping around the house, but any meds we tried made her sick. Suddenly, she stopped limping. It actually was right after her Xrays. She had to be completly knocked out to get the X Rays done since she is so big. I swear that, somehow during the manipulation of the xray process, the chip went into a more comfortable position. She has been fine since, witht he occasional stiff day.

    When she looks stiff, I give her Zubrin for a few days...it is the only NSAID that doenst seem to bother her stomach.

    When I came home last Sun. evening, she was very lame. Dog sitter (trusted friend) said she was fine that morning. Dog also wouldnt eat dinner. Gave Zubrin. Next day, the same. Called vet - vet suggested adding a Tramadel 2x a day for a few days, which has worked in the past. Gave Tramdel, dog began vomiting, and won't eat.

    Thurs AM, go to vet. No easy task with a giant dog who doesnt want to move (I am 125 lbs!). Vet pulls blood to ensure nothing else is going on. All bloodwork is perfect. Recommends only NSAID for now due to stomach issue.

    Now, my dog is happier, eating, not vomiting. But she is still limping. If she looks sounder in the AM, she is lame in the PM, and vice versa. I feel terrible for her. I put another call into the vet today, to see if we have any other options for her now that her stomach is under control.

    Has anyone had success with Acupuncutre or Chiro with dogs? I am hoping my dog will gradually get better, as she did in Jan, and it has only been a week...but I am certainly willing to explore every option I can to get her comfortable. Adequan?

    Vet will call me in the AM....just thought I'd ask the wealth of knowledge on COTH for any advice!

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    I had a boxer that got regular accupunture for hip displaysia. It worked very well! I would recommend trying it if you have a vet that can do it. It can take a few sessions before you see results, but after a while my dog went in only when needed. He did accupuncture, as well as hooked up an electrical device that sent pulses (maybe they all do that? ).


    • #3
      I had a collie that did not respond well to pain medication but did remarkably well with acupuncture (the old fashioned non-electrical kind). My vet does chiropractic and acupuncture as part of his practice. My dog's whole expression changed and he was pain free. He has since passed but I am firmly convinced it gave him and extra year of comfort and mobility. I highly recommend you give it a try.


      • #4
        Its worth the try, certainly!

        I do routine chiro on all my working dogs, they use and stress their backs and necks quite a bit. It does help.


        • #5
          I've had acupuncture done on one of my dogs. He liked it (made him sleepy) and it did help the lameness problem a bit. Lameness turned out to be medication related. I'd certainly do it again or even try it on myself!
          Delicious strawberry flavored death!


          • #6
            I've had acupuncture done on two of my dogs. My oldest, a 6 y/o Doberman, after her second blown CCL (age 3 at the time), and in conjunction with her PT. Her first blown CCL was at about 20 months, and the second one happened about 18 months later. After two arthroscopic surgeries, PT (underwater treadmill work) and some acupunture, she was sound and jumping 26" for Open and Utility obedience.

            My "middle child", a 5 y/o Doberman, had a few treatments at age 3 for a very sore neck/back. She had a major T-bone collision at a dead run with her much larger sister, the 6 y/o. Storm outweighs Ava by about 15 lbs and they just went running BAM! into each other. Ava tends to watch birds as they fly overhead and I think she wasn't looking where she was going. She was more careful after that Anyhow, a few acupuncture treatments and some light massage loosened her right up and she's been fine ever since.


            • Original Poster

              Thanks for all the great feedback so far! Eponaroan...what do you mean when you say the lameness was "medication related?"


              • #8
                Can't they remove the bone chip?
                I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry


                • Original Poster

                  We discussed removing the chip when it was discoverd 6 months ago. However, it is a risk to put a 9yo giant dog through surgery. My dog was sick for 2 weeks after the anethesia for the xrays.

                  Also, like horses, removing the chip does not guarantee soundness. The vet gave me about a 50/50 chance of the surgery beig successful - not good enough odds for me to put her through surgery.

                  If I thought the surgery would be worth it, I would definitely do it!


                  • #10
                    My dog tore a ligament in her right shoulder- we think. 3 legged lame- went to the vet, vet thought it was in paw, sent us home with Rimadyl. Still limping. Made appointment with specialist, missed it due to outrageous traffic on 495...
                    So went to another vet at same practice as before, she thought it was in shoulder, sent us home with Metacam, gave for 5 days and then was supposed to use as needed. Still limping. Saw acupuncture/chiro vet, she did some chiro work on her, as well as some other therapies. Little improvement.
                    I know it takes a while for these things to heal, but seeing her that bad was really distressing. Spoke to the rep I get horse's supps from, she suggested I try a sample of their natural anti-inflammatory/painkiller. So I get some, give her a small dose. Competely sound and pain free in 30 minutes. Not even the 2 nsaids I tried did this.
                    Supplement was Comfort Zone from TheracellEQ... there's been several threads on here. Small company but I have been really pleased with everything I've gotten from them. You could try the comfort zone in conjunction with acupuncture... but I was pleased with that alone. It took a while to heal but I think Comfort Zone helped her get over the pain and inflammation... she's now completely sound without anything and will be staying on THeracell's joint supplement along with my horse.
                    They'll send you samples, and if you purchase anything and it doesn't work, you can get a full refund.


                    • #11
                      Since the manipulations for the x-ray process seemed to help, I'd suggest trying the chiropractic first. I do a lot of work on both geriatric and sport dogs. Some of them I'm able to really drop back their need for pain meds. Depending on exactly where the issue is you may find that having her joint injected is helpful. I have done a few shoulder injections on bigger dogs.


                      • #12
                        Not a dog story but my cat came home with his right hind leg ripped open to the bone from hip to paw. Emergency vet - stitches from here to there and brought him home two days later. Only to discover that he was walking on the injured leg and holding the left hind up.

                        Took him to my chiro after the stitches were out and my cat was actually pretty comfortable with a roomful of dogs and a stranger. I could hear the adjustment from across the room and my poor boy looked startled and then totally relaxed. I brought him home and he took two steps out of the carrier and fell asleep in the middle of the living room. I had him adjusted two or three times after and years later he is still bugging me to come in in the middle of the night by climbing the dogwood outside of my bedroom window.


                        • #13
                          Our collie injured a hind ACL a couple years ago and was 3-legged lame. Vet gave him Rimadyl for a month, and it got him sound again very quickly. But whenever he ran a while, he'd come up lame, so I could give him a dose or 2 of Rimadyl and he'd be fine again.

                          At some point, when he was leaning on me (if he were a female, we should have named him Eileen!), I noticed a very pronounced tremor of that hip. Next time the chiro was out, I had her work on Tom and she was able to manipulate the lower spine and hip to relieve the tremor. Funny thing was, he could run and run and not become lame for about 6 months. I don't know which came first, but if he is adjusted about 2x a year, he does almost perfectly. He might need a Rimadyl every couple months if he overdoes it, but by the next morning he's back to normal with no follow-up dose needed.

                          I highly recommend chiro. for dogs.

                          "Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx


                          • #14
                            I'm not a fan of chiro, but it did help my old Corgi who had spinal arthritis. Combined with a little massage, he did better. I eventually had to put him down (he was old), but the chiro seemed to give him some pain-free days.

                            I started out 2 days per week for about a month, then dropped it to once a week for a month, then just once a month. He seemed to enjoy it so I didn't see what it could hurt.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by CLEMENTINE04 View Post
                              Thanks for all the great feedback so far! Eponaroan...what do you mean when you say the lameness was "medication related?"
                              My guy's on a ton of meds for his epilepsy. The meds were making him wobbly. We're gradually decreasing his phenobarb right now. Less meds = more steady and better liver function. So, probably not relevant to your dog, but that's what happened with mine. He really did like his acupuncture treatments though and his father who lived to be 15 1/2 got them regularly and liked 'em too.
                              Delicious strawberry flavored death!


                              • #16
                                Acupuncture can certainly help musculskeletal pain immensely, but if the pain is due to the physical presence of the chip in the joint space, I'm dubious about how much good it will do.
                                "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

                                ...just settin' on the Group W bench.


                                • #17
                                  Would Adequan help? Perhaps not, due to the chip, but still something else to discuss with your vet.


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Thank you all for the great info...I am waiting for the vet to call me back now. Will post an update soon!


                                    • Original Poster


                                      Spoke to vet, I am taking my dog in Thurs AM for an x ray. She just had x rays in January, when the chip was discovered. Vet wants to be sure there is nothing further going on in there before changing treatment.

                                      Will keep you posted.....keep your fingers crossed nothing worse is going on...


                                      • #20
                                        We're reining in the general pet threads to keep the forum more farm-related--please see the sticky at the top of the forum for more info.

                                        Mod 1