Acupuncture: Has gone to the dogs…
Hello! Hope this Monday finds you well -below are some thoughts about acupuncture for dogs… and one article worth flagging about a families adventure with their three legged dog named Jerry that recently passed away from cancer. This is a great article which I’ll share first.
www.tripawds.com- the blog about how to care for dogs with cancer
http://www.times-standard.com/lifestyle/ci_11657532 – I was touched by this story about a three legged Sherperd named Jerry. I handle PR for Ruff Wear Dog Gear (www.ruffwear.com) and we’ve been providing the family with the Web Master Harness for years so saw that he passed away last fall and wanted to share this article about this life broadly. It’s very touching… A PBS program caught much of their experience for a documentary on cats and dogs slated for this Sunday called “Nature”.
Ok -back to acupuncture.
I found Bruiser at Indigo Recue, a rescue organization in Oregon that works to end animal abandonment by promoting spaying and neutering.
In May 2007, my husband and I noticed that our sweet Bruiser was displaying signs of discomfort when jumping on furniture and curling up into a tiny ball before bedtime. He also stopped eating as well which is a sure-fire sign that something was wrong… after all, feeding time is Bruiser’s favorite time of the day!
(Yes, I know long dogs shouldn’t be allowed to jump on anything but I’m only human after all – life happens and his family sits on the couch. Plus, there are only so many ramps that we can strategically place throughout our house. Like children… dogs will be dogs).
So, we took Bruiser to Dove Lewis (local animal hospital) – and he was diagnosed with Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVDD). IVDD happens when one of the disks between the vertebral bones either bulges or bursts into the area surrounding the spinal cord. Often the only cure to this painful disease is surgery. Before recommending a more invasive course of action (surgery), Dove Lewis recommended we go see a specialist. And Bruiser’s movement had to be restricted so crate rest was the immediate course of action. So we were off to the NW Vet Specialist in Clackamas.
Next, we met Dr. Prouty, the neurologist, and had our sweet Bruiser undergo an MRI. Without going into a lot of detail about the results from the MRI – Bruiser ended up not needing surgery and I was told to continue with crate rest for about two months and then to check back with Dr. Prouty to see how Bruiser was doing. Ultimately, Bruiser recovered completely, and while we watch him carefully and have ramps throughout the house– this was a fairy tale ending. Bruiser was VERY, VERY lucky.
So –you’re probably asking at this point where the acupuncture came into the equation. About a year later we noticed Bruiser was experiencing some discomfort. But first I need to back up a little… My OWN experience and enthusiasm for acupuncture drove my research to identify a credible practitioner for animals because I thought Bruiser would benefit. During my research I discovered that my own vet at Frontier Vet Hospital, Dr. Yung, was in the process of completing her acupuncture certification. Everything happens for a reason, right?
Dr. Yung evaluated his trigger points (points in the muscle that are painful, reactive nodules secondary to chronic tightness and inflammation, similar to when humans experience a “knot” in the neck). She also noted some slow reaction to a “flip foot” exercise which we had seen Dr. Prouty do during Bruiser’s exams a year prior –neurological testing that can indicate spinal cord dysfunction by gauging the amount of time it takes a pet to right their paw after the veterinarian tucks it under. When you watch and it takes more than a few seconds you start to hold your breath… she placed the needles according to where he was suffering and then after a therapeutic length of time, removed them.
We were shocked by his behavior at home – he began jumping up on furniture that he hadn’t since he suffered the herniated disk. He was clearly more comfortable and had a wider range of motion. I see my acupuncturist because I have issues with my fingers during the winter months. I was certain the benefits of acupuncture would help Bruiser and I was right. I really wanted the dog community to know that there are options available and many resources available for anyone that has a dog diagnosed with IVDD or similar back issues.
Acupuncture for dogs
http://www.portlandvma.org/specialists – great resource
NW Vet Specialist, Dr. Prouty -http://www.northwestvetspecialists.com/
Frontier Vet, Dr. Lisa Yung DVM – animal acupuncturist http://www.frontiervet.com/index.php?view=pageView&pageid=43#anc100
Dr. Skinner, Oregon Veterinary Specialist – http://www.oregonvma.org/vetdirectory/detail.asp?Ref=1&ClinicID=554
Dove Lewis – http://dovelewis.org/
Animal chiropractors – Dr. Chattigre’ at Cascade Summit Veterinary Hospital
Animal massage: Heal NW – http://www.healnw.com/
Pet ramps – include some Web sites: Orvis.com or KVVet.com
Becca Seitz –acupuncturist http://ToThePointAcupuncture.org
Lauren McCall, Integrated Animal http://www.integratedanimal.com/index.htm
Dr. Brenda Brown, Animal Acupuncturist, http://well-pettherapies.com/?pg=contact