Jackie Leftwich BSc MSc AMC MMCA FRCC (Animal)
Chiropractor [McTimoney/STR/IAVC] (Qualified to treat humans and animals)
Registered with GCC and RAMP
Telephone: 07738 110570
E-mail: info@watersidechiropractic.co.uk

Has Your Dog’s Behaviour Changed? Don’t Let Pain Affect Your Dog’s Quality of Life

March 30, 2014  |   Canine Chiropractic,Latest Posts   |     |   Comments Off

I took a very sad call from a gentleman this week asking if I could assess his dog.  The dog had completely lost all use of its back legs.  On digging deeper I discovered that for several weeks, the dog had refused to get up on the sofa for a cuddle with its owner, whereas it had always done this previously.  It had also started to become reluctant to go for a walk for about the same period of time.  Although the owner had thought this strange, he had not investigated any further.  This was the dog’s way of telling the owner that he was in pain and so was unable to do these things.  Unfortunately, by not acting sooner, it appears that a vertebral disc has herniated, resulting in the loss of use of the dog’s hind limbs.  At this stage, it is unlikely that chiropractic treatment will have much effect and the surgical options available, if appropriate, are extremely expensive, whilst also being an extremely traumatic experience for the dog.

People often ask me when they bring their dog for chiropractic treatment, how can I tell whether my dog is in pain?  Dogs are very clever at hiding their pain and will often use some of the self-calming signals discussed above.  More obvious signs that a dog is feeling pain or discomfort in a particular area will include not wanting to be touched or stroked in the area that is uncomfortable or crying out when touched in this area, chewing at the affected area, looking or staring at the affected area, changes in normal general behaviour, performance or temperament, limb-dragging or an odd irregular gait, decrease or loss of appetite, more vocal generally or crying out when getting up, difficulty climbing up stairs or getting in/out of cars or on/off furniture.  Some dogs can become restless or agressive, whilst others can become depressed and withdrawn.  They may also show reluctance to exercise or appear lame.  Any change to your dog’s normal behaviour or temperament can indicate that your dog is in pain and may need some help, be that veterinary assistance or chiropractic treatment.  Animals, like humans, can suffer from back, neck, pelvic and other musculoskeletal problems and injuries.  They can also have underlying veterinary conditions similar to those medical conditions that we humans do.  Animals when in pain can be very sensitive.  The gentle nature of McTimoney Chiropractic for Animals means that most animals readily accept the treatment offered at Waterside Chiropractic and many even really enjoy it.

So, if your dog’s behaviour has changed in any way, however insignificant you may think it is, then it is worth investigating before it reaches a stage where it may be too late to be able to help.  Don’t let pain affect your dog’s quality of life.  They can’t tell you what is wrong, you have to read the signs and act quickly or the problem can get worse over time without appropriate veterinary or chiropractic treatment.

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