Indications for Chiropractic Care

Lick Granuloma
A lick granuloma is an ulceration of the skin and tissue caused when an animal is constantly licking at his extremities, Dr. De Grasse feels that the animal is trying to "wake up" his paw. It is very similar to when a human's arm "goes to sleep". I have found that if the lick granuloma is the result of a "pinched nerve" in the spinal column, then after one adjustment, the "wetness" of the granuloma (moist tissues around the ulceration) begins to dry up. The dryness of the surrounding tissues occurs within 24 hours. I have noticed that the dryness can occur without the assistance of any anti-inflammatory medications.

Lameness of any extremity can be a result of pressure upon a spinal nerve. This pressure can be a result of the spinal column being out of alignment. For example: if you took a garden hose and turned on the water to water your tree but the hose had a kink in it - the water flow will be much less. In the animal, the decreased water flow is the same as the nerve flow to the muscles of the extremity. The ability to move the extremity is much less! Chiropractic manipulation (adjustment) removes the "kink" and thus, the nerve flow is restored.

If the garden hose is kinked for along time, you may see the outer leaves begin to die because the tree is not getting enough water to meet its needs. In the animal, the muscles may begin to atrophy over a long period of time. This is when the thickness of the muscle becomes thinner. I have found that one of the easiest areas to notice the atrophy is from looking at the animal's tail and thigh area while standing behind him. If you measure the "thickness" of the thigh muscle of the left leg and then compare the measurement with the right leg, you will easily notice if atrophy of the muscles has occurred.

It is important to note that muscle atrophy is usually reversible once the nerve flow is restored. But you must know that the onset of atrophy can be very quick but the recovery of the muscle tone and "thickness' can take some time. Rehabilitation with specific exercises assists the muscles to develop again.
Incontinence of Bladder or Bowel
If there is a misalignment of the spinal column and the nerves to the bladder or bowel are "pinched" then the function of either the bladder or bowel can be reduced. Not all situations of incontinence are the result of nerve impingement but it is to the animal's benefit to explore the possibility. Dr. De Grasse has about a 90% success rate in restoring bladder and bowel function in the paralyzed animal.

Nerve impingement upon the spinal cord or spinal nerves, pathologies such as a tumor and trauma can cause the animal to become paralyzed. The least invasive approach to restore nerve function is chiropractic care. Often, medication (an invasive approach) is of great value to reduce the swelling of the disc and/or muscle relaxants to reduce the muscle spasms that can often occur with a nerve impingement or trauma. Diagnostic tools such as the xray can provide valuable information and the most definitive tool would be the MRI. However, this diagnostic test is costly and carries its own inherent risks as the animal is required to undergo a full anesthetic for one to two hours to keep the animal still while the MRI is performed. Dr. De Grasse does not consider euthanasia an option until all other treatments have been explored. This is not the general opinion among many veterinarians. Most people are not aware of the ability of chiropractic care to relieve nerve impingement of the spinal cord or spinal nerves and thus restore the animal to health. As of mid-year 2007, Dr. De Grasse has returned over 630 paralyzed animals to mobility. My chiropractic work on the animal is "cutting edge" and is considered controversial.

Nausea/Vomiting or Constipation/Diarrhea
Spinal misalignment such as rotation of the vertebrae in the region of the stomach or bowel can result in a disruption of nerve flow to the affected organ. This can lead to abnormal function of the organs involved. Slipping on a tile surface or jumping high into the air while twisting are common causes of spinal rotation in the mid-back region. The organ dysfunction can be intermittent or constant and can result in an irritable bowel situation; simply from the involved nerves being "pinched" in the regions of the stomach or bowel. Release of the nerve impingement restores organ function, if performed in a timely manner. Delay can result in permanent pattern changes of organ function.

Difficult Birth - Mother and Offspring
Prolonged labor, obesity, breed predisposition, uterine atony (ineffective contractions), positioning while undergoing a cesceraean section and large babies can all affect the alignment of the pelvis and lower back (lumbar) regions. For example: If a female dog was mounted and had difficulties supporting the male dog's weight (during conception) then the pelvis or lumbar spine could have become misaligned (subluxated). The misalignment of the low back vertebrae can cause the nerves to the uterus to become "pinched" and therefore, the uterus cannot contract strongly. The contractions are less effective and the baby moves slowly down the canal. The prolonged positioning in the canal can put great amounts of pressure upon the baby's head and neck and cause the neck vertebrae to become rotated or misaligned Or the baby can become stuck in the canal due to the non-effective contractions.
A chiropractic adjustment after conception and just before the onset of labor can greatly improve the mother's spinal alignment giving a greater opportunity for a birth without complications. Chiropractic adjustments in the very young can assist with physical development giving a greater opportunity for optimum health.

Some circumstances of infertility may be helped with chiropractic care. For example: If there is nerve impingement of the lower lumbar (low back) region or of the pelvic region, then the resultant "pinching" of the nerves can cause the ovary or testicle to have immature eggs or immotile sperm. The uterine wall may be abnormally thin due to a reduced blood flow, or lack the muscle tone to carry the fetus to term. Some cases of erectile dysfunction are a result of lower lumbar disc bulges and the resultant decrease in nerve flow.

When confronted with issues of infertility, the options of care, medications, opinions and desires can leave the animal's owner overwhelmed, confused and disappointed. However, it must be noted that chiropractic care offers a non-invasive approach to enhance the overall health of the animal and should be considered. Animal chiropractic care is a new field with research developing rapidly. The subtle changes that can be affected with gently manipulation of the spinal column can be far-reaching - as this doctor has seen in her practice.

More Indications for Care
  • Strain/Sprain
  • Injury such as auto accident, slip or fall
  • Pain or some behavioral problems
  • Difficulty getting up or walking
  • Wobblers (whiplash)
  • Hip Dysplasia in the young animal
  • Arthritis in the older animal
  • Mega-esophagus
  • Allergy - some conditions
  • Torticollis (wry neck)