View Full Version : Has anyone used chiropractic?

22nd November 2009, 04:53 AM
I'm just curious if anyone has used chiropractic care to help manage symptoms of SM?

The chiro that I use for my dogs (they don't have SM) says that she adjusted one Cavalier, and almost immediately he stopped his head scratching. She knows that it is not treating the disease, but is helping to manage some of the symptoms. I never see it mentioned here.

22nd November 2009, 09:38 AM
I use a Chiropractor, she is a McTimoney practitioner and is very gentle. When Molly was diagnosed with sm I stopped the treatment. With my neurologists permission we have both dogs treated, the neck area is not touched but it is more of a very gentle massage which both dogs enjoy. I would worry about any area of the neck being touched. Sorry I am not very helpful.

22nd November 2009, 06:53 PM
I know some have had some success with acupuncture - from what I've read, acupuncture may help and is very likely to be safe and won't cause more problems even if it doesn't help. However, chiropractic is more likely to cause problems and is generally not recommended because of the potential harmful effects. One problem is that there are many different types of chiropractic clinicians.


22nd November 2009, 10:25 PM
One problem is that there are many different types of chiropractic clinicians.

In Australia we had a similar situation and even including crude forms of animal 'manipulation' have been used by untrained people. Then the Australian Veterinary Chiropractic Association started which in effect created organisation and "raised the bar". The 2 year post-grad diploma, and 3 year Masters degree are available to qualified Chiropractors, Osteopaths and Veterinarians only. Simply one has to have these qualifications before even applying to do the post graduate university diploma courses. Their website is at this link address and which has facility for the public to locate their members.

22nd November 2009, 11:18 PM
Every neurologist I have spoken to is quite alarmed at the thought of this type of manipulation.

Manipulating the head or spine could cause severe pain (a message technique might be appropriate, but personally, I wouldn't use it on my SM dogs; both are too sensitive to touch).

Also SM has nothing to do with the position of vertebrae -- a syrinx is a fluid filled cyst inside the spinal cord. Moving one around so that it touches any surface -- which is where the nerve endings are -- can cause excruciating problems. Moving the neck around is not going to do anything to the malformation or cerebal herniation, Keep in mind that a simple touch to the neck/spine, much less injections, can cause many SM dogs to shriek in pain.

I would take any claim that a cavalier stopped scratching due to a chiropractor's handling with a truckload of salt, personally -- I wonder how familiar this person is with SM, how it develops, how symptoms show, etc (and far more important, if they've discussed doing this with the dog's neurologist!). As hundreds with an affected cavalier can verify, dogs often have symptoms come and go, with scratching being one of the ones that can start and spontaneously disappear for weeks or months.

If you want an alternative approach, one that several neurologists say does help some dogs is acupuncture. That might be worth investigating but I'd steer clear of chiropractors.

23rd November 2009, 05:48 AM
It does not surprise me that neurologists don't endorse chiropractors....the bias against chiros is very strong in most of them, as with most vets.

As for the information I had from my chiro, I trust and believe her completely - she knows her profession an does understand this disease process. As I said, she understood that the adjustment doesn't alter the disease process, but this little dog had significant relief from the adjustment. Now as the disease process advances, that may very well change, but you can't argue with the result that this little dog had.

I would however be concerned with those that call themselves chiros, but don't have the necessary experience or certifications. So I would understand why no chiro would be better than working with an unkown chiro - that could be very risky.

Thanks for the input.