Has your dog ever suffered from a lick granuloma? These are skin lesions similar to a nonhealing ulcer that dogs tend to lick obsessively. If so, your veterinarian probably prescribed systemic or topical antibiotics and or steroids. It probably recurred after the treatment was given and you might have needed to use an Elizabethan collar (aka cone of shame) or possibly had to bandage the area to deter your pet from chewing, licking and scratching at the site.
In the past, I have treated those granulomas with an acupuncture technique called “surround the dragon,” and although they cleared, they tended to recur. It wasn’t until I was doing my training at the Integrative Veterinary Medical Institute (IVMI) that I learned how the location of a lick granuloma can indicate nerve impingement higher in the vertebral spine or a peripheral nerve.
This is great news because it means we can now clear lick granulomas without the need for drugs! In addition, there are many other issues we can help using “doggie chiropractics” or better called Veterinary Medical Manipulation (VMM). Many pet owners are surprised to discover that doing motion palpation or adjustments in dogs or cats are a lot gentler than a regular human chiropractic exam.
The following are some signs that a manipulation or adjustment could help:
â€˘ Abnormal gait or lameness
â€˘ Abnormal posture or stance
â€˘ Reduced performance or lack of power
â€˘ Sitting to one side or â€śPuppy Sittingâ€ť or refusal to lay down in hips Â
â€˘ Reluctance to move, jump or climb stairs
â€˘ Discomfort when being groomed
â€˘ Neck or back pain
â€˘ Geriatric animals â€” to maintain function and mobility
Physiologically, treating the restriction in the flow of information from that nerve compression will improve the affected joints’ range of motion, reduce pain, inflammation and muscle tension. This may also result in improved organ function and generalized wellness.
The main contraindications for a VMM are in pets with fractures, pregnancy, infectious skin disease, spinal lesions that are unstable, and any significant generalized weakness caused by a disease process. VMM is performed by a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) trained in this modality. The term Chiropractic comes from the Greek and loosely means to “work with hands” but this term has been appropriated by human practitioners. Therefore the term Medical Manipulation was adopted by veterinarians. Animal Chiropractic care has been steadily growing since the 1980s. Nowadays, it is a great modality in clinics that practice the holistic or Integrative medicine approach.
In fact, Veterinary Medical Manipulation can be used in conjunction with massage, acupuncture and herbal therapy. Acupuncture and Veterinary Medical Manipulation work synergistically and can provide excellent results. In my experience using the Balance Method Acupuncture technique along with either massage, Tui Na, Assisi Loop therapy or cold laser prior to the manipulation will not just loosen and relax the muscles near the restricted area but will result in less discomfort to the patient. Also, the overall results seem to last a lot longer. Healing without drugs and invasive treatments is a proven possibility for our companion pets.
Dr. Mitsie Vargas is at Orchid Springs Animal Hospital in Winter Haven. She can be reached at drv@osahvets.