" If your dog is fat you are not getting enough exercise"

Friday, April 29, 2011

Carrot Stretches

This week I went out to work with "Pal", a Palomino with a stiff neck.  He was having a hard time turning to the left when his rider was asking him.  An easy way to tell if your horse may have some muscle tightness or a misalignment of the vertebra (subluxation) is with carrot stretches.  With your horse standing square and you off to its side, gently ask your horse to bend its neck back towards its stifle.  When they do so they get the carrot! Make sure to stretch both sides equally.  You can also ask your horse to stretch his head down between his front legs.  Again with you off to his side, hold a carrot between his front legs and he should bring his head all the way down close to the ground and really get a good stretch of his top line.  If your horse is unwilling to stretch a lot at first it may just be due to the fact that they are not quite sure what you are asking them to do or they may have some other concerns such as tight muscles or subluxations.
Pal, did his carrot stretches great to his right side but very poorly to his left side.  I found subluxations at C5 and C7 on his left side and some very tight muscles in his lower neck and chest.  After some adjustments and a little muscle work he was doing his stretches like a champ on both sides!  If you've never done stretches before with your horse, take things nice and easy and don't make them stretch farther than they can.  Just imagine if you were to start Yoga without ever doing it before.  It may take some time for their muscles to get used to the stretches and to lengthen.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Bummer Day

Last week I saw a dachshund that came to me with sudden paralysis of his back legs (not an unusual case).  They drove 2 hours one way just to see me!  The dog was 7 years old and such a sweetie.  He had no injury but he had back issues a few years ago but not this bad.  He had no hind reflexes, no deep pain response, had no bowel or bladder control and was painful upon palpation of his spine in this lower back. I've seen this case many times, especially in dachshunds.  I adjusted him and recommended that he see the veterinarian for an exam and some possible pain meds/anti-inflammatories since it was 4 days since it had happened and they didn't take him in anywhere yet. The vet did an exam, urinalysis and prescribed some medications.  I sent them home with some easy exercises to do with him and had them ice his back throughout the day.
I called to check on this dog over the weekend and he seemed to be doing okay. He still wasn't walking but wasn't getting any worse and was eating better.  I was suppose to see him yesterday when they cancelled because the dog had passed away earlier that morning.  I was shocked.  Needless to say I called the family right away to see what had happened.  They said that the day before he was suppose to see me he started loosing control of his front legs so they took him in to their vet who did blood work, etc.  From what the family said, he had some sort of rare disease that there is no cure for and all tests come back negative.  It sounded like the paralysis traveled throughout his body and affected his breathing.  They thought the disease started with a "c" but couldn't remember the long name for it.  I have been searching for this rare disease but have been unable to find it thus far.  If you know....I would love to know so that I am better prepared for this in the future, although from what the family said there was nothing anyone could have done.  At first I thought it was a tick-borne disease but I think they are all treatable.  I also read up on Coon-paralysis but that too, is not fatal.  Would love to hear ideas if you have them! RIP Leo.