Here at BARF World, we believe in the total health of our pets, from the inside out. While we are more than willing to take care of the former, it is up to our pet parents to do the latter. But, when we find something that leads to better overall health, we consider it our duty to share that information, and let our readers and our customers make the decision for themselves.
I recently had the opportunity to sit down with one of our amazing holistic veterinarians. Dr. Cathy Alinovi operates a clinic called Hoof Stock Veterinary Service, located in Pine Village, Indiana. As it turns out, acupuncture and chiropractic work are among her specialties.
According to Dr. Alinovi, animal chiropractic (sometimes referred to as Veterinary Spinal Manipulation Therapy) is more than just the traditional notion of putting an out-of-place bone back into alignment. When a bone is out of place, the muscles that are attached to that bone are restricted in their movement. The muscles send information to the brain that is different than what they would be sending if they had a full range of motion.
Thus, the goal becomes to send the correct information to the brain, so that the brain can then send optimum information back to the body. “If the brain works better, the brain makes the body work better,” says Alinovi. This occurs not only by rotating bones into their proper alignment, but also by working on the surrounding muscles, loosening and relaxing the ones that are too tight, and trying to stimulate and tighten the muscles that have become too loose. Using applied kinesiology, Dr. Alinovi is able to use precise movements, reducing the amount of force she needs to apply to her patients.
Dr. Alinovi recommends that active dogs receive quarterly treatment. Senior dogs should get treatment more frequently and are treated on a case-by-case basis. She has also had success with breeds with long bodies and short legs, such as, Dachshunds, who are prone to back problems. Combining chiropractic, acupuncture, herbs, and Western medicine, she has been able to reduce disk swelling in many cases.
“Prevention is key,” says Alinovi.
Doesn’t it make sense to strengthen the muscles and tendons around the joint to help prevent an issue from arising? Keeping the body functioning optimally will also speed recovery time in the event that an injury does occur.
For instance, many of her patients have come in to her office with a torn cruciate ligament. The required treatment is often surgery to repair the damaged ligament…yet some pet owners cannot always afford to go that route. Because 60-80% of dogs that tear a cruciate ligament will end up tearing the other as well, Dr. Alinovi’s approach is to “balance as best we can” in preventing the other side from blowing out. She achieves this through chiropractic by restoring joint stability and helping the muscles and tendons to function optimally.
How do the dogs react? Most of the time, she is showered with licks and kisses. Some dogs do not like to be confined or handled and as a result, do better with laser treatment or acupuncture. Since there is a brief moment of discomfort during the adjustment, some dogs can get a little nippy. Despite this, the experience seems to be quite enjoyable, and the results have proven to be very positive.
Until next time … happy BARFing!
Evan Price is a Raw Diet Educator for BARF World Inc. He is a true dog lover at heart with a particular interest in Daschunds. Evan is also an avid sports enthusiast and bridge player. For more articles like these and to learn more about the benefits of raw food for your pets, sign up for The Intelligent Pet weekly e-zine at www.barfworld.com.