Standard Poodle Chiropractic Care
Bruno loves Dr. Mark's visits!
1. Schedule and Locations
2. Talebone Newsletter to know what to look for in your pet
3. Dog Chiropractor Stories
PEAK PERFORMANCE ANIMAL CHIROPRACTIC
MARK F. LaVALLIE, D.C., CVSMT
261 N. Ruth Street • Suite 108 • St. Paul, MN 55119
Cell: 651-332-1633 • Fax: 651-739-8452
Chiropractor for Large and Small Animals
1. SCHEDULE AND LOCATIONS
Valley View Veterinary Hospital
821 East Highway 8
St. Croix Falls, WI 54024
Every other Saturday 9:00-11:00 am
Every other Wednesday 3:00 –5:00pm
Lifecare Animal Hospital
1238 White Bear Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55106
Every other Tuesday 12:00-2:00pm
Every other Wednesday 4:00-6:00pm
Minnesota Veterinary Hospital
4545 Hodgson Road
Shoreview, MN 55126
12:00-2:00pm or 6:30-8:30pm
Every other Friday 9:00- 11:00am
Brooklyn Park Pet Hospital
5815 80th Avenue North
Brooklyn Park, MN 55443
Every other Wednesday 8:00-10:00am
Pine City Animal Hospital
917 Main Street South
Pine City, MN 55063
Every other Friday 1:00-3:00pm
Home visits are available by appointment only. Travel fees apply.
THE TALEBONE Edition 1
How Do I Know If My Pet Needs Chiropractic?
This is by far the most frequently asked question that I get from pet owners. They go on to say, “They cannot tell you. Can they?” The fact is that your pets do tell you when they need help! You just need to know what to look for. Following are three signs that your pet may benefit from a visit to the animal chiropractor.
Incomplete Stretches and Shakes
We have all observed how cats stand and stretch. It’s the first thing they do in the morning. Absence of this full, high-arching stretch is one of the first indications of a spinal or joint problem. The “shake” that dogs and some cats exhibit is frequently observed but not consciously appreciated by owners. The shake that starts at the head and progresses without interruption through the lumbar and the tail is a healthy shake. Dogs that stop a shake somewhere along the spine may be self-splinting a spinal or joint problem. The body’s protective reaction is to splint the area through muscle spasm, so as to prevent further injury.
Swelling, Heat and Muscle Spasm
Through observation, touch, and massage, we can sometimes detect early signs of a treatable problem. When joints are damaged or injured, inflammation and swelling ensues. Significant swelling can often be seen and felt in the extremities, less often in the spine. A more common sign of inflammation in the spinal region is felt as heat or warmth in the tissues overlying the area. The easiest way to feel the heat is to take the back of your fingers and run them slowing down your pet’s spine, noting any significant differences in temperature. To heighten your sense of touch, close your eyes as you run your hand down the spine. Injured joints in the extremities also exhibit warmth when inflamed. Through touch and massage, you can also feel muscle spasms, or “hypertonic muscles.” Muscle spasms are a sign of the splinting action mentioned previously.
Altered Joint Position Sense
With dogs there is a simple and very useful test that provides early clues to nervous system dysfunction. With your dog standing, flip over one paw so it is “knuckled over.” Repeat with the other paws. A normal reaction in a dog with a healthy nervous system is to immediately “flip” the foot back over to its normal position. If your animal takes longer than two seconds to flip its paw back, its “proprioception” or joint position sense, is compromised. Joint position sense is the brain’s ability to know where the limbs are at all times. When a dog has spinal problems, this sensation is the first to go. Your doctor will typically refer to this sensation as “C.P.” Ideally, you should test your pet’s C.P. at least once per month after the age of two.
It’s extremely important to understand that all of the above signs typically go unnoticed by most owners. But these signs precede more severe signs and symptoms of pain and weakness. By the time I first see many animals, their condition has already progressed to weakness, paralysis of a limb or multiple limbs, gait abnormalities, severe pain, and often loss of bowel and bladder control. While a vast majority of these animals respond effectively to chiropractic and veterinary intervention, the earlier the treatment begins, the better the prognosis.
In a perfect world, our goal is to prevent these problems from occurring in the first place. Prevention is a primary goal of many pet owners that have working or performance dogs, show dogs, or have breeds with a hereditary predilection to various maladies. Dachshunds, for instance, have a very high predisposition to thoraco-lumbar disc herniations. German shepherds are prone to hip dysplasia and “degenerative myelopathy.” Small breeds are often susceptible to “luxating patellas.” Labrador retrievers, due to the way they grasp a fetched object, are prone to upper cervical and jaw problems. With any breed, prevention and early detection is the key.
According to the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association, chiropractic may be appropriate for:
· neck, back, leg, and tail pain
· muscle problems, nerve problems
· disc problems, joint problems
· limping and gait abnormalities
· injuries from slips, falls, and accidents
· jaw problems, difficult chewing
· bowel, bladder and digestive problems
· post-surgical care and rehab
· event or sports injuries
· maintenance of joint and spinal health
Chiropractic care does not attempt to replace traditional veterinary care. Animal chiropractors work with your veterinarian to ensure your pet has the most complete care. As a final note, we all realize that animals age at a much faster rate than we do. Therefore, prevention and early recognition of problems is imperative. Chiropractic is a very useful adjunct to traditional veterinary care to maximize your pets “golden years.”
The next issue of The Talebone will answer frequently asked questions regarding animal chiropractic. In future editions, we will discuss specific conditions, prevention, treatment, stretching, and exercise programs, and other topics. Until next time, wishing you and your four-legged friend the best of health.
Dr. Mark “Bones” LaVallie, DC, CVSMT (651) 332-1633
Dog Chiropractor Stories
A new breed of Dr. Doolittles? by JOY POWELL, Star Tribune
Lacey the dog couldn't stop limping.
A car had run over her, cracking the ball of her hip. After surgery, she still walked gingerly.
So her owner, Lisa Cottrell of Wyoming, Minn., took Lacey to an animal chiropractor, Dr. Mark LaVallie. He adjusted the pelvis and lower spine of the black Lab-collie mix.
Cottrell said the limp disappeared: "It was remarkable, like night and day." Now Lacey has $45 adjustments every six to eight weeks.
She joins a growing number of dogs, cats, horses, cows and even llamas being treated by animal chiropractors in Minnesota. In July 2008, the state became one of the first to pass a law allowing chiropractors who work on people to also work on animals, as long as they get specialized training and meet other requirements.
There's growing demand for such alternative therapies for animals, said Larry Spicer, executive director of the Minnesota Board of Chiropractic Examiners. That agency licenses chiropractors for humans and registers those who complete 210 hours of additional training so they can treat animals, too.
LaVallie splits his practice 50-50 between humans and animals. He's the busiest among 18 animal chiropractors registered in Minnesota. Nationwide, there are about 1,800 animal chiropractors, according to officials with Options For Animals, the biggest of three U.S. schools for animal chiropractic, said Robbie Hroza, administrator of the Wellsville, Kan., school.
"In the last five years, it seems like a lot more people are going to a holistic approach with chiropractors -- in conjunction with the veterinary care, because you still need that," Hroza said.
Minnesota's law was designed to require a veterinarian's referral to go to a chiropractor to ensure that the animal has no disease a human can get, such as rabies, and that it received proper veterinary care, said Dr. Trevor Ames, dean of the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine. Students there can take elective courses in animal chiropractic care.
Does chiropractic care work for animals? Ames said there's no scientific proof because there have been no clinical trials yet.
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Owners swear by treatments -
For Vernette Karwoski of Scandia there's no question. She's among advocates who pushed for the law to be changed in Minnesota, in part because she had to drive to Wisconsin to take her dogs to an animal chiropractor.
On a recent morning on Karwoski's farm, she held the head of each of her four llamas steady while LaVallie adjusted them, along with a sheep and two dogs.
It was the llamas' first treatment. They flicked their ears and licked their lips, relaxing as he worked. LaVallie found vertebrae that he said had become stuck in place in their long necks, in their pelvises and in sacroiliac joints.
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LaVallie, of St. Croix Falls, Wis., has been a chiropractor for humans for 30 years. After Minnesota changed its law, he studied at the Healing Oasis near Racine, Wis., so he could work on animals, too. Since February 2009, he's adjusted about 1,200 animals, LaVallie said.
He travels around, working with eight veterinary clinics in Minnesota and Wisconsin. "Working together, the relationship with the veterinarians is phenomenal," he said.
There are cases where the animals are beyond help, he said. But many times, he's been able to help even those whose owners feared they would have to be put down. The manipulations help animals feel better, perform better and live longer, LaVallie said.
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Wagging her tail again -
Among his clients is Deb Volk of Andover, whose 6-year-old Weimaraner, Ellie, had a tick-borne disease called anaplasmosis, which affects joints, muscles and nerves that send messages from the brain to the paws. Though she was on intravenous feeding, strong antibiotics and arthritis medicine, Ellie was left with a front leg and back leg partially paralyzed three months after getting sick.
"We followed the vet's advice," Volk said. "She got better to a certain point and then no more, and that just wasn't good enough."
LaVallie soon found six vertebrae out of place, as well as a pelvis "way of out whack," Volk said.
Ellie had weekly adjustments until her spine was aligned, and the Volks did treatments at home. The dog soon began wagging her tail again. Now, she runs much of the day and is "a happy, happy dog," Volk said.
"Dr. LaVallie performed a miracle," Volk said. "He fixed Ellie. It's just unbelievable."
Joy Powell • 952-882-9017
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