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Holistic Medicine?

Guest Luna

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Hi all!

I'm very new to Greytalk, but have found myself glued to its informative (and reassuring) formums. As I write this, my 4 year old girl, Luna, is having x-rays done for her extremely painful neck. Over the last few days, she has gotten progressively worse when trying to get up, sit down, or bend down/lift up! :)

I read some earlier discussions regarding acupuncture or chiropractic for sore necks (disk problems, punched nerves, or otherwise). Even though I haven't received her preliminary prognosis, I sit here mulling over several scenarios and options for my girl.

My main question is, "how effective is holistic care in the treatment of neck/spine ailments?" I live in San Francisco, so i'm sure I'd find a good vet in this field, but I wanted to know from the Grey community what you think and if there are any particular clinics that are recommended for a Bay Area gal.

Again, many thanks for the informative discussions and the future recommendations. I guess, for now, I just need to vent, but it's not really good to cry onto my BlackBerry, so i'll sign off for now....

Regards, Al (on behalf of Luna)


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Wish I could give you some solid advice on this, but the only vet I know who does it is here in the Phoenix area.

I've never had any kinds of hands-on therapy with an animal, but I have an FIV+ cat and he's got an specialist who's both allopathic and holistic. In fact, I treat my cats' problems holistically and only rarely treat them with an antibiotic.

Does the dog have neck spasms?

The go-to homeopathic remedy for spasms/swelling is arnica. You can get it in health stores and groceries such as Whole Foods.

Good luck with this.

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I support chiro and acupuncture 1000%. My Shadow got both for a couple of years for his weak hind end and they both did wonders. I also had it done in particular when he did something to his neck and it helped so much! I will say that I did the chiro and acupuncture in addition to pain meds (Metacam) - not instead of. I think the combination of standard medicine and holistic medicine is beneficial to animals and humans.


I wouldn't hesitate for a second to suggest that Luna be seen for chiropractoric and/or acupuncture (some vets do both at the same time). Unfortunately, I'm on the other side of the country so can't suggest a particular one to see. Perhaps contact your local group if you have one - they might have recommended vets for you.


Hope Luna feels better soon! :)

Edited by Meandmy

Jenn, missing Shadow (Wickford Big Tom), Pretty Girl (C's Pretty) and Tori (Santoria)

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I have been doing holistic medicine/acupuncture/chiro/Chinese herbs for my greyhound since 2004. Also done prolo treatment through the holistic vet. She has chiro/acu every six weeks. Holistic vet suggested prolo treatment (six sessions) when her neck and shoulder were bothering her. Western vet wanted to do surgery blah blah. We saw an instant recovery after one prolo treatment. There is an article in the new The Whole Dog Journal on prolo, pros and cons. I truly believe it has made a difference in the quality of her life. 2004 she was suddenly paralysed for 10 days and has had a weak hind leg situation since then. On pred 2 mg. every other day. We have her liver and kidney levels checked every 6 months because of the pred and they are fine. Holistic vet believes her levels are fine due to the acupuncture on a regular basis. Wish you the best! Feel free to email me at home: adoptgreyhounds@sbcglobal.net



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I've had some acupuncture done for my old boy for back/neck pain that we couldn't pinpoint even with an MRI. I do believe it helped him. The thing that has saved him has actually been no stairs - got a ramp for him off the deck. Any no jumping in/out of the car for my hounds.


I remember hearing that neck pain might be a symptom of tick disease. Has Luna had any bloodwork done to rule it out? Here's a linky with some info.


As to how effective holistic care is, I think it's part of the healing process for conditions that you can't just give a drug for or do surgery on. If it's a tweaked neck, it takes a lot of time & rest to heal. Holistic care can be an aid to get back to health.


Welcome to GT & best wishes for Luna!


Deirdre with Conor (Daring Pocobueno), Keeva (Kiowa Mimi Mona), & kittehs Gemma & robthomas.

Our beloved angels Faolin & Liath, & kittehs Mona & Caesar. Remembering Bobby, Doc McCoy, & Chip McGrath.

"He feeds you, pets you, adores you, collects your poop in a bag. There's only one explanation: you are a hairy little god." Nick Galifinakis

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Guest mcsheltie

I also support Acupuncture and Chiropractic 1000%. I've had a lot of Chiro work done on myself. My spine is a mess from being thrown around by horses for years. It hurts so bad I couldn't turn my head and getting up out of a chair or sitting for long periods was impossible. I have also had dogs & horses worked on by a Chiro and they had good results. Two of my clients (dogs) use a Chiro regularly and there is a big difference in the way the dogs gait if they do not get an adjustment before they show. I like the animal practitioners better than some human Drs because they use their hands instead of machines to do the adjustments.


I have had good results with acupuncture too. Wonderful results with a horse that got cast in his stall, injured his spine and was crippled.


I have read quite a few posts on this forum who have had good results with both for back & neck pain.


I can't help with recommendations. But you want to really look into the credentials of the practitioners. The chiropractor should want to see your x-rays.

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I've had 3 dogs get acupunture and all did well, however I do not do chiro as I don't think it's a good idea to manipulate the dog's neck/back since they can not tell you how they are feeling. Things CAN get worse with chiro, but not acupunture. The worse that can happen is... nothing. With chiro- if the necks is having problems, too much manipulation can hurt.


That is IMHO, of course. There are several folks right here on GT that have hounds do well with chiro as well. Until the dog is feeling better, they should be on pain management and wean them off the pain meds once you are 5-6 weeks into the treatment. It usally takes several times for it to work and it can get worse before it gets better.


Freddygirl (Nancy) just had a dog diagnosed with bulging disks. She has posted about her issues too.


Here is a link to find a holistic vet in your area.




Edited by RobinM



ROBIN ~ Mom to: Beau Think It Aint, Chloe JC Allthewayhome, Teddy ICU Drunk Sailor, Elsie N Fracine , Ollie RG's Travertine, Ponch A's Jupiter~ Yoshi, Zoobie & Belle, the kitties.

Waiting at the bridge Angel Polli Bohemian Ocean , Rocky, Blue,Sasha & Zoobie & Bobbi

Greyhound Angels Adoption (GAA) The Lexus Project

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I've used acupuncture/chiropractic on two of my dogs. Before I tried it, on the advice of my vet, I didn't believe it would do anything; but angel Icarus got to run for the first time in over a year after just one treatment (he had been injured by a loose dog and no amount of modern medicine could cure his pain/discomfort). It took 4 treatments and he was back to 100%.

So when Miss Echo pulled her back in Feb 08, I took her in right away for treatment and once again it fixed her right up. She came out even more solid than before she went in. :) Echo only took 2 treatments.

Jennifer and Beamish (an unnamed Irish-born Racer) DOB: October 30, 2011


Forever and always missing my "Vowels", Icarus, Atlas, Orion, Uber, and Miss Echo, and Mojito.

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Thank you all sooo much for the great input!!! Luna's doc said an MRI and neurologist is in order since there is some SLIGHT compression in her vertebrae. She has a fentanyl (sp?) patch working in about 24 hours for the pain, but is still very uncomfortable. I hate to see her this way, but am truly hopeful for the best. I have to be strong for her, since she's been strong for me. With that said, whether the suspected disk disease or otherwise, this gal's gonna get the best that I can give her! Many blessings to all pets and their caring owners....


Al and.Luna

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Guest boondog

An alternative would be medicine with some basis in science.



I was a complete skeptic about acupuncture when my regular veterinarian recommended it for Dillon's spinal arthritis. I am a chemist and very much prefer things with "some basis in science". However, acupuncture has been nothing short of amazing for Dillon. I see a noticeable difference after her treatments (about every 2 months) and it has kept her off of pain meds completely. Of course, it doesn't work for every dog, but I strongly encourage you to give it a try with a certified acupuncturist. Dillon also takes Trixsyn (hyaluronic acid) and I only use a harness to walk her. Best of luck to you!

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UPDATE (Sort of):


Today marks one week since taking Luna in for emergency x-rays, and I'm happy to say there's some progress in her assessment/recovery! :) After an neurological consult/MRI/spinal tap, the vet has ruled out a few conditions (namely the bulging disc/pinched nerve), but a few tests are due in a few days. Fungal Titer came back negative. Cancer is LOW on the totem pole of possibilities. For now, it looks like Eosinophilic (Idiopathic) Meningitis (sp?).


So, Luna started her regimen of Prednisone last night. Funny, a day before and after the MRI/spinal tap, Luna's demeanor had significantly improved. Of course, this could've been the result of a serious Fentanyl patch, but her gait had improved significantly thru to today! Doc seems to think it was also resulting from alleviation of some pressure due to extraction of some spinal fluid during the tap.


At any rate, Luna hasn't really yelped (or screamed bloody murder) for the last couple of days. I'm so relieved. Of course, mainly because Luna's feeling much better! :colgate


We're still awaiting the last of the test from the spinal tap, but we're very optimistic. Thanks to all for the feedback on Holistic Medicine and your wishes for Luna's recovery. GreyTalk is awesome!


Blessings to all doggies and their wonderful owners!



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