All dog owners have already been confronted with the various joint and muscle pains of their companion. Whether it is a sick or convalescent dog, or simply a dog that is getting older, our little furballs are just like us predisposed to certain pathologies that can quickly become disabling. Fortunately, an osteopath for dogs can relieve the animal or at least treat it. Some will prefer alternative medicine such as canine osteopathy, while others will turn to medicated treatments, both complementary.
Canine osteopathy and its benefits
What is osteopathy?
Over the last few years, osteopathy has made its way into the animal world. Considered natural and particularly efficient, it seduces more and more owners of furry or feathered companions who often feel helpless in front of the different disorders of their pets. As an alternative medicine, osteopathy can be particularly effective. It is a method of care which is done through manual manipulations on different parts of the body and which will allow in the short and long term to relieve the pains and functional disorders which can alter the health of an individual.
For example, in men, it is often used in the case of persistent back pain, lower back pain, or in certain cases of loss of mobility of a muscle following an accident. But that’s not all! Osteopathy is also widely used to treat disorders of the cardiovascular, digestive or even neurological systems. It is the same for animals, which like us can suffer from many ailments, whether physical or psychological. We will focus on canine osteopathy and the different pathologies that this alternative medicine can treat. Canine osteopathy, as its name indicates, exclusively concerns Man’s best friend, which has been particularly present in our homes for many years.
An effective method to replace or complement medication
Who has never used baiting techniques to give medicine to their dog? Who hasn’t had to hide it in a freshly bought treat or in one of his favorite treats? Let’s face it: giving medicine to your female dog is often an uphill battle. Some people turn to appetizing tablets with a meaty taste, while others try to put the medicine directly into their dog’s mouth. And if sometimes it is possible to fool the dog, the effectiveness of the medication is questionable.
As with humans, there are some medications that can provide relief and others that cannot… Some can even cause other problems, especially digestive problems. This is why some veterinarians recommend turning more to alternative methods, alternative medicines, which will treat more deeply without risking to cause other disorders to your dog. However, if your pet tolerates the treatments well, it is possible to continue them, while taking osteopathy sessions as a complement. Remember that osteopathy is a technique supervised by a professional, who will know what is best for your four-legged friend.
What does an osteopath for dogs treat?
The articular disorders in the ageing, sick or convalescent dog
There comes a time in your dog’s life when his little body can cause him pain. In dogs that are getting older, the most frequent pathology is certainly osteoarthritis, a chronic disease of the joints due to the deterioration of the cartilages and which is characterized by more or less strong attacks. It is not uncommon to see a dog completely down after a violent arthritis attack. In this case, we would tend to believe that it is enough to let him rest, which is not totally false. However, canine osteopathy could well relieve him and allow him to heal more quickly.
It should also be noted that aging dogs are not the only ones to suffer from joint problems; a dog that appears to be in good health may very well injure itself during a sports session that is a little too intense. Similarly, dogs that are overweight or prone to joint pain because of their breed or genetics can also suffer from osteoarthritis, and not just at a certain age. Some breeds, such as Labrador Retrievers, Rottweilers or German Shepherds, are particularly prone to it because of their large morphology.
Although osteopathy cannot cure osteoarthritis as such, as well as dysplasia, dislocations, herniated discs or ruptured cruciate ligaments, it is still very effective in relieving your pet. The specialist will be able to provide the necessary care so that your pet can live more serenely despite its joint problems.
If your dog experiences periods of digestive problems such as constipation, diarrhea, vomiting or abdominal pain, it is important to note that the osteopath for dogs can once again work miracles. With specific techniques, he will be able to alleviate these various inconveniences that your companion can present throughout his life.
Few people know it, but canine osteopathy can also be very effective against behavioral problems. Some dogs have behavioral problems that may be related to nervous disorders such as stress, anxiety or nervousness. A dog that suffers from hyper-attachment to its owner, due to fear of separation or abandonment, can be relieved with a few osteopathy sessions.
The same is true for dogs that have not been properly socialized and can be aggressive towards other dogs. It may be important to point out, however, that osteopathy alone may not be totally effective in some cases, and should be undertaken in conjunction with behavioral therapy.
Owners of female dogs can be confronted with various reproductive problems. For example, the female may experience irregularities or even a complete absence of heat. Also, giving birth can be particularly difficult in some cases. These different disorders can also be treated by canine osteopathy.
Finally, osteopathy can also be very beneficial in the case of disturbed growth in the puppy. We can talk in particular about osteochondritis, which mainly affects pedigree and large dogs, and which prevents the good development of the cartilage during growth, or about panoestitis, an inflammatory disease which affects the bones and which will most often cause limping problems. Although these two diseases are frightening, it is once again possible to “counteract” them through canine osteopathy.
The benefits of osteopathy on my dog
The well-being of my dog first
Your faithful dog will have his own way of expressing the pains that are bothering him. The master will have to be attentive to the unusual behavior of the animal: it limps, it whines, it moves with a leg that drags, it refuses to obey, etc. Osteopathy can help your dog to alleviate its suffering and improve its health. It is advisable to consult your veterinarian first, however, osteopathy is strongly indicated to regularly relieve certain pathologies, as mentioned above, or spinal injuries.
Osteopathy is recommended for affections of the locomotor system (osteoarthritis, cervical pain, back pain, affected hindquarters…), or visceral (disturbed transit, urinary infections…). But also for problems of otitis, nervousness or hyperactivity of the animal, a licking dermatitis, a rehabilitation after an operation or an accident (herniated disc, dislocation of the kneecap, rupture of the cruciate ligaments, dysplasia of the hip, fractures…).
Thus, your dog will benefit from a better quality of life thanks to proven osteopathic care that releases the tensions on the body and makes the dog more mobile.
The course and cost of an osteopathy session
As with humans, the dog will be placed on an examination table where it will be examined and palpated. The practitioner will then try to detect all the muscular contractions of your animal, while listening carefully to the Primary Respiratory Movement. At the end of his palpation, he will then establish a diagnosis and start the first manipulations to stimulate your dog’s body, including visceral manipulations, joint mobilization techniques and even massages!
While each practitioner is free to set his or her own rates, on average, you should expect to pay between $50 and $100 for a 15-minute to one-hour consultation.
As you can see, the benefits of osteopathy on dogs are well known. Whether you do sessions as a preventive measure or to treat the various disorders of your four-legged friend and boost his organism, this energetic medicine will prove to be particularly effective for puppies and older dogs of all breeds, sportsmen and women or even scenters.