I offer osteopathic treatment for your dog or cat for supportive treatment of musculoskeletal disorders (such as hip dysplasia or Cauda Equina Syndrome) or during recovering after disc herniation or other injuries. Osteopathy is also very useful as a preventative measure if your four-legged friend is very active. This way you can correct inappropriate biomechanical stress at an early stage and avoid possible long-term damage.
In horses, osteopathy is most commonly used in cases of poor performance or gait aberrations, for example failure to bend properly or a shortened stride. By releasing blocked joints and tissue adhesions, tense muscles are relaxed (and the associated pain reduced or eliminated), so full range of motion can be reestablished.
Osteopathic lesions can also be the reason for behavioral problems, such as suddenly refusing jumps, bucking, head shaking, and problems when girthing/saddling.
Osteopathic treatment can also be very beneficial after being cast in a stall, after accidents, or after surgery under general anesthesia.
Ailments osteopathy can treat in horses:
- Compromised range of motion
- Stiff gait
- Difficulties in bending or stepping under properly
- Gait aberration
- After accidents/falls/stall casting
- Coordination deficits
- Head tilt
- Back pain
- Muscle pain
Osteopathy can be used diagnostically, as well as therapeutically, for your pet. Since our pets can't tell us, "something is bugging me here," we have to find different ways to communicate with them. The sense of touch can be very helpful in this regard, after proper training, and this is where osteopathy comes in. When undergoing osteopathic training, I learned to identify ever so small changes in normal motion and position with my hands. Those changes can be part of an existing problem or can develop into one, if not identified and treated in time.
The best-known application of acupuncture for dogs is in the treatment of hip disorders (hip dysplasia). But there are a number of other small animal ailments that can be treated with acupuncture, such as incontinence (especially in spayed dogs), spondylitis, diarrhea and chronic ear infections.
Cats also respond very well to acupuncture, for example when they have kidney failure or chronic rhinitis (inflammation of the nasal mucous membrane).
Among the dog and cat ailments acupuncture can treat:
- Hip dysplasia, Elbow dysplasia
- Chronic rhinitis/feline asthma
- Spondylitis (degenerative spinal osteoarthritis)
- Pain and paresis (partial paralysis) due to herniated discs
- Chronic otitis (ear infection)
- Lack of appetite
- Chronic kidney failure in cats
- Hotspots (due to persistent licking)
- Supportive treatment in tendon- and ligament injuries
Many of your horse's disorders can be treated with acupuncture, or it can be applied concurrently to support ongoing Western medical treatment. I have also had very good results in some cases where traditional veterinary medicine yields limited results, for example Recurrent Airway Obstruction (RAO), recurring colic, or sweet itch.
In addition, I trained under Kerry Ridgway, DVM in Aiken (SC, USA) and learned a special technique for releasing your horse's tense muscles by properly placing just a few needles. Dr. Ridgway also taught me a method for diagnosing equine gastric ulcers. This is, in my opinion, one of the most commonly overlooked/misdiagnosed disorders in equine medicine, because Western methods of diagnosis of this condition are involved and expensive. This is further complicated by the fact that there is a wide range of symptoms that vary greatly from horse to horse, making it difficult to recognize. Using Kerry Ridgway's method, I am able to accurately and inexpensively determine if your horse suffers from these ulcers.
Among the horse ailments acupuncture can treat:
- Tense muscles
- Reduced exercise tolerance
- Weight loss
- Chronic respiratory problems
- Recurring problems when in heat
- Recurring colic
- Gastric ulcers
- Sweet itch
- Nerve paresis (radial, facial)
- Navicular disease
- Nose bleeding
- Inflamed eyes
- Supportive in acute laminitis, acute colic, tendon- and ligament tears, poor wound healing
Most cats, dogs, and horses tolerate acupuncture with needles very easily. By using extremely thin needles the penetration of the skin is generally not painful. Should you (or your animal) object to the use of needles, I can use an acupuncture laser instead. Treatment with the laser takes a little longer, but (except for some very deep lying points) it works just as well.
Acupuncture treatments are based on a thorough examination of the patient, in conjunction with a thoroughly detailed medical history. I will examine your animal holistically, in order to find all connections between physical disorders, psychological and personality issues. According to Chinese medicine this is the only path to a sound diagnosis and a specific treatment of your animal.
For aquapuncture I inject fluids in an acupuncture point through a hypodermic needle. This causes an extended acupuncture effect over several days and is very useful in the treatment of acute diarrhea in dogs and cats, for example.
Moxibustion is the introduction of energy (called "Qi" by the Chinese) into the system by burning special Chinese herbs. The herbs are packed very tightly and sold in a form that looks somewhat like a cigar. By lighting the moxa stick it can shed its (heat) energy to the body either through an acupuncture needle or right at an acupuncture point. I like to use this technique especially in geriatric or malnourished animals or those in poor bodily condition.
I use electro stimulation specifically for the treatment of nerve damage, e.g. radial or facial paralysis in horses or herniated discs in dogs. Concurrently, with electro stimulation, I can reinforce the strength of the pain management therapy I provide with acupuncture.
For long-term acupuncture treatment, I can implant little gold beads into certain acupuncture points. Besides the treatment of hip dysplasia, I have had tremendous success with treating incontinence in dogs (specifically spayed females) with this technique.
In horses this treatment should only be used after careful evaluation, since the gold beads do show on x-rays and can therefore pose a problem in a later pre-purchase exam.
Laser treatment is a great support in wound healing in my opinion. It is useful in treating poorly healing open wounds as well as surgical wounds (for example with a big cavity that can fill with fluids) and covered wounds (contusions, sprains, tendon tears). It doesn't only aim at the treatment of individual acupoints, but also at the treatment of a larger area of tissue.
In addition, the point-laser can facilitate treatment, if your animal is uncomfortable with the use of needles.
Following Chinese medical philosophy, I regulate the flow of life energy (called "Qi") by stimulating certain points, using Classical Acupuncture. This is useful for the treatment of a wide variety of disorders, as well as for preventative treatment. On the one hand, I can treat painful diseases of the musculoskeletal system, e.g. spondylitis and arthritis, with acupuncture. On the other side I can also treat numerous internal diseases such as chronic coughing and sweet itch in horses or chronic cold/flu symptoms in felines. Additionally, I have learned under Dr. Kerry Ridgway a special acupuncture technique that can release tense muscles in horses by using just a few needles, thereby reducing a number of problems under the saddle and helping prevent their return.