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Dog Case Example

An 18mth female lurcher was brought to the practice with sharp intermittant hind end lameness occurring after twisting violently in pursuit of a rabbit. On examination I found a twisting strain in the lower part of her spine and pelvis, and her left hip. Her left hip was also slightly inflammed and quite tender. After the examination and an initial treatment I advised the owner to keep her on the lead and only allow her to exercise gently at a walk with no free running for the time being. The owner was aghast, although good on the lead, she felt that the dog would be unhappy not to run free. Fortunately, I was able to explain that explosive running and chasing would agravate the inflammed hip making the problem more serious, and the owner sensibly understood the need for restraint.

Happily after four treatments using Cranial Osteopathy specially adapted for canines, the owner observed that the dog appeared much more comfortable and that the inflammation and twisting strains to her back, pelvis, and hip were resolved. The dog was once more able to chase rabbits to her heart's content!

Precautionary tale   

Sadly I had a dog referred to me by a vet, for assessment, that had sustained considerable cranial base and cervical spine damage, which was clearly visible on X ray. He was a persistent ‘puller’ and his owner had used a ‘haltie- type’ nose control device on him, without understanding the vital need to release the pressure immediately the dog did as required! Unfortunately this failure to release the tension when the animal complies is a very common problem with owners and handlers, and makes restraint devices quite dangerous unless the owner is prepared first to 'train' themselves how to use the device properly before attempting to use it on an animal. Unfortunately the damage to the dog was so advanced, and owner oblivious to my advice was still pulling unremittingly on his end of the haltie, that I was unable to help. The sad consequence for the dog of this mismanagement over a period of time, was irreversible spinal damage requiring expensive and dangerous spinal surgery as a last hope. Cry

Horse Case Example

I recall a 3yr old mare I was treating for a neck and shoulder problem that she had suffered from for a couple of years prior to my seeing her. As an 8mth old foal she had apparantly been trapped across her neck by roof timbers, when her stable broke up in a gale. Normally she was now fine about being in her stable, and everyone assumed that she had forgotten the event.

When initially I started to treat her using gentle Cranial Osteopathy specially adapted for equines she became very relaxed and comfortable. However, when treatment progressed to working gently on the deep strain in her neck,- related to the early injury from the roof, she became  agitated, reared up and tried to rush out of her stable. Fortunately the handler had her attached to a lunge line, and we both stepped aside as she fled outside. Once outside- and where she felt safe, she settled rapidly with no harm done!  
The remedy to the problem of continuing her treatment was easy, I simply elected to treat her outside of her stable in a large open sided high roofed covered yard area which had secure footing. It was a bit damp and draughty for her handler and myself, but this compromise gave her space which enabled her to relax whilst giving me the conditions that allowed me to do my job safely and effectively. Without danger to anybody, or stress to my patient, the job could be done. Happily after 6 treatments her owner said that her neck and shoulder were functioning well, and she was now fine in her stable.

This case illustrates the excellent memory that equines have, as prey animals fast learning of bad experiences and never making the same mistake twice would be vital to survival. If we as their human carers can understand this, things become safer all round!  

[ Watch this space, - more case examples to be added shortly!]