We’ve all heard that prevention is better than cure. This is true for our furry companions too. I occasionally get clients bringing in very young puppies because they can’t walk ‘properly’. the results have been very rewarding. Take the ‘swimmer’ puppy that could barely get up at three weeks old and at five weeks old was confidently walking around like the other puppies in the litter.
One of the most challenging was a five month old British Bulldog with a slipping kneecap or luxating patella, bad news for a potential showdog. Amazingly after three weeks of intensive rehabilitation, she was using her bad leg well and it was not slipping anymore.
Both of these dogs were not flukes. Acupuncture, chiropractic and osteopathic body work can produce great results in young animals because they are still growing and the bones will change if we change the way the they use its body. The best chances of changing things is before the eight to ten week age for puppies. If we can release the tension that is stopping these dogs from moving around properly, the body catches up on its weaknesses and recovers. Later on, it is more about compensation that recovery. There is potential for managing syndromes like hip dysplasia if presented early enough.