A study published on February 5, 2018, in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research showed that chiropractic can help even those with spines who do not walk upright. In this study, a Great Dane suffering with tremors was helped by chiropractic.
Although there are many differences between the canine population and humans, there is the common factor that the nervous system control and coordinates all functions. This is a basic truth for almost all life on earth. It therefore stands to reason that if interference with a human nervous system coming from subluxations can lead to health issues, the same should also be true for non-human vertebrates such as dogs.
The two authors of this study consisted of a chiropractor and a veterinarian. They began this study report by noting that tremors and involuntary movements in canines have been reported over the last ten years. They note that the determination of causes and types of tremors in dogs is more difficult than in people. There is however, a type of tremor known as an orthostatic tremor. This type of tremor is more common in giant breeds of dogs such as Great Danes, under the age of two and is seen when the dog is standing.
In this case, a 3-week-old male Great Dane was brought into a private veterinary and animal chiropractic clinic. The dog was the first born of the litter and was born breech, He was experiencing tremors since birth. Immediately after birth, it was noticed that the rear legs were blue and cold, and only became warm after the dog owner wrapped the newborn puppy in a blanket. The dog’s owner reported that the puppy had weakness in his hind quarters when he began walking, and shook as if he was suffering from Parkinson’s disease. The puppy’s shaking did decrease on his own, however, it was still noticeable when walking. None of the other puppies in this litter showed any signs of this problem.
A veterinary examination of the puppy showed a normal puppy in most respects but did reveal the shaking. All other exam procedure performed by the veterinarian proved to be unremarkable accept for the presence of tremors.
A chiropractic examination was also performed which consisted of static and motion palpation for the purpose of finding restrictions or pain and accessing muscle tone along the puppy’s spine. From this examination, it was determined that multiple areas of subluxations were present. Based on the findings, chiropractic care was rendered to the puppy.
According to the study, after just three days following the initial chiropractic treatment, the owner reported that the puppy was able to stand up and walk on two occasions with very minimal shaking. After two more weeks of care, the then five-week-old puppy seemed normal and was not showing any symptoms of tremors.
In the case discussion the authors noted, “Spinal manipulation has been performed on animals for centuries, but veterinarians and chiropractors have only recently started working together to improve the practice, guidelines and education for both professions.” They further explained the difference between what a veterinarian determined to be a subluxation verses what a chiropractor would define subluxation as, “Veterinarians typically hold a structural perspective that a subluxation is a partial dislocation, whereas chiropractors view subluxation from a more functional point of view, stating that vertebral misalignments interrupt the normal biomechanical and neurological functions of the body.”