Jackson had his first visit to the holistic healthcare vet today. Since Jackson has had recurring lameness issues and we have been unable to diagnose the cause, we decided to try the holistic approach. Have never been to a holistic vet, so I was not sure what to expect. I know several people at the obedience club where we train use this approach and have found it to be really helpful, so I thought, "why not?"
I could tell it was different from the regular vet's office when we walked in. It was like someone's house - well, in fact the office is in a house. Jackson usually gets very stressed in the vet's office, but today he was much more relaxed I thought. After weighing him (164 lbs) and taking his history, she had me walk him up and down the sidewalk outside the office so she could see how he was moving. She thought the way he moved his right front leg/foot was off - although he wasn't noticeably limping.
We then went back in her office and she went over him with her hands - checking his joints and leg movements - and then took his pulse. She thought it was faster than normal for a large dog, but everything else looked okay. She does spinal manipulation therapy so she manipulated his spine and said he had a neck vertebrae out of place, but that was not unusual. She then proceeded to give him an acupuncture treatment. First, she placed an acupuncture needle in the center of his forehead. She said that usually helps relax the dog. She then placed several acupuncture needles along both sides of his neck and shoulder, front legs and one in each foot. I must say he was an excellent patient. He just layed on the floor and watched her put these needles in. The needles stayed in for 15 minutes, then she took them out and the treatment was over.
As I understand it, the acupuncture gets the energy flowing in the body and this helps the body heal itself. In other words, it activates the nervous system, relieves pain, and stimulates circulation and the immune systems. It also decreases inflammation and promotes healing. At the risk of sounding like a skeptic, I asked her if focusing on the healing was overlooking the cause. But since we don't know the cause, treating the symptoms is a good way to approach it.
We have a second visit scheduled in two weeks. I am really going to be watching him closely to see if I can see improvement. Hopefully, this will help and we can proceed with training at full speed. We are continuing with regular training - just not jumping for now.