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  • Dr Gloria Dodd, DVM


Every animal - dog, cat, or horse - that I have examined in my clinical practice of 42 years, has needed spinal vertebrae adjustment as part of their therapy. The nature of animals is that some time in their lives, there has been an injury to vertebrae, associated muscles, tendons and ligaments. This can be due to trauma by another animal in fighting, running into an object, jumping off and not landing squarely on all fours, or even torquing the body off-center to take weight off a painful extremity.

Whatever the mechanism, the vertebrae have been misaligned, muscles put into spasm, ligaments and tendons strained or torn. If not adjusted and supported, these vertebrae attract calcium ions and soon calcification deposits develop, and/or abnormal wearing of joint surfaces of associated front or hind leg with resulting crippling arthritis and impairment of movement.

Besides pain and impaired movement, what other health problems can result from this condition and why is chiropractic therapy necessary?

Physically, impairment of associated organ structures and function via the vertebral spinal sensory and motor abilities to these organs.

Energetically, imbalanced and weakened acupuncture energy (or the Life Force, Chi) in the Bladder Meridian that flows bilaterally down the dorsal right and left sides of the vertebrae from the animal’s head, down entire back to the toes of both hind legs. This impaired energy produces blockages and weaknesses in the associated physical organs and their functions.


The most frequent misaligned vertebrae is the first neck bone, the atlas.

In dogs, this is pulled out of place by misuse of collars and leashes. Pulling from a collar can easily pull this neck bone out of alignment either by jerking on the leash to one side or another, or by the dog suddenly lurching laterally against the collar. It is far better to attach a leash to a harness than a collar. Since every vertebrae is attached to one another, a cascading affect occurs of rotating any or several other vertebrae and the sacroiliac out of alignment.

In horses, pulling against a halter laterally or even up and down can misalign this atlas. Spinal nerves in the neck or cervical area can affect the throat, thyroid, and the Wallerian Ring of tonsils, the first area of defense against inhaled and ingested infective agents and chemicals. Also, these nerves can contribute to shoulder and front leg lameness. In the chest or thoracic vertebrae associated spinal nerves can affect the heart, lungs, and circulation.

The upper thoracics can also cause front leg lameness. The lower thoracics and upper lumbars affect internal organs of digestion, liver, pancreas, gall bladder, and stomach; of excretion, the kidneys; and immune system, the spleen and bone marrow. The lower lumbars affect the bowel or Large Intestine; the sacroiliac, the Small Intestine and Urinary Bladder functions. The sciatic nerve, a plexus formed by multiple spinal nerves coming from the lower lumbar and sacral vertebrae innervate the hind legs, carrying sensory and motor impulses. Much hind limb paralysis can be due to subluxation of these vertebrae putting pressure on the lower spinal cord and sciatic nerves.

A picture of Bladder Meridians:


1. Seek the services of a qualified veterinarian who does chiropractic therapy; or have your veterinarian write a referral letter for your animal to be seen by a chiropractor who does services for people.

If neither is available, purchase the book; The Well-Adjusted Dog, a self- help book for dog and cat owners with great pictures and simple language.

2. Purchase a HEALING HALTER™ for your dog, cat or horse. Many times, this alone will relieve muscle spasm and allow the vertebrae to align themselves. This will also help balance and strengthen the Chi in all affected organs, joints, tendons and ligaments.

3. Administer my Custom Homeopathy Muscle Spasm/Muscle Tie-Up (Azoturia in Horses) Support Formula 50MX: 4 tabs every hour for first day, then 6x daily as needed. Massaging with warm wet towels in the area of muscle spasm.

4. Administer oral oxygen (Aerobic O7 - Stabilized Oxygen 70ml Squeeze Bottle), 15 drops twice daily by mouth or in the drinking water to super oxygenate the cramped muscles and increase nerve, tendon, and ligament healing.

5. Seek the services of a veterinary acupuncturist to treat chi blockages, pain and muscle spasm. See the webpage for the AHVMA, the American Holistic Veterinarians Medical Association, to find a doctor near you.

6. For arthritis and calcium deposits between vertebrae and within joints, administer our Custom Homeopathic Musculoskeletal Support Formula - 100C and Exostosis Support Formula - 100C: 4 tabs each together, 4 to 6 x’s daily as necessary. My Healing Halter is invaluable in these cases, also administer Glucosamine Sulfate - 1000mg and Vitamin C and E supplements.

7. For partially ruptured Anterior or Posterior Ligaments in the knee joint: administer the Custom Homeopathic Knee Joint Injury Support Formula - 100C: 4 tabs 3-4 x daily as needed. Add Vit. C and Vit E for at least 3 months.

8. For Hip dysplasia, the tenets for chiropractic therapy also apply because the dog will torque his body off center to get weight off the painful hip joint(s), thus causing rotation of vertebrae and abnormal wear to the knee joints. Administer the same supplements for arthritis and calcium deposits (treatment #4 and if knee joints are involved, administer treatment in #5), and our Custom Homeopathy Hip Joint Support Formula - 100C: 4 tabs 3-4 x daily for one month minimum then as needed.

9. Do twice-daily acupressure massage of affected Bladder Meridian points.

10. Practice Traction on your animal, as outlined in our Newsletter #16, "Osteoarthritis and Hip Dysplasia". It can be very helpful to relieve muscle spasm, help rotate vertebrae to normal positions, and relieve pain.

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