Chiropractic Care for Dogs Update

As many of you probably read, my dog Teddy has a slipped disk and I took her to a chiropractor who works on dogs.  It’s time for an update.  I took Teddy to the chiropracter three times, and I did not treat her back or her pain in any other way.  She no longer yelps in pain!  I haven’t heard a yelp in over a month!  To be conclusive that it worked, I think I would need to get another xray in a few months but if she’s happy and not hurting, I’m happy!

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Get email when your dog leaves the yard

Attach the collar to your dog.  Define the area you think your dog should stay in (i.e., the backyard, Chase!) When your dog leaves that area, you’ll get an email that says he’s left AND the location where your dog is at the moment.  If this is going to work for Chase, it better send an update every thirty seconds.

The device is supposed to be out by the end of the year and will cost $300 plus a $13 monthly fee.  As to what this means if applied to children is a topic I will leave for another time.

The New York Times > Technology > Circuits > What’s Next: For the Fretting Pet Owner, a Wireless Distress Signal

What would you pay to find out how much pain your pet was in?

Having personally spent a good deal of time worrying about my dog and wondering what yelps of pain really mean – is she in pain all the time?  just when she yelps?  how much pain?  does it just startle her or is is excruciating? – I know I would pay a significant amount of money to answer the question "how much pain is my dog in?"  Well, now, thanks to an Ohio nurse, I can find out.   She’s developed a $600, palm sized device that measures stress, a good indicator of pain level.  She’s selling them to vets, but I bet wealthy individuals would be willing to buy them, and I bet a whole bunch of us would be willing to rent them when trying to diagnose chronic health problems in our pets.

Ohio researcher designs, builds device to measure pets’ pain

How much would you pay to find out how much pain your pet was in?

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Chiropractic Care for Dogs

As I posted a while back, my dog Teddy has a slipped disk. I was told by the vet that it is a permanent condition and the best we could do was to give her pain medication.  In addition, I should not take her running and I should go easy on all activities like long walks and backpacking.

It’s been tough and I can definitely tell she’s worse after a long walk, so when I heard about a chiropractor who routinely treats horses and dogs, I decided to give it a try.  I have to admit that I’ve always been a little bit skeptical about chiropractors in general, but after seeing how it was done, I decided it probably wouldn’t hurt Teddy.  So we went yesterday.

I can’t say Teddy enjoyed the treatment, but the minute it was done she was jumping around and twirling in circles.  (And before you say, that’s because it was done, I can tell you when the vet is done with anything she runs to the door or hides under my chair.  She most definitely does not even wag her tail.)  She also jumped on the bed last night without any coaxing!   So, it’s too soon to tell for sure, but it definitely looks like it might help!

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September 23, 2004

Update.  I took Teddy to the chiropracter three times.  I did not treat her back or her pain in any other way.  She is no longer yelps with pain!  I haven’t heard a yelp in over a month!  To be conclusive that it worked, I think I would need to get another xray in a few months but if she’s happy and not hurting, I’m happy!

See other blog posts at my dog blog, Humans for dogs.

How much would you spend on your pet’s health?

I just read this blog entry, collision detection: Fixing Nemo, on Clive Thompson’s blog yesterday about how much would you be willing to spend to save your pet’s life.  Clive says he’d pay $1000.  I say it would depend on the expected outcome.  I’d pay a lot more if I was guaranteed a 100% recovery.  But if you said I was only prolonging life by a month or two or my dog would be in severe pain forever, I probably wouldn’t pay anything.  For problems in between, it’s a hard decision, as I was reminded this morning.

How much you’d pay for a pet’s health is a debate that I’ve had with many of my friends.  I’ve also seen couples get into very heated arguments over how much was appropriate to spend on their dog’s hip surgery or their ferret’s cancer.  It hit home this morning when I took my dog Teddy to the vet.  When I watched them writing "acting funny" as the reason for the visit, I felt kind of stupid.  It took a force of will to stay – to remind myself that I really did think there was a problem and what I had described was more than "acting funny" in my opinion.  I felt stupid because I was about to pay $38 to find out if why my dog was "acting funny".  That would pay for a very nice dinner tonight. 

As it turns out, Teddy is in pain, so I was correct in thinking that "acting funny" might be serious.  However, I spent $150 to find out that she has a disk protrusion, i.e. a slipped disk, so while I was right, something was wrong, I spent $150 to learn that Teddy should take it easy for a while (no running!) and take doggie aspirin.  Was it money well spent?

See more dog posts at my Humans for Dogs blog.

Dogs can too understand people

Anyone who has ever had a dog knows that they can understand you. An article in last week’s Economist, 2/21/04 "Sensitive souls", describes an experiment that proves it. Brian Hare from Harvard University did an experiment where he put food under one of two inverted cups. A human then sat behind the cups and indicated the cup with the food, either by pointing, looking, or tapping. Dogs always got the food. Chimpanzees and wolves didn’t do any better than chance. He even tried it with dogs with little human contact. Dogs could read the human experimenter’s facial expression and figure out which cup the food was under.

So dogs can read your facial expression, and within reason, figure out what you’re trying to tell them. But then anybody with a dog knew that.

Although my experience has been that they can understand lots of words. They just get left behind in the grammar arena. Telling a dog that someone is not coming after you’ve told them they are coming, is impossible.

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