Last Updated on September 6, 2023 by Dr. Alisha Barnes

Does your dog experience back pain? Sometimes it can be difficult to ascertain whether our beloved furry friends are feeling their best or are experiencing some kind of pain and discomfort. In particular, dogs tend to conceal their pain, easily distracted by the excitement of physical activity, food, or their favorite humans’ presence. As such, it is especially important to be on the lookout for signs that your dog may be in pain.

Back pain is one of the most common unaddressed concerns in dogs which is likely to affect their quality of life. Irrespective of age—back pain can even occur in puppies—when a dog is experiencing back pain they may exhibit reduced mobility, wince or whine quietly when executing certain movements, and show a decreased interest in activities they may have previously enjoyed. The mistaken assumption that back pain in dogs is irreversible or a natural byproduct of old age is also common, but completely inaccurate. Dogs can enjoy the same type of relief that humans can from chiropractic care, and may experience a lessening or even the complete elimination of their pain from expert chiropractic treatment.

Dogs experience back pain for a wide variety of reasons. In small dogs, it may be because of constant jumping on and off of surfaces like beds, sofas, and chairs. This repeated impact can force joints and bones out of alignment, creating tension, pinched nerves, inflammation, and even damage to ligaments and muscles as they attempt to compensate for structural imbalances. For medium or large dogs, the same impact can occur when jumping on and off of surfaces. Additionally, medium and large dogs are typically more prone to genetic or breed-related bone and joint misalignment, which can exacerbate any activities that the dog is already engaging in. Genetic and breed-related propensities for misalignment may also worsen on their own with the passage of time.

If you’ve ever witnessed your dog falling, jumping, or landing roughly on or off of a surface—even if they did not appear to be injured at the time—these incidents may still have created an injury or the beginning of misalignment, which can become progressively worse if left untreated. Both in humans and in dogs, when the body tries to make up for a weakened area, this can place strain on many of the other mechanisms in the body related to mobility, structure, and strength. Other signs that your dog may be in pain is sudden inexplicable weakness, exhibited by your dog’s hesitation with certain physical movements, or lack of desire to play in the way they usually would.

If you suspect that your dog is in pain, then chiropractic treatment may very well be the solution you’re looking for. While a traditional veterinarian may provide a topical or injectable treatment such as a steroid, or even prescribe pain medication to make your dog’s pain more tolerable, a pet chiropractor treats pain at the source.

First, your dog’s spine and posture will be expertly analyzed using a visual assessment which measures posture, gait, and stance. This allows your dog’s chiropractor to understand what is causing your pet’s pain and discomfort, as well as help to determine appropriate treatment. You may also be asked to provide a verbal history of your dog’s health background, as well as a description of any symptoms you’ve observed indicating pain, and when they occur. Finally, your expert chiropractor will intuitively draw on their wealth of experience and knowledge to identify the best treatment for your pet.

Just as you would, your dog may experience substantial relief from a chiropractic adjustment and other forms of chiropractic care. Chiropractic adjustments for pets can offer relief to inflamed and constricted nerves, flexibility and movement where it was previously lost, and a decrease in muscle strain and tensions. Very often, all that is needed to help restore proper balance to your beloved pet’s spine and greatly enhance their quality of life is attention to the source of their pain, not the manifested symptoms of their pain. By taking your dog to a pet chiropractor, you are making the decision to help provide your dog with long-term relief by addressing the source of their discomfort. Dr. Alisha Barnes of Tails Animal Chiropractic Care in the Boulder/Fort Collins area has had success treating countless dogs suffering with persistent back pain and discomfort. If you’re ready to help initiate your dog’s journey back to an optimal state of health and vitality, then schedule your furry friend’s appointment today.

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