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Pet back-up

Most Whistlerites know how an injured limb can lead to back problems. Their four-legged friends aren’t immune either



By Claire Piech

Annie’s downfall is that she loves to play with dogs.

The mixed-breed Squamish resident is particularly fond of body slamming into her fellow playmates.

Unfortunately, at 12 years old, such a pastime is about as gentle on Annie’s dog body as a lifetime of mosh pitting would be on a human’s. Years of cumulative dog-on-dog collisions have caused serious damage to Annie’s spine, including a particularly painful injury near her neck.

Annie’s owner, Stephanie Cannady, started to worry when she noticed how much her dog’s troubling back was affecting her behaviour.

“It got to a point where Annie wasn’t playing with other dogs anymore,” said Cannady.

“I mean, she loves playing with other dogs, but it was getting to a point where she just physically couldn’t anymore. You could see her watching the other dogs, wanting to join in, but being reluctant because the pain in her back was so great,” she said.

After watching Annie sit on the sidelines for too long, Cannady decided it was time to take her dog to a see a chiropractor.

Dr. David Lane is Whistler’s veterinarian chiropractor. Using only his hands, Lane went to work to locate the source of Annie’s pain. He slowly felt up and down the dog’s spine, carefully examining each vertebra in her back for irregularity and paying special attention to areas where she was having the most problem. When Lane found something unusual, he would make a quick, low amplitude thrust to release the tightened area. By the time the 45-minute examination was done, Annie’s back pain was relieved.

“Dr. Lane saw Annie and — BOOM — you could see an immediate improvement in her mobility,” said Cannady about Annie’s visit to the veterinarian chiropractor.

“He said the reason her behaviour was so affected was because her back was all locked up. Once he released it, it really gave her the will to want to go on,” she said.

Lane began practicing veterinarian chiropractics earlier this year, after more than 15 years of regular veterinarian practice. He decided to get involved in the animal spine business after noticing that a large number of animals he was treating in both Whistler and Squamish were sustaining back injuries. Patients with broken legs would develop back problems because of the abnormal posture the broken leg caused. Even after Lane fixed the leg, the animals would continue to hold this abnormal posture, eventually developing a back problem that was often worse than the original broken bone.

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