He recommended I read The Well Adjusted Dog by Dr. Daniel Kamen during one of my appointments with my chiropractor. The author of the book is a chiropractor who also adjusts animals for cervical subluxation in dogs.
Misalignment Of Dog’s Spinal Column
In any case, Dr. Kamen wrote this book (among others) to teach dog owners how to adjust their own pets on their own. The book is really informative and walks you through the anatomy of a dog’s spinal column. It also teaches you how to feel for misalignments and provides a number of at-home techniques. In particular, if you’re not at ease working on a dog’s spinal column, the procedures emphasise how to relax stiff muscles.
A highly interesting section regarding dog collars and how they can easily cause neck problems for your pet dog caught my attention while I was reading the book. The majority of it is due to how we (i.e., humans) use some collars and leashes incorrectly. Dr. Kamen has the following to say about dog collars:
“The dogs’ cervical subluxations are mainlyly caused by improper collar use. The cervical region, specifically the top two cervical vertebrae, is the most dangerous area to place excessive strain on. The body and brain finally come into contact at this stage.” The Well Adjusted Dog, by Dr. Daniel Kamen, p. 24.
** What Types of Collars Are Available **
I thought that utilising a dog harness was helping me. Ha! I soon realised that this might actually be the cause of my dog’s disc issues at the junction of her neck and shoulders. The ideal dog collar to utilise was then described by him.
The majority of dog owners use one of five different types of collars.
typical flat collars made of nylon and leather, chokers, prong collars, leader or head collars, and harnesses.
** Flat Collars **
The majority of dog owners use standard flat collars, but they might also be the most harmful. These collars are used to hang your pet’s identification tags and link the leash to the metal loop.
This type of collar should never be used for dog training or if you have trouble keeping your dog under control when out on a walk.
When they are angry, owners frequently pull back on the leash to stop their dogs from tugging and rushing or, if they have stopped to smell something, to get them to move along.
This pulling will result in substantial neck-region muscle tightness, which in turn causes cervical subluxation. This is one of the main reasons why disc problems and other neck problems in dogs occur.Unfortunately, the majority of these disc problems do not develop until much later in life.
To try to restore the damage caused by degenerating discs, dog owners currently either give their pets medicine for pain management and muscular relaxation or turn to surgery.
** Leader Head Collars **
These seem to be the ideal training techniques for your dog. Like a muzzle, a leader collar is worn over the dog’s head. The dog’s collar has a metal loop beneath its chin where the leash is attached.
The idea behind it is to “guide” the dog by turning their head in the direction you wish to go.
When trying to train their dog, some owners may turn the head too abruptly or roughly. This can also lead to upper neck problems, much like the standard collar.
** Choke Collars **
Dog trainers frequently use this style of collar. The idea behind it is that a dog will ease back and let the collar tension out if it pulls too hard and starts to choke.
In actuality, a dog’s natural reaction is to pull away from a tightening chain, tightening the collar even more. It’s possible for your dog to choke to death!
Choke collar use could result in serious harm from poorly taught animals and, more significantly, poorly skilled owners.
** Harness **
A dog’s shoulders and chest area are covered by the harness, which is made to fit over them. These harnesses can result in subluxations in the lower neck, shoulder, foreleg, and chest region, although they are safer than a choke or a conventional collar.
Once more, the main cause is commonly cited as irritated owners yanking back on the leash, which stresses the dog’s shoulder and chest regions due to the harness.
** Prong Collar **
This collar has the appearance of an outdated abuse device. The prong collar is made of metal and has an inner surface covered with a circular ring of spikes. The slightest resistance used during training evenly distributes pressure over the neck region and effectively restricts the dog’s movement.
Some trainers relate the prong collar to “power steering,” where even a light touch will create the desired outcome, as Dr. Kamen writes in his book. He has found that dogs using this prong collar had far less upper cervical subluxations than dogs wearing any other style of collar. In other words, this is the greatest collar for walking and training your dog.
** What Else May Cause Cervical Subluxation in Dogs? **
Numerous other disorders might potentially lead to problems with cervical subluxations. A major cause for worry is the demands of canine training (learned to sit on the left and stare up at the owner, which causes neck strain).
A few causes of canine neck difficulties include mismatching dog and owner sizes, canine weight issues, inadequate bedding, unsafe play techniques, leash length, and the way some dogs are bred.It is to always keep an eye on your dog.
Instead of the cosy pet mat you got, perhaps he prefers to lie on the hardwood floors next to the fire. Maybe you were a little too rough with the Frisbee today, causing your pet to leap too high and suffer from neck ache.
The most important thing is to make an effort to stop any potential behaviours that can result in neck subluxations in your dog in order to prevent further injury.
You might want to pick up a copy of The Well Adjusted Dog to learn how to check your dog’s neck and spinal column for potential misalignments and how to make some of the corrections yourself.
Your pet will have a much happier and less painful life if you do this.