Kate and Don and discuss holistic approaches to treating gastrointestinal issues and cancer with Dr. Michael Munzer from All Creatures Acupuncture in Bucksport. Dr. Munzer explains how he works with your primary veterinarian to help your pet with the use of acupuncture, chiropractic, nutritional support, Chinese herbs, and supplements.
Kate and Don and discuss holistic approaches to treating orthopedic issues, skin issues, and Lyme disease with Dr. Michael Munzer from All Creatures Acupuncture in Bucksport. Dr. Munzer explains how he works with your primary veterinarian to help your pet with the use of acupuncture, chiropractic, nutritional support, Chinese herbs, and supplements.
Like you I want my pets to have a long, healthy, wonderful life. That is why I appreciate that there are so many healthcare options for our pets. My pets have both a traditional veterinarian and a homeopathic veterinarian. As of this fall, Muppy is also seeing a specialist in veterinary chiropractic care and Chinese medicine and acupuncture.
I had recently noticed that Muppy had occasionally started sitting with her right leg out to one side, much like our dog Gus had done for most of his life. Muppy was showing no obvious signs of pain or discomfort, but as we know, dogs hide these things well. Muppy does like to fly off and on our deck so I was concerned about a possible orthopedic injury, and since Gus’ started sitting normally after his first chiropractic adjustment, I decided that taking Muppy to see a veterinary chiropractor for a preliminary exam made sense. I like having the little scamp around, and if there is any chance she is in pain, I want to address that sooner rather than later.
As we entered the office, Dr. Munzer greeted Muppy with a treat. That was a brilliant move because he made a friend for life. He allowed Muppy to meet him on her terms and while we discussed the reasons for our visit, Muppy was allowed to explore his office and get comfortable. She felt so relaxed she started getting into things on Dr. Munzer’s bookshelf before joining me on the futon as I talked with Dr. Munzer. This served two purposes; Muppy had time to settle in, and Dr. Munzer had the opportunity to watch her and assess her posture and gait; an important part of a chiropractic exam.
As we talked, he was taking a complete health history that covered physical issues, behavior, and nutrition. Next were a combined chiropractic and Chinese medicine exam. This involved:
Checking the color, shape, size and coating of Muppy’s tongue. The tongue is examined as part of a Chinese medicine exam as it is used to assess circulatory status, systemic temperature and pain/stagnation.
Examining Muppy’s head, ears, spine and extremities for heat or cold.
Going over her skin and coat looking for any abnormalities or sensitive areas.
Checking the condition of her nails and footpads. Scuffed nails/pads are a sign of toe drag, which may indicate an orthopedic or neurological problem.
Palpating the spine, limbs and surrounding muscles for pain or trigger points. Muppy exhibited some discomfort in her lower spine.
Tracing along the acupuncture meridians and looking for twitch responses and feeling for deficient Chi points.
Checking the femoral pulses for symmetry, rate, strength, depth and character.
Moving all the joints of the spine and extremities to assess if there are restrictions on the range of motion or if any joints are stuck out of neutral.
After the initial exam, Muppy received her first chiropractic adjustment. She was on top of a large foam block with me sitting in a chair near her head. Dr. Munzer gently adjusted the joints that were out of alignment. Following the chiropractic adjustment, he repeated his exam of the acupuncture meridians. This was followed up by the insertion of acupuncture needles at several points. The needles remained in place, and Muppy remained calmly on the table, for several minutes. I remember that Gus would fall asleep during his acupuncture treatments, a not uncommon reaction to acupuncture.
At the end of her treatment, the acupuncture needles were removed, and Muppy hopped off the foam block, and we went home. Since her first treatment, she has been moving better. She had her second treatment a week later, the third treatment three weeks after the first, and will have her next one a month after the last. Both chiropractic and acupuncture treatments focus on preventative care.
So when should you consider acupuncture for your pets? Acupuncture can be very beneficial for treating pain as well as noninfectious inflammation such as that caused by allergies. It can be helpful for neurological issues; Gus was treated for idiopathic epilepsy, and it did reduce the frequency of his seizures. Acupuncture is also helpful in the treatment of musculoskeletal issues like arthritis and disc disease. It can be beneficial for treating feline asthma and gastrointestinal issues and even behavioral problems.
You might want to consider chiropractic care for your dog if they have any mobility issues or as in my case if you see something that does not look normal, but there are no obvious indications of pain or discomfort.
Muppy is feeling better since she started her chiropractic and acupuncture treatments and that makes me happy.
POST PUBLICATION UPDATE – Muppy had her fourth adjustment and treatment yesterday (6DEC16). He joints were moving freely and without discomfort and her Chi was strong. She will be going back for her next checkup in one to two months.
Don Hanson is the co-owner of the Green Acres Kennel Shop (greenacreskennel.com) in Bangor. He is a Bach Foundation Registered Animal Practitioner (BFRAP), Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC), Associate Certified Cat Behavior Consultant (ACCBC) and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA). He produces and co- hosts a weekly radio show and podcast, The Woof Meow Show heard on The Pulse AM620 WZON and streamed at http://www.wzonradio.com/ every Saturday at 9 AM. A list of upcoming shows and podcasts of past shows can be found at www.woofmeowshow.com. Don also writes about pets at his blog: www.words-woofs-meows.com.
Don and Kate interview Dr. Michael Munzer about the use of acupuncture and chiropractic veterinary care with pets. In the first half hour we define acupuncture, discuss why Dr. Munzer incorporates it in his practice and ask him about his training. Dr. Munzer tells us how acupuncture can benefit pets, how they react to acupuncture and how you might determine if it might be a good choice for your pet. Acupuncture is not just for treating pain, but can be useful in treating skin issues, neurological issues and even behavioral issues. In the second half of the show, we focus on chiropractic for pets, asking about Dr. Munzer’s training, and how he as incorporated chiropractic care in his practice with everything from small cats to large cows. Chiropractic can be very beneficial for treating a number of issues, either alone, or used with other modalities. If you are curious about acupuncture, chiropractic or how both might benefit your pet, tune into this show.
In this episode of The Woof Meow Show from March 28th, 2015 Kate and Don talk with Dr. Munzer about traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture and how it can be an excellent complementary therapy for pain management, skin issues, seizure disorders and many other issues.