Your dog has always thought himself to be BIONIC!
And now over the last 6 - 12 months he is really slowing down, maybe he is not even that old...
So what the “double HE hockey sticks” is happening here?
Under normal circumstances, your dog's Superhero body sends out chemical signals to dampen pain as an “off switch” as soon as your dog gets hurt. However, those signals can be overridden, and we may have to save your Superhero to get that pain system to shut off. This is where we get to perform a role reversal, and you get to be the hero your dog thinks you are.
So let’s talk about it … here is what you need to know from the article below:
o Why it happens – it starts with physical stimulus
o How it happens – it stimulates a chemical, electrical and neurologic process
o Pain sensation eventually stops, right? Normally – via input from the brain and spinal cord
o But sometimes – chronic pain can trick the body into evil maladaptive painful management of this system
o Fortunately, with help from the right combo of pain meds and physical medicine, it can be reversed.
The story of “Windup” and how it becomes Maladaptive Pain
Pain is our body’s way of making sure that we protect an injured area from further damage till it heals properly. This protection is like an alarm system, an adaptive behavior that promotes recovery. Here is how that works: physically and chemically
> Transduction: A combination of chemistry (inflammation) and physical changes (pressure, heat, cold) signal to nerves in the foot that damage has occurred.
> Transmission: that information travels up the nerves in the leg to the spinal cord where the signal is relayed across channels within the spinal cord nerve tracts in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord and to the brain.
> Modulation: chemical signals within the brain and spinal cord amplify and dampen the overall signal based on the amount of pain and persistence of pain from the periphery o Perception: pain is recognized as a sensory experience
> Then the body starts modulating pain with signals from the brain and spinal cord to turn pain off, as the pain stimulus lessens
You should see all the real chemical pathways involved, there are gates on each nerve channel that are controlled by chemistry and electrical voltage!!
But, we won’t get into all that now. With too much pain stimulus, your pain sensors go wild, involving your neurologic system and acting out of proportion for extended periods of time; this ‘maladaptive pain’ is completely unhelpful and can exist long after the damage has actually healed. The Superhero is in trouble.
This is a run away train that we can only stop by affecting the right receptors, with the right drugs, supplements and actual physical care of the tissues that have been adapted to this new posture or way of moving. Here is a link to a more scientific description and some articles for you Superhero nerds out there.
Here is the good news – this is REVERSIBLE!! This is a video story of Harper, the young dog with pain that went haywire and who is coming back to being a normal playful young dog.
See more in the Case Examples on my website!
Steps you need to take to be sure your dog is living it’s best physical life:
1. Learn how to see the subtle signs of pain in dogs a. Get my free guide here, complete with simple demonstrations and pictures of abnormal postures
2. See your vet, there are SO MANY more helpful options beyond Rimadyl and you are going to need it all for a bit. Here is one of the papers directed to vets that I like to talk about some of the options, you will see: Amantadine, Gabapentin, Laser, PEMF, PRP, Stem Cells, rehab therapy and even Shockwave. There are tons of things we can do!
3. Find a physical rehabilitation facility
You should know that these are some seriously advanced and specific vet skills – find one who knows how to help you, I will give you the list. There is so much we can do! We will rent you a laser to heal tissues, use joint injections and supplements to relieve pain and get your dog pain system back on track. Then we will start working on the flexibility and strength of your dogs with some fun at home exercises. A veterinary rehab team can help you.
For now: Here is a link to my You Tube.
EVERY DOG SHOULD BE ABLE TO DO THIS ONE HERE!
1. Pain is complicated and can develop into a process that is a Super Evil.
2. Superhero dogs hide pain but you can see if it you learn the signs.
3. It is imperative to remember that most supplements attempt to alter your dog’s biological process, which does not happen overnight, and if you don't stop the chemical and physical causes of pain first, you will not see a difference in their mobility from supplements alone!
4. It will be important to see your vet asap for some real pain management and steps towards healing with physical medicine treatments when you detect pain in your dog.
5. For more information about how we use laser, shockwave, therapeutic ultrasound, joint injections, massage and exercise to rescue superhero dogs from painful conditions, check out my superhero dog stories!
6. Your dog will need to exercise in a specific way to restore symmetry and strength in recovery. See a rehab doc to help you!
About the author:
Dr. Marie Bartling is a veterinarian that spends every day designing pain relief and athlectic recovery plans for dogs. It is a great honor to consider your dog a member of her pack.
Practice focus: Pain management and Rehabilitation
Certifications: Veterinary pain management, canine rehabilitation, nutritional counselor, acupuncture, chiropractic care
Clinic: The Animal Care Center of Castle Pines, Castle Pines, CO 80108