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Osteopathic Pet Care: What They Can Do for Your Animal

We love our pets and we treat them as our best friends in life but even though how much care, time and effort we provide to protect them, injuries and health issues may arise and are not preventable. With the help of veterinarians, those issues will be solved either by medications or therapies. Vets usually prescribe medications after surgery for pain suppressant. Although it is very effective and affordable to use, most of the pet owners choose to rely on physical therapies as it won’t develop side-effects like a medicine can do.

Nowadays, osteopaths and chiropractors have been common practitioners most people visits when their pets suffer pain and discomfort. Osteopaths help animals for the treatment of their medical disorders through the manipulation and massage of the bones, joints, and muscles. The chiropractors focused on the diagnosis and treatment of neuromuscular disorders, with an emphasis on treatment through manual adjustment and manipulation of the spine. In other words osteopaths uses a wider range of techniques overall unlike chiropractors that is only focused on manipulating the spine.

When you need an osteopath, you may have to consult to a veterinary first and get his approval to receive an advice on putting a necessary procedure or action especially when treating your pet.

Here are some of the conditions commonly treated:

  • Posture related issues
  • Pregnancy / Post-natal care
  • Repetitive Strain Injuries
  • Joint strains
  • Ligament sprains
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Post-surgery
  • Headache
  • Migraine
  • Neck and back problems
  • Lameness

Osteopaths use a range of hands on techniques. It includes some of the following:

  • Soft Tissue Therapy – Soft tissue techniques such massage targets your pet’s muscles, tendons, ligaments, or other connective tissue. Massage is the best known example of a soft tissue technique. A soft tissue massage includes a whole range of massage depths, pressures and durations
  • Stretching – is a form of physical exercise in which a specific muscle or tendon (or muscle group) is deliberately flexed or stretched in order to improve the muscle’s felt elasticity and achieve comfortable muscle tone. Different types of stretching may apply to your pet depends on what is for, whether exercise or therapeutic purposes.
  • Spinal Manipulation – The goal of therapy is to promote optimal motion in the individual joints of the spine and extremities, and to balance the biomechanics of the entire body. Spinal manipulation is a gentle means of preventing problems in active animals, and improving mobility and comfort in those with compromised health.
  • Myofascial Release – is a specific type of physical therapy, especially effective in treating acute and chronic pain conditions. This gentle treatment produces profound results in many animals with injuries or degenerative diseases.

Osteopathic care becomes an integral part not only for people but also for animals especially to our pets at home. We have to be aware that animals do not usually show signs of pain so it’s hard to visualise if there’s something wrong about them so regular check-up and monitoring is a must. Like humans, they also need a proper care to maintain its wellbeing balance and health. Many patients find osteopathic care may heal the body naturally and faster than drugs or surgery. It’s stimulates the body’s natural healing capability by improving circulation.

A Truly Noble Relationship: Pets and Humans

It is said that humans and their pets have created a bond that can be likened to an interpersonal relationship of humans with other humans. Studies show that a human-pet relationship, especially between humans and cats or dogs, has its advantages in terms of the psychological, social and physical aspects of a person. In fact, an article from the Journal of European Psychology Students discussed that we choose to have a pet in order to meet our social needs. Our pets can be our friends who can tolerate us and love us unconditionally. Moreover, some pets make better escorts than humans

Man’s Social Partner

According to The Daily Mail, there are pet owners who treat their dogs as their own kids. According to Austrian scientists, the human-dog relationship is akin to the deep connection that exists between parents and their children. The same study illustrates that canines are so used to inhabiting with humans that we take up the role of being our dog’s primary social partner and vice-versa.

Man’s Relationship with Others

A research claims that our relationship with our pets helps us in developing our social skills. As a matter of fact, young adults who look for their pets are said to have deeper social relationships. Moreover, it can also improve the connection of a teenager with his/her community. This was substantiated by a study conducted by psychologists from the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. Additionally, it is said that our relationship with our pets allows us to be more of service to the society and displays our sense of leadership.

Pets and Their Other Roles

Animals can also serve other functions. Because of their distinctive skills and abilities, our pets can provide an array of services to us. For instance, canines can act as service dogs for persons with disabilities (PWDs) due to their acute senses and their capability to learn certain things. As service dogs, they become the eyes, ears, hands and feet of PWDs. These dogs can also aid the police in search and rescue operations. Moreover, dogs can be therapy pets in hospitals that soothe or console patients.

Our relationship with our pets has become an integral part of our lives. As pet owners, we should bear in mind that we are responsible for their physical and emotional needs. Remember that healthy pets make healthy owners.   

Is Your Pet Psychic? It May Sense Danger

As pet owners, there is a strong bond that connects us with our pets. Maybe we’re not aware of it, but this connection is so deep that they become extra perceptive of things that happen around us, especially with those that we feel or experience. For instance, dogs know when we are catching a common cold prior to the manifestation of its symptoms such as sniffling. Is this one of the signs that our pets have visible light spectrum clairvoyance?

Animals can also sense impending earthquakes and disasters. In fact, before Greece was hit by a destructive earthquake in 373 B.C., it was said that rats, snakes and weasels deserted their habitats and moved to safer grounds. Here are examples of things that our pets can sense before they happen:

1. Collapsing building

A book by Michael Streeter narrated how a man was saved by his pooch from a collapsing building. It seemed just an ordinary night when the pet owner went to a pub for a drink. While enjoying his beer, the owner noticed that his dog kept on barking and barking at him. He led his dog out of the pub but it came back and began being a nuisance. He then decided to go home because of his dog’s behaviour. Minutes later, the pub collapsed killing 9 people.

2. Death

In a nursing home in the United States, a cat named Oscar knows when one of the elderly will die. Oscar will go to the bed of an old man or lady and just sit there hours before he/she passes over.

3. Earthquakes

In Ancient Greece, there are records that show how dogs run away from the city of Helice before it was hit by a tragic earthquake. There are also stories in China where dogs seem disturbed or bothered prior to a seismic activity. Scientists believe that the extra sensitive hearing sense of dogs allows them to hear the crumbling of rocks beneath the ground. Seismologists do think that dogs can feel seismic activities on their paws.

4. Tsunamis

Before the deadly 2004 tsunami that devastated some parts of Asia and Africa, animals at Yala National Park moved to higher grounds. More so, some elephants were said to have freed themselves from their chains before their areas were flooded by the waters from the tsunami.

Sexual Diseases in Pets

In the United States, the number of people with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) is growing at an alarming rate. That being said, did you know that animals are also prone or can have STDs? In fact, at least two major STDs have come from the other members of the animal kingdom. For instance, gonorrheas and syphilis were transmitted to humans by cattle. Aside from chlamydia in humans and mammals, here are some STDs that are common in animals:

1. Canine Herpesvirus

Canine Herpesvirus or CHV is technically different from the human herpes. The mode of transmission of CHV is through sexual intercourse; however, other dogs can be exposed to the virus even in the absence of sexual contact. If you think your dog has shortness of breath or you observed that the colour of your dog’s poop is yellowish to greenish, then it may have CHV. Other symptoms of the disease include tender tummy and blood secretions coming from the nose.

2. Brucellosis

Caused by Brucella canis, Brucellosis is a bacterial infection that is said to be the primary reason of infertility among canines. The major mode of transmission of the disease is by sexual intercourse; however, Brucellosis can also be passed on through bodily fluids. Common symptoms of this bacterial infection are Arthritis, fever, eye inflammation and swelling of the lymph nodes.

3. Feline herpes

As per the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, feline herpes is one of the major causes of respiratory infections in cats. Moreover, the virus is said to be aggressive wherein at least 90 percent of felines are infected. Symptoms of feline herpes include anemia, fever, swollen lymph nodes, hair loss and poor appetite.

4. Canine Transmissible Venereal Tumours

Canine Transmissible Venereal Tumours (CTVT) is a sexually transmitted cancer. Yes, cancer. Since these tumours that look like warts turn up on the dog’s penile or vaginal areas, CTVT spreads out when the canine licks, bites or sniffs the affected parts. Usually, CTVT is treated via chemotherapy or radiation. But don’t you worry. Unlike human cancer, CTVT is not that life-threatening.

These STDs can be treated and can be prevented by visiting your veterinarians regularly. Too bad we can’t discuss with our pets how they can practice safe sex.   

Insuring Thoroughbreds in the Horse Racing Industry

Owning thoroughbreds that participate in Australian horse racing contests does not only offers handsome financial returns, but also gives a sense of personal satisfaction. Like athletes, thoroughbreds used in horse racing competitions need to prepare over and over again especially when there’s an upcoming event. More often than not, equine trainings are associated with seemingly endless disbursements – veterinary bills, wages of trainers, farriers, feeds, maintenance costs and other related expenses. Since this venture can be an expensive pursuit, it is important that you insure your thoroughbreds just in case they got sick or injured, or when Mother Nature gets capricious.

Here are some examples of things that are covered by a typical equine insurance:

Commercial General Liability

Since government agencies and some insurance companies regard owning horses for racing competitions as ‘business’, having an insurance policy that covers Commercial General Liability (CGL) is a must. This CGL will insure you from legal accountabilities that may arise during the course of your business. On average, a CGL policy may cost at least $250 per annum depending on your liability limit.

Horse Owner Liability

When your horse destroyed a property or injured someone other than your horse’s care taker, a Horse Owner Liability will cover all the hospitalisation or repair costs. According to insurance professionals, this type of policy is a must-have for all thoroughbred owners. Without it, your ‘business’ may collapse when your horse inadvertently killed or injured someone.

Mortality Insurance

In general, there are two classifications of coverage under mortality insurance: Specified Perils and All Risks Mortality. Specified Perils policy is for deaths caused by fire, lightning, transportation and windstorm. Usually, it costs 0.5% to 1% of the value of your horse. On the other hand, All Risks Mortality policy covers almost all causes of death on horses. However, compared with Specified Peril policy, All Risks Mortality has a higher premium rate. On average, the rate is at least 3 percent.

Other kinds of policy coverage of equine insurance are workman’s compensation (for injured employees); care, custody and control insurance (shields individuals who are looking after someone else’s horse); and loss of use insurance (covers breeding issues, for instance, that may ensue in the future).

Since horses are among the animals that are very susceptible to accidents and injuries, insuring them is a must. That being said, thoroughbred owners must be wise on choosing the policies that their equine insurance should be able to cover.

A Career as a Vet: Challenging but so Rewarding

Being a veterinarian is becoming a popular career choice nowadays since it offers different opportunities and possibilities. Vets can have their own private practice, be a part of the academe, work for the government and the military, or be employed in private industries. However, like any other profession, veterinarians face challenging work environment daily. That being said, there are still some best parts of being an animal doctor. Let’s find out why veterinarians have challenging but rewarding careers.

Challenges of Being a Vet

1. Helplessness

There are instances where vets encounter healthy animals that are in predicaments which can be solved, but the resources are inadequate for the problems to be fixed. Sometimes, animals run into illnesses or accidents that are both emotionally and financially taxing. More often than not, pet owners come to vet clinics looking for the care that their pets need without realising if they can afford it. Let us all be reminded that vet clinics are business establishments and not charitable institutions. Each time animals leave the clinic without having the care or medical attention they need, vets feel helpless.

2. Emotional pain

As pet owners and animal lovers, vets undergo emotional pain when performing euthanasia to their patients. As much as they want to relieve the animal from pain, they break down especially if a personal relationship has been built between them and the animals.

3. Abuse

As vets, they have to report animal owners who are abusing their pets. However, vets can’t avoid the sickening and gut-wrenching feeling each time they encounter abused animals. Cruelty to animals is not limited to physical violence; negligence and abandonment are also part of it.

Rewards of Being a Vet

1. Satisfaction and fulfilment

After successfully administering tests and giving care to the animals, vets experience tremendous happiness and satisfaction when animals get well. There is also fulfilment when vets inform and instruct pet owners on how they can keep their pets healthy.

2. Meet a lot of animals (and people, too) everyday

Probably one of the reasons why people decide to be a vet is because they love animals. Veterinarians come across various animals and their owners during their entire career. They get to know the stories of these pets and their owners. Sometimes, the relationship between the animal doctors and their patients and owners goes beyond the doctor-patient connection.

3. Do what they love

There’s pleasure when you get to do the thing you love. You enjoy doing the stuff you feel comfortable pursuing. For instance, a vet who loves surgery takes pleasure in performing a C-section on a German Shepherd or in extracting a teeth from an incapacitated Yorkshire Terrier.

For those who want to pursue a career as a veterinarian, do know that not every day you come across cuddly and nice animals. There are also issues regarding wages. That being said, nothing is more fulfilling and rewarding than being the person you aspire.