Hoppy: A Happy Testimonial

January 21, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

Hoppy - acupuncture caseHoppy my 12 year old(at the time) long hair Chihuahua, couldn’t stand or walk. Happened all of a sudden in the night. Looked like she wasn’t going to make it. Went to the emergency vet, they wanted to do a $4000 surgery with low hopes of her even living through it. Dr Dan did acupuncture and she was able to stand the next morning! Within a week she was pretty steady on her feet. A few more treatments and she was back to normal. Hoppy turned 15 last October and is doing great. She still runs around like a puppy thanks to Dr Dan. People can’t believe she is over 15.

I also have a standard Xolo with epilepsy. They are hyper and don’t calm down until about 3 years old, but Dr Dan was able to adjust his neck to stop the seizures. His name is Monty and he about to turn 6- seizure free for years! Thanks Dr Dan! We Love You!

Nikki Kennedy


Thank you Nikki!

I appreciate the great stories about acupuncture and chiropractic. Hoppy is one of my miracle stories that I am very happy to have had this experieince with her. It was amazing to see a dog flat on her side unable to even sit up to, in a matter of 3 weeks, able to walk and now able to run and play.


Urinary Incontinence: A weak bladder sphincter problem

October 15, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

thpeeing_dogA dog that has a wet bed in the morning, a dog that dribbles urine throughout the day, a dog that seems to just stand up and then pee uncontrollably, or a dog that is licking itself continuously can all have the problem of urinary incontinence. Urinary incontinence is a weakening of the sphincter that controls the emptying of the bladder, most commonly affecting females.

There is a lot to urinary incontinence and there is quite a bit that we do not fully understand about it but I am going to go over the most common issues and keep it simple. The first issue to contend with if you have a dog with a leaky bladder is be sure your pup does not have a urinary tract infection because this an cause inflammation in the entire urinary tract including the sphincter and your dog just is not going to be able to control itself. The best course of action when you first notice a leaking problem is to bring your dog to the vet for evaluation for blood tests and a urinalysis. If your dog has kidney issues, hormonal issues, or a urinary tract infection the cause of the leaking is secondary and treating the primary problem of the underlying disease should resolve the leaking issue.

Now if your dog does not have any illness found then it is most likely that yes your dog has a weakened bladder sphincter causing the urinary incontinence. To keep it simple there is two major reasons why your dog has a weakened muscle – neurologic or hormonal. If the nerve pathways are not optimal then your dog leaks because there is no or low nerve stimulation to the muscle. If the dog has been neutered, more likely if it has been neutered early in life, there has been a lack of hormones, which weakens the muscles in and around the genital area and specifically the bladder sphincter.

Traditional medicine typically uses two different types of drugs to correct this problem and there is a new surgical treatment available in some cases. The first drug is actually hormone replacement therapy using diethylstilbestrol (DES) in female dogs. It is used at low doses to try and avoid the side effects of the drug. Holistic practitioners have long been concerned with the use of this drug and its potential long term effects on the hormonal system and its possibility of causing certain types of cancer.  The other drug commonly used for urinary incontinence and this is used in female and male dogs is phenylpropanolamine (PPA). This drug is used to help stimulate the nervous system and increase tone in the bladder sphincter. This drug has many side effects although most are manageable or minor that they go unnoticed. It can have more side effects with drug interactions of commonly used drugs such as NSAIDs, some tick preventatives, and other drugs. It can cause anxiety in pets because it does stimulate a fight or flight response due to its effect on the nervous system. It also causes an increase in blood pressure for the first few weeks of using the drug so dogs with heart conditions should avoid using PPA. Many times vets will use both drugs together if they are not getting a response from either one and have some success with their use together, which usually indicates multiple system problems with urinary incontinence.

Alternative treatments focus on the same simple principles of either nervous system malfunction or hormonal system malfunction. The most common treatments I use are chiropractic, acupuncture, Chinese herbs and food supplements.

Chiropractic treatments usually focus on subluxations (joint dysfunction) at the Lumbosacral joint and/or the SI joints. Adjustments usually are needed at L6, L7, and Sacrum. I have had great success over the years with just chiropractic alone most of my patients will have to have return visits monthly to every other month to maintain urinary control.

Most of the time I will also place the pet on a nutritional supplement such as Symplex M (males) or Symplex F (females) from Standard Process. These are formulated from compounds extracted from glandulars. There are other products, which are direct glandular products that some holistic vets use instead of DES to lessen the risks associated with DES.

Many times I see immediate results using the chiropractic and the Standard Process supplements but if I see no results within 2-4 weeks then I will suggest adding acupuncture and/or Chinese herbs to see if we can stimulate the bladder sphincter to function better. Most chronic urinary incontinence is a Qi deficiency in Traditional Chinese Medicine and more specifically a Kidney Qi Deficiency so I choose points to help strengthen Qi. In western medical acupuncture terms, we try to stimulate the nervous system for the reproductive area of the body, similar points are used in both types of acupuncture. Common points used are BL22, BL23, BL26, ST36 and CV1

If all else fails there is a surgical treatment that is being tried. It is fairly new to use in dogs and has some success. Under anesthesia collagen is injected around the urethral opening causing a mechanical blockage, which then allows the dog to hold its urine easier. Some of these dogs still need to take PPA and many of them have to have the procedure repeated. Definitely not a first line of correction but when it means the life vs death because of urine leakage it is worth trying to find a vet to do the procedure.

There is a lot we do not understand about urinary incontinence. We do not know the true cause and why some treatments work for some dogs and not for others, but there are many treatments and hopefully if you have a dog with urinary incontinence, you can find one that works for your dog.

I am not a chiropractor

June 7, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

That is correct I am not a chiropractor. I am a veterinarian certified in animal chiropractic by the Animal Chiropractic Certification Commission (ACCC) of the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA).

So why do I bring this up? Well, it seems that thugsugly feels that I can not use the word chiropractic because I am not a chiropractor. Although he is correct I am not a chiropractor as I do not have a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) and I do have a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) so I am a veterinarian, I disagree that I can not use the word chiropractic for describing what it is that I do.

Now some of you might say why even bother with this guy (maybe gal) with the time of day let alone go through the process of creating a blog post rebuttal? Well despite his/her prepubescent ethnically stereotypical name indicating a lack of cooth and intelligence, he/she made me think about it. Why can I use the word chiropractic? I’m really not a chiropractor so why can I use it? So I did what every extremely intelligent human being with access to a computer and the internet does…I Googled it!

Definitions –

  • Google – The diagnosis and manipulative treatment of misalignments of the joints, esp. those of the spinal column.
  • medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/chiropractic – Chiropractic is from Greek words meaning done by hand. It is grounded in the principle that the body can heal itself when the skeletal system is correctly aligned
  • medterms.com –  A system of diagnosis and treatment based on the concept that the nervous system coordinates all of the body’s functions, and that disease results from a lack of normal nerve function. Chiropractic employs manipulation and adjustment of body structures, such as the spinal column, so that pressure on nerves coming from the spinal cord due to displacement (subluxation) of a vertebral body may be relieved.

From these definitions I would say this is exactly what I do, but I was not fully convinced so I went directly to the source to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA)  and read what they had to say. Their definition –

Chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health.  Chiropractic care is used most often to treat neuromusculoskeletal complaints, including but not limited to back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs, and headaches.

Hmmm – interesting. I do participate in a health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health. Lets delve a little deeper –

Chiropractic Philosophy from the ACA –

As a profession, the primary belief is in natural and conservative methods of health care. Doctors of chiropractic have a deep respect for the human body’s ability to heal itself without the use of surgery or medication. These doctors devote careful attention to the biomechanics, structure and function of the spine, its effects on the musculoskeletal and neurological systems, and the role played by the proper function of these systems in the preservation and restoration of health. A Doctor of chiropractic is one who is involved in the treatment and prevention of disease, as well as the promotion of public health, and a wellness approach to patient healthcare.

I believe exactly almost word for word this philosophy of healthcare applying it to animals. Looking further –

Scope of Practice from the ACA –

Doctors of chiropractic frequently treat individuals with neuromusculoskeletal complaints, such as headaches, joint pain, neck pain, low back pain and sciatica. Chiropractors also treat patients with osteoarthritis, spinal disk conditions, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, sprains, and strains. However, the scope of conditions that Doctors of chiropractic manage or provide care for is not limited to neuromusculoskeletal disorders. Chiropractors have the training to treat a variety of non-neuromusculoskeletal conditions such as: allergies, asthma, digestive disorders, otitis media (non-suppurative) and other disorders as new research is developed.

With the exception of headaches (although I am sure I do treat them, not sure how to diagnose them in animals though), I treat on a regular basis all these maladies.

So using the ACA’s definitions (THE authority on use of the word chiropractic) the treatments, manipulations, and philosophy I am using is referred to as chiropractic.

Lastly lets look at what BJ Palmer one of the founder’s of modern day chiropractic care had to say about adjusting animals in 1944 from his lecture  “It is as Simple as That” – – “In the early days of chiropractic, we maintained a veterinarian hospital where we adjusted the vertebral subluxations of sick cows, horses, cats, dogs, etc. We did this to prove to ourselves that the Chiropractic principle and practice did apply. Even today, occasionally, somebody brings us a valuable pedigreed pet to adjust.”

According to the AVCA, the ACA, and the founder of chiropractic, BJ Palmer, what and how I treat animals is using chiropractic, so I am going to continue to use the word. Thank you thugsugly for the opportunity to research the use of the word and validate my profession of animal chiropractic.

A Dream in the Making – Mission: Small Business

May 30, 2012 by · 29 Comments 

A personal story about a dream I have had for many years. It all started back when I was 8 years old. I was riding along with my family in the car heading back home from a store on a bright sunny summer day, when my dad, who was driving, accidentally ran over a raccoon. Gasping, I looked back and saw the poor thing squirming in death throws. I wanted to help the little guy but didn’t know how and I emphatically stated “If I were a vet, I could save that raccoon.” My father looking in the rearview mirror at me said “I bet you could.” And that’s how my desire to be a vet started over 30 years ago. Of course over those 30+ years, 8 years of schooling, 16 years of practice, certification courses in animal chiropractic and veterinary acupuncture my life, my knowledge and my experiences have changed me, but one thing has remained the same I still have the desire to be a vet.

Now in the past 10 years I have had a desire to own my own veterinary clinic. Not just any vet clinic, but a specialized clinic, a holistic wellness center, focusing on chiropractic, acupuncture, nutrition, functional medicine and physical therapy to help animals with chronic disease and pain management. Chronic diseases and pain that traditional vets have little answers for and neither the time or expertise to correct. Answers other than an anti-inflammatory or a steroid to problems such as arthritis, allergies, immune system diseases, and digestive disorders. Correcting problems with proper diet, exercise, herbals and nutrition is the type of medicine I enjoy. I love seeing the positive results in my patients as they are able to stop taking the steroids or the anti-inflammatories for the first time in months or even years. Controlling disease and pain in order to really improve their quality of life satisfies me.

Also the ability to help animals with pain from acute injuries or after surgery other than sitting in a cage on heavy pain medication. Being able to bring them back to full function with acupuncture, chiropractic, physical therapy, and other modalities and improving their quality of life is what makes me excited, happy, and fulfilled. Trying to figure out answers to difficult problems and difficult cases helps keep my mind active and is an enjoyable part of the business – solving puzzles is fun.

So why have I not opened a vet clinic? If this is my passion, what has kept me from doing it? It is the same thing that has stopped most people from fulfilling their dreams and their life passion – FEAR. In my case it is fear of failure, fear of not being able to provide for my family, fear of trading time for money and not being able to spend time with my family. Currently, I have a great business and a great business model, I am able to help a wide area of patients from Peoria, IL to Westville, IN, up to Gurnee, IL and out west to LaSalle, IL and everywhere in between. My overhead is extremely low consisting of my van, a small amount of rent, and the few supplements I carry with me. Opening a practice would change some of this and the biggest change the one that actually does cause fear is the amount of overhead it takes to open a practice. Why, when I am having such a successful practice doing what I am doing now, would I want to worry about having to cover a large increase in expenses and overhead? This question stops me and makes me consider – is this really what I want to do? I always say, “Yes, I still want to do this!”, but how? How do I decrease the risk? Do I start really small and build from there? Do I take out huge loans and buy the overhead take the risk, knowing that this is my passion and if I structure it right it will work out fine? In this business environment right now I am definitely shying away from the latter!

The good news – my overhead fear is being crushed by my desire and passion at this moment and I will be opening a facility in the near future. As fate would have it, after having made this final decision in my heart and mind an opportunity came along. This opportunity will provide less risk to me and will definitely help make this venture successful. But I need your help –

Chase Bank and Living Social have combined to bring small businesses an opportunity to win up to a $250,000 grant. A business needs 250 votes to even be eligible. This grant would give me the opportunity to open a holistic veterinary clinic with less risk and in this business environment less risk is optimal 🙂

So to help me in this endeavor please go to https://www.missionsmallbusiness.com/

On the lower right side click Log in & Support (you have to have a Facebook account)
then to vote type in Balanced Motion Veterinary Services, the state: Indiana and the city: Crown Point then click search.

Last and this is the important step click Vote

Thank you in advance for your support. It is Balanced Motion Veterinary Services that you are voting for a chance at a $250k grant.

If you have any stories about how my passion for helping animals or another holistic veterinarian has helped your dog, cat or horse, post them in the comments section below.

The Incredible Dr. Pol (the job I wanted)

October 20, 2011 by · 28 Comments 

National Geographic is actually doing it; they are bringing back a modern day James Herriot! Here comes the premiere of The Incredible Dr. Pol, Saturday, October 29, at 9 and 10 pm ET/PT on Nat Geo WILD. (I wanted to be the Dr. Pol for Nat Geo but by the time I replied to an email about the search for a vet I was way too late)

From Nat Geo:

“An expert in large farm animals and pets, with a “you name it, and we’ll treat it” attitude, this house-call-making veterinarian has seen it all.  Dr. Pol works 14-hour days to help the diminishing population of family farmers survive by playing an integral role in keeping local farmers’ livestock healthy and in turn, their businesses profitable. He’ll travel across rural Michigan to care for every family pet and head of livestock in need of his expertise and kindness, treating numerous patients, including horses, pigs, cows, sheep, alpacas, goats, cats, dogs and even an occasional reindeer.

With such a busy practice, we are on call right alongside Dr. Pol as he treats a variety of cases, including two dogs with faces stuck full of porcupine quills, sick horses that may need to be put down and a pig with an abscess that needs to be drained.  We’ll also get a front-row seat as Dr. Pol examines a cow to check for pregnancy by reaching his arm into the rectum and feeling the ovaries.  For local farmers, while many of these animals are their livelihood, others are a part of their extended family. “

I remember this lifestyle – I started out my practice in a rural farm practice treating everything from the performance horse to the dairy cow to the show goat to the feeder pigs to the farm dog. It was a fun part of my veterinary career. I look forward to watching this show and having fond memories of what the veterinary life has to offer and then realizing how happy I am to be doing what I am now.

Check out this video – I remember palpating cows! When I was a student I had gone to California to the large dairy’s there and I had palpated 300 cows in one day!

The Incredible Dr. Pol: Vet and Wild

Premieres Saturday, October 29, at 9 p.m. ET/PT—Special Premiere Time

Dr. Pol receives an emergency call from a client who finds her horse down and fears he may not make it. Suffering from a spinal cord injury, he decides to give the horse a cortisone shot. Will he survive? Dr. Pol’s son, Charles decides to extend his visit to help his father with the work overload. His only request—to palpate a cow. But trouble creeps up when Dr. Pol and Charles perform an emergency futotomy, an intense procedure to extract two dead fetuses from a cow in hopes of saving the mother’s life.  And, the clinic celebrates its 30th anniversary with a special pig roast with old friends, former employees and longtime clients.


Rabies in a horse

April 15, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Does Your Dog Need Health Insurance?

March 2, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

In-depth article about whether you really should have health insurance or not for your dog. I agree that you really need to know how much you are spending on the health of your dog now to decide whether health insurance is right and what type of health insurance you should be purchasing. The health insurance company makes all the difference as well – choose the wrong one and you will be out a lot of money on monthly premiums with no pay backs on your vet bills.

Amplify’d from www.cleanrun.com

Since most pet owners have health insurance for themselves, many wonder if their dogs need similar protection. But according to the July 2003 issue of Consumer Reports, “Pet insurance won’t necessarily save you money. In fact, with it, you can end up paying far more for veterinary care than if you don’t have insurance.” The Consumer Reports analysis indicates that purchasing pet insurance might increase the amount an owner pays in veterinary costs by thousands of dollars over the life of the pet. The magazine considers pet insurance to be “a form of enforced savings that almost never covers the entire bill.” The magazine reports that putting the premium into your own bank account each month would accomplish the same goal.

If you want a direct financial benefit, Christine Zink, D.V.M., who is well versed in sports-related canine injuries, has a good suggestion. She says, “You need to have really complete records of your dogs’ veterinary bills over a period of at least three years.” You need to know exactly how much you spend on veterinary care and on exactly what services and procedures.

Read more at www.cleanrun.com


5 Steps to Take if Your Dog’s Food has been Recalled

March 2, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

A good article from one of my favorite magazine’s Whole Dog Journal. I put the five steps here but go read the article in its entirety to fully understand what to do.

Amplify’d from www.whole-dog-journal.com

Five Steps to Take if Your Dog’s Food Has Been Recalled

-First, check the brand, variety, package size, and lot numbers:
-Stop feeding the recalled food:
-Check your dog:
-Contact the food’s maker:
-Follow through:

See more at www.whole-dog-journal.com


7 Signs that Your Dog Needs to See a Vet

February 24, 2011 by · 16 Comments 

Pet dogs are like family members, but when it comes to illness and disease, they’re like children who cannot talk yet. They know that something is wrong with them, but they’re unable to communicate the problem to you. So if you notice them behaving abnormally and out of character, it’s best to schedule an immediate visit to the vet. Some symptoms may be serious, while others may be temporary hiccups that disappear in a day or two. You can easily tell if your pet needs to see a vet by using the below checklist:

  • General appearance: If your dog seems pale and if there are other marked changes in the way they look, if he/she refuses to eat or drink anything for many hours together, it’s time to take them to your vet. Dogs tend to get dehydrated very quickly, so if they refuse to drink water, treat the situation as an emergency and seek medical help.
  • Physical changes: If your dog seems lethargic and less active than usual, if he/she limps around or shows any signs of pain, if they seem disoriented and are clumsier than usual, or if they show signs of restlessness and discomfort, talk to your vet or take your dog in for a check.
  • Body temperature: The normal body temperature of canines is between 100.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. So if a rectal reading shows a temperature outside of this range, call your vet immediately.
  • Vomiting: Your dog may throw up a little if it has eaten something unpalatable and it may not be a cause for concern. But if your pet seems to exhibit lethargic, dull and lifeless behavior and also vomits, it’s best to check with your vet to rule out the possibility of a serious illness.
  • Color of gums: If your dog seems listless and dull, check his/her gums. Pink gums are a sign of a healthy dog while white, yellow or bluish gums signal that they may be anemic and require the care of a vet immediately.
  • Unusual urination: If your dog is urinating more frequently than usual, or if he/she is not able to produce any urine in spite of straining to do so, it’s time to rush your pet to the vet. Your dog could be suffering from a serious illness and it’s best to get him/her checked out immediately.
  • Changed food habits: Your dog could be in the habit of overeating or not eating much on some days, but if this kind of behavior becomes repetitive, call your vet immediately.

It’s easier to identify when your dog is sick if you know how he/she looks and behaves when they’re perfectly healthy. Notice all that your pet does when they start to behave abnormally because of the illness wracking them – it helps your vet if you’re able to provide detailed information about their symptoms. Also, it’s wise to sign up with a vet who’s not averse to making house calls during an emergency or one who is available for you when your dog is really sick.

This guest post is contributed by Tina Marconi, she writes on the topic of online vet tech programs . She welcomes your comments at her email id: tinamarconi85[@]gmail[.]com.

Vaccines for your horse are the last line of defense

February 9, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Excellent article with a great point that many horse owners believe their disease prevention program begins and ends with vaccinating. In my opinion many owners are over vaccinating and causing more problems than what they are trying to protect against.

Amplify’d from www.equidblog.com

In general, the horse industry is over-reliant on vaccines. Don’t get me wrong, vaccines are useful and are an important aspect of an infectious disease control program. However, they are just one tool and they should not be the first line of defense. Rather, I think we need to change our mindset and consider vaccines as a last line of defense.

When I think about disease control, I think about three main areas:

1) Decreasing exposure
2) Decreasing susceptibility
3) Increasing resistance

Read more at www.equidblog.com