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Question
Posted by: Jeanne | 2004/10/18

Animal Acupuncturist (10 yr old Shepherd with back and hip problems)

My shepherd girl has been diagnosed with severe hip displasia as well as spinal mileopathy (not sure on spelling). I have read that there has been scientific proof that acupuncture does work on dogs with problems in that area. Can you please supply me with contact detail if possible

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberVet

I work closely with a veterinarian who uses acupuncture and alternative forms of therapy and have certainly seen in the benefits in many of these dogs. Nothing can cure these conditions, but there are certain treatments that may make a significant difference, including homoeopathy, acupuncture, gold bead implants etc. Supplementation with glucosamine and chondroitin may also significantly assist dogs with hip dysplasia. Obviously, painkillers (the right type prescribed by a veterinarian) should be used as necessary to control pain. All these treatment modalities can often be combined to provide a dog with good-quality life again.

Dr Malan van Zyl
Veterinary Specialist Physician
Cape Town

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Chill | 2004/10/19

Sorry, just read my response and I need to correct something: myelopathy can't really be 'helped'... there is no cure, it is a progressive condition. What I should have said was that it can sometimes be SLOWED by certain supplements.

Sorry about that.

Reply to Chill
Posted by: Chill | 2004/10/19

Hip dysplasia and degenerative myelopathy are two completely separate things, although they both affect the hindquarters.

I'm sure the vet will respond to you soon, but in the meantime: dysplasia is painful, but myelopathy isn't. There are various pain management options available, in need, as well as surgical interventions. Myelopathy can sometimes be helped with various dietary supplements, and gentle exercise such as swimming is often recommended.

There ARE veterinary acupuncturists - in fact, if you'll click on the 'Who is the Cybervet' bit in red at the head of this column, and then follow the link to Dr van Zyl's website, you will find that there is an acupuncturist at his clinic. If you aren't in or near Cape Town, then I'm sure if you phone or email them, they'd be able to provide information for you to find one closer to where you live.

Finally, do a search on this site on myelopathy - I recall a question being asked about it earlier this year, and that will be of interest to you.

Good luck - I know how you feel, because the German Shepherd is 'my' breed too, and I've had to deal with this sort of problem in the past.

Reply to Chill
Posted by: hello | 2004/10/18

sorry i dont know any accupuncturists but why dont you find out about hip replacement (maybe expensive) and i read somewhere that swimming helps 4 hipdislaysia in dogs and vitamen c helps hope you get right soon !

Reply to hello

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