“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.” Arthur Schopenhauer, German Philosopher (1788-1860)
I put it a different way. “If you build a better mousetrap the world will beat a path to your door. However, not before well entrenched mousetrap makers with political connections do their utmost to destroy you and your new improved mousetrap!” Kelly Thompson, DC, Armchair Philosopher
Why I started capturing the Videos below
Some time back as I finished up with a difficult case, involving a pup with a painful and incapacitating neck injury, the client thanked me profusely for helping his companion. I told him that he was very welcome as I looked into the lobby for my next client. As he turned to go, he stopped short, turned around and exclaimed that others need to see what I had done for his dog. I gave him my usual response saying… “ tell your friends.” That didn’t seem to satisfy him and by the look on his face it was obvious that he wasn’t finished. He went on to say that I should capture my treatment results on video and start a youtube channel and a website as well. My question to him in response was, well….why? I've never advertised, I don’t have a website, and I’m extremely busy by word of mouth and people can hear about my results on Yelp. He then explained something that caused a shift in my thinking. He continued, “its not for you it’s for others like me.” I looked at him with a "what do you mean," look on my face. He went on to explain that had a neighbor not given him a referral, he probably would have had to endure the heartbreak of having to put his companion down to relieve his suffering. Nothing else was working and that for every one you help, Kelly, there are probably untold thousands who are put to sleep for want of what you have the ability to do for them. Trying to end the conversation and not dampen his enthusiasm, I responded that I understood what he was saying but really what can I realistically do to help those thousands. He concluded by saying that they are being put down for lack of knowledge, not knowing that a workable technology exists, because people like you don’t make it known and that knowing this would empower other pet owners to search for and demand similar help in whatever area or region they reside. I thanked him and told him I would give it some thought.
That is what prompted me to start taking before and after videos on my iPhone, start a website and a youtube channel. I’m no videographer but I think the message gets across. I just have to remember to pull out my iPhone on the first visit with each new case. Just showing the after video doesn’t really show how bad they were when I started the case and saying, “I swear you should have seen how bad they were in the beginning just doesn’t cut it!” Also there are significant number of cases that don't exhibit their malady well on video such as where someone's companion is having pain that exhibits itself when they cry out periodically when they are bumped or moved, or they are not able to jump up on the couch or into the car any longer. I’m certainly not going to ask the pet owners to make there companion cry out or demonstrate their companions inability to jump up so I can catch it on video. Consequently you will only see videos that show obvious effects of an animal's malady. Below will start my many videos of animals with severe maladies that I have helped.
The most significant difference in my opinion, based upon decades of researching this condition to back up my thesis, is the fact that human beings have significantly more space around the spinal cord within the spinal canal when compared to most breeds of dogs. See the two accompanying MRI images and it becomes crystal clear that the spinal cord takes up significantly less overall volume within the spinal canal in humans than in our animal companions. So in dogs there is much less room for error. The spinal cord is significantly more susceptible to encroachment or impingement. So seemingly minor or insignificant injuries involving contusion (impact with bruising) which produces cord swelling or sudden bulging of discs can yield more immediate and devastating pain and impairment to the spinal cord in dogs than comparable injuries in human beings. In fact it takes significantly more trauma or injury, often including fracturing of the spine, to encroach into the spinal canal enough to yield similar catastrophic symptoms in human beings.
Looking at the spinal cross sections on this page (below) I have drawn in the nerve tracts, with the nerves that carry sensation on the right and those that carry messages from brain to muscles on the left. Those closest to the surface are also the largest nerve fibers most susceptible to external pressure, which carry messages about: proprioception (sense of position of the body in space), Kinesthesia (sense of position & movement of joints), Touch and Pressure sensations. This explains why the first sign of spinal cord compression in a dog is loss of coordination and control to a greater or lesser degree directly proportional to the compression on the spinal cord. They just don’t seem to know where their legs are. Your veterinarian will test for this by turning or flipping your dog’s paw under so that they are standing on the top of their paw inverted to see how quickly your companion rights the paw. If they are unaware they are “knuckling” and just go on standing there with their paw inverted they have lost proprioception indicating that at minimum the outer or more superficial nerve tracts are being compressed. With increasing encroachment initially you may notice they are dragging their toenails on your walks. With increased compression you will see them walking like a "drunken sailor," legs crossing, slipping and falling. These symptoms can become so severe that they can only stand when you hold onto their rump to prevent them from falling sideways. As the compression increases the tracts that carry movement signals from the brain to the muscles are affected, creating weakness or loss of strength. These tracts are a deeper within the white matter of the spinal cord.
Now observably there are different degrees of hind leg paralysis. When compression is significant enough to effect muscle strength, the first thing to go is they lose their ability to contract and control the muscles that cross and move the hock (ankle joint). This will be observed by them dragging their hind end with their rear legs pointing forwards or standing very unsteadily standing literally on their ankles. Moving from least serious to more serious compression, they lose their ability to contract and control the muscles the cross and move the stifle (knee joint). You will notice that they are dragging their hind end with their legs pointing sideways or standing very unsteadily literally on their knees. With increased compression they lose their ability to contract or control the muscles that cross and move the hip joints. This will be observed by them dragging their hind end with their rear legs pointing straight back behind them like a seal. With increasing spinal cord compression the smallest fibers and some of the least susceptible to compression residing even deeper within the spinal cord are those that carry, Pain, Hot, Cold, and Itch sensation. The deepest afferent (sensory) nerve tract is called the Spinoreticular tract. This carries Deep Pain Sensation. This is tested for by squeezing one of the knuckles of one of the paralyzed paws hard to see if the patient has any awareness that this is occurring. If someone’s companion is paralyzed and they have zero awareness of someone squeezing their knuckle hard then they have lost deep pain sensation. This is the last sensation to go and when it is gone the compression is literally killing the spinal cord! This is a true surgical emergency and even with surgery the prognosis is poor to guarded. So to recap, the more compression, the deeper the compression reaches into the spinal cord the more pronounced the neurologic effects are observed.
Now what is observed when a paralyzed dog begins to recover with my treatment? It is the progression in the reverse direction of the that delineated in the preceding paragraph. Think of a ladder leading out of a neurologic hole. At the bottom of the the hole is the loss of deep pain sensation as the bottom rung of the ladder. The second rung off of the bottom is complete paralysis of a dog's rear legs but deep pain is intact. It is called healing from proximal to distal (nearest to farthest). If they were to start at the stage where they are dragging themselves along like a seal they would then start to pull themselves along with their rear legs pointing sideways, then forward and attempting to stand on their knees unsteady then ankles unsteadily etc. As they ascend this neurologic ladder they eventually begin to stand unsteadily followed by more and more control standing and even begin walking etc. This is what I have witnessed in countless cases since 1983 and discoveries in my own right came in cases that weren’t progressing as expected or couldn’t progress past a certain point in the ladder of improvement back to normal ambulation.
Now the rest of the story of these three canine companions we started this article with many paragraphs above. Katie made steady progress and with each visit she’d improve incrementally and recovered completely. Geisha took the longest because her problem I finally discovered was caused by wearing a heavy metal choke chain 24/7. This is where I first discovered the deleterious effects of dog's heavy choke chains causing slow damage to the lower cervical spine. Think of it this way, the unrelenting downward pressure on vertebral segments of the lower neck eventually cause serious instability and ongoing damage to the spinal cord which led to Geisha's malady. So for heaven's sake never leave a heavy choke chain on your dog as their permanent collar! She finally recovered fully. Gretchin responded the fastest. She was walking after the first visit and done in 6 visits. Happy endings in all three cases.