Done with this Chiro

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maxs_mommy
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Done with this Chiro

Postby maxs_mommy » Sat Jul 26, 2014 4:35 pm

I was so mad today and if I'd had my phone I would have posted earlier. I am still so mad I'm shaking typing this. Max had an appointment today and, after a first big adjustment, he yelped and whipped around at her with a hard stare, then the muzzle came out. She tried to push something else and he went nuts on her. She and the tech tackled him while telling me not to talk to him and any "good boy" comments made when he didn't react were best reserved until the whole adjustment was over. I had to walk out of the room I was so mad. Now we are on the "behavior" list and will only be seen after 5 on Saturdays. I'm not doing this any more. The "attitude" comments when I point out that he's stressed, the dominance philosophy I got because he yelped when she popped his knee...I'm done. I don't care if the new vet is a go or not, we're not going back to that chiro. There has to be a better way. I will not ask him suppress a yelp in pain, I will not curtail a quick low growl, I will respect those signals when appropriate and help to make him comfortable. I realize not all adjustments are painless but when his eyes are like saucers and he's frantic to get away, I won't let them tackle him and put him over a block where his feet don't touch with a tech restraining him. Maybe I'm a wimp but I can't do that to him. I need less stress for him. The last thing I need is to generalize the vets office as bad or (god forbid) people as instruments of brute force and pain. I'm done.
Max "the ninja"-American Cocker Spaniel G-day 3/2009
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Re: Done with this Chiro

Postby JudyL » Sat Jul 26, 2014 5:08 pm

Oh no! I absolutely agree with you 100% about this. I would have been so mad if that was one of my dogs, and I'd have stopped the appointment if that had happened to one of my dogs. Nothing good could have come from that session. Even if he is way out of adjustment, it shouldn't be that painful that he's yelping. A good chiro should be able to work with him and you.

Once an animal or person is that tense, it makes the adjustments that much more difficult. I've seen some difficult horses worked on that were known to be in pain, and the chiro got the job done without a lot of restraint and without the animal getting upset. I've also seen some that were so badly out of adjustment and muscles bunched up wrong that the chiro recommended a muscle massage immediately prior to the chiro working on the horse to make it easier on everyone.

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Re: Done with this Chiro

Postby UpwardDog » Sat Jul 26, 2014 5:22 pm

Poor Max and poor you! That's BS on so many levels and sounds like actual malpractice to me to be honest.

In my 22 years of experience with various chiros for both myself and my dogs-- a good chiro's adjustments don't hurt. A good chiro also helps a dog relax so adjustments can happen gently and effectively NOT by brute force. Tackling him? Not to reassure him ? Heyalll no!

You are right to walk away. Subjecting him to that sort of treatment is unlikely to help his back and just shows him that people can hurt him and you can't protect him from it In the paraphrased words of Kay Laurence- when a dog is frightened, hurt or upset, they have a right to say so.

I'm so sorry that happened. sending virtual wine and virtual big raw bone.

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Re: Done with this Chiro

Postby connie » Sat Jul 26, 2014 6:21 pm

NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER should chiro adjustments have the effect on a dog. NEVER!

I have been taking my dogs to a chiro since 1996, and I have seen a lot of vets get certified in chiropractic who just plain suck at it. They take some course and get a cert and they're a chiro. Ugh.

My dogs' chiro was a people chiro for many years, then he got into adjusting racehorses at Arlington Racetrack as a favor to a friend, then he dropped people entirely and works only with animals. He will adjust cats, bunnies, horses, goats ... mostly dogs, though.

He once told me that the most basic thing in chiropractic is palpation: the ability to feel a spastic muscle, a wonky tendon, etc., and to learn this, students practiced locating a needle that was overlaid with one sheet of onionskin paper, then two sheets, then three sheets, etc. If your touch is this adept and perceptive, you will NEVER inflict pain on the animal you are adjusting.

I can honestly say that in 17 years of going to this chiro (who is not a vet, just a DC), not one of my dogs have ever pulled away, squealed, flinched, yelped, or shown teeth. Not one dog, not ever, and I have/had some pretty damn fragile old dogs!

Bad chiropractic is much worse than no chiropractic. I'm sorry you landed with a bad chiropractor, Ashley; you -- and especially Max -- have my sympathy.

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Re: Done with this Chiro

Postby connie » Sat Jul 26, 2014 6:23 pm

And without making a campaign of it, I think you should let other dog owners know, if the topic comes up, that this chiro is not one they should visit or inflict on their dogs. I feel very strongly that inept practitioners should be known as such.

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Re: Done with this Chiro

Postby maxs_mommy » Sat Jul 26, 2014 9:15 pm

I will not be writing yelp reviews (though I am tempted) but I am letting our current vet know we will not be continuing with Dr. Brewer. I have an email drafted to Dr. Brewer canceling our next chiropractic visits in August and September. I'm sure I will get some response from Max's vet, but without going into specific detail, I think I'm just going to say I'm not happy with the way the adjustments are going and for Max's well-being we will be finding a new chiro. The chiro works out of his regular vet's office and they have a co-habitable relationship, you could call it.

As I was leaving the exam room ( she asked us to stand by the wall while she turned him 180 so he couldn't see us. WTF?) I looked at S and said "never again". I would also mention that he apparently snapped at her when she wasn't actively adjusting him, "showing dominance". I'm pretty sure he was fed up with her and the whole adjustment because he'll let you do just about anything to him with rarely a minor complaint . He has been actively held or positioned for exams before with no issues at all. No problems with blood draws, eye stains, nails (when not done by me, lol), AG's, full body checks, dental exams. Never has he lashed out at a person unless he was in pain. I can't blame him. We will find better.
Max "the ninja"-American Cocker Spaniel G-day 3/2009
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Re: Done with this Chiro

Postby QBert » Sun Jul 27, 2014 3:37 am

Oh no. I'm so sorry. What an ordeal. Max is lucky to have a staunch advocate.

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Re: Done with this Chiro

Postby emmas_mom » Sun Jul 27, 2014 7:02 am

I'm sorry you and Max went through this. Definitely time for a new chiro. When a chiro does things like that with the owner in the room, makes me wonder how the animals are treated when the owner isn't there! I hope Max doesn't generalize his last experience to the visit with the new vet/chiro.
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Re: Done with this Chiro

Postby maxs_mommy » Sun Jul 27, 2014 12:51 pm

I hope Max doesn't generalize his last experience to the visit with the new vet/chiro.
Jean, That's exactly my concern and why we're getting out now. The last thing he or I need is to be fearful of something else, especially since he sees the vet several times a year. I do. not. want him generalizing the clinic or anyone working there with the pain/stress from the chiro. This may all be kinda moot if we switch vets completely but I don't want to even start down that road. I emailed both the chiro and our vet this morning. I'm expecting a response at least from the vet tomorrow knowing her. I did not lay blame, I just stated that for Max's comfort we would be finding a new chiro and to please cancel our Aug/Sept appointments. It's done and I am relieved.
Max "the ninja"-American Cocker Spaniel G-day 3/2009
Charlie "the middle child"- Orange Tabby G-day 7/2005
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Re: Done with this Chiro

Postby LisaT_II » Sun Jul 27, 2014 1:02 pm

I will not be writing yelp reviews (though I am tempted) but I am letting our current vet know we will not be continuing with Dr. Brewer. I have an email drafted to Dr. Brewer canceling our next chiropractic visits in August and September. I'm sure I will get some response from Max's vet, but without going into specific detail, I think I'm just going to say I'm not happy with the way the adjustments are going and for Max's well-being we will be finding a new chiro.
I would say more. I would want the letter to say something about not being happy with the type of interaction with the vet, rather than leaving the door open that maybe the adjustments are fine, but you're not seeing the response that you want.

My first girl had reactions to her adjustments - we would joke that she hurt if you just touched her aura.... I have also had dogs flinch on occasion during an adjustment, and sometimes swing their head back to the area in reaction. Mine have always pulled those reactions, and never bit or growled (i do always feed treats during this process). I have three good certified vets in the area that I use (two that are chiro only), and this has happened with all of them. It is my belief that a dog will only escalate those warnings when they aren't being heeded properly. The increase in Max's reactions show that not only did this vet never earn the trust of Max, she outright doesn't understand dog behaviour and motivations.

I'm finding that Jazz here is reacting well to VOM treatments, but that is a mine field. Many overstep and try to adjust. I am careful to monitor which pieces of equipment they use and how.

I'm sorry that you guys have had this experience :(
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Re: Done with this Chiro

Postby Jen » Sun Jul 27, 2014 2:46 pm

I would definitely say more and be explicit about what she did wrong. I'd also probably be writing yelp reviews. It's not wrong to detail bad experiences if they're true (I'd also add "and ongoing" because everyone has a bad day). I've only written two bad reviews about a person/place, but if it's justified, it's justified, and yours would definitely be justified!

Like Lisa said, Roscoe sometimes flinches when he's examined or poked by Dr. V, but she always backs off and give him a moment to regroup himself. Bella doesn't like being poked in certain areas and will whip around to snap sometimes, so we give her a moment to relax if she does that and turn her attention to treats. Then she's fine to go on. I'd have a BIG problem with someone not respecting my dog (or cat or horse or bunny or whatever!) when he tells them to stop, too. :(

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Re: Done with this Chiro

Postby JudyL » Sun Jul 27, 2014 5:05 pm

Ashley, how is Max feeling now? Is he sore from the chiro's work? Do you think the adjustment helped at all?

I agree with what Lisa and Jen said above. Many dogs will tense or find these other ways to tell the practitioner that they've hit a sore or sensitive area and to back off; it's their only way of communicating, and the doctor should listen and try another approach, a gentler one, or move to another area of the body for a while and then come back to the problem area again.

I've been thinking about your statement about her popping his knee, and I can't think of any reason to do this or what good it could do in that area of the body. The leg bones are aligned one way and what she might have done was pop the patella out of its groove and back in again. That is painful to have it popped out, if that's what she did, and the more often it does pop out, the more likely it will happen in the future because the groove that it sits in in its normal position gets worn down.

Forcing any adjustment is just wrong, and I wouldn't hesitate to write a bad review of this chiro in this case. I've only written one bad review of a service provider, and it was about my old vet which I won't rehash again here. lol

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Re: Done with this Chiro

Postby Calypso » Sun Jul 27, 2014 7:27 pm

How frustrating for you and scary for Max! I've only gone to two chiropractors and neither one ever made my dogs do more than flinch. My current one feels the dog tensing and will work at a point farther away to relax the muscles as she works in toward the sensitive spot. I can't imagine her ever tackling a dog!

I hope the new chiro works well for you.

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Re: Done with this Chiro

Postby whiteboxerboy » Sun Jul 27, 2014 7:56 pm

wow, i'm so sorry for Max and for you. this sounds like a complete nightmare experience. i don't blame you one bit for not wanting to go back there.

i absolutely lose my mind when ANYONE tells me how should i interact with my dog. i'm sure i'd really lose it if my dog was scared or freaked out and they told me not to do whatever i was trying to do to comfort them.... stupid control freaks if you ask me.

when the chiro in Cali adjusted Brinca i couldn't even tell he'd done anything to her. at least as i remember it now. there were no sudden movements or loud noises, he just put his hands on her and then said she was done and she could move and jump again. BUT she was all drugged up on valium at the time so maybe that's why??

OTOH, when the chiro came to the house to see Gringo it was the complete opposite. lots of loud pops which freaked him out (they said deaf animals can still hear those pops b/c they vibrate within the body and a couple of really intense, quick movements by the chiro. but, when they were finished Gringo couldn't wait to lick their faces and play with them so he wasn't scared of them. they did muzzle him but that was b/c i told them he was pretty mouthy when being restrained. they were kind of the same with Pi - it def looked like more 'man handling' than Brinca's did. i've wondered what other chiro adjustments looked like for other dogs that were not all doped up.

again, i'm sorry. hopefully Max has forgotten all about it.

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Re: Done with this Chiro

Postby maxs_mommy » Sun Jul 27, 2014 8:36 pm

It is done, at least for the chiro. I'll wait to see what if anything Max's vet says tomorrow.

Here's the email chain to the chiro and response tonight.
Me- Please cancel our (Max's) appointments for Aug/Sept. After Max's adjustment yesterday and behavior, we will be working with another chiropractor. Thank you.
chiro- Sure thing

Max did seem fine after the adjustment, though worn out. He did take a treat at the end from the assistant, though as UpwardDog pointed out with Tricky, taking treats does not equal not stressed. She did not back off when he whipped around at her, just kept pushing with no recovery. I'm glad it's over. I also learned a lot from this and will have better questions for the next person. I really just blindly trusted because it's who our vet worked with. Now I know better and should have trusted my gut a lot sooner. He doesn't react to the non-painful pops, never has. This was pain and fear with specific admonishments to not allay it. I was livid. I was instructed to tell him to "knock it off" or "quit it" when he reacted.

I should also mention, for all the "advice" we were given, a show dobie came in right after us with a shock collar and prong collar and she had no problem with that. Ugh.
Last edited by maxs_mommy on Sun Jul 27, 2014 8:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Max "the ninja"-American Cocker Spaniel G-day 3/2009
Charlie "the middle child"- Orange Tabby G-day 7/2005
Sadie - Grey Tabby 9/1996-8/4/2012 RIP

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Re: Done with this Chiro

Postby maxs_mommy » Sun Jul 27, 2014 8:49 pm

Lisa, there is a progression of reactions for him which were largely ignored starting with flinching to yelping, moving away, head turn, low growl, hard stare and then "get me the f*ck out of here" panic. Those reactions resulted in further restraint and comments about "attitude". It was like she was just going to do it her way come hell or high water. No treats allowed during the adjustment or reassurances. So f-ed up. It truly wouldn't surprise me if she believed in alpha rolls and that I'd have to go ballistic on her. BTW, her name is Grace Brewer and she practices in Lenexa Kansas, in case this gets googled I want someone else to know what happened.

I will address what happened with the vet in specifics, I just wanted to do it live via phone or person rather than an email that sits.
Max "the ninja"-American Cocker Spaniel G-day 3/2009
Charlie "the middle child"- Orange Tabby G-day 7/2005
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Re: Done with this Chiro

Postby connie » Mon Jul 28, 2014 4:30 am

Wow, she's quite the menace to dogs! That's really disgusting. I re-read your original post and I like how you were, as you said, put on the 'behavior' list and restricted to a certain appointment slot.

I bet she's a big fan of Cesar Millan. Maybe that should be everyone's litmus-test question when interviewing people who will work with our dogs -- trainers, vets, chiros, other caregivers. If they give CM a thumbs-up, don't bother to book even one appointment with them.

I also repeat, she is a lousy chiropractor. If she were any good at what she practices, she would not need to restrain, coerce, or otherwise physically subdue dogs. She can give you all the grief she wants, but bottom line is, she sucks at what you've been paying her to do. The rest is just attitude. :tongue:

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Re: Done with this Chiro

Postby LisaT_II » Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:01 pm

I also repeat, she is a lousy chiropractor.
Yep, that's the bottom line.

I like the litmus test question too......

I'm glad that you'll be talking to the vet. Good for the vet to know, and it will be good for you to be able to tell her about this.
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Re: Done with this Chiro

Postby MaisyPancakes » Thu Jul 31, 2014 11:55 am

I'm so sorry you guys went through this effed up chaos. :( Is he still doing OK since the "adjustment" he got? I can't believe she didn't injure him!

I had a super crappy experience loooooong time ago at one of the vets I was "interviewing" when I first got MP. (I went to a bunch of vets and did physicals.) I always look back with regret that I didn't just get up and leave just because I was afraid of being rude. (I also didn't think that leaving was an option!) Never again, for sure.

I agree with others that you should leave an honest review of some sort. It would be of great help to others who are considering chiro in your area!

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Re: Done with this Chiro

Postby maxs_mommy » Thu Jul 31, 2014 3:19 pm

I've had a few days to get some distance on this. Up until yesterday I was still spitting nails. I thought I could just take the snide comments, mentally wad them up and throw them over my shoulder as I left an appointment. I should have known that if she spoke to me/us that way, her respect for Max was lacking too. I will write a review, it's in draft form now on my notepad.

I did email Max's vet with the story and just told her that I didn't need her to do anything but be aware. The practices aren't joined, my vet has no supervisory authority over the chiro, the chiro just uses the offices after hours. I got a response from Max's vet that just said how sorry they were because we had to go through this and the name of another chiro to try. That is good enough. I really wanted her to be angry on his behalf and take the chiro to task but that's not the way big girl britches work and it's ok.

Life will be crazy for scheduling in August b/c I have the possibility of jury duty all. freaking. month. but we will get him adjusted, I just don't know exactly when yet or with who. Yes, there will be several questions, including CM and pain levels during adjustment. I'm not ignoring my gut again. No medical care for people or animals should ever devolve into a pi$$ing contest like this.
Max "the ninja"-American Cocker Spaniel G-day 3/2009
Charlie "the middle child"- Orange Tabby G-day 7/2005
Sadie - Grey Tabby 9/1996-8/4/2012 RIP

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Re: Done with this Chiro

Postby UpwardDog » Thu Jul 31, 2014 5:55 pm

I'm glad you're planning to write a review and that your vet had anther option for you. Hopefully your review will help others avoid such an awful experience.

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Re: Done with this Chiro

Postby connie » Thu Jul 31, 2014 6:05 pm

I agree with you wholeheartedly, Ashley.

I would suggest you not limit yourself to veterinary chiropractors, but ask around about DCs who adjust animals. You will have to bring a referral from your vet if the DC does not have a DVM -- otherwise they can get whacked for practicing veterinary medicine without a license -- but I doubt your vet will fuss about that. My vets have never jibed at writing referrals for all my dogs so they can see our DC.

A DC is more likely to be schooled in chiropractic as a modality and less likely to have simply 'added on' the cert to increase his/her practice or client list. In my experience, anyway.

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Re: Done with this Chiro

Postby LisaT_II » Thu Jul 31, 2014 8:34 pm

I agree with connie about the regular DC, two of the three around here are regular DCs that are animal certified and I have had good luck with them.

It's possible that your experience had more of an impact on the vet than she let on. As a professional, she is probably very careful about what she says to clients, and particularly what she writes, but it may impact who she refers to in the future.

We honor our animals when we act on the lessons that they teach us. Can't begin to list all the mistakes I made with Indy.....
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