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Association between chiropractic abnormalities of the lumbar spine and urinary incontinence in dogs

T. R. Thude

CHIROPRACTIC is increasingly being integrated into veterinary practices, although it remains controversial and widely discussed. In human medicine, chiropractic intervention has been described, and positive effects documented in patients with urinary incontinence. The aim of this retrospective study was to determine whether chiropractic abnormalities of the lumbar spine were significantly associated with urinary incontinence and retention in dogs.

Five-hundred-and-forty-three dogs were examined and treated with chiropractic methods over a six-year period (2008 to 2014). They were categorised as having either primary complaints of urinary incontinence (22 dogs) or non-urinary complaints (521 dogs) (eg, lameness, neck pain, thoracic pain, gastrointestinal problems). All the dogs underwent chiropractic examination and hypomobility findings were recorded using Gonstead listings. Odds ratios (ORs) were calculated for the occurrence of chiropractic findings in urinary versus non-urinary patients for each vertebra in the lumbar, sacral and ilial regions of the spine.

The authors found that urinary patients were significantly more likely to have chiropractic findings in lumbar regions L3 (OR 4.81), L4 (OR 6.85) and L5 (OR 3.98). …

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