When Your Pet's in Pain 2

Chiropractor Makes House Calls

No pet owner likes to see their furry friend in pain. Unfortunately, our pets don’t have nearly as many treatment options as their human counterparts, and finding the cause of that pain can be a frustrating and expensive process. Dr. Kreg Griffith D.C., a Norman chiropractor with a soft spot for animals, saw this problem and decided to do something about it. After attending the animal chiropractic program at Parker University, Dallas, he now extends his passion for helping people to their four-legged companions, saying happily, “now I can treat everyone in the family.”

Griffith, a board-certified animal chiropractor, focuses on such mobility issues as arthritis, muscle imbalances, lameness and injuries resulting from slips or falls. “Many people think that it’s normal for their animal to walk with a limp, but a lot of times there is something that we can do to help.” Because he usually makes house calls, Griffith often can help point out potential problem areas in the home environment and offer solutions. “Problems can be created from repetitive motions. For example, jumping off of high surfaces every day can wear on the animal,” Griffith explains, “especially on hard flooring and stairs.”

It is important to him that owners understand the cause of their animal’s pain, and how to contribute to the recovery of the animal, Griffith says. “I teach them massage and stretching techniques so that they don’t have to wait for an appointment every time their pet is displaying signs of pain.”

Though he mainly sees dogs and horses, Griffith has treated a wide range of animals in the Norman area, from show steers and hogs to donkeys-“basically any animal whose owners want it to perform better.” He gives potential patients a phone consultation, and decides whether they should first go to the veterinarian to get an X-ray before scheduling an appointment. Owners also have the option to use the Griffith Animal Chiropractic Facebook page to send in videos of their animal’s behavior.

How do you know when you should call in the animal chiropractor? Griffith points out that pets aren’t always vocal about their pain, so it’s important to notice any changes in behavior. “When dogs stop doing their normal activities, that’s a sign that something’s wrong,” he says. “If your dog jumps on the bed every night and then starts refusing to jump, or your horse becomes unable to turn in a certain direction, those are signs that the animal could be in pain.” Whether with a veterinarian or an animal chiropractor, it is important to get any changes in behavior checked out.

An animal chiropractor, while not meant to be a substitute for a veterinarian, can often provide additional and alternative treatment options for animals whose owners fear they are running out of choices. Because “you can’t just ask an animal where it’s hurting,” Griffith uses his knowledge of anatomy—particularly the spinal column and muscles surrounding it—and behavioral patterns to find the source of the pain or mobility issue, and uses his expertise speed up the healing process. “It takes longer for an animal to heal if there is something out of alignment,” he explains.

Griffith, who has practiced in Norman for about eight years, emphasizes his preference for cooperating with an animal’s home veterinarian. “I work really well with vets in the area,” he adds. “I get referrals from vets, often when pain medicines are no longer working, like with arthritis or chronic pain.” He says that when owners are faced with the difficult decision of surgery or euthanasia (due to mobility problems or pain that won’t go away) he tries to offer another option.

His goal is to give animals more function out of their bodies in addition to relieving their pain. “The best part of what I do is getting to see the animal moving again, getting them back to normal,” Griffith says. “This is more than a job to me.”

To schedule a consultation, visit facebook.com/GriffithAnimalChiropractic 
or call 408.2669.