The nervous system is comprised of billions of neurons that form a complex network of pathways within the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves. Injury or disease in any of these three circuits can cause your pet to experience a lack of motor ability and/or varying levels of sensation loss.
When disease or injury causes an imbalance of the nervous system, symptoms can manifest as epileptic seizures, lick granulomas, disc or back pain, balance and vision disorders, and pain and limb paresis or weakness. Neurological disease is usually secondary to another disease, disorder or injury that occurred either before or after birth, including abnormal fetal development (congenital).
Acupuncture and chiropractic have a direct effect on the nervous system, so they have the ability to create profound and rapid positive changes within the animal’s body. When an acupuncture needle is inserted into a specific point, a neuron (C- or A-delta fiber) is stimulated, creating an instant release of enkephalins and endorphins into the bloodstream. This is an endogenous way in which the body controls its own pain, and can be more than forty times more potent than morphine!
In addition, central neurochemical peptides and interneurons at the spinal cord level affect the autonomic nervous system, which creates a visible result. During an acupuncture session, an animal can experience nose dripping, heart rate changes and deep abdominal breathing due to the parasympathetic input. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, we are often increasing the yin by strengthening the parasympathetic nervous system.
Back problems are very common in Dachshunds like Harley, and back surgeries can often be avoided with the use of acupuncture and chiropractic care. Other similarly long-backed breeds like Basset Hounds, Corgis and Dachshunds can all benefit from periodic acupuncture and gentle chiropractic adjustments for treatment of back pain, spasms and disc disease.