Written by Olaf Hill, July 1999
Hi, my name is Olaf Hill. I am a 13 years old 60 LB lab/hound/???, and have just started walking again. About 5 months ago my back got so painful that I could not walk. My Mom was real worried, we first went to the emergency vet then to many other helpful persons. This web page is to tell our story in case it could help others.
First I have to tell you my history. I was found as a puppy and someone took me to the PAWS animal shelter where my Mom found me, that’s why we do not really know what my parents are. Then I grew up on 2 acres with horses and got to go riding many miles each week on the logging roads behind our house. This keep me in great shape, but it might have stressed my back too. When I was around 3 years old I ran out in the road (where I was not supposed to be) and got hit by a car, breaking my hip. It was a clean break and I just needed some rest, but it might have added some stress. Anyway the years went past and my back started hurting some. The normal vets really did not have any suggestions but my mom gave me high quality, low protein food and things went ok for a while. When I was about 9 years old my back got worse and that was when our horse was having problems with his foot so my mom found a person, Jim, that communicates to animals to come to our place.
As it turned out he also does chiropractic so I got my back adjusted. This really helped me a lot. Soon my Mom got a book on dog chiropractic to help with adjustments between when I got to see Jim. I was feeling pretty good but going for horse rides started causing me too much pain so my mom made me stay home, this was really sad but I guess that’s what happens when you get old. I started slowing down, but was moving around just fine until just after the first of 1999. I went outside in the morning and came back in the house for a nap and just could not put any weight on my back two legs, boy was that scary.
Like I said we went to the emergency vet (of course it was a Sunday) and they took x-rays. It did not show anything really just that my back was stressed from age and all the spine was kind of fuzzy. They were really impressed with how much muscle tone I had for being almost 13, but they could only give me steroids and sent us home. Boy did the steroids make me sick! I had to go to the bathroom every 2 hours, which was not real easy when your legs don’t work! Thanks to my Mom we made it through that time. We went to the local vet who also did not have any suggestions, he just said wait and see, even though I don’t think he thought I would last very long.
My Mom has been using Naturopathic alternative’s for many years so I was already getting “Traumed” (Arnica, + lots more) and “Hypericum” homeopathic medicines, herbal topicals, and pendulum energy healing. These helped but my body was just too much out of whack so the next step was to go see Jim (about 100 miles north). He aligned my spine which was way out and did some energy work (QI QONG). Jim, my Mom, and Aunt worked out a supplement plan that I had to eat 2 times a day! It included lots of MSM, Yucca, Cats Claw, Devils Claw, Glucosamine and Chondroitin. Jim also showed my mom how to use a laser pen on my acupressure points for my spine, how to do QI QONG and suggested using a magnetic bed. Lots of new ideas!
I was feeling lots better but not walking any better so we went to our Naturopathic Vet (40 miles South), he approved what I was eating and added some vit E, Chinese supplements and started me on acupuncture every two weeks. One of my Uncles even gave me Reiki every week or so and I kept getting better but I think I was forgetting how to use my body so the Natural Vet recommended Water Therapy. We are very lucky to have someone doing this type of treatment in our area as most people think that water therapy for dogs is not normal. Kind of weird as humans go into Therapy after any type of surgery and dogs are just ignored. Anyway we drove (30 miles east) every Sunday to La Paw Spa for over 2 months and my Mom took me out in our pond one day a week. This helped get my muscles working and getting my brain to work with my legs again. Soon I was walking, not real far, and I needed help getting up, but I could go on my own a little bit more and more.
Its been about 6 weeks since I started walking and I only have to get acupuncture every 6 weeks, water therapy every 2 weeks and seeing Jim for Energy/Chiropractic every 4 weeks. Maybe soon I will be able to do steps, but for now I have to use the ramp Mom and Dad made for me and then I still need help getting up it. I am walking all over the house by myself (even the slick floors!) and my Mom has to fence me in to make sure I don’t go anywhere I can get hurt.
Hope this helps others, just remember it takes a long time to get your body working again if it took a long time getting it out of shape!
Olaf Hill (July 99)
Update from Cindy Hill, Olaf’s Mom: Olaf was able to walk on and off with help from his many therapies up until his passing the spring of 2002 at the age of 15.