DOG WALKERS NEED REGULAR OSTEOPATHIC CHECKS to continue to be able to walk their dog safely and enjoy these autumn days.

This week I have seen three serious dog walking injuries. One squirrel excitement can equal one serious very nasty long-term injury. If you are in top health, strong core and aligned perfectly (and don’t do long drives, or manual work or a desk job and are chilled as a cucumber) the injury may be less! However most of us don’t fall into that category so read on and get checked out so you don’t have to stop walking ‘Mans best friend’.

Call Oxspines Osteopathy and Massage Wheatley for a ‘Dog walkers check up’ for a discounted rate of £30 if you LIKE and SHARE this page. 07894 151654 Book online at www.oxspines.com
Top tips for avoiding dog walking injuries

Make sure your dog is well behaved when walking and does not pull on the lead – this will help your neck, back and shoulders.

If you throw balls a lot for your dog try a ball thrower to help take the strain off your shoulder and arm.

If your dog cannot easily get in and out of your car consider a ramp so that you do not have to lift them. We see many back injuries from this.

Wear footwear that supports your foot and has good amount of grip to deal with muddy or slippery conditions. An old pair of wellies does not give the support over rough ground and you might like to consider orthotic support to protect your back and ankles.

Don’t text and walk or not concentrate as you may be taken by surprise as your darling pooch suddenly sees a squirrel and takes off with you still holding the leash. The dog can move quickly and with so much force. You, at the other end, holding just the leash, absorb all the energy. The longer the leash the more energy transfers to you when the dog runs. They tend to be nasty injuries because the leash viciously twists your wrist or fingers. The bones can separate, and there's also likely to be cartilage, ligament and tendon damage. This can also transmit up the humerus and cause severe ligament or fractures in the shoulder. Recovery can take anywhere from several months to a year. So top tip don’t wrap the leash and keep it short.

Emma Hillsden is the proprietor of Archway Kennels in Garsington, an excellent facility, with three caring souls who regularly have MOTS at Oxspines Osteopathy so they can give the best to their dogs. www.archwaykennels.co.uk.

Emma says ‘"Front fastening harnesses can be much more effective than a collar and leash as they're more comfortable for the dog than a collar if it pulls, but gives them much less power than a back fastener. They can still pull a bit but tend to get pulled to the side so most dogs do learn to walk slightly better than on just a collar. few dogs, like French bulldogs and pugs, ideally do need to be walked on harnesses as their breathing can be very laboured anyway (due to awful skull shape!) that as little restriction as possible to the airway is best. But, even with small dogs, they can still pull and over time this affects a person's body so I would still go for a front fastening harness. Genuinely can't think of any situation where I'd use a back fastener... unless I had a pack of huskies ready to pull a sledge!!
For big, strong dogs, I use a halti. Even with small dogs, these are by far the best way to stop a dog from being able to pull. They attach round the mouth and under the chin so if a dog does pull, it tightens and pulls the dog's head to the side; there's very little power in the pull and they quickly learn it's not too much fun and that walking nicely is more comfortable!”
Thanks Emma

If you do have any aches and pains after a dog walking incident then make sure you have them examined. Call us Oxspines Osteopathy and Massage on 07894 151654 or book online www.oxspines.com