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Chiropractic Journal of Australia : CJA March 2012
16 Chiropractic Journal of Australia Volume 42 Number 1 March 2012 DISCUSSION This frst reference to DD Palmer’s involvement with animals appears in a broadsheet named The Chiropractic in 1899.2 This publication was essentially a public relations handout intended for patients and potential patients. (Peters R, Personal communication) It consisted of editorial-type comment, numerous brief anecdotes, and letters from practitioners, students, and patient testimonials. It appears that DD Palmer himself wrote much of the paper, and that he was a prolifc writer also publishing a number of texts and booklets. Of note in this newspaper is the emphasis of anecdotes on somatovisceral conditions. These far out- number those on musculoskeletal conditions. One is left with the distinct impression that chiropractic care was primarily and successfully directed towards a wide range of health and somatovisceral conditions more than musculoskeletal conditions at that time. This particular edition of the paper also includes a brief item advocating spinal adjustments for horses. In it he stated, “…I fnd the same knowledge [as that used on humans] can be used on the horse," 2 and that spinal adjustments were “equally effcient in quadrupeds as it was in bipeds."5 In an address by BJ Palmer at a Lyceum in Davenport, Iowa, circa 1949, he indicated the family’s chiropractic interest, involvement, and success in treating quadrupeds.5 He affrmed that “they” - presumably BJ and DD - established a veterinarian practice, possibly circa 1905-6, by stating "We did at one time run a veterinarian hospital." However, no records of such a hospital have been located. It is thought that he may have been referring to adjusting animals on a farm in East Davenport or Bettendorf. (Peters R, Personal communication) He also mentioned that they treated a variety of domestic animals, but expressed particular interest in pedigree animals including dogs, racehorses and cattle. One particular anecdote concerned a stud bull that suddenly would not “bull.” The bull was adjusted, and began “bulling” successfully again.5 Until 1918, there appears to have been limited material published relating to animal chiropractic. In that year, BJ Palmer inferred that some graduate chiropractors had ‘deviated’ from providing ‘human services’ for health issues and referred to two specifc cases of adjusting the spine of dogs – one dating back to 1912.6 In 1921, a report noted that a Texan chiropractor, a Dr CD Kinney, was called to attend a "cow (that was) down, all swelled up, as if she would burst." It was determined that "a poisonous condition," had set in after the cow had gorged itself (‘bloating’ or ‘hoven’) on forage the previous night. Treatment involved adjusting the "sixth and eighth dorsal and KP." "In two minutes the cow was up vomiting. I came back one hour later; cow seemingly in normal condition."7 [KP is an early form of a designated spinal site of T10, T11, T12 in humans.8] In the same year Dr CL Dean recounts the adjustment "between the hip bones" of a mule that the owner explained was "down in the back and can't get up." "The mule recovered -- presumably slowly enough to allow the adjuster to escape." The same chiropractor was asked to attend a "Scotch Collie who was dragging his hind legs." The ANIMAL CHIROPRACTIC -- HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE ROME dog resumed "quite normal" activity following its spinal adjustment.9 Those two anecdotal records from the Fountain Head News by both Dean and Kinney were cynically critiqued in the Journal of the American Medical Association later that year under the heading ‘Veterinary Chiropractic.’10 While this AMA item was rather critical of chiropractors ‘treating’ humans, it was even more critical of chiropractors treating animals! The tone of that item lead to a rejoinder in the Fountain Head News, possibly by BJ Palmer himself under the by-line of “Old Shoes.” 11 Interestingly, the AMA item itself was repeated in that same edition of the Fountain Head News but under a different headline to that in the AMA journal.12 An edition of the Fountain Head News also in 1921, recounts a letter from a TC Splude, who was presumably a chiropractor, however this is not specifed.13 He had two horses referred to him by a local veterinarian. They had been diagnosed with “Azoturia.” It describes the animals displaying differing forms of paralysis, with a "complete paralysis of the parts affected.” “The frst horse was afficted in the right hind leg...after two adjustments the horse was again working as good as ever." "The second horse, a very fne animal, fve years old, was afficted in both hindquarters …. After fve adjustments the horse was so well that three men could not hold her... ." There is no record of the specifc spinal segments adjusted in this instance. ‘Azoturia, or Equine Rhabdomyelosis, is a condition that affects the muscles of horses, ranging from stiffness, mild cramps and discoloured urine, to the horse becoming unable to stand. Terminology for the disease is variable and includes Monday Morning Disease, Tying-Up, Azoturia, Paralytic Myoglobinuria, Myositis and Setfast. It is unlikely that a single process can explain all the clinical types, but the term rhabdomyelosis is often thought to be the more accurate description, and it is this term that shall be used for this discussion. Equine Rhabdomyelosis can affect any horse of any age, but is much more common in fllies and mares than geldings and stallions. Young animals tend to have one or two episodes and then no further problems, which can lead to unfounded claims of successful treatment. It can affect just one individual in a group which are all under the same management regime, and severity and frequency are highly variable.’ 14 In 1936, a noted incident took place at Taronga Zoo in Sydney Australia. One of the orangutangs there – ‘Jane’ -- was reportedly cured of paralysis by a chiropractor -- Mr RCM Searby. The animal was paralysed in the lower limbs following transportation from Borneo. It was thought to have sustained an injury during that trip. She had not responded to the traditional care of the time. A radiological examination of the animal’s cervical spine was conducted and the radiographs analysed. Subluxations (VSC’s) of the upper cervical vertebrae were reportedly noted. Using a portable adjusting table, the orangutang underwent ten adjustments over almost fve weeks, and by that time Jane had recovered. It was then reported that “…she now swings about her cage as sprightly as Jimmy, her mate.” 15 (Fig 2)
CJA June 2012