How Animal Massage Can Help With Your Diabetic Dog

Full Title: How Animal Massage Can Help With Your Diabetic Dog

Author: Kirsteni Leung

Date of Publication: March 12, 2018


Research Paper Text:

How Animal Massage Can Help With Your Diabetic Dog
Kirsteni Leung
May 21, 2018

Diabetes is a disease that causes either the dog’s body to not produce enough insulin, type-1, or to make the cells insensitive to insulin, type-2. The most common type of diabetes is type-1. The onset of diabetes in canines are unknown, but is suspected to be involved with genetics. The symptoms of diabetes are as follows: change in appetite, increased water consumption, weight loss, decrease in coat quality, frequent urination, cataracts, and/or lethargy. Dogs with diabetes can live a normal life, but they will be on insulin for the rest of their life. Pet massage with special emphasize on acupressure points can help the dog live a better-quality life.

The Acupressure points of concentration for diabetes are the spleen, urinary
bladder, conception vessel, and stomach. The spleen point is on the inside of the hind leg and it moistens and tonifies blood. The two points in the urinary bladder are called “Lung’s Hollow” and “Kidney’s Hollow.” These points are found on both sides of the spine. The conception vessel is located on the midline of the abdomen and aids in digestion. The stomach strengthens the qi and hind legs and can be found on the outside of the hind leg.

My 13year old Shi Tzu and Bichon mix, Bugsinator (aka Buggy), was diagnosed with diabetes a year ago. I ran an experiment on him where he got a massage twice a week, with no change in diet or amount of insulin. Throughout the experiment his blood glucose levels lowered slightly each week and his happy and calm personality became more evident.

Week 1
Before the experiment, Buggy had the following condition: Coat was thin and dull, black fur turned light grey, eyes were almost pure white due to the cataracts, drank almost 8 cups of water a day, had to urinate every hour, and loss a lot of muscle tone due to lethargy. During his massage, he was confused at first but he enjoyed the touching and relaxed towards the end. At the end of the massage he was happier and almost puppy-like. It was the most hyper and happy we’ve seen him in a while.

Week 2
Buggy’s coat is still thin, his fur is still light grey, and his eyes are still white. The part that’s telling me, my massage worked is that he is drinking less water, about 6 cups a day, and urinating less. He still is acting like a puppy and is more active, so he gained back some muscle tone. As I was setting up the table for the massage, he wasn’t confused. He anticipated getting a massage but wasn’t happy with being picked up onto the table. During the massage he relaxed right away and lied down. I think Buggy views this as a time for him to get all my attention. At the end of the massage, he was still really happy and had a calm feeling about him.

Week 3
Currently Buggy’s coat quality and eyes are the only things that have not changed. The color of his fur darkened and he is still drinking more water than he should be drinking but not as much as when I started the experiment. His muscle tone has gotten a bit firmer and he got stronger. Buggy happily stood next to me as I was setting up the table for his massage. At the beginning of the massage, I did some high energy scratching because he was too excited. During the massage, he fell asleep but woke up when I was holding the pressure points on his nose. He seemed the same at the end of the massage, but happy is good.

Week 4
Buggy looks amazing. Even his veterinarian is surprised at the big changes in him. His coat thickened and his fur is almost back to black. He’s drinking around 3 cups of water each day and only goes bathroom 2-3 times a day, which is a huge improvement. The only thing that has not had a significant improvement in is his cataracts. They are still solid white but there must have been some improvement because he isn’t walking into things anymore. Buggy knew right away that he was getting his massage and was waiting for me at the table for me to set up. During the massage he lied down once I started and fell asleep. At the end of the massage, he was really calm and just happily trotted around for the rest of the day.

By the end of the experiment, Buggy was doing much better. His blood glucose level was low enough for an adjustment in his insulin medication and he looked like a different dog. The massages lowered his insulin levels, improved his mood, calmed him down and at the end I felt that we had a closer bond.

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