Each week, Gary Adams, chiropractor at Integrated Health and Chiropractic in South Hall, said he looks forward to helping one of his favorite patients, Trixxie. Unlike most of those he adjusts, she walks on four legs and is covered in wavy fur.
Trixxie is a goldendoodle.
Similar to how he adjusts people, Adams uses his hands to apply gentle force along the spine.
“They actually respond almost better than a human because they know you want to help them,” Adams said. “With Trixxie, I just attached to her straight away.”
Before bringing her goldendoodle to see Adams, Cayse Wilson, Trixxie’s owner, said her veterinarian located a degenerative disc in the dog’s spine. Wilson said Trixxie was unable to jump on the bed and would drag her legs while walking.
After spending a lot of money on vet bills leading up to the diagnosis, Wilson said Trixxie’s veterinarian recommended conducting a surgery to improve her condition, which would cost $10,000.
“It wasn’t a money issue for us (Wilson and her husband) to get the surgery,” Wilson said. “It was more like, what’s her life going to be like after surgery? In a year, will she be exactly where she started? We didn’t want that. We have no kids. Our lives are her.”
Weighing her options, Wilson said she considered purchasing a pool for Trixxie to provide water therapy. When Adams mentioned he could help the goldendoodle, Wilson said she was willing to give it a shot.
“She’s a very active dog,” Wilson said. “The three months she was on bed rest were the worst three months of her life. She couldn’t do what she wanted to do and gained weight. Within two days of getting adjusted, she was right back to being active. She can now jump in the car.”
Whenever he has a pause in his day, Adams said he adjusts Trixxie and other dogs in the community for free.
Before working on the dogs, Adams likes to take them for a little walk to get them familiar with his presence. He said most of the canines that seek his help have issues with their hips or spines.
“Often I’ll speak to the owner first to figure out what type of injury they have,” Adams said. “Then, Shannon (his wife) will research the breed because they’re all different.”
Dean Sileo, who specializes in soft tissue restoration at the clinic, offers his services to dogs for free alongside Adams.
Using his elbows instead of hands, Sileo said he spreads apart dogs’ muscle fibers to “invigorate circulation and blood flow.”
“I work up the spine and give them the relief they need,” Sileo said. “It’s the same thing with people. It helps with sore shoulders and sore hips.”
Adams said he adjusted his first dog 20 years ago while earning his chiropractic degree. He said the canine was a border collie that had inflammation of the pancreas. After seeing the positive results of his work, Adams kept at it.
“Dogs just love you unconditionally,” Adams said. “Their spirit, their soul, I just love animals. They’re always so thankful afterward.”
Like Adams, Sileo said he shares a passion for helping animals and has adopted many dogs himself and volunteered for years at the Hall County Animal Shelter and Evelyn’s Place Rescue.
“It’s a fascinating thing to see them get relief,” he said. “I really enjoy it.”
Although seeking chiropractic services for dogs may seem unconventional, Wilson encourages people to lower their walls of skepticism.
“I 100% would recommend it,” she said.
If someone has a dog that could use free chiropractic care, Adams welcomes them to make an appointment by calling 770-307-0968. Integrated Health and Chiropractic is located at 2345 Thompson Mill Road in Braselton.