Chiropractic abnormalities of the lumbar spine significantly associated with urinary incontinence and retention in dogs

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To retrospectively summarise chiropractic findings in dogs presented in a veterinary practice with urinary incontinence and urinary retention over a 6-year period, and compare these to non-urinary patients presented during the same time period.


Twenty-two cases were included in the study. They all first underwent a standard clinical examination to rule out or treat other possible causes of their urinary problems. They then underwent chiropractic examination and hypomobility findings were recorded using Gonstead listings. Odds ratios (ORs) were calculated for the occurrence of chiropractic findings in urinaryversusnon-urinary patients for each vertebra in the lumbar, sacral and ilial regions.


All patients had chiropractic findings in the lumbar region that differed from non-urinary patients. The urinary patients were significantly more likely to have chiropractic findings in L3 (OR=4 · 81; 95%CI: 2 · 02 to 11 · 44; P = 0 · 0004), L4 (OR=6 · 85; 95%CI: 2 · 63 to 17 · 84; P = 0 · 0001) and L5 (OR=3 · 98; 95%CI: 1 · 64 to 9 · 69; P = 0 · 0023). In addition, urinary patients were significantly less likely to have chiropractic findings associated with the ilium (OR=0 · 26; 95%CI: 0 · 11 to 0 · 66; P = 0 · 0043).


This is the first report of an association between chiropractic findings in the lumbar vertebrae and urinary incontinence and retention in dogs.

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