ST PETER — Like most bird dog owners, Paul Ostoff is keenly aware of nuances of his canine hunting partner’s behavior.
And seven months after his Munsterlander pointer (picture a dog resembling a tall springer spaniel with a long tail, Ostoff says) was struck by a car while crossing the street to greet a neighbor, it was apparent that something was amiss with the 7-year-old dog.
“I took her to the vet after being hit and every thing checked out — nothing broken, nothing out of whack,” he said.
But while the dog initially seemed to recover from the encounter, over the next several months, Ostoff noticed a significant decline in the dog’s physical abilities.
“She was struggling just to get up steps,” he said. “I was started to think it was time to look for a new hunting dog.”
Then Ostoff’s wife heard of a chiropractic clinic in St. Peter that in addition to treating humans, also offered chiropractic treatment for animals.
“Instead of investing all the money and emotion in a new dog, I though it was worth a try,” he said.
He made a call to the Dr. Seth Nelson at Rising Sun Chiropractic for an appointment.
A change in state law four years ago now allows chiropractors who take a 220-hour, seven-month-long course in chiropractic treatment for animals to expand their practice to include dogs, cats and other animals.
Nelson, a Lake Crystal native, is one of about 20 chiropractors in Minnesota licensed and certified to treat animals.
While he has treated cats, alpacas, even a snake, he concentrates mainly on dogs and horses.
Working on patients referred by area veterinarians, he maintains separate hours and exam spaces for his small animal practice. He performs on-site treatment for horses within about a two-hour radius of St. Peter.