Humble Hound gets McTimoney Treatment.

McTimoney Animal Practitioner features on “Escape to the Farm” treating Kate Humble’s Dog Bella

McTimoney Animal Chiropractic Practitioner, Sam Smith has gained a very famous client in Kate Humble from Channel 5’s “Escape to the Farm” and her border terrier Bella.

Sam was asked to treat Bella on camera, as part of her ongoing treatment plan. When he first saw Bella, she presented with age related mobility issues and hindlimb weakness. Being in front of the camera was a totally novel experience for Sam and he admits to feeling daunted as he had never been filmed during any treatment, let alone for television, but it was all done in one take.  “Kate made the whole experience relaxed and easy throughout and it felt like a very normal treatment that just happened to be being filmed. Bella was the ultimate star and was completely unfazed by the cameras. Once I was focussed on her, I forgot the cameras were there and all went well,” Sam explains.

Sam Smith has been successfully treating a broad range of animals, using McTimoney chiropractic manipulation for the last 20 years, in the Gloucestershire region. Although his work is predominantly equine clients, it also encompasses dogs, sheep, goats, and bulls!  Sam treats animals with acute injuries, following accidents, injuries, or operations, and those benefitting from more routine regular maintenance treatment in particular older patients. Sam explains that “McTimoney chiropractic promotes the soundness and performance of these animals, resolves compensatory pain, and allows me to monitor how the body as a whole responds to the training pressures and every-day stresses and strains placed upon it.” The McTimoney chiropractic treatment was first developed by the late John McTimoney who successfully adapted the technique from humans to animals in the 1950’s. By assessing and identifying specific areas of dysfunction in the skeleton, practitioners can apply light, gentle, and well-received adjustments to improve functionality of the musculoskeletal system and restore comfort to the animals as well.

Whilst horses make up the greatest percentage of Sam’s workload, he says, “The bulls are interesting, as they are so large and well-muscled to work on. Also, bovine medicine hasn’t moved on in the same way as equine and canine, so if the animal isn’t responding to anti-inflammatory drugs or foot care, then there isn’t an obvious next step in conventional veterinary medicine. Increasingly these bulls can be viewed as performance animals in terms of their high value, and they are doing a job, so when going to treat these animals the pelvis and lumbar region are often compromised due to servicing multiple cows. These animals respond well and benefit from McTimoney chiropractic treatment.”

Other examples of more unusual clients Sam has helped include an elderly angora goat who needed maintenance care to aid mobility, and a ram who had been head butting his rival in the field resulting in a kyphotic thoracic spine which potentially impacted on his showing career.

When he isn’t working on his equine clients, or down on the farm with the bulls, goats and rams, Sam regularly treats show dogs, working dogs and pet dogs too. “Commonly I see issues with showing dogs, where promoting the best optimum movement and posture for the dogs is vital. The working dogs are mostly gun dogs picking up in the shooting season, who can incur tight necks and jumping injuries” states Sam.

However, it is the pet dogs who tend to be the older dogs needing additional help and care to remain mobile in old age, and Sam says some of the most amazing results he has have been seen in these dogs, where conventional medicine has had limited benefit and McTimoney treatment proves a useful adjunct to the conventional care.

Ultimately Sam is like his fellow McTimoney Animal Practitioners, working to improve the lives of animals across the UK outside the limelight and glow of the media.

Sam says “being a McTimoney Practitioner is immensely enjoyable and it is great meeting all the lovely animals and their owners. When you combine that with the reward of helping animals where other conventional approaches have drawn a blank or had limited success that is what makes this so special. There’s also the bonus of the flexibility of being self-employed and the variety of work that each day brings”.

Sam also gets to travel around the beautiful Gloucestershire countryside from the Cotswolds to the Severn Vale and along the serene Wye Valley…. Perhaps there is another TV series to be had there?

Is Sam planning to follow up with further tv appearances? Sam said that “the door is always open” …. Bitten by the television bug, perhaps!

Sam Smith McTimoney Animal Practitioner and Bella can be seen on Thursday 20th May, Channel 5 9pm, “Escape to the Farm”.

Sam Smith Equine and Canine Sports Therapy

If you missed the programme, you can watch it here