Animal chiropractic is a field of animal health care that focuses on the preservation and health of the neuro-musculo-skeletal system.
Nerves control everything.
The nervous system also coordinates the body’s ability to heal and regulate itself. Trauma, surgery, overuse, or underuse, may cause regions of the musculoskeletal system to become restricted.
Symptoms of spinal fixation are vast, and may include pain, spasm, sensitivity to touch, lameness, gait abnormalities and postural compromise. These are the symptoms that are the easiest to detect.
The goal of an animal chiropractor is to restore function and mobility influencing positively the nervous system.
We use our hands to identify areas of restriction and / or dysfunction. Restricted joints can be treated with an adjustment (a precise thrust.)
Animal Chiropractic is not meant to replace traditional veterinary care. It is not an alternative treatment, but rather an integrative method that can be used in conjunction with traditional veterinary care.
Signs and symptoms
Dogs, cats and other small animals:
Pain when being touched, pet or lifted
Reluctance or difficulty when climbing stairs or jumping
Difficulty when getting up after lying down
Negative changes in attitude or behaviour
Altered sitting (“Puppy Sitting”)
Changes in eating or eliminating
Constantly licking or chewing paws
Lameness or changes in gait
Changes in performance
Lying on one side
Pain and stiffness when moving or being touched
Negative changes in behaviour or attitude
Abnormal gait, shortened stride or lameness
Inability or difficulty in taking a lead
Difficulty or inability to collect
Pinning ears or snapping when being cinched
Difficulty flexing at poll
Changes in posture
Resistance to being ridden
Disclaimer It should be emphasised that this list is a basic overview, and does not cover every sign and symptom an animal may exhibit. The purpose is to highlight the most commonly seen signs and symptoms in the hope of offering guidelines to help the pet owner to recognise potential disorders. This is in no way an attempt to diagnose and/or treat any specific disease or condition. Chiropractic does not replace primary veterinarian care.
What to expect
What you can expect from an animal chiropractic visit
After obtaining veterinary consent an animal chiropractor will begin by obtaining a detailed case history consisting of information from the owner, prior x-rays or laboratory analysis and previous diagnoses and therapies if applicable.
A thorough chiropractic evaluation includes an examination of the animal prior to an adjustment. This examination includes: posture, gait analysis, vertebral and extremity static and motion palpation.
Musculoskeletal suggested diagnosis
Information from the case history and the examination are combined to determine if chiropractic care is suitable and if so what treatment is required. Chiropractic care includes advice on lifestyle, rehabilitation and soft tissue treatment.
Adjustments & Treatment
Adjusting your animal is somewhat similar to being adjusted by a human chiropractor in that once they find an area that has either decreased or restricted motion, the animal chiropractor applies a high force, low amplitude thrust specific to the anatomy of the joint thereby restoring normal movement. The adjustment has little or no pain and most animals enjoy being adjusted.
Usually the normal response to chiropractic care can be immediate improvement within the first 24 to 72 hours. The results depend upon several variables such as the length of time for the initial trauma if any, age of your animal, the severity of the decreased/restricted motion of the joints of the spine and or extremities, etc. Some animals can show great improvement in the first few days to a week and then you may notice a relapse of the initial complaint. This is not unusual as this is a healing process, so make a note for the animal chiropractor if you notice this relapse to help gauge your animal’s rate of response and probable healing time required. Normally after the first 2 or 3 adjustments then most initial relapses are resolved as your animal responds positively.
A follow-up adjustment may be required in 1 to 2 weeks to continue the healing process. The animal chiropractor should talk about this on the initial visit. If improvement is noted then the follow-up visits may be spread out further. Depending on how active your animal is with performance activities or just a family pet, chiropractic maintenance care usually is recommended anywhere from 1 time a month to 1 time every six months. The animal chiropractor should talk about what is best for your animal in maintaining their optimal health.
We offer rehabilitation to help recover from injuries or operative procedures as well as to enhance performance. Rehabilitation focuses on strength, endurance, balance, proprioception and gait training. To find out more please get in touch.