What is Animal Chiropractic and does it work?
Animal Chiropractic is an animal health care discipline that emphasizes the inherent recuperative power of the body to heal itself without the use of drugs or surgery.
The practice of chiropractic focuses on the relationship between structure (primarily the spine) and function (as coordinated by the nervous system) and how that relationship affects health.
During the animal chiropractic exam, very specific methods are used to look for vertebral subluxation complexes (VSC). The bones and joints of the spine are supposed to be in specific alignment. The spine is surrounded by nerves which are in constant communication with the central nervous system, brain and all the other organ systems. When even a subtle change in the alignment occurs, it is called a subluxation. Subluxations affect the nervous system, local muscles, joints and even distant organs, glands and body functions. The result of a VSC is likely to be pain, decreased movement, or other sign of disease.
When should I seek Animal Chiropractic Treatment for my pet?
Honestly, all pets at all ages should have the benefit of chiropractic care. Keeping your petâ€™s spine and joints in proper alignment will keep them happier and healthier for longer. Most commonly pet owners will seek animal chiropractic care if their pet is painful, limping or having lameness issues or not responding to traditional medical treatment for any other illness.
Animal Chiropractic is a great option for both chronic and acute pain. It has also been known to be beneficial for other disease processes such as chronic ear infections and epilepsy.
What does an Animal Chiropractor do to help my pet?
Obtaining a thorough history of problems and events that may have contributed to the problem and performing a thorough physical exam including static and motion palpation of the spine and extremities are the first steps to the chiropractic evaluation. It is during this time that a VSC is diagnosed, and then treated with a chiropractic adjustment. An adjustment is defined as a very specific, short lever, high velocity, controlled thrust, by hand or instrument, that is directed at specific articulations to correct vertebral subluxation complexes and/or other subluxation complexes throughout the body.
Will Animal Chiropractic treatments hurt my pet?
No. Animals usually cooperate well for the palpation required for the examinations and any adjustments necessary for treatment. If a particularly painful area is found, the gentlest of techniques are used to help alleviate the pain and make your pet as comfortable as possible. There are times when a pet might be too painful to adjust without other treatment modalities considerations. When this occurs, clients will be given the treatment options prior to any adjustments.
What Can I Expect After an Adjustment?
Most animals show improvement after an adjustment. Sometimes that improvement is immediate, and other times it may take a few days for your petâ€™s body to adapt to the new position of alignment that the adjustment caused. Depending on the severity of the problem, an adjustment may not hold. For example, if the muscles around the problem area are very tight, they could pull the vertebrae back into malalignment. This is why animal chiropractors usually like to re-evaluate their patients within a week. When first starting chiropractic treatment, we recommend once weekly appointments for 4 consecutive weeks. If in that amount of time, we have not seen any improvement, then maybe chiropractic is not going to help your petâ€™s health. The vast majority of the time, we see improvement before the fourth treatment, and can start spacing out the appointments sooner.
How often your pet needs to be adjusted depends on the severity of the presenting problem, age, and lifestyle of your pet. The average middle-aged house dog may only need to be adjusted once every 3-4 months. If your dog is an agility competitor, then he will need to be adjusted more often.