What exactly will a visit to an animal chiropractor include?
The evaluation focuses on your animal’s history, and is one of the most important parts of the visit.
Traumas, both physical and emotional, are discussed and are helpful in determining the treatment plan
for the animal. If applicable this will also incorporate prior x-rays or laboratory analysis and previous
diagnoses and therapies. A thorough chiropractic evaluation includes an examination of the animal
prior to an adjustment. The exam consists of posture and gait analysis, static and motion palpation, and musculoskeletal evaluation with spinal scan.
How long does it take?
The first visit includes the initial consult, examination, and adjustment. This will
take approximately 20-25 minutes and will cover any questions you may have regarding
chiropractic. Follow up visits usually take about ten minutes depending on what the
examination reveals with your animal.
The examination will lead to areas where chiropractic adjustments are necessitated. These areas of
decreased motion, muscle spasm, inflammation, and possible fluid retention are indicative of what is called vertebral subluxation. Subluxated areas are those that require an adjustment by a chiropractor to restore motion in the joint and increase nervous system firing. Nutrients are shuttled throughout the body through motion in the spine, when restricted areas are detected they must then be corrected.
Subluxated areas receive a high velocity, low amplitude adjustment. The adjustment itself is very low
force and very rarely causes any discomfort for the animal. Animal chiropractic is incredibly gentle and thedoctor does not work past the point of comfort for the animal.
The normal response to getting adjusted will occur within the first 24-72 hours. This allows the body
time to reset itself and flush out any excess inflammation. Results will vary depending on animal history,
concurrent illness, daily duties (if any), severity of motion restriction, age, etc. Bottom line is all animals
will benefit from chiropractic. If your animal is coming in for protective or wellness care, improvement
may be more subtle, such as improved temperament and/or increased playfulness. A symptomatic animal is easier to note changes, especially in the first few days. Sometimes these symptomatic animals will retrace back to their initial state depending on the severity of the issue, and after 4-6 adjustments will start to show steady signs of improvement. Don’t be alarmed this is all part of the healing process and is not unusual, just make note for your chiropractor to help gauge your animal’s rate of response and probable healing time required.
A follow-up adjustment may be required sooner than later to help with the healing process. This can vary between later in the week and 1 to 2 weeks later. As your animal improves, follow-up visits may continue to be spread out further. Depending on the activity of your animal, chiropractic checks are recommended to occur once every 4-6 weeks to maintain a state of optimum health. Each animal will have a care plan unique to them, and this will be discussed during your visits.
Animal chiropractic does not dispense medication, perform surgery, inject substances or attempt to
replace necessary traditional veterinary care. Underlying pathology should be ruled out prior to an animal chiropractic evaluation. Animal chiropractors are not veterinarians and work in adjunct to traditional veterinary care.