What is animal chiropractic?
Simply put, animal chiropractors look for abnormal or restricted movement of the
joints in both the spine and the extremities. Any change in motion, outside of the normal
limits, will have an effect on the nervous system. The goal of animal chiropractic is to
restore proper movement of the affected joints, which in turn flushes out inflammation
and removes any pressure on the nerves.
Chiropractic is the perfect compliment to any traditional veterinary regimen. It
allows the body to function at an optimum by removing interference within the nervous
system. The nervous system is the super highway of information within the body, and
anytime there is a joint or area negatively affected, whether from movement impairment,
injury, or increased muscular activity, messages get jumbled along the way. Chiropractic
adjustments help to restore normal function within the spine, and remove any
interference negatively affecting the nervous system. When your animal’s body is
working like it should, it heals and functions more effectively on a daily basis, leading to
an entirely new level of health. Dr. Christina and our healthcare team
will work hard to create a cozy and familiar experience and relationship, ensuring a better
quality of life in your animal, and promoting wellness above all else.
We often get asked why an animal would need to be adjusted and how an owner
will know if the animal needs to be adjusted. The answer is simple, every animal should
have his or her spine checked, but not every animal then needs to be adjusted. Here are
just some of the symptoms seen with animals that require adjusting:
• Painful or sensitivity to touch
• Difficulty climbing stairs or jumping
• Difficulty getting up after lying down
• Holding head down when walking
• Negative change in attitude
• “Puppy Sitting”
• Seems painful when being petted
• Holding their tail down or not wagging their tail
• Performance issues such as knocking down jumps
• Unwilling to climb dog walk
• Difficulty jumping
• Stops grooming their hind end
• Cries when being petted
• Negative change in attitude
If your animal is experiencing any of the above a chiropractic visit can definitely
help. What’s most important to realize is that our fur children are pack animals, and will
do anything and everything to avoid showing weakness. By the time an animal shows
any sign of pain, they are well beyond the initial stage of injury and fixation. Throughout
their lives, animals will experience a variety of physical, mental, and chemical stressors
to their systems. When this occurs, a common result is decreased motion at a joint, or a
subluxation. Decreased motion will lead to decreased nerve function, muscle atrophy,
and overactive inflammatory processes. Chiropractic uses objective indicators to locate
these subluxations and then utilizes a high velocity-low amplitude adjustment to reduce
the fixation. At the end of the day you’ll have a happier animal with improved quality of
How do you adjust an animal?
Adjusting an animal is much different than adjusting a person. The anatomy is
quite different as is the weight bearing. Where humans stand on two legs, their discs
experience compressive forces. Animals on the other hand stand on four legs, and their
discs experience shear forces. The differences in anatomy allow for a much gentler
approach to adjusting for the animal, thus the reason only those certified to adjust
animals should. Using our hands, chiropractors are able to localize joints of decreased
mobility and perform a high velocity low amplitude adjustment in order to restore normal
range of motion. With the restoration of motion, nerves are immediately able to increase
their frequency of firing and improve nervous system function.
Can an adjustment worsen my animal or hurt them?
After being adjusted an animal may experience some residual soreness due to
removal of long-time subluxations and should only last a day or two. The adjustment
itself is not painful, on occasion, however, an animal that is already sore or in severe pain
may experience slight discomfort momentarily due to long-standing inflammation.
Will my animal be able to return to normal business immediately?
Individualized recommendations will be given after each adjustment for your
animal. More often than not the animal should take the remainder of the day off to rest
and be allowed 24-48 hours before resuming normal activities.
Animal Chiropractic IS NOT:
• Using a Mallet or Hammer.
• Using an instrument to click all the way down an animal’s spine without checking
each joint of the spine and extremities for abnormal or restricted movement.
Common misconceptions about chiropractic:
• A bone is “out of place”. The correct answer: If a bone were out of place this
would be a dislocation.
• Chiropractors “Crack backs”. Seldomly a noise will be heard while adjusting
an animal but this is rare. The noise is simply gas being released from the
fluid inside the joint capsule. Due to their anatomy, animals do not experience
the amount of cavitation or “cracks” seen with people, and it does not mean
the animal was adjusted.