Chiropractic care has been practiced at least since the beginning of recorded history. The Chinese and Greeks used the techniques before the birth of Christ. Animal chiropractic care has been used for decades. Today, veterinary practitioners of chiropractic care are specially trained. In choosing one, be sure s/he is licensed and board certified.
Chiropractic can be and is used on any animal. Chiropractic manipulation helps to remove subluxation from the the spine. A subluxation is a misalignment of a joint resulting in painful movement. Subluxation can affect the nervous system, muscles, joints, organs, glands and body functions.
The doctor will need to have a complete history of the pet including diet, supplements, medications, x-rays if available and any other pertinent information. Your pet will be examined neurologically including stance, gait, motion.
Some of the areas chiropractic care treats are neck, back, leg and tail pain, muscle spasms, nerve problems, injuries, post-surgery, maintenance of joint and spinal health, etc.
If your pet has difficulty getting up and down, shows signs of lameness, pants excessively, is recovering from an illness, injury or surgery, is a senior, has chronic health problems, hip dysplasia, floating kneecaps, urinary incontinence, chiropractic care may help these conditions.
In most instances, manipulation is not painful. However, if the animal appears to be hurting, the doctor will be very gentle or delay treatment.
Following treatment some pets will show immediate improvement. In most cases there will be follow-up appointments, at least to maintain normal function. The doctor will instruct you on home care.
There are pros and cons to this type of treatment.
Pros – an alternative to surgery; lower cost; reduces pain; decreases dependence on addictive and harmful medications.
Cons – can cause discomfort which usually abates in 2 or 3 days; not usually covered by health insurance; inconvenience of trips to the doctor.
Certain medical conditions should not have chiropractic care including fractures and osteosarcoma (bone cancer).
Chiropractic care can be an addition to treating pets for pain.