Chiropractic Care for Pets

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Chiropractic Care for Pets

Over the years, society’s view of animals has changed dramatically - from working creatures that primarily lived outdoors to family members with their own calendars of activities, beds and specialty foods. This also extends to health care and pet specific specialty veterinarians. Chiropractic care is just one area of specialty care for dogs and cats. Keep reading to learn about chiropractic services and how they can benefit your pet.

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What is Chiropractic?

Often believed to be solely a treatment for spinal issues, chiropractic is a field of medicine that provides a whole body approach to treating a variety of disease processes. The word chiropractic originates from the Greek word meaning “done by hand”.

It is a noninvasive method that focuses on manual adjustment of the spine and joints to treat disease. This stems from the theory that the spine and the nervous system are interconnected. Although modern chiropractic care began in the late 19th century, the origin of the field dates back to the beginning of recorded history.

Who can benefit from chiropractic?

Chiropractic care benefits any animal that has a spine. Most commonly it is used to treat dogs, cats and horses.

What conditions benefit from chiropractic?

  • Musculoskeletal problems, such as arthritis and muscle spasms
  • Nerve issues
  • Geriatric
  • Urinary and intestinal conditions
  • Sporting injuries
  • Jaw or chewing disorders
  • Recovery from surgery
  • Maintenance of the health of the spine, especially in athletic or service animals, can aid in prevention of injury

It’s important to keep in mind that chiropractic cannot replace the need for surgical treatment of certain orthopedic conditions, such as fractures (broken bones).

Where can I find a veterinary chiropractor?

A veterinary chiropractor may be a Doctor of Chiropractic (human), a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, or both. Practitioners must successfully complete an approved post-graduate program and exam to be certified by the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA). Your vet can provide you with the best resources to find a veterinary chiropractor. You can also visit the College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies (CIVT) website or the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (AHVMA) website for more information.

What happens during a chiropractic session and how will my pet react?

  • The practitioner will ask about your pet’s medical, behavioral and life style history.
  • An exam will be conducted, which will include a neurologic and orthopedic component.
  • Adjustments or manipulations of the spine or other joints will be made, using hands or instruments.
  • Occasionally a patient may experience minor soreness for a day or two following a treatment.

Is chiropractic safe for my pet?

In the hands of a skilled veterinary practitioner, chiropractic is safe and adverse reactions are uncommon. Although positive results, such as increased comfort and improved mobility are often seen immediately, a series of treatments may be necessary, especially when treating a chronic condition.

Chiropractic has been found to work synergistically with other traditional and alternative therapies, especially acupuncture.

Read more:

The Ancient Art of Acupuncture

Physical Rehabilitation For Your Pet – Really?!?

The Power of Water! Hydrotherapy for Pets

Need to speak with a veterinarian regarding chiropractic care for your pet or another condition?

Click here to schedule a video consult to speak to one of our vets. You can also download the FirstVet app from the Apple App Store and Google Play Stores.

Published: 7/10/2021
Last updated: 1/4/2022

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