Chiropractic care is a well accepted practice that has been in use for several decades. As the benefits of chiropractic care in humans have become increasingly appreciated, interest in the techniques has also grown among veterinarians. Many veterinarians and (human) chiropractors have pursued accreditation by the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association. This certification requires a rigorous training program as well a comprehensive examination.
When I recommend chiropractic adjustments to my clients, they frequently tell me they have never heard of doing chiropractic on animals. Over time I hope to increase awareness and educate my clients about the benefits of adjustments. This week I am going to briefly discuss the musculoskeletal benefits of canine chiropractic.. Next week I will take about chiropractic adjustments to approach other issues including metabolic and neurologic abnormalities.
In my previous blog post I talked about osteoarthritis in aging pets. As part of the normal aging process there is a tremendous amount of stress that is placed on our pets’ bodies, and the musculoskeletal system takes the brunt of these changes. Chiropractic adjustments correct minor subluxations (misalignments) of vertebrae, bones and joints. When subluxations occur they can partially inhibit normal nerve conductivity. This results in inflammation, pain and muscle tightness in the animal. The signs that we typically observe as owners are an abnormal gait or pain. An animal with vertebral subluxations can benefit from a chiropractic adjustment whether they are symptomatic or not. These adjustments result in improved blood flow, conduction of nerve impulses and return of normal muscle anatomy, all of which lead to increased pet comfort.
Chiropractic can be beneficial for osteoarthritis relief, lameness (luxating or dislocated patellas), acute or chronic neck and back injuries, hip dysplasia, etc. It can also improve posture, gait and athletic performance in competitive dogs prior to shows. I would like to stress that even apparently normal gaited or pain-free pets can still benefit from routine chiropractic care. The recommended frequency for chiropractic adjustments vary from pet to pet; typically maintenance therapy involves a chiropractic treatment approximately every 3-4 weeks.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions regarding the benefit of chiropractic care in your pets.