On which species of animals is Animal Chiropractic practiced regularly?
Animal Chiropractic is frequently performed on horses, dogs, and cats, but can theoretically be performed on any vertebrate species.
Who practices Animal Chiropractic and do I need a referral?
Animal Chiropractors who work on animals must have specific training in animal chiropractic and animal anatomy so that they are knowledgeable about the differences in biomechanics and neuromusculoskeletal function between humans and animals. In North America, a certification process is in place to ensure that practitioners possess the appropriate knowledge and skill to treat animals.
What conditions are most often treated with Animal Chiropractic?
Conditions with a neurologic or bio-mechanical origin are amenable to animal chiropractic. These conditions include degenerative joint diseases such as hip dysplasia and spondylosis; cervical instability; acute neck pain; intervertebral disk disease; autonomic nervous system problems such as urinary and fecal incontinence; musculoskeletal weakness or pain that resists conventional diagnosis and treatment; and chronic back and neck pain.
How can my pet benefit from Animal Chiropractic?
Animal Chiropractic results are often immediate, and are often seen within minutes of treatment. In general, improvements are defined as an improved gait and an apparent reduction in pain. In orthopedic conditions such as fractures or ligament tears, animal chiropractic may not replace the need for surgery, but will be useful in correcting secondary problems caused by compensation or overcompensation to the injury.
Animals used for athletic performance or other working purposes are ideal candidates for Animal Chiropractic. By regularly assessing and maintaining maximum flexibility in these animals, injuries may be avoided. Animal athletes include horses used for racing, dressage or pleasure riding, and dogs used in racing, agility training or field trials.
How successful is Animal Chiropractic?
Like many holistic practitioners, Veterinary Spinal Manipulation doctors see the patient as a functional whole, rather than as a sum of its parts. Ensuring normal range of motion of vertebrae helps optimize function of lymphatics, blood vessels and nerves, which communicate between the spine and various body structures, allowing the body to function optimally to the point that further interventions may not be required. Applied correctly, Veterinary Spinal Manipulation Therapy can alleviate or eliminate the need for long-term drug or hormone treatments. The success of treatment depends upon the degree of pathology present and the duration of the condition.
Comprehensive Animal Chiropractic involves a thorough history taking and physical examination, followed by a patient assessment and formulation of a treatment plan. It rarely involves a single visit, and costs will vary according to the specific condition being treated and the response of the patient. The fees associated with Animal Chiropractic are set by the individual practitioner, and will often reflect the experience and skill of the doctor. Animal Chiropractic is usually very affordable, and is certainly a cost effective way of managing and resolving pain and weakness.