What is Animal
Chiropractic doctors have been treating people for over a hundred years. The
extension into treating animals was a natural progression. The anatomy and
physiology of an animalís spine is very similar to ours as well as their
response to chiropractic treatment. In fact, animals seem to respond much
quicker to treatment than their human counterparts.
In the spinal
column, the vertebrae, spinal cord and spinal nerves are in very close
proximity to each other. Any shifts in positioning of bones can cause
pressure and impingement on adjacent structures. This is especially
detrimental if the pressure is placed on adjacent nerves. In such cases, the
general health of your pet would be compromised. Animal chiropractors are
trained to locate and treat these specific joint and spinal problems.
Treatments are very gentle. It almost appears that the doctor is just
petting your animal. Pets enjoy the treatment and will generally become
quite calm and relaxed at the end of the session.
How does Animal
Slight misalignments of the vertebrae can cause nerve compression and
impingement that result in symptoms such as limping or hunching, and pain.
Since nerves control every function in the body, even a slight compression
on the nerves can compromise your petís health. Adjusting the vertebrae back
to their normal positions will relieve nerve pressure and allow nerve
impulses to flow freely again. Your pet can begin to heal itself without the
use of drugs or surgery.
Which animals can benefit
Any animal with a spine can benefit. Dr. Wong specializes in treating dogs
and cats. Some Animal Chiropractors treat only horses while others
specialize in exotic animals.
What causes my
petís joints to go out of alignment?
Physical, chemical and emotional stresses can cause joint misalignments.
Repetitive activities such as jumping on and off furniture, jumping into and
out of vehicles, and constant pulling on their leash and collar will slowly
shift your petís vertebrae out of their natural alignment and damage the
spine and nerves. Discouraging these behaviors when your pet is young will
help prevent spinal problems in the future. Sports injuries from Frisbee,
fly ball and agility activities can also cause misalignments in the spine
What type of symptoms will my pet exhibit if its spine is out of alignment?
At first your pet may not show any signs or symptoms. Certain breeds such as
cattle dogs and border collies are bred for their hardiness and durability
and tend not to show any symptoms until their joints and health have
deteriorated significantly. In most cases, health issues have already been
developing for months or even years before your pets exhibit any signs or
symptoms. However, as your pet ages, major and minor trauma will naturally
accumulate in their body and symptoms will eventually appear. Your animal
chiropractor can locate and treat such spinal issues long before your petís
health is affected.
Here are a few
signs and symptoms to look out for:
Sensitivity to petting or groomin
Constantly licking their paws
Tail is down
Performance problems (especially with agility dogs)
Problems going up and down stairs
Symptoms of spinal problems may not be evident immediately as the body
naturally adapts to some changes. However, as your pet ages or if the
accumulated damage becomes severe, symptoms will emerge. Your pet may begin
to limp, slow down, and become lethargic. Its back may hunch, be more
sensitive or even become painful to touch as problems accumulate. In soe
cases, your pet may show signs of temporary paralysis and be unable to walk
or use its hind legs. When symptoms become noticeable, spinal problems
usually have been quietly manifesting for many years.
chiropractic help my pet?
Chiropractic can improve your petís quality of life by eliminating pain,
improving joint mobility and increasing energy. Animal Chiropractic can help
alleviate conditions such as arthritis, lameness, mild disc problems, foot
problems, low back pain, neck pain, hip dysplasia, weakness, sports
injuries, and many other joint related problems.
How many treatments will
my pet need?
Animals respond very quickly to chiropractic treatments. Improvement is
usually noticeable after only two or three visits. However, depending on the
severity and chronicity of the problem, more treatments may be necessary to
help your pet maintain its alignment. Once your petís spine is healthy and
strong, regular check ups are important to help maintain its health and
prevent future problems.
Many pets are living longer, healthier lives
with the help of chiropractic!
Drs. Debbie Wong is
Doctor of Chiropractic with specialized training and certification in Animal
Chiropractic. They are
veterinarians and will not take responsibility for the primary health care
of your animal. Chiropractic care is
intended to replace traditional veterinary care. It is
considered specialized complementary therapy for animals, to be used
concurrently and in conjunction with your veterinarianís care.