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What is Animal Chiropractic?
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.

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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 Chiropractic work?
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 from chiropractic?

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 and extremities.

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.

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Here are a few signs and symptoms to look out for:

Lameness
Weakness
Jumping problems
Gait changes
Sensitivity to petting or groomin
Constantly licking their paws
Tail is down
Performance problems (especially with agility dogs)
Problems going up and down stairs
Behavioral changes

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.

How can 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.

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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 NOT veterinarians and will not take responsibility for the primary health care of your animal. Chiropractic care is NOT
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.