Animal Chiropractic understands the relationship of the spine and nervous system to proper function and over all well-being of small and large animals.
What is animal chiropractic?
The application of this art utilizes a small amplitude,high velocity thrust with a highly engineered instrument to areas of spinal misalignments in order to facilitate proper function of the nervous system resulting in enhanced performance and quality of life.
Modern Chiropractic care has been used successfully on human patients since 1895 with the first Chiropractic adjustments on animals shortly thereafter.
Animals also have individual vertebral bones that misalign and cause nerve pressure. And in case you were wondering, animals respond very well to Chiropractic adjustments, just as human patients do.
It is my belief that all animals could benefit from Chiropractic care.
Who can benefit from Chiropractic care?
Any animal that has a spine can potentially benefit from Chiropractic treatment. Our office has experience with horses, dogs and cats. Presently we devote our care to dogs and cats. This office treats many problems that respond well to Chiropractic care. One of the most exciting things we see happen in almost all of the animals we treat is an improvement in the animal’s attitude. Owners tell us all the time about how good the animal feels after an adjustment.
How do I know that my dog is misaligned? (symptoms)
Misalignments can cause a variety of symptoms, from very mild to severe. The most common of which is PAIN. Dogs in pain will compensate in gait or posture and often refuse to perform certain tasks. The following is a list of symptoms that MAY indicate pain from the presence of misalignments:
- Push head against a wall
- Puppy sitting, or sitting with the rear legs out to one side
- Discomfort when putting on or taking off collars and harnesses
- Abnormal posture when standing
- Evasion type maneuvers such as dipping head or hollowing back
- Wringing or tucking tail
- Refusing or unwillingness to go over jumps
- Change in behaviour patterns; fear biting
- Sensitivity to touch
- Facial expression of apprehension or pain
- Changes in Co-ordination
Misalignments can also cause change in muscle coordination and flexibility.
These conditions may cause:
- Inability to jump
- Difficulty going up or down stairs
- Lack of coordination in gaits
- “Lameness”; that seems to move from limb to limb
- Stiffness coming out of the crate or kennel
- Stiffness in the side movement of the body or neck
- Muscle atrophy or shrinking
- Shortened stride in one or two limbs
- Decreased extension in front or rear
- Side-winding or crabbing
- Stumbling on dog walk
- Partial weakness or paralysis
The first step in chiropractic therapy is to make a diagnosis. A thorough examination begins by observing the patient standing and walking. A chiropractor is looking for minor changes in motion that require a trained eye to detect, not just an obvious limp.
A static palpation is then made of the spinal column. Each vertebra or joint of the limbs is felt by hand to see if it is out of position.
Detailed knowledge about animal anatomy is necessary to detect abnormalities. Motion palpation examines the relationship between individual bones as well as how the bones move together as a working unit. The spinal column and each limb joint are assessed in all ranges of motion.
How are misalignments corrected?
Once the examination is complete, the next step is to correct each abnormality through manipulations or adjustments. An adjustment is a specific force applied in a specific direction to a specific vertebra. It is used to restore the biomechanics of the vertebral column and indirectly influence neurologic function. Chiropractic is very specific and adjustments are made on vertebrae directly or joints of the limbs. It takes a great deal of skill to know where to apply the force, in what direction, and with how much speed and depth. In our clinic we use instrument adjusting to ensure accuracy and patient comfort.
How do animals react?
Most pets respond quickly; in fact more quickly than human patients. Animals like to be adjusted. They know that there is a problem and that the adjustment will help them. Many times the animal will adjust their position to help the chiropractor find the problem. One of the most exciting things we see happen in almost all the animals we treat is an improvement in the animals behavior. They often resume their previous behavior and zest. Owners often tell us about how good the animal seems to feel after the adjustment.
Although a referral from your vet is not necessary, concurrent veterinary care is required. In Alberta, your vet must be made aware that you are seeking alternative Chiropractic care. Veterinary medicine has exclusive jurisdiction over the care and treatment of animals. Chiropractors who have an interest in chiropractic treatment and spinal adjusting of animals must do so in consultation with a member of the Alberta VeterinaryMedical Association. In all circumstances, chiropractors may only treat animals in consultation with or with a written directive from a member of the Alberta VeterinaryMedical Association.
The choice to seek natural therapy for your animal is a wise one. Nature has been providing the answers to health problems since the beginning of time. We, as owners, have a responsibility to help keep our animals as healthy as possible. Chiropractic care of your animal is the most natural choice you can make for your pet.
Dr. Tom Kelly
150 Millrise Blvd SW #3209
Calgary, AB T2Y 5G7