Frequently Asked Questions
An animal chiropractor will perform a complete examination on the animal, which includes a history, review of prior tests and x-rays, neurological exam, stance and gait analysis, and motion and static palpation to determine if there is a subluxation.
A subluxation, sometimes called a joint restriction, is a spinal misalignment or joint dysfunction resulting in neurological or biomechanical dysfunction. To correct the subluxation the doctor will perform a chiropractic adjustment which is a short lever, high velocity controlled thrust by hand or instrument that is directed at a specific joint to restore normal motion. Most animals accept both the exam and adjustment without signs of pain.
The bones of the spine and joints are maintained in a specific alignment. When even a subtle change in the alignment occurs it causes a subluxation. Often no outward signs appear to let owners know when a subluxation occurs. The nerves which surround each joint and vertebral articulation are in constant communication with the central nervous system, brain and all organs. Subluxations can adversely affect the nervous system, local muscles, joints, and even distant organs, glands, and body functions.
Treatment can also help with other disorders. All organs receive nervous system input from nerves which exit between vertebra. Correcting subluxations of these areas can change the nervous system input and affect blood flow, as well as hormone and neurotransmitter levels directly affecting the organs and glands, skin and joints.
Most animals accept both the exam and adjustment without signs of pain. When a painful area is found, the practitioner will use the gentlest techniques to reduce pain before delivering an adjustment. In cases of acute or extreme pain, the doctor will often delay the complete adjustment until your companion can be relaxed.
Many animals will show immediate improvement. Sometimes there is a 24-48 hour period of tiredness. Some animals require a few sessions to resolve acute pain. Often, with chronic health problems, the animal chiropractor will want to see your animal several times to maintain and re-establish normal function of the joints and nervous system. In the case of a recent injury or subluxation, one adjustment may be adequate but a follow-up is needed to assure your companion is well. When long term problems reach the point of noticeable pain or outward signs, the doctor may need to do several adjustments.
- Trouble getting up and down
- Athletic competitions
- Surgery involving anesthesia
- Seizures or neurological problems
- Geriatric household pet
- Recovery from illness or injury
- Behavior or mood change
- Head shy
- Reluctance to pick up a lead
- Go in one direction pulling one way
- Hair color or pattern change along the body
- Chronic health problems that do not resolve as expected
- Signs of navicular disease or laminitis