Animal Chiropractic ~ Dogs
Indications for Care
For the dog there are many ways of causing joint dysfunction. Many of our dogs these days are not working in the ways they were bred to work. Long periods of inactivity may be followed by bursts of vigorous exercise; collars may be a poor fit or inappropriate for the dog and/or handler. Sports such as agility or fly ball can also cause problems in the musculoskeletal system due to microtrauma or knocks and falls.
The symptoms can be very varied and may include:
Often, there is no obvious physical cause or frank lameness. If you have noticed the above changes in your dog, speak to your vet about seeing a chiropractor.
What will the chiropractor do?
The chiropractor will ask questions of the owner and carry out an examination which usually includes an analysis of both posture and gait. Assessment of the animal may reveal asymmetries, such as unequal muscle size or tone between the left and right side which are not normal for that animal.
The chiropractor will also look for abnormal head or neck placement, foot placement or any sign that the posture being adopted is not normal for that animal.
The chiropractor may then assess the range of movement of the animal's spine to see if it is even on both sides, as well as feeling the muscles around the spine to assess any muscle spasm, swelling or the presence of any hot or cold spots that will indicate an alteration in circulation.
The chiropractor may assess whether there is any lameness, weakness, "hiking" of one hip, shortening of the stride, stumbling, inco-ordination or bizarre or restricted movement.
In order for the chiropractor to properly assess your animal, it may be necessary for you to provide diagnostic information from the treating veterinarian, including any imaging or reports. It is extremely important that you provide as full-as-possible medical history for your animal. With this information your veterinarian and your chiropractor can determine whether Chiropractic care can help your animal.
If your veterinarian believes that Chiropractic care would not be the best overall treatment for your animal, your chiropractor will respect that opinion and no treatment will be carried out.
What does chiropractic treatment consist of?
The treatment will not hurt the dog; in fact most animals thoroughly enjoy it! It is quite common for an animal to become increasingly relaxed as the treatment progresses even to the point of becoming drowsy.
The chiropractic adjustment consists of a short, fast thrust to a specific area which releases muscle spasm, alleviates pain and returns the joint to its normal range of motion. This allows the body to restore its own natural balance and harmony.
REMEMBER - Chiropractic care is not a replacement for traditional veterinary care. You must inform your vet that you intend to use a chiropractor before treatment begins.