Animal Chiropractic Care

What is animal chiropractic care?

Animal chiropractic care is used for treatment of muscular and skeletal disorders. With the use of skeletal manipulations and adjustments, animal chiropractic care helps correct misalignments and restore normal joint and nerve function.

Why use chiropractic treatment for animals?

The health of any animal depends upon the correct alignment of their body parts. Chiropractic techniques can provide an immediate reduction in pain and an increased range of motion. Chiropractic treatment can also identify and treat other undiagnosed or poorly managed health problems. For instance, because each spinal nerve leads directly or indirectly to a specific organ, chiropractic treatment can improve organ function.

How does animal chiropractic care work?

This conservative and safe therapy requires that practitioners make small adjustments to the animal's spinal column to relieve irritation between stressed vertebrae. The technique that chiropractors use involves quick, controlled, low force hand movements to the vertebrae in the spinal column and to other specific areas and joints.

What conditions are helped with chiropractic treatment?

Some of the conditions include:

What are some of the other residual benefits?

Another benefit from a chiropractic adjustment is improved organ function. Since each spinal nerve exiting the vertebrae leads directly or indirectly to a specific organ. Research suggests that this treatment can also improve cardio, respiratory and gastro intestinal disorders.

How quickly can I expect to see improvements?

Keep in mind that the number of treatments necessary to resolve health problems does vary. An Acute injury may be resolved in a few treatments, whereas chronic problems may require months of treatment. It may take up to five days for the animal to assimulate the adjustment.

How to prevent spinal problems

The proper functioning of the back and neck is an important basis for maintaining the animal's performance. For this reason, health care should be high on the agenda of any owner.


Massage encourages circulation and metabolism within the muscles, promoting the supply of nutrients and removal of toxins. Massage relaxes tense muscles enabling them to function better. It can also promote healing in muscular injuries by loosening muscle fiber adhesions and increasing the flow of fluid and toxins from the tissue.


Animals have an increasing tendency to subluxate and damage the spine if ligaments, tendons and muscles have not been developed to cope with the demands they are placed under. Interval training, suitable warm-up procedures and variety in training can help optimally condition sport animals.

Equipment/Saddle and Leashes

Ensure that your saddle fits your horse. If a saddle fits correctly, thick or multiple saddle pads are not necessary. Check your saddle regularly to see whether the flocking is evenly worn, there is asymmetry of the panels or tree and that the saddle tree is intact. Any dampness under the saddle area after riding should be even in distribution. On the dog, make sure that your collars fit the dog, preferring broad and soft materials.

Shoes and Nails

It is practically impossible for a poorly shod horse or a horse with badly fitting shoes to have or maintain a spine that functions properly. Heels that are too high or underrun, toes as well as toenails in the dog that are too long or uneven hoof wall length can negatively affect the mobility and posture of the animal. For the limb and spinal joints to function properly, it is necessary for the animal to be correctly trimmed or shod.

Training Aids

Many horses are forced into a desired frame with side-reins, martingales, draw-reins and other auxiliary reins. Used correctly, some of these aids can help in training; however, in the wrong hands they do the opposite. If a restriction in the spine already exists, these aids can make the problem even worse. Continual jerking and pulling on the lead rope or chain, especially with young horses, can lead to tension in the poll and neck area. In dogs make sure you minimize the timeframe of using special training aids like a gentle leader or Haltie to relax the neck.


Most sport horses and some racing dogs are still kept in stables with limited space in which to move about and turnout is often restricted. The more time an animal spends in the stable without freedom of movement, the worse its coordination becomes. Its natural balance suffers, leading to an increased danger of injury. Bucking and rolling and moving freely are the animal's natural means of mobilizing its spine. Make sure your animal gets enough exercise.

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