Chiropractic Treatment for Animals

Many animals may suffer from back, neck, pelvic and musculoskeletal problems at some time during their life. And like us, they may benefit from chiropractic care. Although it is mostly horses and dogs that are treated, I have treated many different animals including guinea pigs, zebras, a coral king snake and a llama.

Whether your animal is a family pet or a top class racehorse, you can often improve the general health and well-being of your animal with chiropractic care. Treatment aims to restore the comfort and quality of life and frequently improves performance. By aligning and balancing the animal’s musculoskeletal system, the individual’s nervous system and flexibility is able to function as nature intended. Chiropractic is often used to treat an animal after trauma, loss of performance or age related stiffness. By gently adjusting the bones of the whole body, paying particular attention to the spine and pelvis the health, soundness and performance may be restored and maintained. All animals display different signs that they have discomfort.

These may include some of the following:-

  • Lameness or limb dragging
  • Changes to behaviour or temperament
  • Reluctance to exercise
  • Stiffness or pain after or during exercise
  • Uneven muscle development
  • Failure to improve using conventional methods

The chiropractor will take a full history of your animal. This will include age, fitness and any past or current problems. After which the animal will be palpated using only the hands to check the range of movement and areas of pain, stiffness, heat, muscle spasm or weakness. These details allow the chiropractor to decide whether chiropractic would benefit your animal and if so, how many treatments would be likely. After treatment specific aftercare advice will be given.

It is a legal requirement for consent from your animal’s own vet to be given prior to chiropractic treatment. Often the vet will recommend chiropractic as part of the treatment.

Only chiropractors who are qualified and have completed an initial 5 year degree programme in human chiropractic and further post-graduate qualification in animal chiropractic techniques are permitted to treat animals.

Being able to treat both the horse and rider as a team is an enormous benefit to the performance and wellness of both. Please ask your chiropractor for a free ‘Spine Check’ for yourself if you are concerned that you may be contributing to your horse’s symptoms or your horse’s way of going could be affecting your own.

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