You hear a lot about people going to the chiropractor to relieve their pain and other conditions, but did you know that your pet can get those benefits as well? Chiropractic for pets has been steadily gaining in popularity and now some pet insurance policies even cover it.
In the same ways that it helps human patients, it also helps animals, offering a less invasive, medication-free way to manage their pain and correct many health issues, including arthritis and joint injuries. A number of pet owners claim chiropractic is not only great for their pets but that their pets are excited to go to appointments and see their chiropractors.
What species of animals benefit from veterinary chiropractic care?
Any species of animal can benefit from chiropractic. The most common animals to receive this specialized type of care are dogs, cats, and horses. However, any vertebrate species, including birds, can reap the benefits.
Chiropractic for animals has long been a standard form of treatment with many show horses, race horses, and barrel racers. It is considered a viable, beneficial treatment to help the animals combat the stress their bodies are put under due to their jobs. It is also very good for injuries, speeding healing while managing pain.
It is often used on dogs and cats to help with injuries, arthritis, and aging. Sometimes an animal can hurt but they are unable to communicate that to their owners. If you notice behavioral changes or grumpiness, you may want to check your pet out. He or she may be hurt and can’t tell you – and chiropractic could be the answer.
What conditions are pets most often treated for with chiropractic?
Veterinary chiropractic helps pets with many conditions that are biomechanical or neurological in origin – much like it helps humans. Some of these conditions include spondylosis, hip dysplasia, and other types of degenerative joint diseases, intervertebral disk disease, neck pain, back pain, and cervical instability. It can also address problems of the autonomic nervous system like musculoskeletal weakness, fecal and urinary incontinence, chronic neck and back pain, and other pain that don’t respond to conventional treatments.
Serious injuries like ligament tears or fractures may require surgical intervention, but chiropractic can help post-surgery. It can help relieve the pain as well as correct secondary problems that could occur due to the animal overcompensating in response to the injury. In performance animals, regular chiropractic care can help prevent injury by maintaining flexibility and a good range of motion.
How does veterinary chiropractic work?
Chiropractic is designed to help keep the joints and spine in their natural, healthy alignment. The nerves that surround the joints and run along the spine communicate with the central nervous system. This connects to all of the organs in the body, including the brain.
When the spine is out of alignment, even just a little, it can cause disruptions in how the messages are relayed through the central nervous system and to the organs and brain. A misaligned spine can affect the entire body, causing pain in muscles and joints, affecting organ function, and impact the animal’s overall health and wellbeing. When the spine is not aligned, the body will not function as it should.
How to help your pet have the best possible chiropractic experience.
When you meet with the veterinary chiropractor, make sure that you have all of your pet’s information available, including vaccinations, health care history, any conditions they have, their diet (including supplements), medications they are taking, and their daily activities. If the doctor is treating an injury, explain how the injury occurred if you know.
When the adjustment is over, make sure that you understand any therapy or exercises to do at home, post adjustment. If there is something you don’t understand, ask. The doctor may also provide recommendations regarding lifestyle changes including saddle fit, collar fit, exercise, conditioning, or shoeing. Make sure you follow these as well. Your pet can’t make those decisions for his or her own health, that is up to you. Don’t let them down.