Chiropractic has been a popular form of therapy for humans for centuries, in the last 15 years veterinary chiropractic has gained acceptance in the veterinary medical world as a treatment for pain and other ailments in animals.
In simplest terms, chiro therapy is based on manual spinal manipulation and focuses on the vertebral column. It uses the body's own healing abilities and the relationship between the spine and the nervous system to alter the progression of disease and restore and maintain good health.
To understand when we are talking about chiro you have to understand that it actually has its own language. Vertebral lesions are called subluxations and describe vertebra with an abnormal positional relationship. In other words, when bones in the spine are out of position in relation to one another, and if they are not moving properly, then this vertebral alignment problem creates disturbances (subluxations) in the way the body moves, which interferes with nerve function.
How Chiropractic Care Helps Pets...
Chiropractic therapy is an excellent way to prevent and treat joint degeneration in your pet. Proper vertebral alignment keeps the body from shifting into unhealthy positions to compensate for joint pain caused by injury or degeneration.
Regular manual orthopedic manipulation, especially with large and giant breed dogs, will help keep the musculoskeletal system from degenerating as the aging process occurs. It can also help keep your pet moving comfortably throughout her whole life.
Dogs with luxating patella (floating kneecaps – mainly seen in small breeds) can benefit greatly from chiropractic adjustments to keep the hips and knees in alignment and to help prevent the condition from progressing.
Dogs with hip dysplasia can avoid compensating injuries through chiropractic adjustments as well.
Some pets with urinary incontinence are helped by chiropractic adjustments. There are cases of improved bladder tone and neurological function through maintenance chiropractic therapy as well.
If your pet has been injured, a veterinary chiropractor can help promote normal mobility of the spine to avoid secondary injuries from occurring. If your pet has had surgery with general anesthesia a visit to the veterinary chiropractor afterwards to realign a body that has potentially been placed in abnormal positions while the animal was unconscious may be of great benefit! Maintenance chiropractic care is recommended for proactive therapy for all pets to reduce the risk of possible future injury and joint degeneration. It even shows to be especially beneficial for puppies and kittens because they are 'loose' – their joints are not yet completely formed, thus, their bones are still growing and they're prone to subluxations.