What is

Animal Chiropractic?

Have you ever seen a chiropractor or physiotherapist to help with a pain or to improve your health? Well that option now is available to animals! Quality pet healthcare is no longer limited to spaying and immunizations. With the emerging field of animal chiropractic (or Animal Biomechanical Medicine), people are appreciating new ways for their pets to achieve and maintain optimal health.

Animal chiropractic offers non-surgical, drug-free options for correcting biomechanical, neurological, disc, and soft-tissue disorders and rehabilitation programs.

When vertebrae become immovable through trauma, injury or degenerative wear and tear, the joints between them become jammed, often affecting the nerves that are in these congested areas. Because the nerves are the communication links from these joints to the brain and spinal cord, messages to the rest of the body become interrupted, leading to pain and loss of function. Animal chiropractic aims to restore optimal function and assist in rehabilitation.

What can

your pet expect from the first chiropractic visit?

Initially, a thorough history is taken followed by complete chiropractic examination, including posture and gait analysis, checking spinal/joint motion and muscle palpation. Then, if it is indicated, Dr. Andrew will gently adjust the affected areas of the spine and return the joints to normal motion. Chiropractic treatments include spine and joint adjustments, stretching, myofascial release, exercises programs and rehabilitation advice.

The first visit may take up to an hour. Some pets are much more relaxed than others and can be examined and adjusted easily, whereas others may take more time to get comfortable. Keep in mind Dr. Andrew only adjusts your animal in their comfort zone. That way they only ever walk away with a good experience. Once an animal makes the connection that getting adjusted makes them feel better and that the care is painless, they tend to relax, and subsequent visits don’t usually take more than 15 minutes.

What to

expect after treatment?

In general, your pet will have greater mobility, less pain, be more alert and better able to function after their adjustment. In some cases, your pet may be sore the next day, especially if the condition is chronic and it’s their first adjustment.

Signs That

Your Pet May Benefit from Chiropractic Care

  • Pain when being touched, pet or lifted
  • Reluctance or difficulty when climbing stairs or jumping
  • Difficulty when getting up after lying down
  • Negative changes in attitude or behaviour
  • Altered sitting (“puppy sitting”)
  • Changes in eating or eliminating
  • Constantly licking or chewing paws
  • Lameness or changes in gait
  • Changes in performance
  • Diagnosed conditions such as degenerative arthritis, disc herniation, and hip dysplasia
  • Neurological conditions such as paralysis, paraesthesia, seizures, and ataxia (“drunken sailors gait”)
  • Post-surgery rehabilitation

Why Animal Chiropractic?

Animal chiropractic is not limited to an injured or sick pet. Healthy and athletic animals need check-ups of their spine to ensure proper structural alignment and function of muscles, nerves and joints. Broader benefits include superior immune function, healthier metabolism and a vibrant nervous system.

Animal chiropractic does not involve medications, surgery or injections, and is not intended to assume the primary health care responsibility of animals or replace veterinary medicine. Animal chiropractic is integrated with concurrent veterinary primary care.
Animal chiropractic is beneficial for older animals, injured animals, athletes, show animals, and family pets. Whether to enhance performance, address injury or illness, or simply for preventative care, animal chiropractic can make a positive difference in your animal’s life.

FAQ

Is it possible to avoid surgery with ABM?
  • Surgical Conditions Could ABM Be Used As An Alternative For?
  • Partial cruciate tears
  • Minor disc protrusions
  • Inoperable large disc protrusions
  • Mild to moderate hip dysplasia
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Non-specific back or joint pain
Do I take my pet to a vet or an animal chiropractor?
More and more often veterinarians are utilizing animal chiropractors in their offices. By working in conjunction with veterinarians, animal chiropractors examine and treat areas of biomechanics and the functional nervous system that often go unnoticed by traditional veterinary care.
How Soon Do You Expect Results?
Depending on the problem, some can get instant results, others take a few sessions. It’s not unusual to have a short term (less than 48 hrs) slight increase in pain while your dog settles down post-treatment.
What Conditions can Animal Chiropractic aid/help?
  • The inability to sit square
  • Pain
  • Sprains/Strains
  • Arthritis
  • Muscle Atrophy / imbalances
  • Muscle Spasm
  • Cruciate injury pre/post-surgery
  • Abnormal gait (walking)
  • Lameness
  • Weakness in the limbs
  • Disc compression
  • Urinary incontinence in older dogs
  • Behavioural problems—undiagnosed pain can be a source of sudden poor/aggressive behaviour
  • Lick granuloma
What's the difference between animal and human chiropractic?

Adjusting an animal is somewhat similar to adjusting a human in that once Dr. Andrew finds an area in the spine that has decreased motion, he applies a gentle thrust to restore normal function. Where things differ significantly is the anatomy and biomechanics of an animal compared to a human. Therefore, it is important to only trust a qualified animal chiropractor to adjust your pet. Make sure your animal chiropractor:

  1. Is a Chiropractor, osteopath or a Veterinarian that has completed Animal Biomechanical Medicine (ABM) or has a master’s in Animal Chiropractic.
  2. Dr Andrew has completed an Animal biomechanical medicine qualification (ABM) Which is a 2-year postgraduate qualification completed by experienced chiropractors, osteopaths and veterinarians.
Do I need a referral from my Veterinarian?
A referral from a Veterinarian is not required to see an Animal Chiropractor. However, chiropractic is not a substitute for Veterinary care and Dr Andrew likes to work with your Veterinarian to obtain optimum results for your animal.
Who can be a qualified Animal Chiropractor?
A qualified animal chiropractor may be a Veterinarian, Chiropractor or Osteopath who has completed either the 2 year post graduate Animal Biomechanical Medicine (ABM), or a Masters of Animal Chiropractic.

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