What is Animal Chiropractics?

Animal Chiropractic care is a manual therapy.  It is used to assist; correcting health and performance issues by focusing on biomechanical dysfunctions of the spine and its effect on the entire nervous system and body.

Chiropractics is derived from the Greek meaning “to perform with the hands”; therefore you will NOT SEE the use of hammers, mallets, large traction devices, or making your animal stand in awkward un-natural positions to achieve an adjustment.  It is important to be able to feel the slight movement in a joint (often only millimeters), and your hands are the most sensitive tool you can use.

The goal of animal chiropractics is to diagnose abnormal movements of a joint in the spine or leg, and once diagnosed correct that movement to help maximize mobility, and change the nervous system to allow unrestricted information between the body and the brain.

What is a VSC and how is it corrected?

A vertebral subluxation complex (VSC) is motion unit (2 adjacent vertebra, a disc/joint space, and all surrounding tissue) that has limited mobility.  This can occasionally cause a FUNCTIONAL misalignment which leads to stiffness, muscle tension, pain, impact nerves and blood flow or even impaired performance of the animal.  Once a VSC is diagnosed it is corrected with a very specific high velocity but low amplitude thrust (a chiropractic adjustment), this energy applied into the motion unit helps restore normal range of motion of that joint.

Who benefits from animal chiropractics?

Any animal would benefit from chiropractics, especially those who have had any lamenesses, orthopedic surgeries, or given birth.  It is also great for preventative issues, specifically those performance or working animals, or to help treat chronic problems.

What to expect in an appointment?

We want to get to know you and your dog, horse, cat, or other loved pet!  Please come prepared to answer some questions regarding previous medical history, current medications your animal is on, previous surgeries, joint injections, etc.  Also we want to know what you do with your pet for fun or performance. We do request that your animal is presented with a competent handler able to hold your horse, or assist with your dog or cat.

Dr. Kelsey will then assess how your animal moves, check for any heat, swelling or subtle changes in your animal’s body, and then perform a motion palpation of the joints to check for VSC.  If any complexes are found she will correct them with an adjustment.  After the adjustment is completed the biomechanics of your animal will be reassessed and then an individual treatment plan and recommendations will be made from there.

Appointments can take from fifteen minutes to over an hour depending on the case.

If you are a referral from another vet practice please ensure your vet emails any prudent medical information (medications currently prescribed, radiographs, etc) 24-48hr BEFORE your appointment. This gives Dr. Shacker time to review them and have a deeper understanding of what your pet is currently dealing with. If you are unable to do so, please bring a copy of your pet’s file, radiographs, and even blood work with you at time of your appointment in case it is needed.