What is Animal Chiropractic?
It comprises the adjustment of vertebral joints, extremity joints, and cranial sutures. A chiropractic exam includes a neurological exam, stance and gait analysis and motion and static palpation. It includes evaluating the patient’s history, intended use/athleticism, health state and prior ×-rays and tests.
A chiropractic adjustment is defined as short lever, high velocity controlled thrust by hand or instrument that is directed at specific articulations to correct vertebral subluxations.
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Why an AVCA Certified Doctor?
- AVCA is the primary national credential for this field in North America
- AVCA Certification identifies those professionals who have met specific standards of knowledge and experience
- Certification was developed based upon input and oversight from both chiropractic and veterinary professions
- Over 1500 animal chiropractic professionals have been certified since 1989
- Certificants are licensed doctors of chiropractic or of veterinary medicine
- Certificants have successfully completed an AVCA approved post-graduate program (minimum of 210 hours)
- Certificants have passed the Animal Chiropractic
- Certification Commission’s (ACCC) of the AVCA comprehensive certification examinations
- Certification is issued for a 3 year period. Certificants must maintain certification though approved continuing education.
- AVCA has embarked upon a program of continuous improvement for the certification program
- AVCA Certification establishes and promotes professional accountability and visibility.
Why Animal Chiropractic?
- Neck, back, leg, and tail pain,
- Muscle spasms and nerve problems,
- Injuries from slips, falls, and accidents, Jaw or TMJ problems, difficulty chewing,
- Event or sports injuries,
- Post-surgical care,
- Bowel, bladder, and internal medicine disorders,
- Maintenance of joint and spinal health, Healing/helping with chronic internal medicine disorders
- Indications for Care
- Lameness, trouble getting up and down, athletic competitions,
- Surgery involving anesthesia, seizures or neurological problems, recovery from illness or injury,
- Geriatric household pet, behavior or mood change,
- In horses, signs of navicular disease or laminitis,
- Chronic health problems that do not resolve as expected.
Indications for Chiropractic Care
- Trouble getting up and down
- Athletic competitions
- Surgery involving anesthesia
- Seizures or neurological problems
- Geriatric household pet
- Recovery from illness or injury
- Behavior or mood change
- In horses, head shy, cinchy, reluctance to pick up a lead or go in one direction, pulling one way or hair color or pattern change along the body
- Chronic health problems that do not resolve as expected
- Signs of navicular disease or laminitis.
How Animal Chiropractic Works
- The bones of the spine and joints are maintained in a specific alignment.
- The nerves which surround each joint and vertebral articulation are in constant communication with the central nervous system, brain and all organs.
- When even a subtle change in the alignment occurs, it is called a subluxation.
- Subluxations affect the nervous system, local muscles, joints and even distant organs, glands and body functions.
Why Chiropractic Treatment Can Help
- All organs receive nervous system input from nerves which exit between vertebra.
- Correcting subluxations of these areas can change the nervous system input and affect blood flow, as well as hormone and neurotransmitter levels directly affecting the organs and glands, skin and joints.
Will an Adjustment Hurt?
- Most animals accept both the exam and adjustment without signs of pain.
- When a painful area is found, the practitioner will use the gentlest techniques to reduce pain before delivering an adjustment.
- In cases of acute or extreme pain, the doctor will often delay the complete adjustment until your companion can be relaxed.
What To Expect After An Adjustment
- Many animals will show immediate improvement.
- Sometimes there is a 24-48 hour period of tiredness.
- Some animals require a few sessions to resolve acute pain.
- Often, with chronic health problems, the doctor will want to see your animal several times to maintain and re-establish normal function of the joints and nervous system.
How Many Adjustments Will It Take?
- In the case of a recent injury or subluxation, one adjustment may be adequate, but a follow-up is needed to assure your companion is well.
- Often no outward signs occur to let owners know when a subluxation occurs.
- When long term problems reach the point of noticeable pain or outward signs, the doctor may need to do several adjustments.
Ensure Best Treatment Response
- Be certain to share all the information with the doctor about your pet’s care from all health care providers, including diet, supplements and medications.
- Be certain you understand post-adjustment exercise and home therapy recommendations.
- Pay attention to saddle fit, shoeing, exercise, collar, harness and conditioning recommendations.
Successful Animal Chiropractic Care
- Regular evaluations of animals, creates a better adjusted companion (literally).
- Remember that the follow-up visit is as important as the first treatment.
- Start having evaluations performed as soon as you get your animal; Don’t wait for a problem to occur.
- Check with your doctor regarding a maintenance care schedule
*** A veterinarian referral is required in the state of Florida prior to any animal chiropractic treatment ***