What is Chiropractic Care?

When a chiropractor evaluates an animal, they are looking for subluxations along the spine -also known as vertebral subluxation complexes or VSCs. A VSC is a joint that is not moving normally, in other words, is “fixed” or “stuck”. VSC’s not only affect an animal’s biomechanics (causes them not to move properly), but also impacts local soft tissue, neuromuscular, and vascular tissues. Because almost all neurologic input to the brain and central nervous system comes from movement, the effects of VSC’s on an animal’s body can be profound. A chiropractic adjustment aims to find and correct VSC’s by using a high velocity, low amplitude thrust to restore normal motion to a specific joint. 

Who is a candidate for chiropractic care?

A majority of clients seek chiropractic care for their horses as a means to address performance issues (i.e. subtle lameness, bucking, swapping leads at the canter, discomfort while being worked, etc.), but there are many other indications for this type of therapy. For example, patients who have been diagnosed with an injury that would cause altered biomechanics (i.e. lameness) can benefit from chiropractic care to help keep them as comfortable as possible during convalescence, reduce healing time, and help prevent compensatory injuries. Other systemic neurologic and inflammatory conditions can benefit from chiropractic care such as Equine Asthma Syndrome/COPD (heaves), by aiming to restore/optimize the body’s neurologic function (s). Chiropractic therapy is also a great way to prevent injuries in your animal by optimizing normal biomechanics.

Chiropractic therapy CAN be curative for certain conditions, but is also a wonderful adjunctive treatment. For example, chiropractic treatment may reduce the amount of medications that need to be used to treat a particular condition, or might increase the amount of time needed between joint injections. 

Who are animal chiropractors?

Animal chiropractic therapy should be performed by a professional (i.e. a veterinarian or human chiropractor) who has successfully completed animal chiropractic education at an approved institution. Programs are approved by either the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association or the International Veterinary Chiropractic Association.

Dr. White attended Options For Animals College of Animal Chiropractic located in Wellsville, Kansas.

What should I expect from my chiropractic appointment/exam?

During an initial assessment (your pet’s first chiropractic appointment), a medical history pertinent to chiropractic therapy will be taken- examples of things discussed include: any lameness history and treatment, presenting complaint (why you are seeking chiropractic care), and brief dental/hoof/and saddle fit history. A static muscular and posture analysis will be completed, followed by brief gait analysis (usually at the walk, trot, canter in both directions on the lunge line, but also can be done under saddle or hitched to a cart, etc.). Finally, your horse will be examined for VSC’s through a process called motion palpation, in which the joints along the spine and limbs are examined for reduced motion, and corrected as found (this often requires the chiropractor to stand on tall “bales” to allow for proper position to motion the joints along the spine). 

Please contact our office for more information or to schedule your animal’s chiropractic appointment.