Chiropractic Care For Dogs

January 16, 2015

Chiropractic therapy is popular with humans to help treat low-back pain, as well as headaches, neckpain, joint conditions, and whiplash-associated disorders. In fact, more than 18 million adults had received chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation within a span of a year, according to the 2007 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS)

Chiropractic therapy seems to help humans, but is it beneficial to dogs? Treatment has been used for many other animals including elephants, pigs, goats, and especially race horses. Chiropractic therapy is gaining popularity among pet owners to treat their pet suffering from arthritis, sprains, joint pain and other conditions. 

What is Chiropractic Therapy?

Chiropractic therapy focuses on the health and proper movement of all joints in the body, and especially the proper functioning of the spinal column and manual spinal manipulation. The goal is to correct alignment problems, ease pain, and support the body's natural ability to heal itself.

Should My Dog See a Chiropractor?

You should first ask your veterinarian to see if chiropractic therapy is right for your dog. Dogs are subject to stress every day. Competitive dogs can sustain subluxation’s (disruption to the body’s energy communication system) and are often good candidates for chiropractic therapy. It is also often recommended for senior dogs that are slowing down and even dogs that rough play at the park. When dogs are physically active their vertebrae can shift or become fixated, and competitive dogs can sustain subluxations from repetitive use or micro-trauma while training and competing.   

How To Tell If A Dog Is In Pain

Dogs in pain will show compensatory changes in posture and gait. These changes can cause stress in other joints and muscles.

If your dog has one or more of the following symptoms, it’s possible that chiropractic could help: 

  • Abnormal posture: standing in a tucked-up or spread-out posture; placing one limb abnormally. 
  • Stiffness and/or inability to move neck in one direction.
  • Whining or whimpering.
  • Facial expression of apprehension or pain.
  • Muscle atrophy: loss of muscle mass over the pelvis or in upper portions of the limb.
  • Inability to do “Up Dog” and “Down Dog” stretch. 
  • Head tilt to one side. 
  • Foot drag.

How to Find a Veterinary Chiropractor?

The best place to find information on Animal Chiropractic is through the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA). This organization develops standards of care in animal chiropractic, conducts a professional certification program and awards credentials to individuals who meet established criteria and assessments in different modes of care. The organization also maintains a registry of veterinarians who hold current certification and can help you in identifying a qualified doctor through the "Find a Doctor" section.

What Supplement Can Help With Chiropractic Therapy?

When a patient has an injury to a leg, they naturally compensate with the other legs. This will often change their gait and their bio-mechanics. These types of changes can cause injuries to the other legs (sometimes the other CCL) as well as back pain. This is why during the healing process it’s a good idea to use a bone and joint supplement like Boneo Canine. Using a bone and joint supplement like Boneo Canine can help to support bone strength and preserve healthy joint function, while the body is working hard to repair damaged tissues. Watch this video to learn more about this innovative product: 

Is Chiropractic Therapy For Dogs Safe?

Chiropractic therapy can be very beneficial for dogs. If your dog receives the proper amount of care from a trained professional they could have physical, emotional, and mental benefits. Before taking your dog to a chiropractor be sure to do your research and make sure you take your dog to a trained and preferably licensed professional, because improper treatment could result in injury.

Chiropractic therapy for dogs is not a substitute for traditional veterinary medicine or surgery, and should be used only as an alternative method of care. You should also consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog chiropractic care. 

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About the Author

Bevi Edlund, Blog Editor

Hi, I'm Bevi Edlund. I'm a graduate of communications and journalism from Cal State University, Fullerton. I am also an animal rights activist and a huge dog lover! I think there is nothing more comforting than coming home after a long day than to your furry best friend. Here at Bio-Rep Animal Health, I'll be in charge of writing posts about lifestyle, nutrition and connecting with all of our readers.