Thursday, November 20, 2014

What is Animal Chiropractic?

Chiropractic for Animals?! Yes, you read that correctly, chiropractic offers tremendous potential in animal healthcare for your dog, cat, and even horses!  Animal Chiropractic is a field of animal health care that focuses on the preservation and health of the neuro-musculo-skeletal system. Why? Nerves control everything that happens in your animals. Anything adversely affecting the nervous system will have detrimental effects that will resonate throughout the entire body. This is the same concept that we use in human chiropractic, and under all the fur, our pets' anatomy isn't all that different from our own! 

Is your dog or cat limping? If the spine isn’t moving correctly, it can interfere with the performance of the nerves that are branching off of the spinal cord and going to the all of the muscles and organs. As this occurs, your animal can lose normal movement; resulting in stiffness, tension, pain and even organ dysfunction. Additionally, when normal movement is affected, and left unattended, it will ultimately impact your animal’s entire well being and quality of life.

Symptoms of spinal fixation are vast, and may include pain, spasm, sensitivity to touch, lameness, limping, gait abnormalities, postural compromise, and behavioral changes. These are the symptoms that are the easiest to detect. It may take a trained doctor to distinguish some of the more subtle changes that occur when organs begin to malfunction. The goal of an animal chiropractor is to restore function and mobility to the “stuck” vertebra. This allows the body to perform at its optimum potential.
Some of the Signs and Symptoms that may help you identify what to watch for to protect your Dog and ensure a healthy and vigorous life include:
·         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 behavior
·         Altered sitting (“Puppy Sitting”)
·         Changes in eating or eliminating
·         Constantly licking or chewing paws
·         Lameness, limping, or changes in gait
·         Changes in performance
·         Lying on one side

Animal Chiropractic has been beneficial for performance 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.

Animal Chiropractic is NOT meant to replace traditional veterinary care, in fact, in Oregon, animal chiropractors are required to obtain a referral from a veterinarian before treating an animal chiropractically. It is not an alternative treatment, but rather an integrative method that, when used in conjunction with good traditional veterinary care, will provide years of happy and healthy living for your beloved pet!  Even larger more exotic zoo animals can benefit from animal chiropractic treatments!

Dr. Rachel Kohn, DC is a chiropractor with Active Life Chiropractic and Rehab, LLC in Tualatin, OR. She graduated from the University of Western States in 2013 and is working everyday to improve the health of her community's 2 and 4 legged residents.  Questions for Dr. Kohn?