Animal Chiropractic is a specialty in the Chiropractic and Veterinary professions of healthcare. To become an animal Chiropractor, one must first complete undergraduate studies, complete a doctoral program and become licensed in either Chiropractic or Veterinary medicine. Then the doctor must complete a postgraduate program and pass a national board. An animal Chiropractor must also be licensed through the Chiropractic board and Veterinarian board.
How does animal Chiropractic work? Much like human Chiropractic, a consultation is performed, a medical history is taken, an examination is performed, imaging and labs are reviewed if indicated, a diagnosis is made. Depending on the diagnosis, the animal is either treated or referred to a specialist.
But how does an animal Chiropractor know what to treat if the animal can’t speak? The medical history is obtained by speaking with the owner. Like a human patient, the diagnosis is not made by the history alone, but by correlating the labs, imaging and examinations findings. The evaluation and treatment of an animal is similar to the treatment of infants and babies.
How do I know if my animal needs a Chiropractic checkup? Again, just like with an infant, if the animal has sustained a recent injury, if they are limping, if they will not turn their head in a direction, or if they have become more aggressive. Another consideration would be if they participate in sporting events and they are not able to perform to the level they use to. Often with pets, the pet will try and act normal, this is because pack animals such as dogs will try and hide the fact that they are injured. If a dog is noticeably hurt, they may lose their ranking in the pack or worse. This is why a periodic checkup is a good way to practice proactive healthcare for your animal. Two easy tests that can be performed at home are the panniculus reflex and the butt tuck.