Chiropractic as an Alternative Therapy in Dogs & Cats
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith

'Chiropractic' comes from the Greek words for 'practicing with the hands.' When the vertebrae, the bones of the spine, are not aligned correctly, the joint, muscle, nerve, connective tissue, blood flow, and function of an area can be affected. Chiropractic is a system of manipulation and adjustments of the bones of the spine to deal with subluxations and the secondary problems derived from them. The word 'adjustment' is normally used in describing the specific, quick, high velocity, and controlled thrust on the specific joint that is being manipulated. It restores the normal range of motion to the affected joint and releases the pressure to the surrounding tissues.

An adjustment can result in immediate total relief of symptoms or partial relief. Sometimes, the pain relief may be only temporary; the animal may move a certain way again, cause a maladjustment, then be in pain again. This may necessitate multiple trips to the veterinary chiropractor.

In the last few years, an instrument called an 'Activator' has been used on animals. It is a spring-loaded device which looks like a syringe which when tripped delivers a high velocity short stroke. It may create less apprehension for the dogs and cats than normal hands-on chiropractic and allows multiple adjustments to be performed much more easily.

While chiropractic therapy is normally thought of as a method of pain relief, it should be remembered that since all of our organ systems are controlled by nerves, any disruption of proper nerve flow will also affect function. The correction of vertebral subluxations may improve the health of some internal organs such as the heart and gastrointestinal system.

For more information, you may wish to contact:

American Veterinary Chiropractic Association
Dr. Paul Rowan
442154 E. 140 Road
Bluejacket, OK 74333
918-784-2231 (Office)
918-784-2231 (Fax)

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