It’s not just people who benefit from chiropractic treatments. A growing number of veterinarians are offering chiropractic services. Mike and Anne-Marie Bjorkman credit the treatments for saving the life of their beloved pet.
The Bjorkmans say their ten-year-old dog, Chomp, began experiencing issues with his legs that got progressively worse until they started giving out. The dog also became extremely sensitive to the touch, whimpering in pain when anyone petted him.
Mike and Anne-Marie were at wit’s end and feared they might have to put the dog down until they decided to call Phillip Pinto, a chiropractor doctor who specializes in skeletal adjustments in animals.
Dr. Pinto explains, “I always say to call the vet, clear it. If they say Great, okay, we’ll go ahead and go to work.”
The Bjorkmans say the treatments have been nothing short of miraculous. “You can see right after he’s adjusted, he starts jumping, he starts to move around quicker,” Mike reports. “He’s just like a puppy. And he’s good for another 30 days or more, and eventually, he’ll get an adjustment, as we all do.” The sessions cost about $45, a price the family is happy to pay.
Chiropractic Medicine for Pets
While it is only now becoming more common among traditional small animal practices, veterinarian chiropractic applications are not new and can be traced back to the early days of human chiropractic services. In 1944 B.J. Palmer, credited for developing chiropractic science, wrote, “In the early days of chiropractic, we maintained a veterinarian hospital where we adjusted the vertebral subluxations of sick cows, horses, cats, dogs, etc. We did this to prove to ourselves that the chiropractic principle and practice did apply. Even today, occasionally, somebody brings us a valuable pedigreed pet to adjust.”
In the 1980s Options for Animals was established to promote the legitimacy and acceptance of animal chiropractic. In 1985, an Animal Chiropractic Conference was held in Georgia. The following year an equine chiropractic course was offered in Arkansas. The participants of that course founded the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA).
Dr. Sharon Willoughby, then Director of Chiropractic Technology at Palmer College of Chiropractic was elected president and helped develop an educational program designed to teach vets how to recognize animals in need of chiropractic care and applying chiropractic treatments.
Over the last ten years more and more pet owners are turning to chiropractic services as part of an overall wellness plan.
Veterinarian Sandi Leonard, who is certified by the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association and the International Veterinary Chiropractic Association (IVCA), has been offering holistic care for nearly ten years, including acupuncture, nutritional therapy, and chiropractic on a variety of pets.
Dr. Leonard says chiropractic treatments keep pets biomechanically sound. For example, if a dog develops a limp it can cause their joints to become misaligned. That in turn results in swelling around nerves in the area, which can further exacerbate the dog’s mobility. Chiropractic adjustments correct misalignments and enable the nervous system to function properly.
For more information, check out the AVCA and IVCA websites.