Canine Chiropractic Care

August 31, 2011

By Dr. Andi Harper, Animal Chiropractor

Chiropractic care focuses on diagnosing, treating and preventing nerve stress caused by distortions in the musculoskeletal system, with special emphasis on the spine. This stress is known as a subluxation. Subluxations can cause physical and emotional malfunction. They are associated with loss of energy, pain, weakness, neurologic issues and disease of all types.  This goes for any subluxation in any spine or body structure: human, horse, dog or cat.

Can arthritis be treated with chiropractic care? Absolutely! Arthritis is the number one issue that is treated with chiropractic care, human and animal. What exactly is arthritis? Arthritis is inflammation of one or more joints. A joint is the area where two bones meet. Arthritis involves the breakdown of cartilage. Cartilage normally protects a joint, allowing it to move smoothly. Cartilage also absorbs shock when pressure is placed on the joint, such as when your dog walks or runs. Without the normal amount of cartilage, the bones rub together, resulting in arthritis and with that comes pain, swelling (inflammation), and stiffness. --   

Cartilage has very poor blood supply, it relies on staying healthy with regular motion through the entire range of motion of the joint. Chiropractic adjustments return that complete motion of the joint to prevent arthritis. For those senior dogs where arthritis is already present, chiropractic adjustment allows for more motion to be put into the joint and therefore reducing pain and inflammation. The boney changes will not be reversed with adjustments but the pain and stiffness and discomfort can be greatly reduced.
 
Many senior dogs are on pain medications to help with the pain and inflammation. Chiropractic care works well in conjunction with the medications and in many circumstances, allows for lowering the drugs, which may have adverse reactions for the dogs, including GI disturbance or liver issues. Regular discussions and blood work with your primary veterinarian are advised. 

Andi Harper, DC, CAC - Excerpt from the book, Your Dog's Golden Years  www.seniordogbooks.com

Resources:
 Harper's Ridge    www.harpersridge.com
 American Veterinary Chiropractic Association.www.animalchiropractic.org 
 Options for Animals. www.animalchiro.com 
 Activator Methods.www.activator.com 
 Arthro-Stim. www.impacinc.net 
 Koren Specific Technique.www.teddkorenseminars.com 
 American College of Veterinary Surgeons.www.acvs.org