Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Common Misconceptions About Animal Chiropractic
  2. What is Animal Chiropractic?
  3. How long does an adjustment take?
  4. Can an adjustment make my animal worse?
  5. Does a chiropractic adjustment hurt?
  6. How long does my animal need to be off?
  7. What kind of training does a certified animal chiropractor have?
  8. How do you adjust an animal?

1.  Common Sayings and Misconceptions About Animal Chiropractic Are:

  1. Animal Chiropractors Treat Bones That are “Out of Place”.  The truth; Chiropractors are distinctive in that they adjust joints that are not moving correctly, and the examination and adjustment of these joints ALWAYS remains within the normal range of joint motion. Among chiropractic professionals, the term “subluxated’ may be used, referring to the complex functional entity involving these specific areas of joint restriction, often involving soft-tissue changes, nerve irritation, etc. True ‘bones out of place’, or medically luxated joints(or dislocations), can be manipulated back ‘in place’, but a trained animal chiropractor refers these patients to their veterinarian for emergency care.
  2. Animal Chiropractors “Crack Backs”.  The truth; The noise you might hear during a chiropractic adjustment, especially in humans, is called a cavitation.  Joints are surrounded by a strong capsule and the joint space is filled with fluid for lubrication.  If separated slightly, as in a chiropractic adjustment, tiny bubbles escape from the fluid creating a “pop” noise. This is NOT the bones cracking; this cavitation does not always happen, and is NO indication as to the effectiveness of the adjustment.  Cavitation is uncommon when treating animals as their joint physiology is different than humans.

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2.  What is Animal Chiropractic?

Simply put, animal chiropractors look for abnormal or restricted movement of the joints of the spine and extremities which have an effect on the nervous system and the entire body.  The goal of the animal chiropractor is to restore proper movement of the affected joints to reduce pain, improve mobility and allow the nervous system and body to function at its maximum healthy potential.

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3.  How long does an animal chiropractic appointment take?

The first visit takes approximately 20 to 30 minutes and follow up visits take approximately 15 to 20 minutes for small animals. Large animal initial visits usually take approximately 30-60 minutes and 30-45minutes for follow-up appointments.

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4.  Can an adjustment make my animal worse?

Sometimes after an adjustment the animal can be mildly sore but is usually no cause for concern and will resolve quickly.  If performed correctly, and with proper certification training, animal chiropractic is safe and effective in treating your animal.

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5.  Does a chiropractic adjustment hurt?

Occasionally during an adjustment the animal can experience brief discomfort if the area is inflamed but this is not typical. Most animals really enjoy their chiropractic adjustments.

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6.  How long does my animal need to be off?

Sometimes the animal may require a day or two of rest depending on exam findings and activity level. Each animal is evaluated on an individual basis and the doctor will provide you with the best course of action that is right for your animal.

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7.  What kind of training does a certified animal chiropractor have?

    • They are either a Doctor of Chiropractic or a Veterinarian
    • They can be further certified either by the CoAC(College of Animal Chiropractors), the AVCA (American Veterinary Chiropractic Association) or the IVCA (International Veterinary Chiropractic Association).  There is NO Board certification in animal Chiropractic.

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8.  How do you adjust an animal?

The word “Chiropractic” comes from the Greek meaning “To perform with the hands”.  Adjusting an animal is somewhat similar to being adjusted by a human chiropractor in that, once the doctor finds an area that has either decreased or restricted motion, the doctor applies a low force, quick impulse or ‘thrust’ to a specific area of a joint, in a specific direction or angle, thereby restoring normal movement. A certified animal chiropractor knows animal anatomy very well and adjust specific joint segments using special techniques created for the species.

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