by Animal Medical Hospital staff
Animal chiropractics is a field of veterinary care that focuses on the preservation of health and treatment of the neuromuscular-skeletal system. Chiropractic treatment and manipulation has both direct and indirect affects on the nervous system. The spine is a complex framework of bones (vertebra), ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves. If the movement and bio-mechanics of the vertebra become dysfunctional, they can interfere with the performance of the nerves that are branching off the spinal cord. These nerves are both sensory in function and control all the muscles and organs. If this occurs, a beloved pet may lose their good health and mobility, resulting in stiffness, tension, pain and even organ dysfunction.
The nervous system coordinates intimately the body’s ability to heal itself. Trauma, over-use and even under-use may cause the vertebra of the spine to become fixed. The spine may even get frozen or misaligned from your pet’s daily activity such as jumping, running or ball chasing. This means that the vertebrae lose their normal mobility and alignment. The surrounding muscle and ligaments may become damaged, inflamed and swollen. As a result, the nerves could become trapped in these compromised tissues or in the bony passages as they exit the spine. The nerve signals may become reduced or blocked from reaching their destinations at the muscles and organs or increased as they transmit pain and discomfort to the brain. When these nerves cannot function properly, these impaired structures lose their ability to heal. This directly and dramatically impacts your pet’s overall health and well being.
The major goal and benefit of veterinary chiropractics is to restore function and mobility to the compromised vertebra in an effort to re-establish neurologic transmissions. Other joints and muscles in the body can also benefit from chiropractic manipulation. Animal chiropractics is not meant to replace traditional veterinary care, but to work in conjunction with traditional medicine. It is an integrative method of healing that when used in unison with good veterinary care during illness, can aid in providing better comfort and mobility while stimulating the pet’s own body’s innate ability to heal itself.
Chiropractics is also a very useful tool in health maintenance to actually prevent injury and illness. Through routine chiropractic adjustments, very active dogs such as agility, field trial, herding, search and rescue, or vigorous ball chasers can maintain their highest level of function. Dogs and cats both often do not let the owner know that they have aches and pains. Many owners will be quite surprised at how much better their pet feels and moves after a chiropractic visit. Most of the time the chiropractic adjustments are soothing and comforting to the pet, actually causing relaxation and joy.
Chiropractics is a valuable means of restoring and maintaining an animal’s strength, vigor and well being. By exploring and treating the root causes of your animal’s aches, pains and illnesses, chiropractics will ensure health, performance and quality of life for our animal companions. Come see Dr. Ahlbrecht at Animal Medical Hospital for gentle healing chiropractic care for your pet.