It can be heart-breaking to watch your dog suffer from the effects of aging. Maybe Fido’s not as young as he once was, and now lives in daily pain or can’t run and play like he used to. Maybe you’ve even sought out surgery for your dog, but you’re still watching her live in pain. If this is the case, it may be time for you to gift your dog the gift of pet chiropractic care.
There was a time when chiropractic care wasn’t available for dogs, but today, pet chiropractic care (a.k.a. veterinary orthopedic manipulation) is becoming more common. More human chiropractors than ever are receiving the training to be certified pet chiropractors, and your dog could benefit from this growing practice.
Why Use Pet Chiropractic Care?
Chiropractors who cross over to practice pet chiropractic care approach your pet’s health from a holistic standpoint, treating joint, skeletal, and muscular problems. Many dogs live in pain from ailments that are typical of their breed, but can experience relief and better health from chiropractic care. Veterinary chiropractic is very similar to human chiropractic, using low force manual manipulation to achieve alignment of the vertebrae. A chiropractor will adjust your dog’s spinal column, joints, or other areas with the aim of reducing pain and improving mobility. Chiropractic care works with the body’s natural healing abilities to bring relief and better functioning, especially after an injury or for elderly dogs.
How Do I Know if My Pet Needs Chiropractic Care?
If your dog is in need of chiropractic care, you’ll probably notice it in the way he or she moves. Remember, dogs are naturally inclined to hide the symptoms of pain as a survival mechanism, so you’ll have to be paying close attention to notice what your dog is going through. Watch out for:
- Limbing and favoring legs or feed
- Reluctance to jump or run
- Inability to jump
- Inability to climb stairs
- Leaning while standing or sitting
- Hunched back
- Abnormal walking gait
- Yelping or seeming sensitive when touched
If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms, it’s time for a call to your doctor. For a younger dog, these could be signs of an injury or strain, while an elderly dog could be dealing with arthritis and the effects of aging.
What to Expect at Your Appointment
Once your dog has been initially evaluated, your veterinarian will determine a course of treatment. This assessment will include a thorough look at your dog’s medical history, a physical exam, and potentially a series of x-rays to look for underlying issues.
Your dog should not experience any pain during a chiropractic adjustment—at the most, only some discomfort. On the contrary, you may notice your dog enjoying the hands-on attention and even show signs of relief from pain as soon as your vet starts working with them. In most cases, your dog will need a series of short adjustment appointments to address whatever problems they’re experiencing.
For more information about chiropractic care for your pet at Intermountain Pet Hospital, contact us.