What is it?
When a chiropractor evaluates an animal, they are looking for subluxations along the spine and extremities -also known as vertebral subluxation complexes or VSCs. A VSC is a joint that is not moving normally, in other words, is “fixed” or “stuck”. VSC’s not only affect an animal’s biomechanics (causes them not to move properly), but also impacts local soft tissue, neuromuscular, and vascular tissues. Because almost all neurologic input to the brain and central nervous system comes from movement, the effects of VSC’s on an animal’s body can be profound. A chiropractic adjustment aims to find and correct VSC’s by using a high velocity, low amplitude thrust to restore normal motion to a specific joint.
Who are animal chiropractors?
Animal chiropractic therapy should be performed by a professional (i.e. a veterinarian or human chiropractor) who has successfully completed animal chiropractic education at an approved institution. Programs are approved by either the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association or the International Veterinary Chiropractic Association.
Dr. White attended Options For Animals College of Animal Chiropractic located in Wellsville, Kansas in 2016; and completed her certification with the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA) in 2019.
What should I expect from my chiropractic appointment/exam?
During an initial assessment (your pet’s first chiropractic appointment), a medical history pertinent to chiropractic therapy will be taken- examples of things discussed include: any lameness history and treatment, presenting complaint (why you are seeking chiropractic care), for horses this includes dental/hoof/and saddle fit history. A static muscular and posture analysis will be completed, followed by brief gait analysis (for horses this usually includes the walk, trot, canter in both directions on the lunge line, but also can be done under saddle or hitched to a cart, etc.). Finally, your pet will be examined for VSC’s through a process called motion palpation, in which the joints along the spine and limbs are examined for reduced motion, and corrected as found (this often requires the chiropractor to stand on tall “bales” to allow for proper position to motion the joints along the spine for large animal species).