After my dog was diagnosed with a slipped disc in his neck, acupuncture saved his life. During his healing, and at other times, Sanchez also received chiropractor adjustments. My younger dog Gina is an agility athlete. As much as I love the sound of her wagging tail when we pull up to the agility ring to practice, it wouldn’t be fair of me to ask her to train in the sport without providing her with chiropractic care. Adjustments help me, so why wouldn’t it be beneficial to my dogs?
The New York Daily News recently reported that animal chiropractors treat elephants, iguanas, turkeys, pigs, llamas, pigs, goats, rodeo bulls, horses, countless dogs and cats, and even the occasional snake, hamster, gerbil and guinea pig. Dr. Rod Block, professor at Parker University in Dallas, which specializes in chiropractic care told the Daily News, “A chiropractor promotes the flow of energy within the body. Anywhere there is an obstruction or blockage of energy due to subluxation or a dysfunctional group of muscles, what the chiropractor does is normalize that function.”
A recent article in the New York Times about well adjusted pets reported: “Millions of people swear by their chiropractors, and chiropractic has long been a mainstay in the equine world, especially among show or racehorses. Now it is gaining popularity among pet owners, as a way to treat household pets suffering from arthritis, sprains, joint pain and other ailments.”
Dr. Kari DeLeeuw DVM, VSMT, CVA, is pictured above adjusting one of her patients. She is one of Sanchez and Gina’s vets at Coastal Holistic Complimentary Veterinary Services in Pacifica, CA, and I recently spoke with her about her work:
LS: As a veterinarian, what inspired you to also get certified in chiropractic care?
KD: I was inspired to get into chiropractic care originally because I used to jump horses and saw how my own horse improved with treatment. Once in Veterinary school, often the approach to diagnosing problems involved reviewing x-rays. The method was not as “hands on” as I wanted it to be. I decided to study animal chiropractic after Veterinary school because I knew how hopeful it would be to actually feel where the problems were in dogs, cats and horses. Making an immediate difference in their comfort was really appealing to me.
LS: Do you think it’s important that chiropractors working on dogs and cats are also veterinarians?
KD: I do think it is important for chiropractors who work on dogs to be veterinarians. If they are human chiropractors than I think that person needs to have done the coursework in animal chiropractic care and be directly supervised by a Veterinarian. This is not because of their competency doing adjustments, but because there are so many other things that can mask as joint pain that only someone who has gone to Veterinary School would be trained to recognize. Examples are bone cancer or Osteosarcoma or increased arthritis from Lyme disease. These are things that can look like just joint pain but would need further testing from a Veterinarian.
LS: What was one of the most dramatic cases of recovery you’ve experienced due to adjusting a patient?
KD: A very dramatic case of recovery was a dog named Murphy that had been getting progressively less mobile and over the last few days was unable to get up at all. He was only 10 and acted painful rather than just weak. His owner carried him into the room (even though he weighted 55 lbs) and after chiropractic and acupuncture he walked out wagging his tail. We did a few more treatments and he lived another 5 years. I suspect he had a partially bulging disc in his low back and by moving it a bit and using acupuncture to help with the pain and inflammation, the strength was slowly restored to his hind legs.
Have your pets ever been adjusted by an animal chiropractor? If not, is that treatment you would seek in the future? Thanks for posting your comments.
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