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How an Animal Chiropractor Can Save Your Pet’s Health

How an Animal Chiropractor Can Save Your Pet’s Health

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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Lisa Spector

Lisa Spector is a concert pianist, Juilliard graduate, and canine music expert. She is co-founder of Through a Dog's Ear, the first music clinically demonstrated to calm the canine nervous system. Their new high-tech pet gadget, iCalmDog, is the portable solution to canine anxiety. Lisa shares her home and her heart with her two "career change" Labrador Retrievers from Guide Dogs for the Blind, Sanchez and Gina. Follow Lisa's blog here.


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4:56PM PST on Jan 11, 2015

Yes! I've had great success with both my 2 dogs as well as my horse! And my friend's horse, too! AmaZing!!

6:13AM PDT on Jun 16, 2014

thanks for sharing :)

7:27PM PST on Dec 18, 2013

Hmmm... I never thought of a chiropractor for an animal, but it makes perfect sense! They help people, so why not an animal in need!

9:22PM PST on Dec 2, 2013

amazing. ty

4:20AM PST on Nov 12, 2013

Animal chiropractic care works well for the pets.The vet chiropractor makes conservative,safe and small adjustments to the animal spine column and help in immediate reduction in pain and increased range of motion.Sometimes it just might help to save your pets life. For instance, as each spinal nerve leads directly or indirectly to a specific organ, chiropractic treatment can improve organ function.

3:09AM PDT on Oct 31, 2013

don't think it would save mine dog she 15 years(105) in human years bless her

7:05AM PDT on Oct 30, 2013


3:58AM PDT on Oct 30, 2013


7:27AM PDT on Oct 28, 2013

Thanks for posting.

11:42PM PDT on Oct 26, 2013

Animal Chiropractor? Didn't even know such a thing existed. Something new learned today. I believe a day you learn something new is a productive day, and every day is such a day.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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kinda glad we don't have one, though i enjoyed watching the video

I still say moderation is the key. If I splurge on lunch, I usually have oatmeal for dinner. My 's…

Thanks for sharing.

Aim high - instead of twenty minutes three days a week, go for an hour six days a week.


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