Animal Chiropractic For Every Stage of Your Pet's Life
Many people believe that chiropractic care is only for those with an injury or pain. Most people are raised to believe that a doctor's appointment is for the sick or injured, but in Eastern cultures it is believed that if people get sick, their doctors did not do their job.
The roots of chiropractic care can be traced all the way back to the beginning of recorded time. Writings from China and Greece written in 2700 B.C. and 1500 B.C. mention spinal manipulation and the maneuvering of the lower extremities to ease low back pain. Hippocrates, the Greek physician, who lived from 460 to 357 B.C., also published texts detailing the importance of chiropractic care. In one of his writings he declares, "Get knowledge of the spine, for this is the requisite for many diseases".
As a profession, the primary belief is in natural and conservative methods of health care. Doctors of Chiropractic have a deep respect for the human body's ability to heal itself without the use of surgery or medication. These doctors devote careful attention to the biomechanics, structure and function of the spine, its effects on the musculoskeletal and neurological systems, and the role played by the proper function of these systems in the preservation and restoration of health. A Doctor of Chiropractic is one who is involved in the treatment and prevention of disease and with a wellness approach to patient healthcare. Recently, the benefit of chiropractic care for animals has been demonstrated, and the results are phenomenal.
So how do you know if your pet is a candidate for chiropractic? Remember, prevention is the key. Your pet should be examined periodically for abnormal posture, gait and muscle tone. Also the joint mobility should be examined and the spine and muscles should be palpated for abnormalities in movement and tone. By restoring normal joint motion, we can improve function and prevent joint degeneration which can lead to arthritis. When spinal joints are moving properly, the nerves which come out from between the vertebra and also the spinal cord are able to function optimally. If a spinal problem is detected in a puppy or kitten early, we can prevent problems later in life. Some breeds are more prone to spinal problems, including Dachshunds, Cocker Spaniels, Poodles, Bassett Hounds, Beagles, French Bulldogs, Lhasa Apsos, Pomeranians, Shih Tzus, and Welsh Corgis. All breeds should be examined regularly every six months.
Chiropractic is especially important for our senior pets to help retain normal joint mobility. When joints function abnormally it results in abnormal wear and tear, leading to degenerative arthritis. Many people think that it is normal for pets to slow down as they age. Lying on the bed all day and avoiding stairs is not normal. They are trying to tell us that something hurts. By restoring normal joint function, we can reduce pain and inflammation and prevent further arthritis from occurring. Often with chiropractic care, we can lower the dose or frequency of arthritis medication. Chiropractic is also important for younger pets to detect problems early and, in some cases, prevent arthritis. Integrating chiropractic with traditional veterinary medicine and acupuncture can improve the quality of life for all of our pets, young and old!
By Tara Johnson, D.C.