The simple answer to the question is yes! Animal chiropractors can be found who work on animals ranging in size from the giant draft horse to small cats and dogs. Often times animal chiropractors will also offer other alternative veterinary medicine choices such as acupuncture and therapeutic massage.
Chiropractors who work with animals should also first be veterinarians, who also understand the intracies of animal anatomy and physiology. Chiropractic education is designed and directed at human care. Thus the practitioner who chooses to work with animals requires additional education about the individual needs of animals.
Animal chiropractors use special skills to perform adjustments which are designed to to lessen the effects of disease and illness, decrease pain and help the animal live more comfortably. In the case of working with large animals, such as horses, the chiropractor will require considerable strain in order to make the adjustments. In all cases chiropractor’s who work on animals should only do so after receiving extensive anatomical training.
In the United States chiropractors who wish to work on animals must either have worked under the supervision of a veterinarian or must be a veterinarian themselves. This is because manipulations done by an inexperienced or improperly trained chiropractor will result in serious harm to the animal.
Once a veterinarian determined an interest in chiropractic medicine they can enroll in an accredited chiropractic program offered by the Animal Chiropractic Accreditation Commission of the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association. After passing an exit examination they are awarded a certificate by the Animal Chiropractic Certification Commission.
The individual must complete a 150 hour internship before submiting their documentation and must renew their certification every three years. In order to continue to renew they must participate in continuing education courses and seminars in their field. This amount of education is necessary for people participating in animal chiropractic medicine in order to fully understand the variety in structure and function of the animal body as compared to the body of a human.
In new legislation reported April 2008 the Minnesota House passed an agricultural policy that allows human chiropractors to work on animals if they receive extra training. Supporters of this measure say they want to give their pets another form of treatment while veterinarians were concerned about the health of their pets being treated by those who did not have a strong knowledge of animal anatomy.
Regardless of how you reach the door of an animal chiropractor or clinic you should always find out if the professional is a member of American Veterinary Chiropractic Association. When searching for an animal chiropractor individuals can use the same methods they do to find a good veterinarian or physician. Ask friends and family if they know in animal chiropractor and talk to your veterinarian who may also know of a holistic vet in the area.
The American Veterinary Chiropractic Association certifies physicians and also offers advanced courses. Some believe that the idea of 150 hours can provide a chiropractor or veterinary education seems odd and the association does say that this certification is just the beginning. When compared to some one day seminars which are offered on animal adjusting, 150 hours is a good start. However, what would be the response if members of the veterinary profession started giving one day clinics on human chiropractic medicine?
Chiropractors who work on animals find their sessions are much shorter because of the animals shorter attention span. Some animals such as horses, will tolerate longer sessions especially if combined with massage therapy. Exotic animals can usually only be handled for short brief periods of time. Just like working with humans, animal chiropractors work on animals in a series of sessions designed to strengthen the body and improve the animal’s health. Chiropractic medicine will also improve muscular health and improve motion through the spine decreasing problems with subluxation and nerve pinches.
While some owners look to animal chiropractic medicine only to relieve an initial injury or symptom others use animal chiropractic medicine for the lifetime of the animal. The healthcare choice for your animal is up to you. Your pet depends upon you to find the best care possible for him.
Darcy Ward D.C.: Animal Chiropractic Care
Dr. Sidney Carter, D.C.: Animal Chiropractic Care
Dr. Ramey D.V.M: Veterinary Chiropractic
Eileen Haworth D.C.: animal Chiropractic