Chiropractic treatment of animals may sound strange at first but it is actually extremely popular amongst horse owners, greyhound trainers as well as beloved family pets. So why do animals get treated by Melbourne Chiropractors? Well, the most simple explanation is that animals have spines just like you and I! And given animals experience the same levels of physical stress and trauma on their bodies this can potentially lead to aches, pains, tension, arthritis and many other musculo-skeletal related problems. Not only do Animal Chiropractors look after the health of your animals spine but they can also assess the extremity joints.
During your pet’s initial consultation we cover a thorough history to identify any factors that may be directly or indirectly contributing to your pet’s condition. It is vital any “red flags” (i.e. pathology or conditions) are identified that may require an altered treatment protocol. A review of your animals history usually involves the Chiropractor asking the owner questions about your pet’s past medical and health history such as:
– “History of significant injuries?” e.g. falls, any violence etc..
– “Any surgeries?” “Any current medications?”
– “Loss of appetite?” “Changes in behaviour?”
It is important the chiropractor does a visual assessment of your pet. This involves him/her looking for whether there are any signs of:
– Altered ranges of motion – can help to identify certain injuries and joint restriction (if applicable) and can be useful in determining the side of injured.
– Altered walking, running, sitting position
– Any altered postures
– Signs of limping or lamness
– Favouring one leg perhaps suggesting muscle weaknesses, joint restriction, and injury.
Often this observation will provide the chiropractor with clues and information that will lead to further physical assessments and examinations.
Following a thorough observation of your animal, a physical assessment will take place including:
Static and motion palpation – Static palpation is where the chiropractor feeling joints, muscles and landmarks and identifying any irregularities when they are at rest (not moving.) This is used to identify restrictions, bumps, adhesions and taught muscles among other possible findings. Motion palpation on the other hand involves “movement” and is where the chiropractor feeling your Pet’s joints while he passively moves the animal’s body and joints through a range of positions. This assessment will help to further identify joint restrictions and muscle mobility.
–Orthopaedic examination –testing your pet’s joints to determine possible pathology
–Muscle testing – testing key muscles for weaknesses that can give clues to potential conditions and/or injuries
– Neurological – involves assessing your pet’s reflexes in addition with further observations and palpations. Reflexes in your dog include the patellar, biceps triceps, withdrawal reflex, perineal reflex and cutaneous trunci reflex.
–Further gait and posture analysis looking for potential irregular biomechanical distortion patterns.
Once the above is done, a relevant management plan can be put in place and treatment can commence.
Firstly, the Chiropractors will assess your pet by palpation of their spine, limbs and body. This palpation is aimed at finding areas of your pet’s body that demonstrate tension, weakness or lack of movement. In general, animal Chiropractic techniques are more gentle then regular traditional Chiropractic care of human adults. This gentle mobilisation can be administered via special mechanical impulse instruments to return normal movement to the spine and limbs, therefore relaxing muscle tension. As well as gentle mobilisation, our Chiropractors are also trained in a range of massage, soft-tissue techniques and exercises which may specifically benefit your pet if needed.
We have 6 practices around Melbourne where you can bring your pet – Hawthorn, Hoppers Crossing, Carlton, Craigieburn, Melton and Pakenham.
Our Hawthorn practice is 15-minutes from the Melbourne CBD. Our Hoppers Crossing practice is located next to Werribee only 30 mins from Geelong and 25mins to Melbourne CBD. Our Pakenham practice is located at 40 Main St Pakenham which is 30mins from Warragul and 45 mins to the Gippsland region.
1. How can a Chiropractor help my pet?
Very similar to in humans, Chiropractors use adjustments to correct mechanical joint dysfunction of the spine and limbs to improved function.
2. Why is my pet moving different?
Pets adopt abnormal positions or movement when they are in pain to reduce or avoid painful motion. Chiropractors seek to restore normal biomechanics in the body to re-establish normal gait patterns.
3. Can my pet’s problem get worse?
If unattended animals similar to humans will generally continue to deteriorate with their symptoms. Dog Chiropractors aim to restore normal movement and function in joints.
4. What do animal Chiropractors do?
Our team of animal Chiropractors take thorough history, followed by physical examination and palpation of your pet. Once assessed we will inform you if any treatment is required. Treatment normally incorporates, chiropractic adjustments, arthrostim, activator and mobilisations.
5. What can I expect?
Like humans, all animals respond differently to treatment. How your pet will respond to chiropractic treatment depends on many factors e.g. the underlying condition, what treatment is performed, the animals age, associated health conditions, whether the animal has had chiropractic treatment in the past etc. We find many animals show signs of tenderness after their initial treatment (this is usually a normal healing response as they are not used to the treatment and their body need time to adjust to the changes) Unfortunately we cannot guarantee your pet will return to 100% normal function. If however we believe we cannot help your pet we will refer to someone else we believe can.
6. What about my Vet?
Our team of practitioners are registered human Chiropractors, not Vets. We do however work in conjunction with your Vet to ensure you pet is appropriately managed.
7. How many treatments will it take?
Similar to humans, some animals respond really quickly to treatment and may only two or three adjustments. Other pets may need a more long term approach if they have chronic conditions.
8. Do Chiropractic adjustments hurt my pet?
Our Chiropractors use High Velocity Low Amplitude adjustments to minimise pain to your pet. Although your animal may appear startled, most receive adjustments with no pain.
9. What ages can my pet be to receive an adjustment?
Dogs can be adjusted from 3 months of age up until any age. If you are unsure please give the practice a call.
10. What do I do after my pets adjustment?
Walking is encouraged as long as your animal is not fatiguing or the walking action is reproducing symptoms. Depending on the treatment done and the underlying condition our chiropractors will provide you will the appropriate advice.
Book via our website or give our team a call on 03 9882 7135 and we will book an appointment with you over the phone.
To view our team of Doctors and therapists who operate out of our Hawthorn, Hoppers Crossing, Pakenham, Craigieburn, Melton, Sunbury, Epping, Point Cook and Cranbourne practices, go ahead and visit our Doctors page.View Our Doctors Make A Booking