Patients & Friends,
It may be hard to imagine that animals could benefit from chiropractic, but not only is it a growing practice, there is evidence that four-footed animals, like their two-footed human counterparts, may indeed benefit from spine and joint adjustments.
Chiropractic scientists commonly use animal models of joint stiffness, nerve irritation and arthritis to try to understand and predict what happens in humans, so it just makes sense that at the most basic level animals can benefit from chiropractic.
Most commonly you hear about chiropractors treating race horses, and perhaps the second most common application is for the treatment of household pets, who like their masters, can have spinal problems and even back pain as a result of overweight, lack of exercise, and poor postures.
It is nothing short of amazing to hear the same sorts of stories about health improving in animals after chiropractic care that we have long heard regarding our human counterparts. The anecdotal reports and a few clinical empirical reports have now expanded to include farm animals such as pigs, and wild species as well.
Two years ago I helped develop the science portion of study for chiropractors and veterinarians who wish to attain postgraduate certification and pursue a career in animal chiropractic, at the request of veterinarians Drs. Bill Ormston and Amy Hayek. Their program Animal Chiropractic Education Source is based in Texas, and the school offers both online and hands on training. It is one of four accredited postgraduate courses in the U.S. for chiropractors and veterinarians who wish to study, attain certification, and practice animal chiropractic.
As research continues to provide support for the practice, one day animal chiropractic may be as universally available to race horses and other animals, as human chiropractic is today for everyone from NFL athletes to Veterans and Medicare recipients.
Robert A. Leach, DC, MS, FICC(h), CHES
Chiropractic scientists using a rat model are studying how different amounts of thrust trigger different responses in the nervous system: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24928636
In just one example of care for humans being applied to care for animals, there is now a discussion regarding prosthetics for animals: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25103884
The American Veterinary Chiropractic Association is the primary organization for chiropractors and veterinarians who want to practice, develop and promote the science of animal chiropractic. Currently four schools in the US and two abroad teach postgraduate animal chiropractic to licensed veterinarians and chiropractors: http://animalchiropractic.org/animal_chiropractic_certification.htm
Animal Chiropractic Education Source is one of four AVCA accredited programs in the US: http://www.animalchiropracticeducation.com/
Drs Bill Ormston and Amy Hayek lead the postgraduate faculty that includes three other chiropractors: http://www.animalchiropracticeducation.com/professionals.html