Central Texas Animal Chiropractor FAQs

What is animal chiropractic?

Animal chiropractic is a complementary therapy that involves the manual manipulation of the musculoskeletal system, primarily focusing on the spine, to restore proper alignment, mobility, and function in animals. It is based on the principles of human chiropractic care but adapted for animals.

Chiropractors who specialize in animal chiropractic are trained to assess the spinal column and other joints in animals for misalignments, called subluxations, and use gentle adjustments to correct them. These adjustments aim to alleviate pain, improve range of motion, support the nervous system and enhance overall well-being in animals.

Animal chiropractic is commonly used in conjunction with traditional veterinary care to address a variety of musculoskeletal issues, including back pain, neck pain, joint stiffness, and mobility problems. It is often sought out for performance animals such as horses, dogs involved in agility competitions, and other athletic animals to help optimize their performance and prevent injuries. However, it can also benefit companion animals and pets suffering from chronic musculoskeletal conditions or recovering from injuries. We have seen many pets in our office extend their lifespan and quality of life with chiropractic adjustments.

It’s important to note that animal chiropractors should work closely with veterinarians to ensure that the animal’s overall health and well-being are considered and that chiropractic care is used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. Additionally, in some jurisdictions, animal chiropractors may require specific certifications or licensing to practice legally. In Texas, animal chiropractors are required to have a signed veterinary referral from the treating veterinarian to provide treatments to pets.

What does animal chiropractic do?

Animal chiropractic aims to restore proper alignment and function to the musculoskeletal system of animals, primarily focusing on the spine. Here are some specific goals and benefits of animal chiropractic:

  1. Alignment Correction: Animal chiropractors identify misalignments, known as subluxations, in the spine and other joints of animals and use manual adjustments to correct them. By restoring proper alignment, chiropractic care can alleviate pain and discomfort caused by these misalignments.
  2. Pain Relief: Animals, like humans, can experience pain due to musculoskeletal issues such as spinal misalignments, muscle tension, and joint stiffness. Chiropractic adjustments can help relieve pain by improving the function of nerves, releasing tension in muscles, and restoring normal joint function.
  3. Improved Mobility: Misalignments in the spine and joints can restrict an animal’s range of motion and mobility. Animal chiropractic aims to improve mobility by addressing these restrictions, allowing animals to move more freely and comfortably.
  4. Enhanced Performance: For performance animals such as horses, dogs involved in agility competitions, and other athletic animals, chiropractic care can help optimize performance by ensuring that the musculoskeletal system is functioning at its best. Proper alignment and mobility can contribute to better agility, coordination, and overall athletic performance.
  5. Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation: Animal chiropractic can be used both as a preventive measure to reduce the risk of injuries and as part of a rehabilitation program for animals recovering from injuries. By maintaining proper alignment and function in the musculoskeletal system, chiropractic care can help prevent injuries and support the healing process after an injury occurs.
  6. Supportive Care for Chronic Conditions: Animals suffering from chronic musculoskeletal conditions such as arthritis or degenerative joint disease may benefit from regular maintenance chiropractic adjustments to manage pain, improve mobility, and enhance quality of life.
  7. Overall Well-being: Animal chiropractic is not only focused on treating specific musculoskeletal issues but also on promoting overall health and well-being in animals. By maintaining proper spinal alignment and function, chiropractic care can contribute to the animal’s overall health and vitality.

It’s important to note that while animal chiropractic can offer numerous benefits, it should be used as part of a comprehensive approach to veterinary care, and practitioners should work closely with veterinarians to ensure the best possible outcomes for the animal’s health and welfare.

Does animal chiropractic work?

The effectiveness of animal chiropractic care is a topic of debate and ongoing research. Many animal owners and practitioners report positive outcomes and benefits from chiropractic treatments, including pain relief, improved mobility, and enhanced performance in athletic animals. However, the scientific evidence supporting the efficacy of animal chiropractic is limited and mixed. Currently the funding is limited for this type of research and with multiple variables a double blind study is difficult to perform.

There have been some studies and anecdotal reports suggesting that chiropractic adjustments help alleviate musculoskeletal issues and improve overall well-being in animals. Many personal experiences and case by case studies have shown positive outcomes over the years with gentle chiropractic adjustments provided by trained individuals.

Ultimately, the decision to pursue animal chiropractic care should be made in consultation with a qualified holistic veterinarian who can assess the animal’s condition, recommend appropriate treatments, and provide guidance on integrating chiropractic care into the overall treatment plan. It’s important to choose a licensed and experienced animal chiropractor who works closely with veterinarians and adheres to professional standards and guidelines.

Is animal chiropractic safe for pets?

The safety of animal chiropractic care depends on various factors, including the qualifications and experience of the practitioner, the specific needs and condition of the animal, and the appropriateness of the treatment.

When performed by a qualified and experienced animal chiropractor who has undergone specialized training and certification, chiropractic adjustments are safe for many animals. However, there are important considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Training and Certification: Animal chiropractors should have specific training in both chiropractic techniques and animal anatomy and physiology. Look for practitioners who have completed accredited programs and hold certifications in animal chiropractic from reputable organizations like AVCA or IVCA.
  2. Veterinary Collaboration: Chiropractic care should always be integrated into the overall treatment plan under the guidance of a licensed veterinarian. A collaborative approach ensures that the animal’s health and well-being are prioritized, and that chiropractic care is appropriate and safe for the individual animal’s needs.
  3. Assessment and Evaluation: Before performing chiropractic adjustments, the practitioner should conduct a thorough assessment of the animal’s musculoskeletal system and overall health to identify any contraindications or underlying conditions that may affect the safety and effectiveness of the treatment.
  4. Gentle Techniques: Animal chiropractors typically use gentle, low-force techniques to perform adjustments, minimizing the risk of injury or discomfort to the animal. Adjustments should be tailored to the size, species, and condition of the animal to ensure safety and effectiveness.
  5. Informed Consent: Owners should be fully informed about the risks and benefits of chiropractic care for their animal and provide informed consent before treatment begins. They should also be encouraged to ask questions and voice any concerns they may have.
  6. Monitoring and Follow-up: After receiving chiropractic care, animals should be monitored for any changes in behavior or condition. Follow-up appointments may be recommended to assess progress and adjust the treatment plan as needed.

While animal chiropractic can offer potential benefits for some animals, it’s essential to ensure that it is provided by a qualified practitioner in conjunction with veterinary care. If you’re considering chiropractic treatment for your animal, consult with your veterinarian and find a reputable practitioner.

What goes into the training process for a certified and legitimate animal chiropractor?

The training process for animal chiropractors typically involves a combination of formal education, hands-on training, and certification exams and continuing education to maintain licensure. While the specific requirements may vary depending on the country or region, here is a general overview of what goes into becoming an animal chiropractor:

  1. **Prerequisite Education**: Most programs require candidates to have a background in human chiropractic care or veterinary medicine. This may involve obtaining a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree from an accredited chiropractic college or a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree from an accredited veterinary school.
  2. **Specialized Training Program**: Animal chiropractic training programs are typically offered by chiropractic colleges or institutes specializing in animal chiropractic. These programs focus on teaching chiropractic techniques specifically tailored to animals, as well as relevant anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics.
  3. **Curriculum**: The curriculum of an animal chiropractic program may include courses in animal anatomy and physiology, vertebral biomechanics, neurology, differential diagnoses, animal behavior, ethics, and practice management. Post doctoral students learn how to assess musculoskeletal problems in animals, perform chiropractic adjustments, and develop treatment plans.
  4. **Hands-On Training**: The hands-on training is a crucial component of animal chiropractic education. Students gain practical experience working with live animals under the supervision of experienced instructors. This hands-on experience allows students to develop the skills and confidence needed to perform chiropractic adjustments safely and effectively.
  5. **Clinical Experience**: Many animal chiropractic programs include clinical internships or externships where students have the opportunity to work with animals in a clinical setting. This provides valuable real-world experience and allows students to apply their knowledge and skills under the guidance of experienced practitioners.
  6. **Certification**: Upon completion of the training program, graduates may be eligible to pursue certification from professional organizations such as the International Veterinary Chiropractic Association (IVCA) or the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA). Certification typically involves passing written and practical exams to demonstrate competency in animal chiropractic care.
  7. **Continuing Education**: To maintain certification and stay current with advances in the field, animal chiropractors are required to participate in continuing education programs and workshops, a minimum of 15 CE hours per year. This allows them to expand their knowledge, refine their skills, and stay up-to-date with the latest developments in animal chiropractic care.

Overall, becoming an animal chiropractor requires a significant commitment to education, training, and ongoing professional development to ensure the highest standards of care for animals.

Photo from Central Texas Animal Chiropractor of Dr Amanda Massey holding a dog she has just adjusted.

Horses and pets that feel better, move better!

Request an appointment today for one of the best Central Texas Animal Chiropractors available in Austin and the surrounding areas for your dogs and horses.

Contact / Location

Scheduling and Questions: 512-814-7403

Elite Motion & Performance
8700 Menchaca Rd., Suite 705
Austin, TX 78748

Elite Motion & Performance
8700 Menchaca Rd., Suite 705
Austin, TX 78748