My nine-year-old Lab/Shepherd mix, Maisie, has been slowing down a bit in her older years. She’s exhibited some occasional soreness, for which my vet put her on steroids and anti-inflammatory medications. She’s been on the treatment plan for a few months now, but I’m not seeing much improvement. My friend, who is also the caregiver of an older pet, says that she brings her dog to a chiropractor for joint pain, and that it has worked very well. What makes a dog a good candidate for chiropractic care? What are the benefits of it? Is it possible that with chiropractic care we could take Maisie off her meds?
As dogs and cats get older, they can develop arthritis just like humans do. Sometimes medications help ease discomfort, but they only mask the problem.
Arthritis develops when a joint stops moving and the body puts extra bone into that joint to stabilize it. This can cause pain, which manifests in many ways. The animal may slow down, have a hard time getting up, refuse to jump on the bed, or even refuse to go on a walk. A certified veterinary chiropractor can help ease the progression of arthritis by restoring motion into joints that aren’t moving so well. This in turn will help the animal move better and have a better quality of life. A good animal chiropractic patient is one with a caring parent that can not only transport the pet to and from appointments, but also perform recommended home therapies to help the pet progress faster.
Most pets enjoy receiving an adjustment and are excited to come back. Some older pets may notice a slight increase in pain after the first adjustment due to motion being restored to a joint that hasn’t moved in a while. As the pet continues to get adjusted, pain decreases and mobility increases.
Many times, medications prescribed by your veterinarian can be decreased and even eliminated after significant improvements from chiropractic care. As a health care professional, it is my pleasure to work alongside your veterinarian to give your pet the best possible care.
The benefits of chiropractic care are multifaceted. Not only does it help with arthritic pain, but it also helps with musculoskeletal injuries like sprains/strains, partial cruciate tears, and disc herniations. Chiropractic also helps keep the nervous system healthy and can ease chronic issues such as bladder and ear infections. In addition, regular adjustments help keep dogs competing at their peak performance in the canine athletic world with sports such as agility, flyball, and obedience.
From puppy or kitten to senior, from couch cuddler to canine athlete, all dogs and cats can benefit from canine chiropractic care.
Katie King, DC, CVSMT, has been working with animals for over two decades. She graduated from Logan College of Chiropractic and received her Veterinary Certification from The Healing Oasis. She travels between Lincoln Park, Gilberts, and Palos Heights to care for pets. Her dogs, Ambear and Chunk, look forward to their adjustments every other week!