Animal Chiropractic Treatments 101

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Who Says You Can’t Treat An Old Dog New Tricks! 

By: Robert Mueller (Robert Mueller, BSc, Pharm. is a registered pharmacist, author of “Living Enzymes: The World’s Best Kept Pet Food Secret”.)


Small adjustments to the vertebrae can make a
huge difference in your pet’s mobility.

For the last hundred years, humankind has been helped by chiropractic therapy, despite discrimination by the American Medical Association. This applies to services provided for humans as well as to our beloved members of the animal kingdom. And it’s really just because many physicians and veterinarians have no direct experience with this type of treatment.

A few months ago I was invited to attend the chiropractic veterinary association conference in Phoenix, AZ by Dr. William Ormston. I have to confess that the high level of experience and education required to gain certification as a chiropractic veterinarian pleasantly surprised me. Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

I was only at the conference for a short time before I witnessed several cases that were helped and cured by the gentle adjustments given to the animals. The body is a complex chemistry of nerves, muscles, and bones that have to work in harmony to provide adequate quality of life. Chiropractic treatments are another method of treating the whole being – and yes a chiropractor can work effectively to restore health function to an animal.

When an animal’s vertebrae are out of alignment, it keeps the spinal cord from sending certain nerve impulses to the rest of the body. It was interesting for me to learn about a specific vertebra, called theatlas vertebra, located in the upper part of the neck, beneath the brain stem. It is called the “giver of life”. The nerves that go through the small hole in this vertebra, can easily become restricted when an accident or impact occur. As a result the animal’s immune system is compromised leading to disease and unprotected illness.

Here’s what the atlas vertebra looks like:






Most vital signals pass through this small opening- any obstruction could have serious consequences.

Courtesy of

The basic principle of chiropractic care, whether for animals or people, is to work with the peripheral nerves at the root level., which is where the nerves exit between the vertebrae. A misalignment, or subluxation between two vertebrae puts pressure on the nerve root, thus interfering with its function. This is called a “pinched nerve” and is usually associated with pain.

If you notice that your dog or cat is persistently chewing at a spot, perhaps on his chest or back, he may be trying to tell you something about his physical state. An animal has a limited means of communication and it pays to heed his message. Here is the link to Dr. Ormston’s site where you may want to look into animal chiropractic benefits and if treatment is recommended for your pet:

So the next time you observe the symptoms of pain personally or in your animal, I recommend that you investigate a holistic approach first rather than just opting immediately for conventional treatment. A certified chiropractic veterinarian is well trained with at least 100 hours of animal chiropractic training – and this certification also requires continuing education classes.

Of course feeding ourselves as well as our pets a proper and wholesome, nutritious diet is another part of the perfect health puzzle that cannot be overlooked! A raw diet is a biologically appropriate diet that is formulated specifically to fulfill all your pet’s health requirements.



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