Chiropractic philosophy teaches that the body is constantly adjusting its functions so as to maintain a steady state. The process of adjustment is called homeostasis and it is the brain that on receiving inputs, processes them and sends out commands to organs or muscles to give a response.
Of-course messages from the brain can only travel to the organs and muscles through the nerves that pass down the spinal chord then between the vertebrae and on to the target systems.
The weakest link in this chain is the point at which nerves leave the spinal chord and pass between the vertebrae, if that point is compromised then messages do not pass to the target organ efficiently and the organ's function will be affected.
Chiropractic treatments aim to optimise nervous activity by eliminating situations that compromise movement of the joints in the spinal column. From head to pelvis there are more than 140 joints in the average dog, cat or horse. Chiropractic diagnosis is based upon detecting which of the 140 joints are moving in an abnormal manner and correlating that information with clinical signs.
Chiropractic medical diagnosis and treatment does not replace conventional treatment of infections and injuries however it is often complementary and will assist the body's natural ability to heal itself and in numerous cases when conventional medicine fails to alleviate conditions that go on and on and on the answer can be found in a chiropractic examination.
Sometimes when practitioners becomes very involved in ongoing cases it becomes difficult "to see the wood from the trees" then an alternative opinion is often helpful. Sometimes chiropractitioners can resolve an unresponsive medical problem and sometimes a conventional medical practitioner will resolve an unresponsive chiropractic problem when this happens it is not that one is right and one is wrong it is just that by changing the angle of examination and knowledge a little more light shines on the problem.
When to make a Chiropractic appointment?
When should your pet be taken to a qualified veterinary chiropractor and how do you know that the person treating your animal is qualified?
First look for the RMIT University Diploma on the wall of your chiropractor, osteopath or veterinarian. The diploma indicates that the holder has had two years of post-graduate training in the field.
Secondly your pet needs this type of examination and treatment if
- there is a very sore neck (it cries or snaps just because you walk nearby, or it suddenly cannot climb steps)
- it is lame in one or more leg - especially if the lameness is not responding to anti-inflammatory drugs referred pain is very common.
- there is a patch of dermatitis that will not respond to cortisone or food trials
- There are hot spots that occur regularly in the same area of the body (usually about the head or pelvis) often this is a sort of neuralgia like shingles in people.
- Chiropractic assessment is important after severe trauma like car accidents because it is likely one of those 140+ joints will have been traumatised.
- Often orthopaedic problems (broken legs, repaired ligaments etc) lead to postural changes in the spine with subsequent lameness and chiropractic treatment speeds up healing by making the patient feel better.
- Aged dogs and cats get stiff like people and chiropractic treatment facilitates their agility and sense of well-being.
Chiropractic should always be gentle but to cats, dogs and horses it can, at first, be a strange sensation to which they react with a little concern but with each visit the patient gains more confidence as they realise that the outcome is going to be added comfort and a lessening of the distress.