Equine and canine veterinary chiropractic care
Animal Chiropractic (known as veterinary spinal manipulation in most states) offers non-surgical, drug free options for alleviating disorders related to improper spinal alignment and movement. Dr. Commerford is a completed 6 months of canine and equine chiropractor training with Options for Animals. When vertebrae become immovable through trauma, injury or degenerative wear and tear, the joints between often experience a decreased range of motion, often affecting the nerves that are in these congested areas. This decreased range of motion is often described as being "stuck" for simplicity sake, but is correctly termed a subluxation complex. Because the nerves are the communication links from these joints to the brain and spinal cord, messages to the rest of the body become interrupted, leading to pain and loss of function. Animal Chiropractic focuses on the restoration and preservation of health by removing communication barriers and restoring normal function. Healthy and particularly athletic animals are ideal candidates for chiropractic examination and care. Maintaining proper structural alignment permits optimal function of the muscles, nerves and tissues supporting the joints, resulting in improved movement, stance and flexibility.
What can I expect during an equine or canine chiropractic exam and adjustment?
Evaluation includes a moving exam and palpation. The horse or dog is observed standing in a natural position and then is observed both walking and trotting to and from the examiner. If abnormalities are seen, additional tests may be performed such as flexion tests. Next, each individual joint in the spine is palpated to evaluate range of motion and localize areas of restriction.
The adjustment is a very specific high velocity, low amplitude thrust on the restricted area. This means a lot of force is NOT used in a proper adjustment! A proper adjustment remains within the normal range of motion of the joint. Most animals enjoy being adjusted because the adjustment causes no discomfort unless there is a severe or very chronic restriction. If you watch your animal while we adjust, you can often see them relax. Many times horses will yawn, lick or chew after an area of restriction is corrected.
Often times owners will report noticing a difference the next time they ride their horse. Horses with chronic chiropractic restrictions often have a lot of muscle tension as well and thus can take up to a week to show improvement because their muscles need time to relax and soften following an adjustment that restores normal range of motion and movement along the spine. With subsequent adjustments, if these horses are kept on a regular schedule, the rider will often notice improvement faster following adjustment and for a longer period of time.
When indicated, Dr. Commerford will provide owners with information on how to continue care at home. This may consist of strengthening exercises, stretches or massage. Follow up frequency is determined on a case by case basis. For preventive care in athletes we recommend every 3-4 month visits. For animals with chronic restrictions or multiple areas of restriction Dr. Commerford may recommend a follow up visit in one month.
What does equine or canine chiropractic care cost?
Equine $125; follow up appointments within 3 months receive a $25 discount ( $100).
Farm call / home visit trip fee not included in cost of adjustment. If multiple horses or dogs are treated at the same location and owned by different people the call/trip fee is split among owners to reduce cost.