What is Animal Chiropractic?

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. 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. This therapy is not limited to an injured or sick pet. 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 a chiropractic exam and adjustment? 


The visit starts by obtaining a detailed history consisting of information from the owner, prior x-rays or laboratory analysis and previous diagnoses and therapies if applicable. Next, the chiropractic evaluation begins and 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 adjusted, you can often see them relax. Many times horses will yawn, lick or chew after an area of restriction is corrected. 

Follow up

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 or multiple areas of restriction they may require more frequent visits initially. 

What does it cost?

Equine initial visit with brief exam and adjustment $125; follow up appointments within 4 months receive a $25 discount ( $100)

Canine initial visit with brief exam and adjustment $65; follow up appointments within 4 months receive a $20 discount ($45)