CHIROPRACTIC TO IMPROVE YOUR PET’S BODY AND MIND
Dr Julie Schell BSc(Hons), DVM, CVA, ACVCHM, CVC
I had the pleasure of attending the 2019 American Veterinary Chiropractic Association’s annual conference. It was excellent to learn from over 300 of my colleagues, practice new techniques and become aware of the latest advances in this great field.
Improving a pet’s mobility is important. A veterinarian’s goal is to have their patient moving pain free, with full range of motion in their joints. Mobility and motion are so important in making your pet feel good and live healthier and longer. Chiropractic, acupuncture, massage, proper nutrition, supplements, herbal medicines and essential oil therapy will help enable this.
Your veterinary chiropractor will palpate all of your pet’s joints to assess range of motion. Joints that are not working well may have malalignment causing nerve or spinal cord compression. The irritation may be local or distal. For example, improper positioning of neck vertebrae can cause decreased mobility of the hind legs.
The field of chiropractic believes that the body has an innate ability to heal. If we can restore a pet’s joint mobility, then their immune system, circulation system and neuromuscular system should be able to restore the imbalances and help the pet regain health and comfort.
Many pet owners have seen the benefits of providing petting and massage to their pets- they feel better often instantly. Some pets really enjoy bathing, which is a super powered massage as the warm water is also relaxing. It is also exciting for owners to witness their pets improved feelings of well-being.
Use it or lose it. Keeping your pet’s brain functioning well will help prevent degeneration. This includes stimulating all of their senses including touch, smell, taste, vision, and hearing. Chiropractors use these senses, especially touch, to assess the health of the nervous system using a system called Functional Neurology. Using neuronal pathways, chiropractors stimulate the immune system in specific ways to help their patient’s healing systems to work better, sooner and faster.
Ways to help your pet remain mentally active and therefore improve their physical well-being include taking them on walks- there is an abundance in smells, sights and sounds on walks.
Bringing your pet for daycare visits and hiring a dog walker for them when you are at work is also stimulatory. It is important not to overwhelm your pet, especially if they are older, therefore, sometime shorter walks and shorter periods at daycare are best. Hiding treats in your house for your pet to sniff out and find is also helpful. Many professional training schools offer scent classes, often called nose work, which are great for all dogs, especially seniors who may not be able to keep up with prolonged walks at first.
At Bow Bottom Veterinary Hospital we often use Essential Oil therapy for pets. The oils have amazing healing properties including aromatherapeutic properties including improving olfactory awareness and also decreasing anxiety. Check out a video we made about essential oil therapy for pets: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_BC649tRP8
Cookie stretches are excellent- hold a treat in front of your pet and move it left and right so that their eyes or nose tracks the sight and scent.
The simple act of petting, grooming and bathing your pet improves their brain health. Many pets can be trained to truly enjoy bathing. If trained well, pets may even learn to enjoy nail trimming. Your veterinarian can help you find ways to prevent your pet from becoming overwhelmed or experience anxiety during nail trimming.
For more information about veterinary chiropractic and your pet’s total well-being, check out www.bowbottomvet.com and www.animalchiropractic.org and www.collegeofanimalchiropractors.org and www.ivca.de and www.veterinarychiropractic.ca and www.healingoasis.edu and www.optionsforanimals.com