Chiropractic Care For Pets

Happy pet with woman

The focus of chiropractic treatment is the spinal column and nerve system. Most of us are familiar with the application of chiropractic treatment methods in the care of the human population. What is not generally known is the fact that chiropractic treatment can be applied in the care of the veterinary population. Historically, chiropractic treatment of animals most typically involved the care of horses, but veterinary chiropractic also includes the care of cats and dogs, those furry loved ones for whom many of us provide food and shelter.1

The basic principles are the same. Spinal misalignments cause nerve irritation and soft tissue inflammation. Soft tissue inflammation causes pain, muscular tightness, decrease in joint range of motion, altered biomechanics, and, ultimately, injury. Such musculoskeletal injuries may be mild, moderate, or severe and time to recover depends on the nature of the injury.

Additionally, nerve irritation causes an altered flow of information between the brain and the rest of the body. At the cellular level, these structures may receive incorrect information regarding the timing and performance of their functions. At the other end of the feedback loop, the brain may receive inaccurate information regarding the biochemical state of the cells themselves. Depending on which organ systems are affected, nerve irritation may impact any or all of the cardiorespiratory, digestive, hormonal, and immune systems. As a result of undetected nerve interference, both people and animals may begin to demonstrate signs and symptoms of various illnesses.

The range of human disorders is generally well known. With respect to early warning signs and symptoms of diseases common to animals, horses may cough, be depressed, or lose their appetite. Cats may experience weight loss, dry coat, thirst, and sneezing. Similarly, dogs may experience a change in appetite, lethargy, dehydration, and labored breathing. Overall, most of these animal disorders may be related to conditions associated with named disease entities as well as nerve irritation.

Chiropractic treatment provides great benefit in the care of horses, cats, and dogs by addressing many of the underlying causes of common disorders. By detecting and correcting sources of nerve irritation and restoring optimal biomechanics of the spine, chiropractic care helps to restore normal physiology and function. As many of the root causes of the disorder are corrected, your beloved animal begins to feel better and demonstrate increased liveliness and well-being.

Chiropractic treatment for pets is similar to chiropractic treatment for people.2,3 Depending on the particular animal, chiropractic adjustments may be used. For others, soft tissue techniques such as muscular relaxation, kinesiology, and trigger point therapy may be utilized. The overall goal is to restore spinal integrity and restore optimal function to the nerve system, the body's master system. In this way, chiropractic care helps all members of your extended family achieve high levels of health and wellness.


1Hesbach AL: Manual therapy in veterinary rehabilitation. Top Companion Anim Med 29(1):20-23, 2014

2Haussler KK: Equine Manual Therapies in Sport Horse Practice. Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract 34(2):375-389, 2018

3Edge-Hughes L: Canine thoracic costovertebral and costotransverse joints: three case reports of dysfunction and manual therapy guidelines for assessment and treatment of these structures. Top Companion Anim Med 29(1):1-5, 2014

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Reviews By Our Satisfied Patients

  • "I like Dr. Kris & staff very much. Been dealing with chronic low back pain for years. Had seen another chiropractor but Dr. Kris was the first doctor who took the time to look at what might be causing these issues. Have had ankle problems and flat feet. 10yrs ago had severe ankle injury with surgery. Nothing but pain afterward that no other doctor could help. Got custom orthotics. These little inserts have done so much for the way I walk & stand that I don’t even notice I’m wearing them anymore. Can’t say enough but thanks!"
    David R.
  • "Fantastic staff and extremely caring. They are will to work around crazy schedules like mine, to make sure that you are able to get feeling better fast. They are all very willing to answer any question that you could possibly have. I would recommend them to anyone looking for a chiropractor."
    Marci T.
  • "Dr. Kris and staff are amazing! I'm working away from home. My wife found Dr. Kris online. I came in barely able to walk due to a back injury. Dr. Kris didn't just adjust me and shoot me out the door, she took the time to figure out exactly what my injury was then set up my treatment plan. I can now say after just 8 visits I'm back to feeling like myself again! I also have never had a doctor work with my insurance company the way they have. They go above and beyond to get my insurance claims taken care of with no hassles. I honestly feel I've not only found a great chiropractor away from home but someone who cares about my well being!!"
    Michael McCully