Animal Chiropratic Answers

What is chiropractic? Chiropractic is a drugless health care system that deals with restoring health to a person or animal by optimising function of the nervous system, the master controller of the body.

How does it work? Chiropractors assess spinal function to determine areas of improper alignment and/or movement (termed subluxations).

Subluxations can arise from injury (eg. a pet getting hit by a car) or repetitive micro-traumas (eg. a dog always straining on one side of the leash). Subluxations interfere with proper nervous system communication and may cause disturbances to local muscles, distant organs, glands and various body functions.

By correcting subluxations with specific adjustments, chiropractors help improve nervous system communication, alter blood flow patterns, and influence hormone and neurotransmitter levels with effects on various organs, tissues and overall health.

How do you find & correct subluxations? Detecting subluxations or areas of joint dysfunction in animals is similar to that for humans. It is done following a case history and with a thorough physical examination looking at symmetry, muscle balance, and feeling for correct tissue tone and joint movement.

Adjustments are the process that chiropractors use to correct subluxations. Adjustments are made with specific light pressures or with a gentle spring-loaded instrument.

Will an adjustment hurt my pet? Most animals accept the chiropractic examination and adjustments without any distress at all.

If a painful area is found, the gentlest techniques will be used to reduce any discomfort when delivering an adjustment.

In cases of severe injury, extreme pain or if a pet is highly distressed, then the adjustment may be adapted or delayed until your pet can be relaxed and comfortable.

How long will it take & how much will it cost? After the initial consultation, Dr Keenan will set out a plan of care and may give other recommendations. The number of adjustments will vary from animal to animal and is determined by the individual needs of your pet.

In the case of a recent minor injury, a small number of adjustments may be adequate, however follow-up check ups may be necessary to ensure your pet remains well.

By the time a chronic problem presents with noticeable pain or outward signs, a longer period of time and frequency of adjustments may be required to help return your pet to full health and function.

As no obvious signs may be present to indicate that your pet has a subluxation it is a good idea for your pet to get regular checkups for early detection and correction.

To get the most out of animal chiropractic be sure to share with Dr Keenan all the information about your pet’s health history and any care from other care providers, including diet, supplements and medications. Also, make sure you understand and follow through on all post-adjustment advice including attention to exercise, collar, harness and conditioning recommendations.

What can I expect after my pet has received a chiropractic adjustment? The adjustment itself may only take a short amount of time and will look very gentle however, because it unleashes the healing potential of your pet it continues to work over a number of hours.

Many animals will show immediate improvement.

Sometimes there is a 24-48 hour period of tiredness.

Often, with chronic health problems, Dr Keenan will recommend seeing your animal several times to re- establish and maintain normal function of the joints and nervous system.

Chiropractic is based on four simple concepts:

1) Any living organism is self-healing and self–regulating. This means for example that if you stub your toe, it heals; the healing doesn’t only take place if you put a plaster on it.

2) The nervous system (the brain, spinal cord and nerves exiting the spine) is the key control system of any pet or person. There is no experience or expression that is not processed by the nervous system.

3) When there is interference to the function of the nervous system it has an adverse effect on health. This holds true for both people and animals.

4) Chiropractic was developed to locate and reduce the cause of interference to the nervous system, gently, safely and effectively, thus allowing a person or animal to regain their health.

About Dr Todd Keenan - Chiropractor Dr Todd Keenan graduated from the New Zealand College of Chiropractic in 2001. Since 2005 he has had his own practice on Franklin Rd in Ponsonby where he specialises in wellness care for families. He has always had a strong interest in chiropractic care for animals and is pleased to be able to offer this service at VetCare, Grey Lynn.

Todd is also a part-time lecturer and Chiropractic Centre Supervisor at the New Zealand College of Chiropractic and is President of their Alumni Association.

Dr Keenan was voted “Chiropractor of the Month” in 2006 by the Chiropractic Leadership Alliance, a renowned worldwide Chiropractic Organisation and also “Chiropractor the Year” by the New Zealand College of Chiropractic Alumni Association in 2008.

His passion is helping people and our four legged friends regain their health so that they can do what they love, when they want to do it. Chiropractic care for animals now available at: reduce the cause of interference to the nervous system, gently, safely and effectively, thus allowing a person or animal to regain their health.

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