More Animals Getting Chiropractic Care

Several recent articles are beginning to note that more animals are getting chiropractic care. A February 26, 2003 article from the Iowa North Scott Press reports on a veterinarian Dr. Jill White who took special courses, completed a practicum, watched videos and passed an exam in order to become a certified veterinary chiropractitioner. She says chiropractic for animals is used for many of the same reasons owners seek traditional treatment, a decrease in performance levels. “The animals just love it,” says Dr. White of chiropractic treatment. “It’s pretty exciting to see one go from not being able to perform, to being able to perform almost immediately,” she says. “It’s very rewarding.”

In 1996, the largest organization of veterinarians in the United States, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), gave its seal of approval to alternative remedies for pets. In their new guidelines, the AVMA stated that “sufficient clinical and anecdotal evidence exists” to suggest real benefits from a number of unconventional approaches including chiropractic and homeopathy.”

This new development does not go without some controversy as both chiropractors and veterinarians battle over who should be allowed to render chiropractic care to animals. But Veterinarian groups claim that only veterinarians should be allowed to treat animals while chiropractors claim that there is no real reason, other than a turf war that should prevent chiropractors who desire to and are trained, from seeing animals. The American Veterinary Chiropractic Association, an organization started in 1989 by a Michigan woman who is both a veterinarian and a chiropractor, lists 228 practicing animal chiropractors in the United States. But nearly 70% of those listed are veterinarians who can legally perform chiropractic adjustments. The rest are traditional chiropractors, who also treat animals.

For the most part, both chiropractors and veterinarians agree that chiropractic adjustments help animals, particularly horses and dogs that participate in athletic competitions.