Veterinarian Adds Chiropractic to His Medical Kit

The above headline appeared in the May 8th 2006 issue of the agricultural publication, the Capital Press. The ensuing article by Jodi Kerr, starts off by saying, “Humans have been counting on chiropractors to relieve pain and stress for years, but our four-legged friends are seeing the benefits as well.”

The article chronicles a veterinarian, Dr. Donald Howard, who after practicing traditional veterinary medicine for 30 years, turned his practice toward chiropractic. Dr. Howard decided to take extensive training to be certified from the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS) and the American Veterinary Chiropractor Association (AVCA).

Dr. Howard noted his reasons, “I have been benefiting from chiropractic work on myself for years. It just made sense: I am feeling so much better from treatments, why wouldn’t my four-legged patients?” The story notes that as with many chiropractors who care for animals, performance horses are the main recipients.

“Most of my patients are performance horses. When people need their horse to compete at their best, they begin to think of alternative ways to get results.” Dr. Howard then continued, “All horses can benefit, and it’s important for recreation horses that get ridden a lot. The better a horse feels, the better horse you have.”

Even a medical doctor, Dr. Holly Jo Hodges, a jackpot barrel racer, explained the benefits she had seen on her horses. “My open barrel horse has been having terrible problems,” Dr. Hodges said. “At the top of his buttocks he was completely out of alignment, you could push on his joints and bring him to the ground.” She continued, “My backup horse had been on-and-off-again lame for years. Since the chiropractic work, he has been the soundest horse ever. I had the best season and had a horse I could count on.”

In the article, Dr. Howard explained how this helps by stating that chiropractic adjustments are a natural way to let the horse’s body heal itself. He noted, “This type of treatment concentrates on proper nerve conduction through and from the brain to the spinal cord. Subluxation interferes with proper supply of nerve impulses.”