Chiropractic for small animals

Animals can benefit from chiropractic treatment in just the same way as humans. Chiropractic is a method of adjusting the bones of the body to maintain supple joints, good muscle tone and to ensure the body works efficiently.

Through subtle and gentle adjustments chiropractic treatment can relieve pain and discomfort, increase mobility and allow an animal to get back to the activities they enjoy.

Chiropractic adjustments are extremely safe and under normal circumstances do not hurt at all. Most animals enjoy their chiropractic treatments and are happy to co-operate with being adjusted.

NB. All animals receiving chiropractic treatment must be under care of a traditional veterinarian and have the vet’s consent before beginning treatment. I am happy to liase directly with your vet if they want to know more.

What are the signs that my animal needs chiropractic treatment?

Animals with any chiropractic-based problems can present with a variety of symptoms, some common ones are:

  • Abnormal posture
  • Abnormal or irregular gait (style of moving)
  • Reluctance to move, climb stairs or jump
  • Crying out when getting up
  • Uneven muscle tone
  • Lameness, when vet has ruled out alternative causes
  • Stiffness or pain after exercise
  • Unexplained deterioration in performance
  • Unsteadiness upon standing
  • Sensitivity to touch
  • Resistance to being groomed
  • Changes in behaviour
  • Lying on one side only
  • Incontinence
  • Chronic anal gland or ear infections
  • Digestion problems
  • Excessive licking or grooming 
  • Tail carried to one side

Why do problems occur?

In much the same way as humans, animals can develop problems as a result of sudden trauma such as boisterous play, falls or car accidents. They can also be affected by ‘lifestyle ‘ factors such as handling methods, repetitive activities/training and stress.
Even in the absence of pain, imbalances in an animal’s body can affect muscle co-ordination and skeletal mobility and therefore change their behaviour or performance.
Chiropractic treatment can help to remove these imbalances, enabling your animal to be at its best. Chiropractic can be used in acute situations when an animal is in pain and also in more chronic situations to help to decrease the symptoms of degenerative problems such as hip dysplasia and arthritis.
Chiropractic can optimise performance for competition animals or can be used as a preventative treatment to maintain fitness.

How many treatments will be needed?

Most small animals show visible improvement after 1-3 treatments. Acute problems often respond quickly, while longstanding problems may require further sessions.
Animals with chronic conditions such as hip dysplasia or arthritis respond very well to regular supportive treatment every 2-6 months.
Working or competition animals can benefit from regular check-ups so that underlying problems can be identified and treated before they begin to impact on performance.


Most animals feel better straight away, however some may be slightly stiff or sore the next day. They may also be sleepy or off their food for a short time.
Generally an animal will benefit from resting for 24 hours after treatment, avoiding any vigorous play or training. A gentle return to normal exercise can take place following this rest


International Veterinary
                Chiropractic Association

Kate Walder studied Animal Chiropractic with the International Academy of Veterinary Chiropractic (IAVC) in Germany, receiving her certificate in 2007. Since graduation she has been a member of the International Veterinary Chiropractic Association.
The IAVC and its parent school ‘Options for Animals’ in the USA are considered the ‘gold standard’ in Animal Chiropractic education and are only open to Doctors of Chiropractic and Veterinary Medicine.
Kate now specialises in treating small animals (mainly dogs and cats). 


If you would like to discuss how your animal could benefit from chiropractic treatment or to book an appointment, please contact us. Alternatively we also offer free 15-minute spine health checks for animals – a perfect way to find out more about chiropractic.

'Gentle, no-nonsense Chiropractic'
© 2013-2016

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