Atlas Family Chiropractic Blog - Health and Wellness for You!
When people experience problems with back or neck pain, it makes sense to turn to chiropractors becasue they are often able to alleviate pains without surgery or medication. But, did you know that animals can also benefit from chiropractic care?
Dr. David Nygaard of Atlas Family Chiropractic in Asheville, NC knows that a healthy spine contributes to overall health in all vertebrates. So, when Atlas’ office mascot, a vital 11 year old Golden Retriever named Levi, began to experience some joint pain, he confererred with his friend and fellow chiropractor, John Fahrety, DC.
Chiropractic Care for Performance Animals
Dr. Fahrety practices chiropractic care on people, but some of his favorite patients to work with have four legs. “Animal chiropractic care is a holistic approach to movement and health problems”, explains Dr. Fahrety.
“It does not replace normal veterinary care, but complements it. It dramatically improves musculoskeletal problems,” says Fahrety. Dr. Fahrety explains that any animal can benefit from chiropractic care. He mostly works with dogs and horses, but sees the occasional cat, mule or llama.
“I see a lot of agility and performance animals. I enjoy the stimulation of the mechanics of quadriped motion and the tremendous results that are apparent in these performance animals,” Fahrety adds.
Performance animals are often asked to perform repetitive motions that can lead to health issues. Dogs and horses that compete in agility or jumping competitions sometimes become injured during training. Dr. Faherty is a certified member of the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association and has worked with world class jumpers, dressage horses and canine champions.
If a trainer notices a dog or horse is having trouble making jumps or performing specific movements they will bring the animal to Dr. Fahrety. Animal owners might also notice a limp or favoring or a limb or symptoms of back pain.
Dogs and Chiropractic Care
Dr. Fahrety helps dogs with lack of coordination, inability to engage their hind quarters, tail issues like unusual tail rubbing and biting of the tail, uneasy posture and discomfort while jumping. Chiropractic care can also aid changes in agility, stiffness in movement, lameness and the development of unusual behavior. Not just for dog athletes, treatment can also help family pets to continue to live normal active lives, allowing them to jump on the bed again or out of the car.
One of Dr. Fahrety’s clients was amazed at the effect chiropractic care had for their dog, Molly.
“Molly is a 13-year old lab mix. She suffered from a torn ligament and had surgery. She also has arthritis in her hips. After seeing Dr. Fahrety she now walks evenly and looks balanced. She is able to take long walks without showing signs of limping or soreness,” says this happy client.
Another client talks about improvements to their Boxer mix, Ginger.
“Ginger has hip dysplasia and had femoral head ostectomy and had shown signs of discomfort for years. She has improved immensely…Dr. Faherty’s care has made a huge difference in the well being of my dogs,” she explains.
Chiropractic Care for Horses
Dr. Fahrety sees horses for a variety of issues. Lack of coordination, coordination of gaits and abnormal gaits can be signs of back pain or improper spinal alignment. He also treats difficulties transitioning between gaits, stiffness, reluctance in leaving the stall, crabbing, short strides, inability to engage rear quarters, difficulty flexing at the poll, uneasy or uneven posture, discomfort while being saddled or ridden and behavior problems.
Owners of quarter horses, Brandy and Lightfoot, have noted an increased range of motion in the shoulders, hips and pasterns of their horses after receiving treatment from Dr. Fahrety.
With all animals, Dr. Fahrety works with veterinarians to rule out the possibility of pathological issues. He then adjusts the animal’s spine to improve alignment and ease movement.
“Mechanical systems require movement,” explains Dr. Fahrety.
By aligning the animal’s spine, older animals can move freely without pain for longer. Chiropractic care can also slow the progression of degenerative diseases.
“Chiropractic care doesn’t replace exercise and a good diet, but it’s highly effective at improving the quality of life for animals”, says Dr. Fahrety.