The doctor will begin by obtaining a detailed case history which will consist mainly of owner observations and medical history (including things like previous x-rays, laboratory results, previous diagnoses, past therapies, and current medications/ supplements if applicable).
A thorough chiropractic evaluation includes an examination of the animal prior to chiropractic adjustment. This examination includes: posture, gait analysis, vertebral and extremity static and motion palpation.
The case history and information from the chiropractic examination are combined to determine which chiropractic adjustments your animal may require. The animal chiropractor looks for abnormal or restricted movement of the joints of the spine and extremities which have an effect on the nervous system and the entire body.
Adjusting your animal is somewhat similar to being adjusted by a human chiropractor in that once the doctor finds an area with either decreased or restricted motion, the animal chiropractor applies a high force, low amplitude thrust specific to the anatomy of the joint thereby restoring normal movement. The adjustment has little or no pain and most animals enjoy being adjusted.
Usually the normal response to chiropractic care can be immediate improvement within the first 24 to 72 hours. The results depend upon several variables such as the length of time for the initial trauma if any, age of your animal, the severity of the decreased/restricted motion of the joints of the spine and or extremities, etc. Some animals can show great improvement in the first few days to a week and then you may notice a relapse of the initial complaint. This is not unusual as this is a healing process, so make a note for the animal chiropractor if you notice this relapse to help gauge your animal’s rate of response and probable healing time required. Normally after the first 2 or 3 adjustments then most initial relapses are resolved as your animal responds positively.
A follow-up adjustment may be required in 1 to 2 weeks to continue the healing process. The animal chiropractor should talk about this on the initial visit. If improvement is noted then the follow-up visits may be spread out further. Depending on how active your animal is with performance activities or just a family pet, chiropractic maintenance care usually is recommended anywhere from 1 time a month to 1 time every six months. The animal chiropractor should talk about what is best for your animal in maintaining their optimal health.