Dr. Jennifer Selvig completed the 210-hour animal chiropractic course at Options for Animals College of Animal Chiropractic in Wellsville, Kansas, the premiere school for animal chiropractic in the country. Upon graduation from the Options curriculum she was also certified by the International Veterinary Chiropractic Association (IVCA).
Chiropractic is a type of manual therapy that focuses on the relationship between the spinal column, extremities and the nervous system and their impact on an animal’s biomechanics. Chiropractic adjustments restore movement to the joints of the spine and extremities, using high-velocity, low-amplitude thrusts in specific lines of correction. These areas of reduced movement, or restrictions, are called subluxation complexes (or in the spinal column, vertebral subluxation complexes or VSCs). An adjustment treats a subluxation complex by quickly moving the affected joint through its entire normal range of motion. Because the spinal column is intimately related to the nervous system, chiropractic improves both the animal’s biomechanics and its neurologic function by removing restrictions within the nervous system and restoring normal motion to the spinal column and extremities. By improving neurologic function, chiropractic can also improve an animal’s innate ability to heal itself.
An animal chiropractor will perform a thorough chiropractic exam, which includes palpation of the entire spine and extremities, to identify subluxation complexes. The exam also includes static palpation and gait analysis. As the exam progresses, the animal chiropractor will usually perform adjustments as needed to remove the subluxation complexes that are found.
Chiropractic is an integrative, holistic therapy that is not meant to replace traditional health care. However, the doctor examines the entire animal during the course of a chiropractic exam, and can often identify issues that represent compensations for a primary problem. Many performance or lameness issues, painful conditions and even systemic diseases can improve when chiropractic therapy is integrated into an animal’s health care. Chiropractic treatment can benefit performance horses and dogs, pleasure horses and pets alike. Specific problems can often be addressed over the course of 1-4 treatments, and routine rechecks can identify new problems early.
An additional benefit of chiropractic is that most animals, even those with nervous or aggressive tendencies, find treatments relaxing, sometimes showing licking and chewing behavior. Because the adjustments are high-velocity and low-amplitude, they are very gentle and don’t require much force, and do not harm the animal.
Some signs that a subluxation might be affecting your horse include stiffness, reluctance to go forward, decreased performance, reluctance or inability to bend, interference of limbs, change in posture, change in attitude, lack of coordination or rhythm, muscle atrophy or weakness, saddling issues, and others.
Some signs that a subluxation might be affecting your dog or cat include change in behavior, “puppy sitting,” pain or weakness, anal gland or ear infections, stiffness, decreased performance or reluctance to perform, difficulty going up or down stairs, postural changes, altered reaction or sensitivity to the collar or harness, and others.
Please call with any questions or to schedule a chiropractic appointment today! Dr. Selvig offers in-clinic and on-farm appointments for horses and in-clinic appointments for small animals.