Before any treatment is undertaken on a dog, it is a prerequisite, as an IVCA certified chiropractor, that there is veterinary approval and that the attending veterinarian has first seen the dog for the current complaint. Unfortunately, if these facts are not the case, no treatment can be provided.
The initial examination will begin as a history-taking when the location, duration and nature of the complaint will be noted. Past medical history and veterinary care will also be documented. The dog will then be observed, paying particular attention to posture, general balance, behaviour and manner of movement.
The physical exam will begin as static palpation of the spine and pelvis, examining for pain, alignment, skin temperature and muscle tone. Following this, motion palpation of the vertebral and pelvic joints will be performed to check for vertebral subluxation complexes by using a gentle springing action along the line of the joint to ascertain if normal movement is present in each and every vertebral and pelvic articulation. During the initial consultation all the extremities including the temporomandibular (jaw joint) will also be examined using the same system.
Once the subluxation pattern has been established and the practitioner is content that chiropractic care is appropriate then the dog will be treated using a series of spinal adjustments. After treatment and depending on the condition, it is normally advised that the dog is rested with only light exercise for a day or two. Advice will then be given on a suitable exercise regime to help compliment the treatment and maintain improvement.