Alternative Pet Pain Therapies:
Acupuncture & Chiropractic
Acupuncture and chiropractic are growing in popularity as accepted forms of complementary, holistic medicine for animals. The Animal Care Center and K-9 Rehabilitation team offer chiropractic care and acupuncture therapy as pain management options for treating a wide range of problems in pets.
Uses for Pet Acupuncture
Acupuncture is the art of applying thin needles to specific points on the body, creating a therapeutic response to certain diseases and conditions. One of the more popular holistic modalities, acupuncture is used to treat a variety of pet problems including arthritis pain, neurology, metabolic concerns, and spinal difficulties.
How Acupuncture Works
Acupuncture changes the signaling pathways of the body to promote pain relief, healing, and immune system stimulation. Rather than using potentially harmful drugs, acupuncture is one way we help the body to help itself. This therapy is typically used as an adjunct to current treatments and can reduce side effects and minimize the need for some medications.
Benefits of Acupuncture Treatment
Research on conditions such as arthritis in animals has shown that acupuncture has definite pain-relieving effects. Contrary to popular belief, acupuncture on dogs is not painful—indeed, many of our patients happily greet their acupuncturist and fall asleep during treatments.
Arthritis pain is commonly treated with acupuncture and recommended frequently by specialists. Treatment allows painful muscles to relax and curbs pain signals sent from the brain.
Animal Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic care is an alternative to drug therapy for suffering pets, and a form of preventative health care for well pets. Treatment works by restoring the joints and spine to normal alignment and function. This alignment helps re-establish the body’s signals through the nervous system, eliminates stress to joints, and corrects displacement of the vertebra for more flexibility and proper movement.
The word “chiropractic” derives from the Greek language and means “to practice with the hands.” Chiropractors use their hands to apply an adjustment, which is a specific and gentle correction, to the affected joint. Most animals enjoy being adjusted and are relaxed during the treatment. After being adjusted, many owners report that their pet takes a nice long nap and then is more energetic and active!
Pets that Benefit from Chiropractic
All animals can benefit from chiropractic care. Common reasons that pets are seen for chiropractic treatments include:
- Sore pets — Those with symptoms of pain, such as limping, difficulty in climbing or jumping, favoring a leg or side of the body, moaning when attempting to move, and recoiling from touch
- Seniors — Older pets with stiff joints or age-related diseases such as arthritis
- Athletes — Working or competitive animals striving to maintain optimum condition
- Obese pets — Combined with an exercise and nutritional plan, these chiropractic patients are more comfortable while being restored to overall health and mobility
- Post-surgical pets — Combined with therapy and rehabilitation procedures, chiropractic is an effective way to promote a quick and full recovery
- Preventative wellness — Regular chiropractic treatments keep the body biomechanically balanced and the nervous system healthy, which can prevent conditions and injuries from occurring
In addition, certain skin conditions, urinary problems, intestinal issues, and behavioral concerns related to pain may be improved or eliminated through chiropractic care.
Dogs, cats, rabbits, and other small animals are all candidates for chiropractic care in our clinic. In addition, equine chiropractic treatments may be provided off-site. Please call Dr. Alissa Grover at (801) 502-5593 if you are interested in scheduling an equine chiropractic appointment.
Certified Animal Chiropractor
We are pleased to offer this alternative treatment through the services of our certified animal chiropractor, Dr. Alissa Grover. Dr. Grover is certified by the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association*. This credential ensures the practitioner meets a specific standard for knowledge, experience, and competence in the field.
*Note: Dr. Grover is a Chiropractic Physician, licensed in the care of humans and certified in the care of animals. She has had extensive training in animal chiropractic. Dr. Grover is not a veterinarian, and does not take responsibility for the primary care of animals. Prior to providing chiropractic treatments, Dr. Grover will contact your pet’s veterinarian to obtain the necessary referral, as required by Utah State Law.
Contact our K-9 Rehabilitation team to find out if acupuncture or chiropractic care will benefit your pet.