I graduated the Diploma of Animal Chiropractic at RMIT in December 2001. Since then I have included chiropractic knowledge with conventional veterinary practice during consults.
Even while recording the patient’s history, my mind is running in both realms. Because of this extra tool my treatments are generally much more complete compared with straight conventional.
As was constantly driven home during the course, differential diagnosis is of vital importance. Blood tests, Xrays etc. are used to rule out potentially dangerous non chiropractic conditions such as intervertebral discs, cancer, ACL damage.
Once these test results are combined with palpation, my chiro mind can go into action. The exciting phase of this is to go back to functional anatomy and neuro anatomy seeking a chiropractic cause of the symptoms. Once happy that it is safe to adjust, this is done. Finally, reassessing the presenting symptoms usually brings joy to the animal, owner, and me.
Every pup and kitten presented for routine vaccination is examined from a chiropractic perspective as well as the conventional veterinary examination. Surprisingly a large number of defects are found at this time and treated. These are rechecked either in 2 weeks or at their next vaccination. In general these animals respond well, so will grow with better strength, balance, and mobility.
It is not uncommon to find that incontinent pets have primary spinal issues (neuro anatomy) that can be addressed with chiropractic adjustment. Itchy spots on the trunk and head may respond to a single chiropractic treatment if they are due to a dysfunction in the spine supplying nerves to the area. Then skin lesions will settle with routine treatment
Often a new client requests drugs for “spinal arthritis” that their previous vet prescribed for them. Once these patients have been cleared of spinal pathology, they are commonly adjusted and their drugs can often be reduced or stopped. If pathology is found, especially in old pets, then treatments can involve chiropractic adjustment away from the affected region. This combined with conventional drugs makes the patient more mobile and comfortable.
Overall the use of chiropractic within general practice brings lots of joy to the pets, their owners, and me. Chiropractic is the reason that I am still in practice.
Dr Tony Smith