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Veterinarians Embrace Chiropractic as Effective Treatment for Animals


Spinal manipulation has been practiced on humans for generations, as chiropractic doctors become an essential part of people’s wellness plans. But have you ever wondered if the benefits of chiropractic care could extend beyond humans? It turns out that some veterinarians are learning chiropractic methods in order to treat animals, including horses and dogs. One veterinarian in Alaska treats some of the top sled dogs competing in the Iditarod and other important races in Alaska’s state sport.

Veterinarian Jeanne Olson has been working on some of the state’s best sled dogs since coming to Alaska in 1988. The chiropractic treatments she applies to animals is very gentle yet not always easy at first. Animals become fearful of vets and as they are held may tense up. Olson says that once the dogs feel the benefits of adjustment, they generally relax. She adds that the dogs actually greet her happily after initial visits, knowing that she has the right touch.

The blend of veterinarian care, sports medicine, and chiropractic treatments is a bit unique but has many people paying attention. During a recent 1,000-mile sled dog race, Olson offered a clinic about her version of animal sports medicine. Listeners heard about animal anatomy and how their bodies can benefit from many natural treatments that human athletes receive. Olson also advised the visitors to pay very close attention to a dog’s movements, as diagnosing animals can be difficult since they cannot tell us what hurts.

Olson believes that there is growing interest in the veterinarian community for more homeopathic treatments. There have been some disagreements regarding the efficacy of chiropractic care on animals, but this only because not much scientific research has been conducted on the practice yet. Olson believes that vets are generally more open to alternative treatments, since they are used to working with less than what traditional human doctors have, including basic communication.

Tamara Rose, another veterinarian who practices chiropractic treatments, believes that the popularity in these methods of care will only grow as society searches for more answers on how to treat animals effectively. As scientists continue to develop advanced treatments for injured or ill animals, it is hoped that this will bring more research into the efficacy of chiropractic. Once the results are clear, it is believed that more and more veterinarians will gain the knowledge needed to conduct spinal adjustments on not just athletic dogs, but also people’s pets.

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