by Taryn Clark, DVM

Veterinary chiropractic therapy helps manage the consequences of decreased range of motion of the joints and spine. If the joints do not move freely, cartilage deteriorates and degenerative joint disease will develop, leading to muscle weakness, atrophy and pain.

Chiropractic therapy is considered another modality in holistic veterinary medicine that is minimally invasive and can significantly improve patient well-being and lifestyle and ultimately improve quality of life. Its effectiveness can be complemented with other alternative therapies such as acupuncture, herbal medicine, nutritional supplements, food therapy, laser therapy, massage and physical rehabilitation.

How does it work?

Think of the spine as the highway that nerves travel from the brain to the tips of your pet’s nose, toes and tail. During an examination, the veterinarian palpates an area of hypomobility or restriction with a gentle hand technique; brings the joint gently into tension; and applies a low amplitude, high velocity thrust to that area, bringing motion back into the joint.

Veterinary spinal manipulative or chiropractic therapy can restore normal alignment to the spine, joint and surrounding musculature. This allows the muscle and nerves to resume their normal functions which makes for a healthy neurological and musculoskeletal system and a healthier companion!

What conditions can be treated?

Hip dysplasia


Acute or chronic injury


Disc disease

Neurological disease

Hunched back

Pain in neck or back

Urinary incontinence

Unusual gait

In addition, it can aid in general pain management, with difficulty going up or down stairs or getting into the car, and can help athletic performance dogs stay in top shape.


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Ann Arbor Animal Hospital is a locally-owned animal hospital operating for over 90 years in Ann Arbor, MI.