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Animal Chiropractic Care

What Can a Back Doctor Do for My Pet? Facts & Myths Surrounding Animal Chiropractic Care

If you’ve noticed changes in your pet’s behavior, movements, or habits, he or she could be experiencing pain or stiffness that could be soothed by a visit to a chiropractor. Chiropractors adjust joints that aren’t moving properly through natural, drug-free procedures. Before taking your pet to a back doctor in Little Falls, MN, here are the facts you should know—and the real answers to some common myths.

The Facts You Need to Know

Fact #1: The term “chiropractic” has a Greek origin and means “to perform with the hands.”

Chiropractic care is a manual, totally natural, and drug-free treatment method that can ease pain and restore proper movement to your animal’s joints.

Fact #2: Chiropractors identify problems by looking for unusual movement.

An animal chiropractor carefully examines your pet’s spine and the joints of his or her extremities, as these areas can affect the entire body and the nervous system. Through a few simple adjustments, your chiropractor can help your pet return to normal movement so that he or she experiences less pain and is healthier overall.

Fact #3: An animal chiropractor is certified with a Veterinarian or Doctor of Chiropractic degree.

Animal chiropractors are also certified by the International Veterinary Chiropractic Association (IVCA) or the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA). In the State of Minnesota, a Doctor of Chiropractic must be certified by either the IVCA or the AVCA and must have a written referral from a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM). At Paradox Chiropractic, Dr. DeAnn Adams is certified by the IVCA and focuses her treatment on cats, dogs, and horses.

Fact #4: Animals generally do not need to see chiropractors long-term.

Many pets will begin to see results within their first three visits, and we will refer your pet back to the referring DVM for further diagnostic testing if he or she doesn’t experience obvious improvement within this time. Adjustments typically take about 15 or 20 minutes, though your pet’s first visit may take a bit longer to allow for proper evaluation and rapport establishment between the animal and the chiropractor.

Common Myths Surrounding Animal Chiropractors

Myth #1: Animal chiropractors do not treat out of place bones.

Chiropractors do treat joints with abnormal or incorrect movement, but they always ensure that the animal’s joints do not extend past their normal range of motion. There are some manipulative techniques that can resolve problems with out of place bones, but your chiropractor will typically refer you to a veterinarian in such cases and a veterinarian would not typically refer such a case to a chiropractor.

Myth #2: Animal chiropractors do not move or treat large areas of a horse’s body at once.

Instead, the animal chiropractor adjusts the involved individual motion units of the spine first, and then evaluates and treats the necessary limb joints. Some non-chiropractic animal manipulators attempt to treat larger areas of a horse’s body at once or to straighten the spine by pulling on the limbs.  However, this tactic is not specific and people can injure themselves and the horses doing so.

Myth #3: Chiropractic adjustments are not dangerous or damaging to pets.

Chiropractic treatment is an effective way to soothe your pet’s aches and stiffness. Generally, chiropractic adjustments do not cause your animal any pain, though he or she may experience a brief moment of discomfort during the treatment. Your animal may sometimes experience a bit of soreness after a chiropractic treatment, however the adjustments are safe as long as they are performed by a trained, professional chiropractor. Many animals note improvement within 24-72 hours of a chiropractic treatment, while others may take a week or so which allows the affected tissues some healing time.  Animals may require a follow up visit or two, after which a preventative treatment plan may be determined to maintain your pet’s health.


Dr. DeAnn Adams, DC, offers animal chiropractic services for horses, cats and dogs. Her service area includes but is not limited to the communities of Little Falls, Saint Cloud, Brainerd, Long Prairie, Onamia and the areas between and surrounding them.  You may contact “Dr. D” at 320-632-6757 or via email.

Please note that animal chiropractic care requires a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine referral, which you can find on our Services for Animals page.

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