Veterinary chiropractic

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Chiropractic performed on a horse

Veterinary chiropractic, also known as animal chiropractic, is the practice of spinal manipulation or manual therapy for animals.[1] Veterinary chiropractors typically treat horses, racing greyhounds, and pets.[2] Veterinary chiropractic is a fast-developing field that is complementary to the conventional approach.[3]

Contrary to traditional medicine which deals with pathology, chiropractic therapies refer to a holistic medical approach that focuses on restoring homeostasis in the body and allows for the body to naturally heal itself.[4] There is some degree of risk associated with even skilled manipulation in animals as the potential for injury exists with any technique used.[5] It remains controversial within certain segments of the veterinary and chiropractic profession.[6]

The founder of chiropractic, Daniel David Palmer, used the method on animals, partly to challenge claims that the placebo effect was responsible for favorable results in humans.[7] Chiropractic treatment of large animals dates back to the early 1900s.[8] As of 2019, many states in the US provide statutory or regulatory guidelines for the practice of chiropractic and related treatments on animals, generally requiring some form of veterinary involvement.[9]

History[edit]

Chiropractic treatment of large animals dates back to the early 1900s.[8] The founder of the field of chiropractic, spiritualist Daniel David Palmer, used the method on animals, partly to challenge claims that the placebo effect was responsible for favorable results in humans.[7] In the early 1980s, it began to be seen on the margins of veterinary medicine.[10] By the late 1980s, a veterinarian who also was a chiropractor, Sharon Willoughby, developed a training program.[7] With the emergence of veterinary chiropractic, both doctors of chiropractic (DCs) and veterinary medicine (DVMs) became able to take additional training to become certified in veterinary chiropractic.

Efficacy and safety[edit]

Aside from the common treatment of racehorses, greyhounds, and pets, some animal chiropractors perform adjustments on exotic animals such as birds, dolphins,[6] elephants, iguanas, turkeys, pigs, and llamas.[11] Veterinary chiropractic is considered a controversial method due to limited evidence that exists on the efficacy of osteopathic or chiropractic methods in equine therapy.[12] There is limited evidence supporting the effectiveness of spinal manipulation or mobilization for equine pain management, and the efficacy of specific equine manual therapy techniques is mostly anecdotal.[1] One study done in 2021 on Boxers showed successful signs that veterinary chiropractic treatment may be used to reduce the probability of early development of spondylosis in young Boxers.[13] Another study done on racehorses found significant changes in thoracolumbar and pelvic kinematics with veterinary chiropractic treatment but stated increased numbers of horses and clinical trials are needed.[14] The practice remains controversial.[6]

There is some degree of risk associated with even skilled manipulation in animals as the potential for injury exists with any technique used.[5][15] This risk may increase in the presence of structural diseases, such as equine cervical vertebral malformation (CVM) or canine intervertebral disk disease.[5] Horses have been hurt by very forceful animal chiropractic movements.[16] Adjusting the spine of a dog with a degenerative disk runs the risk of serious injury to the spinal cord.[16]

Practice[edit]

Clinical[edit]

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) guidelines recommend that a veterinarian should examine an animal and establish a preliminary diagnosis before any alternative treatment, like chiropractic, is initiated.[17] Before performing a chiropractic adjustment, the chiropractor examines the animal's gait, posture, vertebrae, and extremities. The chiropractor may also make neurological evaluations.[18] In addition to spinal manipulation, other adjustive procedures can be performed to the extremity joints and cranial sutures.[18] Those that specialize in horses are referred to as "equine chiropractors."[19]

Certification and requirements[edit]

There are two certifying agencies in North America, the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA) and the International Veterinary Chiropractic Association(IVCA). Earning certification from either agency requires attending an approved animal chiropractic program followed by AVCA or IVCA written and clinical examinations.[20] In some locations, a veterinarian must supervise the treatment or provide a referral for the treatment by a veterinary chiropractor.[21]

The JAVMA describes chiropractic as a complementary and alternative treatment (CAVM).[22] Other CAVM treatments include acupuncture and physical therapy. The AVMA Model Veterinary Practice Act includes CAVM in the definition of veterinary medicine, and that standard has been adopted in 20 states as of 2016.[23] Different provisions are listed for each individual state regarding the use of CAVM on animals, most of which require some type of veterinary input such as supervision or referral.[24] Veterinary chiropractic is not recognized by the American Chiropractic Association as being chiropractic.[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Haussler, KK (2010). "The role of manual therapies in equine pain management". Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract. 26 (3): 579–601. doi:10.1016/j.cveq.2010.07.006. PMID 21056301.
  2. ^ Kayne, Steven (2004). Veterinary Pharmacy. Pharmaceutical Press. p. 143. ISBN 0-85369-534-2. Retrieved April 22, 2008.
  3. ^ Haq, Abrar Ul; Shah, O. S.; Hussain, S. A.; Beigh, S. A.; Yatoo, M. I. (2017). "A mini review on chiropractic medicine and its application in veterinary medicine". The Pharma Innovation Journal. 6 (11): 471–473. ISSN 2277-7695.
  4. ^ Taylor, L L; Romano, L (1999). "Veterinary chiropractic". The Canadian Veterinary Journal. 40 (10): 732–735. ISSN 0008-5286. PMC 1539824. PMID 10572672.
  5. ^ a b c Ramey D, Keating JC, Imrie R, Bowles D (March 2000). "Claims for veterinary chiropractic unjustified". Can. Vet. J. 41 (3): 169–70. PMC 1476296. PMID 10738593.
  6. ^ a b c Daniel Kamen (2001). "Politics and technique". Dyn Chiropr. 19 (13).
  7. ^ a b c Kuchinski, Kristine (2012). Pediatrics of common and uncommon species. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders. pp. 286–287. ISBN 9781455744466.
  8. ^ a b "Complementary and alternative veterinary medicine—such as acupuncture, herbs and chiropractic—becoming more mainstream" (Press release). American Veterinary Medical Association. July 14, 2007. Archived from the original on May 20, 2008. Retrieved May 30, 2008.
  9. ^ "Scope of Practice: Complementary and alternative veterinary medicine (CAVM) and other practice act exemptions". American Veterinary Medical Association. May 2019. Retrieved March 22, 2016.
  10. ^ "More Pet Owners Turn To Pet Chiropractors". KMGH-TV. May 10, 2011.
  11. ^ "Animal chiropractors treat elephants, iguanas, turkeys, pigs, llamas, dogs and cats". Daily News. Associated Press. April 21, 2013.
  12. ^ Haussler, Kevin K. (2016). "Joint Mobilization and Manipulation for the Equine Athlete". Veterinary Clinics of North America: Equine Practice. 32 (1): 87–101. doi:10.1016/j.cveq.2015.12.003. ISSN 0749-0739. PMID 27012508.
  13. ^ Halle, Kristin Steinmoen; Granhus, Aksel (September 2021). "Veterinary Chiropractic Treatment as a Measure to Prevent the Occurrence of Spondylosis in Boxers". Veterinary Sciences. 8 (9): 199. doi:10.3390/vetsci8090199. PMC 8473340. PMID 34564593.
  14. ^ Alvarez, C. B. Gomez; L'ami, J. J.; Moffatt, D.; Back, W.; Weeren, P. R. van (2008). "Effect of chiropractic manipulations on the kinematics of back and limbs in horses with clinically diagnosed back problems". Equine Veterinary Journal. 40 (2): 153–159. doi:10.2746/042516408X250292. ISSN 2042-3306. PMID 18089466.
  15. ^ Taylor L, Romano L (March 2000). "Claims for veterinary chiropractic unjustified - A reply". Can. Vet. J. 41 (3): 169–170. PMC 1476304. PMID 17424592.
  16. ^ a b David W. Ramey (2000). "Veterinary Chiropractic". Chirobase.
  17. ^ AVMA Alternative Complementary Therapies Task Force (June 1, 2001). "An insight into the AVMA Guidelines for Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine". Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 218 (11): 1729–1731. doi:10.2460/javma.2001.218.1729. PMID 11394818 – via DOI.org (Crossref).
  18. ^ a b Ellen Shenk (2005). Careers with Animals: Exploring Occupations Involving Dogs, Horses, Cats. Stackpole Books. p. 187. ISBN 0-8117-2962-1. Retrieved April 23, 2008.
  19. ^ Landers, Theodore (2002). The Career Guide to the Horse Industry. Thomson Delmar Learning. pp. 120–1. ISBN 0-7668-4849-3. Retrieved April 23, 2008.
  20. ^ "Steps to Certification". American Veterinary Chiropractic Association. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
  21. ^ "State Legislative Resources - Issues". www.avma.org. Archived from the original on April 17, 2008. Retrieved May 19, 2008.
  22. ^ Ramey DW (June 2003). "Regulatory aspects of complementary and alternative veterinary medicine". J Am Vet Med Assoc. 222 (12): 1679–82. doi:10.2460/javma.2003.222.1679. PMID 12830858.
  23. ^ "Model Veterinary Practice Act". American Veterinary Medical Association. Retrieved November 19, 2021.
  24. ^ "Scope of Practice: Complementary and alternative veterinary medicine (CAVM) and other practice act exemptions". American Veterinary Medical Association. Retrieved November 19, 2021.
  25. ^ ACA House of Delegates (1994). "'Veterinary' chiropractic". American Chiropractic Association. Archived from the original on May 17, 2008.

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