You may have come here because you never knew you could get chiropractic care for your pets. Or maybe you have heard of it but didn’t quite know what it’s all about. Well, you’ve come to the right place! Ashley with Wild Life Chiropractic, located in Melbourne, is sharing so much great information with our readers. Keep reading to learn all about chiropractic care for your pet in Melbourne, FL.
**Please note: Space Coast Pet Services does not offer chiropractic care. You will need to contact Wild Life Chiropractic directly with your needs and concerns. Their contact info is at the bottom of the page.
Chiropractic care basics
Our brain is arguably the most important organ in our body – controlling each cell, tissue, and organ within our body AND also coordinating between all of those systems, all of the time. When our brain does not get all the accurate information from the body or if the body is unable to receive the brain’s instructions, it can hinder the body’s overall function in a multitude of ways.
Our body’s ‘highway’ between the brain and the rest of the body is called the spinal cord and is encompassed in the vertebral column – or the bones in your back. This column is composed of 27 vertebral bones, each pair held together by multiple joints. If there is an immobile joint, it is not functional; therefore, the nerve/s that come out at that level can be compromised and can cause dysfunction to whatever cell, tissue, or organ it leads to.
What chiropractors do, simply put, is ‘unstick the stuck joints’ for the benefit of a better communicating, more efficient nervous system. When the brain has more accurate and appropriate information, it can coordinate more effective healing from the inside out. Another way to put it is that chiropractors adjust the spinal distortions to indirectly influence the overall function of the nervous system.
What is canine chiro?
Canine chiropractic works the same as it does for people. They have a spine, spinal cord, and brain, just like we do. What’s dissimilar is the number of vertebral segments and their orientation to one another, being that they are quadrupeds instead of bipeds and that they experience gravity differently.
The super cool thing about adjusting dogs is that they show exactly how and what they are feeling. No expectations. No apprehensions. When they are uncomfortable, they often tell you. When they feel great, you know it. As practitioners, it is amazing how quickly we often see results because of these things.
The other neat comparison between dogs and human chiropractic is that dogs will normally hold their adjustments longer. I believe that is because they are allowed to be organic in their movements, playtime, and rest time. They are not told to sit in a chair for 8+hours a day. Or train for an ultra-marathon for months and months. They often stretch when they want, sleep when they want, and do ‘zoomies’ at any hour of the day.
Benefits & risks of canine chiro
There are many benefits of chiropractic for canines! However, since chiropractic does not specifically treat any condition besides the subluxation (that misalignment, distortion, or ‘stuck’ joint), we cannot guarantee improvement. It is up to the body to heal.
With that being said, we have often referred a multitude of conditions to co-manage with your veterinarian, including injury recovery, pain relief, improving performance or immune system function, preventing degenerative processes and injuries, and improving the overall quality of life.
There are very few risks seen with chiropractic. The most we typically see post-adjustment is a few days of soreness or nothing seems to happen. Theoretically, since we are adjusting the body’s bony joints, if an underlying condition compromises the animal (for example, osteoporosis or bone cancers), they would be more at risk for fractures and other complications.
Requirements for chiropractic care
Chiropractic works for all ages, and we co-manage a variety of conditions with your veterinarian for either resolution or decreasing pain or compensation, including hip dysplasia, arthritis, degenerative disc disease, ear infections, allergies, anxiety, vestibular disease, Cushing’s disease, thyroid conditions, ACL injuries and more.
Some signs that your dog may need an adjustment are: topical pain responses, difficulty or hesitation jumping onto or off of something, difficulty climbing stairs, touch sensitivity, head shaking, postural imbalances, ‘puppy sitting,’ persistent licking of the paws, changes in personality, decreased appetite, stiffness, decreased flexibility or range of motion, and lameness.
Costs, scheduling, & length of treatments with Wild Life Chiropractic in Melbourne, FL
The initial chiropractic evaluation and adjustment for dog or cat visits are approx $65. Sequential adjustments are around $50. If we need additional time during the adjustment or time for soft tissue release work can be an additional $10-15 to either base fee.
To schedule, call or text (321) 750-8850, book online, or email email@example.com. Wild Life Chiropractic will send you an online intake form to fill out prior to our visit. We will also send an authorization form to our primary veterinarian prior to your first visit with your approval. You can visit us in our NEW location at 3150 N Wickham Rd Unit 5, Melbourne 32935. Contact our office for details!
The initial visit is generally 20-30 minutes, and sequential adjustments are about 15 minutes. Additional soft tissue work takes about 10 minutes.
Horse adjustments are $125 plus a minimal travel fee. We offer discounts if there are 5+ horses at a barn or neighboring locations. Please contact us for details. Horse visits take about 30-45 minutes.
How is chiropractic best used?
Animal chiropractic, like human chiropractic, typically results in better outcomes when we adjust more frequently at the beginning to get to the root cause of the problem (if we can) instead of chasing the old patterns or effects. This may be 1-2 visits per week for the first few weeks. Once the spinal joints are consistently mobile again, compensation patterns have been unraveled, and the spinal muscles are stronger and able to hold the adjustments, we will reduce the frequency but like to keep checking in to stay on the side of prevention.
Typically, if the animal will benefit from chiropractic, we will see some kind of change (big or small!) by the third or fourth adjustment. So if you don’t see a change on the first day, please don’t lose faith. Chances are, your companion’s compensations have been there longer than a few days, so it may take some time to work backward.
What should I expect my animal to do after the adjustment?
There are 3 common post-adjustment expectations:
- No change. Often it takes time to unravel the long-standing patterns and/or compensations.
- Sore & tired, but just for 1-2 days. When the nervous system is clear of interference, the brain knows how and where to heal, and that takes rest and time.
- Excitement and playfulness. Your companion may feel great and limber. With this change, don’t let them overdo it while they think they have all of the energy in the world, as they could hurt themselves again.
Using chiropractic care for your pet’s health
While animal chiropractic is a relatively new modality, we are honored to serve our area as one of the few AVCA-certified practitioners. We understand that a lot of information was provided here, so please reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns. And feel free to follow @WildLifeChiro on our social media pages!
Tell us – have you ever used chiropractic care for your pet?
Ashley Mincey grew up right here on the Space Coast and graduated from Satellite High. She went on to get her Bachelor’s Degree in Animal and Dairy Science at the University of Georgia while competing on their cross country, indoor and outdoor track teams. Four years later, she graduated Cum Laude from Life University with her Doctorate in Chiropractic. During that time in (human) chiropractic school, she finished the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association certification for animal chiropractic. She worked in Georgia for a short time before returning home to serve Brevard County and beyond!