Chiropractic is a wonderful holistic treatment method for not only people, but pets as well. Animal chiropractic is a gentle, yet highly effective treatment modality that allows the animal to utilize their very own healing capabilities.
Chiropractic care deals with the nervous system. The spinal cord carries nerves that are distributed to EVERY single organ, tissue, and cell of the body. A misalignment of a joint, called a subluxation, adversely alters nerve function to those areas. Altered nerve impulses leaving the spinal column affect the function of organs, tissues, and cells supplied by that nerve. Dysfunction of the nervous system can lead to a series of illnesses and conditions, such as pain, disease, fatigue, muscle weakness, balance/proprioception issues, immune suppression, and much more.
When a joint is subluxated, it looses motion and position. A chiropractic adjustment is aimed at correcting the subluxation and restoring the proper movement of the joint and also the proper functioning of the nervous system.
Chiropractic works to eliminate the root cause of the problem and not just simply treat the symptoms.
It can also be used for wellness care. Healthy pets under chiropractic care may have improved performance, more energy, and better immune response. Additionally, chiropractic may also provide a prevention for disease, injury, and arthritis. Well adjusted animals many times experience a whole new level of health.
Watch this Q and A video with Dr. O’Connor for info all about animal chiropractic for your pet. It has some of our most asked questions along with some demonstration of how a dog is adjusted.
Your pet may benefit from chiropractic care if he or she exhibits one or more of the following:
Changes in behavior (such as starting to snap, refusal to play with family members)
Problems eating or refusing to play with toys
Decrease in level of activity or performance
Showing signs of pain
Problems or difficulty executing desired movements
Seizures or seizure-like episodes
Short or uneven strides
Diagnosed conditions, such as arthritis
Sudden back leg paralysis, dragging of the back legs
Limping, lameness, abnormal gait
Abnormal posture, choosing to stand on uneven ground
Holding tail to one side
Abnormal shaking of the head
Injuries from falls, training, etc.
Weak immune system
And much more
We also see animals for:
Wellness to promote optimal health
Recently rescued animals to get a good check on everything, especially if they had an abusive past
Proper development… puppies are clumsy growing up and can benefit from chiropractic too!
Of course, at your first appointment, we will evaluate your dog to see if chiropractic care is a good option for them, if we don’t think chiropractic care will benefit your pet, we will refer you back to your vet or another health care professional who we believe can help. We may not be the right fit for everyone, and that is ok. The end goal is that your pet is happy and healthy.
A significant amount of our patients have neurological conditions. Here is an interview with Dr. O’Connor with the no-longer-paralyzed-pekingese-duo, Drake and Simba. Both dogs were found by a rescue a few months apart. Both of their states of paralysis were due to disc injury, Drake in his neck and Simba in his mid-back. They were adopted by a vet tech, who was fostering them and bringing them in for chiropractic care. The vet tech knew once she saw Drake’s improvements with chiropractic, that she needed to also foster Simba and bring him along for chiropractic care too! This was filmed in 2014, both are doing wonderful.
Animal Chiropractic Fees
- Initial Visit for Dog, Cat, or Exotic – History/Exam and Adjustment: $90
- Follow Up Adjustments for Dog, Cat, or Exotic: $55
- Re-Eval and Adjustment for Established Pet who has Not Been Seen in 12 months or more: $80
- Puppy, Kitten, or “Baby Exotic” Visit (<6 months): $45
- Animals Currently In Rescues/Shelters and Military or Police Dogs (must have proof): $35 (every visit)
- Mother&Puppies Combo Visit: Mom full price above and puppies free until they go to new homes OR reach 6 months, whichever comes first. Mom and pups must be scheduled together. We are happy to provide “Well Adjusted Puppy” certificates.
- FitPaws equipment and Young Living Essential Oils are also available during visits to help the healing process, if necessary in your pet’s case.
- Services are offered for dogs, cats, exotics, farm animals that can travel to our office, and wildlife being rehabbed or residing within sanctuaries or animal conservation facilities. We do not have the time availability for travel or house visits.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO FILL OUT NEW PATIENT PAPERWORK AHEAD OF TIME?
We must have a veterinary approval form on file in order to see your pet. We work with about 130 veterinary hospitals in the Chicagoland area and beyond. Some of the vets we work with that are comfortable with our care, have given us pre-approval of their patients seeking our services. With all others we need to send a fax for each individual patient and get it returned to us before your visit.
AVCA Animal Chiropractors are licensed and certified chiropractors or veterinarians. Entrust the health of your animal only to a trained professional. Certification means your animal chiropractor is recognized by the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association. By dealing with a Certified Animal Chiropractor, you are assured of the services of a skilled, dedicated professional who will work to provide the very best care. If you are looking for an animal chiropractor and Vitality Chiropractic Center is not in your area, visit AVCAdoctors.com. There is also an international directory at IVCA.de.
Keep in mind, animal chiropractic does not replace traditional veterinary medicine but is a wonderful complement to it.
IS YOUR PET’S SPINE HEALTHY?
The only way to know for sure is to have them examined by an animal chiropractor. However, there are a couple things you can do that may give you an indication that they would benefit from chiropractic. Hold a treat in front of your dog and have them follow it to their shoulder. There should be no twisting, sideways maneuvering, or backing up to get the treat. You can see this “home check” demonstrated on video here. You can also gently press along your pet’s spine, if they seem sore, aggravated, or afraid when you touch a certain spot, or even jump, this can be an indication that a chiropractic problem is present in that area.
Subtle changes can be difficult for untrained hands and eyes. The more familiar you are with your pet’s body, the more likely to will pick up any abnormalities. The more you watch your dog’s gait, the more likely you’ll pick up on slight changes as well.
TYPES OF ANIMALS ADJUSTED
This is a common question we hear, and the answer is that any animal with a spine can benefit from chiropractic care! However, Dr. O’Connor limits her practice to small animals, which would be anything from as small as a chipmunk or baby bird to as large as a great dane or Saint Bernard! In her clinic, she sees dogs, cats, exotics.
She also volunteers her services to wildlife being rehabbed at Fox Valley Wildlife Center.She has adjusted pretty much all of the native wildlife to Illinois, such as geese, ducks, hawks, songbirds, raccoons, opossums, deer, pheasant, woodchucks, cottontails, squirrels, chipmunks, even a snapping turtle! You can see some of these adjustments on our youtube channel: vitchiro.
We do our best to make chiropractic care affordable for families. Any combination of 3 people or pets being seen at least every 3 months reduces the follow-up adjustment rates to $40
ANIMAL CHIRO SEMINARS
Dr. O’Connor regularly lectures to groups on the benefits of chiropractic, answers questions, and demos an adjustment as her availability allows. Please call or email if interested in scheduling her.
3-4 months advance notice is ideal to try our best to make your group’s seminar happen.
GENEVA ON MONDAYS
Dr. O’Connor provides animal chiropractic care at Autumn Green Animal Hospital in Geneva on Mondays from 9am-6pm. If interested in scheduling at Autumn Green, please call (630)232-2222. The unique hospital combines aspects of western and eastern medicine to provide an integrative approach to therapy, treatment, and preventative care.
Dr. Erin O’Connor and her 3 dogs: 6 month old German shepherd-Onyx, 10 year old Italian greyhound-Bella, 7 year old border collie-Lolo
Her dogs have participated in obedience, CGC, agility, duck and sheep herding, and swimming. They receive regular chiropractic care and are raw fed.
You can read more on Dr. O’Connor here.
Services available with concurrent veterinary care and/or referral only. Dr. O’Connor is a Doctor of Chiropractic, licensed in the care of humans and board certified by the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association in the care of animals. She has had extensive education in Animal Chiropractic (220hrs of education specifically in animal chiropractic, plus continuing education every year). Animal chiropractic education and certification is the exact same for both licensed DCs and licensed DVMs. Dr. O’Connor is NOT a Veterinarian, and cannot take responsibility for the primary care of animals. This is outlined further in the informed consent given to and signed by clients at their initial visit.