Jackie Leftwich BSc MSc AMC MMCA FRCC (Animal)
Chiropractor [McTimoney/STR/IAVC] (Qualified to treat humans and animals)
Registered with GCC and RAMP
Telephone: 07738 110570
E-mail: info@watersidechiropractic.co.uk

Chiropractic for AnimalsEquine Chiropractic

Waterside Chiropractic provides McTimoney and International Academy of Veterinary Chiropractic Animal Chiropractic care for horses, dogs, other domestic animals and farm animals throughout the counties of Sussex, Hampshire and Surrey (other areas can be considered upon request).

Like people, animals can suffer from back, neck, pelvic and musculoskeletal problems and they too can benefit from chiropractic treatment. Chiropractic for animals is a gentle non-invasive holistic treatment which works by releasing restrictions within the joints and musculature whilst considering asymmetries within the skeletal alignment so that the nervous system can work as efficiently as possible. Chiropractic will align and balance the animal’s musculoskeletal system, so optimizing the individual’s dynamic flexibility. By making subtle adjustments throughout the whole body whilst paying special attention to the spine and pelvis, health, soundness and performance may be restored and maintained. Together with physical therapy techniques it realigns and balances the animal’s musculoskeletal system. Most animals readily accept and enjoy the treatment and owners like it because no anaesthetic or drugs are needed. Comprehensive individualised after-care advice and support forms part of the package.

Sheep treatment IISheep treatment

For more than 50 years, those trained in McTimoney and other animal chiropractic techniques have been helping horses, dogs, cats, farm and zoo animals – the range of animals treated has even widened to include some ‘exotic’ species.

Many animals can benefit from chiropractic care and physical therapy together with tailored aftercare advice, whether they are ‘just’ a pet or have to work hard as part of their job.

It is not always easy to tell whether an animal is in pain or is suffering discomfort, their innate survival mechanisms mean that they will adapt or adopt changes to the way that they live their lives to hide such symptoms. Their pain thresholds are often quite high and small changes over time can appear less noticeable. It is often not until the owner notices a significant change in their animal’s behaviour or general health, the animal appears reluctant to exercise, or the owner notices that the animal is finding their normal work difficult to do, that any help is sought for the animal. Many owners will just assume that their animal is “just getting old”.

Animal Chiropractors work alongside the veterinary profession and under current legislation can only treat an animal with a Veterinary Surgeon’s approval. Most vets are aware of the benefits of chiropractic treatment for animals and will often readily give permission for an animal to be adjusted. Waterside Chiropractic has found that many local veterinary surgeons may suggest animal chiropractic as part of the treatment plan.

Merlot pelvis IIThere are several common causes of back pain and musculoskeletal problems in the dog and horse and many signs and symptoms that your animal may exhibit if they have back pain or musculoskeletal problems. Please click on the links below to see examples of common signs and symptoms that are shown by many animals; these are not exhaustive as it is likely that you will know your animal far better than anyone else!

Please note that the following signs and symptoms may be as a result of a veterinary condition and if your animal is displaying any of these, then in the first instance you should be consulting your veterinary surgeon for their opinion. Your vet will then be able to refer you on to a chiropractor for treatment if there is no underlying primary veterinary medical condition causing the presenting symptoms or affecting your animal’s behaviour.

If you think that your animal could benefit from chiropractic care, or you would like to discuss the requirements of your individual animal, then please do not hesitate to contact me.

Common causes of back pain and musculoskeletal problems in the dog

- Constant pulling on the lead, halti or harness
- Falls, slips and tumbles at home on slippery floors or whilst out being exercised
- Rough play with friends and toys, e.g. tug games, chasing companions and bowling each other over
- Direct consequence of trauma, e.g. road traffic accidents
- Compensation from other injuries or illness
- Repetitive training and other one-directional activities that place stresses asymmetrically on the body
- Athletic injuries or injuries obtained whilst working, racing or doing agility
- Whelping
- Altered gait as a result of injury or illness or other biomechanical or locomotory changes.

Common causes of back pain and musculoskeletal problems in the horse

- Direct consequence of trauma, e.g. falls, road traffic accidents
- Compensation from other injuries or illness
- Conformational compensations
- Poor foot balance
- Unbalanced riders or not being evenly worked which result in stresses being placed asymmetrically on the body
- Altered gait and/or lameness as a result of injury or illness or other biomechanical or locomotory changes
- Getting cast
- Poorly fitting tack and rugs
- Sharp teeth
- Inappropriate work intensity or insufficient warm up/cool down.

Common symptoms that your dog might show if they have back pain or
musculoskeletal problems

Please note that the following signs and symptoms may be as a result of a veterinary condition and if your dog is displaying any of these, then in the first instance you should be consulting your veterinary surgeon for their opinion. Your vet will then be able to refer you on to a chiropractor for treatment if there is no underlying primary veterinary medical condition causing the presenting symptoms or affecting your dog’s behaviour.

- Uneven or unlevel gait, or crab like movement
- Stiffness after rest or exercise
- Limping/lameness
- Crying out when getting up or moving
- Difficulty going up/down stairs or getting in/out of cars
- Signs of discomfort when being stroked or handled or touched in certain areas
- Reluctance or intolerance of exercise, lethargy
- Deterioration in performance or energy levels
- Behavioural changes
- Asymmetric muscle tone
- Always sitting or lying on one side
- Uneven pad and claw wear
- Tripping or stumbling, dragging toes or feet
- Pacing (in some instances)
- Knocking down fences in agility
- Not wanting to stand square

Common symptoms that your horse might show if they have back pain or musculoskeletal problems

Please note that the following signs and symptoms may be as a result of a veterinary condition and if your horse is displaying any of these, then in the first instance you should be consulting your veterinary surgeon for their opinion. Your vet will then be able to refer you on to a chiropractor for treatment if there is no underlying primary veterinary medical condition causing the presenting symptoms or affecting your horse’s behaviour. Some of these symptoms may also be caused by poor foot balance/shoeing, poorly fitting tack or teeth.

- Behavioural changes, unexplained loss or deterioration in usual performance or energy levels
- Bucking, rearing, napping, unexplained resistance, refusing to jump or jumping to one side
- Frequently knocking down of jumps, reluctance to jump through combinations/spreads, not travelling through the air or unable to bascule effectively
- Stiffness on one rein, inability to track up, uneven or unlevel gait, either in front or behind
- Asymmetrical muscle tone, uneven muscle development, hypertrophy or atrophy of muscles
- Lack of impulsion, difficulty in engaging the hindquarters, unwillingness to go forward or extend
- Rushing into canter/striking off incorrectly, changing legs, preference for one canter lead or trot diagonal, bunny hopping or going disunited in canter, difficulty carrying out lateral movements
- Leaning on one rein, head shaking or tilting the head to one side when being ridden
- Cold backed
- Biting or kicking out when groomed, girthed or mounted
- Uneven pressure from the saddle or saddle slips to one side
- Lack of and/or reducing level of topline musculature
- Carrying the tail to one side
- Constantly resting a leg, continually shifting weight when standing still or not wanting to stand square
- Tripping or stumbling, toe dragging, uneven hoof/shoe wear

 

 

Link to McTimoney Chiropractic for Animals