Why is it called VSMT and not Chiropractic?
VSMT is essentially the same thing as human chiropractic, but it is specifically done by doctors of chiropractic (DC). The fundamentals of VSMT are based solely upon chiropractic philosophy but since we are veterinarians practicing on animals we use the term veterinary spinal manipulation therapy (VSMT).
What is veterinary spinal manipulation therapy?
VSMT is a health care discipline that emphasizes the inherent recuperative power of the body to heal itself without the use of drugs or surgery. The practice of spinal manipulation focuses on the relationship between structure (primarily the spine) and function (as coordinated by the nervous system) and how that relationship affects the preservation and restoration of health.
What can VSMT do for my pet?
VSMT can increase or restore performance in a working animal (agility, hunting, guide dogs, obedience, etc.) It may also be beneficial if your pet has arthritis, hip dysplasia, recent orthopedic surgery, stiffness when getting up/down, limping, some chronic illnesses (urinary incontinence, chronic anal gland issues, ear infections, etc.) or some neurological deficits.
What is involved in the VSMT examination?
Your pet’s VSMT exam will include, but is not limited to, a routine physical examination, an orthopedic examination, a neurological examination and then motion palpation and adjustments if needed. Further diagnostic tests may also be required if abnormalities are noted in the routine physical exam. The VSMT exam is little more time consuming than a routine annual exam as each joint is motioned to check for any vertebral subluxation complexes(VSC). If any VSC are found, they will be corrected using a gentle low force adjustment with your pet in a standing, sitting, or laying position. The exam is not a painful experience generally and is enjoyed by most animals.
How often will my pet need an adjustment?
The number of adjustments always varies with each case. Some animals require monthly adjustments, while others are only seen once a year. Age, overall health status, activity level, and genetics all play a role in how well an animal holds their adjustments. When long term problems reach the point of noticieable pain or outward signs, the doctor may need to do several initial adjustments to get the pain under control, after which, just maintenance care would be needed.
What can I expect after the adjustment?
Many animals will show immediate improvement, while others may be tired or slow for a day or two, but overall, they will feel better than they did before the adjustment. Each animal and each case is different.