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Scope of Practice


A typical consult comprises the following;

  • History taken

  • Gait assessment, other observations (mentation etc)

  • Physical examination, comprising (but not limited to);

    • General physical assessment (BCS, muscle tone, inflammation etc)

    • General spinal ROM

    • Spinal intersegmental ROM

    • Peripheral joint ROM (including orthopaedic tests where needed)

    • Neurological exam

  • Other assessments as needed

  • Review any radiological images provided

  • Discuss findings/proposed treatment plan with owner

  • Proceed with consent


  • Primarily directed at improving spinal intersegmental biomechanics

  • Preference for using a hand-held spinal adjusting instrument

    • Small animals tolerate this very well

    • Has proven a very safe, effective option

  • Rarely use manual spinal manipulation (domestic dogs don't tolerate this particularly well)

  • In most cases,  home management strategies are discussed, to prevent reinjury.


Typically, after the initial, and 3rd or 4th visit, a brief followup email is sent to the referring vet summarising the patient's progress.

'Maintenance' visits

A number of owners may request chiropractic for maintenance/supportive care. They are often chiropractic patients themselves who have experienced benefits of this type of care first hand. These scenarios typically involve;

  • ongoing management of age/trauma related degenerative changes (with/without symptoms)

  • management of gait anomalies (asymptomatic) in show dogs

  • management of spinal function in high-performance dogs (e.g. agility)

This type of care typically addresses the functional capacity of the animal, through better spinal biomechanics. Visit intervals range from 4-6 weeks up to 3-6months, depending on circumstances. 

This serves to compliment an animal's usual veterinary care, not compete with it.

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