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Kelli Taylor, DVM, CAC, CVA

Equine Athletic Rehabilitation, Pain Management, & Performance Enahancement
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Frequently Asked Questions

      • How do you adjust an animal the size of a horse?
      • How do I know if my animal needs chiropractic care?
      • How long will a chiropractic evaluation take?
      • How many chiropractic treatments will my animal require?
      • What can I expect after an adjustment?
      • Will an adjustment hurt?
      • How much do you charge for an adjustment?
      • How much do you charge for an acupuncture treatment?

A: To answer this, it is important to remember that Dr. Kelli is not adjusting the entire horse, but rather a specific joint in the spine.  

Initially, a complete chiropractic examination is performed.  This typically includes a case history, including any previous veterinary work performed, posture analysis, gait analysis, static and motion palpation of the spine and its joints, muscle palpation, and checking for any changes in temperature over the spine.

Once the initial examination has been completed, Dr. Kelli will perform an adjustment on the area of the spine affected, so as to return the joints to normal motion, and to alleviate any muscle spasms and pain.  A chiropractic adjustment is a very specific, high velocity, low force, controlled thrust by hand, which is directed in a specific direction on a specific joint.  Dr. Kelli does not use vibrating machines, hammers, mallets, activators or osteopathy, but only certified veterinary chiropractic techniques.

A: There are a number of signs or conditions which may signify that your horse would benefit from a chiropractic exam and adjustments.  Horses that are showing a decrease in performance, short striding, cross-cantering, loss of collection, or refusing to pick-up the lead may have some degree of bio-mechanical dysfunction or restriction of the spine.

Horses that are recovering from tendon/ligament injuries, muscle injuries, trailering accidents, or have more chronic disease such as degenerative joint disease (arthritis) or conformation problems, generally have compensation issues resulting in restrictions of the spine. 

It is important to remember that these are only a few of the many indications that your horse may benefit from chiropractic care.  If you suspect your horse may benefit from chiropractic care, or if you have questions about chiropractic care, please call as I am always happy discuss your horses case.

A: The initial consultation and first treatment (usually between 30-60mins) tends to take longer than subsequent visits as a detailed case history, examination etc. is undertaken. Subsequent treatments are usually shorter (between 20-40 mins) depending on the veterinary chiropractor’s findings.

A: This question must be answered on an individual basis for each patient. In most cases, a single treatment is not enough to eliminate the problem. Most animals show significant improvement after 1 to 4 treatments. Chronic problems usually take longer to resolve requiring more chiropractic treatment, whereas animals with acute problems often respond more quickly.

The goal of chiropractic treatment is to address neurological dysfunction in the spine and restore mobility. It is then the task of muscles and ligaments to support the spine and maintain this new realigned position.

This process and the role of the chiropractor is similar to that of an orthodontist. The orthodontist applies a brace to the teeth and over a period of time makes regular adjustments and corrections to realign the teeth, so that in time they will maintain their correct position. A chiropractor will also adjust and correct the animal a number of times, until the body accepts the new position of the spine as normal and the muscles and ligaments support and maintain this position.  

A: Many animals will show immediate improvement. Sometimes there is a 24-48 hour period of tiredness. Some animals require a few sessions to resolve acute pain. Often, with chronic health problems, the animal chiropractor will want to see your animal several times to maintain and re-establish normal function of the joints and nervous system. In the case of a recent injury or subluxation, one adjustment may be adequate but a follow-up is needed to assure your companion is well. When long term problems reach the point of noticeable pain or outward signs, the doctor may need to do several adjustments.

A: Most animals accept both the exam and adjustment without signs of pain. When a painful area is found, the practitioner will use the gentlest techniques to reduce pain before delivering an adjustment. In cases of acute or extreme pain, Dr. Kelli will often delay the complete adjustment until your companion can be relaxed and suggest acupuncture instead. 

A: You may wonder why I charge $125 the first time I see your animal, which is a bit more than other chiropractors in the area.  The reason for this is that I take the extra time to thoroughly assess your animal before any adjustments are made.  My training in equine physical therapy has shown me that chiropractic adjustments are not appropriate for every animal in every situation.  Therefore, I like to first examine your animal which includes a hands on assessment of muscle tone, quality and symmetry, a posture/conformation analysis, and gait analysis followed by motion palpation of the entire spine, skull, pelvis and limbs.  If it seems like acupuncture, laser, massage, physical therapy, or a visit with your animal's primary care veterinarian would be a better first step we will discuss the available options at that time. And of course I am there to answer any and all or the questions you may have!  Because this first appointment tends to take much more time than subsequent rechecks, I charge a bit more to cover that extra spent with your companion.  Rechecks for horses are $85 and for dogs/cats are $65.