How often should my dog have a chiropractic treatment?
A very common question for me – How often should my dog have chiropractic treatment? In fact @KempEquine asked the question via Twitter (@Dr_Dan_DVM) this morning. To which I answered with the great all encompassing cop out answer – it depends.
It depends on why you are doing chiropractic treatment for your dog. Chiropractic is a technique, a tool, to use to help correct biomechanical and neurological problems; however it is also an entire medical system used to help the body’s ability to heal and to stay healthy. A healthy spine will in fact help maintain a healthy body.
So do you have a dog with an injury or a physical problem and you are trying to resolve that problem? Do you have a dog that competes? Do you have a dog with a chronic physical condition? Do you have a normal dog with no problems but would like to maintain a healthy spine for your dog? In each of these cases and in each of the individual dogs in those cases would require different chiropractic treatment schedules. A treatment schedule needs to be individualized for the patient.
With that said I will give you some guidelines for some maintenance schedules –
Competition Dog – once a month to maintain flexibility and proper biomechanics to perform optimally and comfortably.
Chronic Physical condition such as arthritis – once a month to once every other month depending on how well the symptoms are alleviated by a treatment. Sometimes at the later stages of the condition may need to be treated more often such as once a week to once every 2 weeks to try and maintain the comfort of the dog.
A dog with a specific physical problem that you are trying to resolve – once a week to once a month for the first 3 times then extended out to a maintenance of once every 3 months or until the next problem arises.
A normal dog – once a month to once every 3 months for maintenance of the health of the spine.
In general, if your dog has a spine, you should be having a chiropractic treatment once a month to once every three months and if the dog is showing symptoms of a physical problem then it will be more often on a case by case basis.