Animal chiropractic care is an alternative, drugless method of health care for your pet. Just like people, animals experience pain relief, more energy, improved performance and better resistance to disease as a result of chiropractic care.

Chiropractic does not replace traditional veterinary medicine, but is a valid, concurrent, complementary treatment for many health problems your animal friend might have. Animals are treated only with a veterinary referral.

Q: Who needs chiropractic care?

A: Animals who suffer from lameness, stiffness, hip dysplasia, arthritis, a herniated disc or other conditions that cause pain can be helped greatly with chiropractic care.

• Animals who have trouble with their daily routine of getting up, going up or down steps, going to the bathroom or going for a walk can regain ease of function, making life easier for both them and their human companion.

• Senior companions who still like to enjoy life despite a few creaks do great with regular care.

•Dogs who have lost enthusiasm for walks or exercise once more find joy in moving after being adjusted.

• Agility dogs who are having difficulty with certain obstacles or who have injured themselves benefit from adjustments.

• Active dogs, especially those that play hard - including puppies! - do well with regular check-ups.

• Competitive or working dogs (agility, search and rescue, service, sled dogs, etc.) will perform better and stay healthier longer with chiropractic care.

• Behavioral changes such as biting, shying away, aggressiveness that are out of character as well as repeated shaking of the head or obsessive licking can be addressed with chiropractic.

• Just as in people, breeding females experience pregnancy-related back problems that can be eased with chiropractic care.

• Unexplained sweating, incontinence, frequent colic, allergies or other illnesses have been known to improve with adjustments.

Q: What animals does Dr. Holderegger treat?

A: To date, our animal patients include dogs, cats, horses, goats, alpacas, a rabbit and a lizard. Dr. Holderegger will treat any animal as long as it can be handled safely and can be brought to our practice. Due to time constraints, she has limited ability to make house calls.

Q: What does an animal adjustment look like?

A: Dogs and other small animals are seen in our practice, large animals either in their home or (if they can be treated in a trailer) outside in our parking lot. Treatment consists of hands-on gentle adjustments, mobilization and stretches. Dr. Holderegger will also give home care advice such as specific stretches or exercises that will help your animal recover.

Q: How will my pet react?

A: Most animal patients surprise their owners with how well behaved and relaxed they are during their treatment. Afterward some are sleepy while others feel very energetic. As a general rule, animals should be exercised only lightly on the day of an adjustment.

Q: How long will it take?

A: Animals usually recover fairly rapidly, but older animals and more serious or long-standing problems take more time. Seniors or those with chronic problems may require ongoing care. The owner's cooperation and compliance with the care plan and home instructions are also crucial to a successful treatment. Some problems are so serious that chiropractic care alone will not be sufficient. Referrals for laboratory analysis or radiographs may be necessary.

Chiropractic care should always be used in conjunction with traditional veterinary care. Dr. Holderegger ensures care coordination with your vet.

Q: Why chiropractic?

A: For an animal to move normally, every single joint in its body must function properly. This is especially true for the over 100 separate joints in the spine. When motion and energy is generated at the rear of the animal it travels fluently to the front like a wave of rope. When an animal loses its normal range of motion in one or more joints there must be compensation elsewhere. Compensation areas often move more than normal, which may result in soreness, lameness, limping, eventually even arthritis or a herniated disc. Chiropractic is uniquely suited to treat these joint problems and restore the animal's ability to move freely and with ease.

Q: What does AVCA certified mean?

A: The American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA) The AVCA was formed in 1989 by a group of veterinarians and chiropractors interested in furthering the profession of animal chiropractic.

Today, the AVCA has a three-fold mission:

• To function as a professional membership group, uniting veterinarians and chiropractors in their effort to provide quality healthcare to animals.

• To promote animal chiropractic to professionals and to the public.

• To act as the certifying agency for doctors who have undergone animal chiropractic training. One of the major goals of the AVCA is to provide the public with unhampered access to ethical doctors trained in animal chiropractic.

In order to be AVCA certified, a doctor has to be licensed in either Veterinary or Chiropractic medicine, complete a vigorous 220-hour program at one of three accredited educational facilities, pass the AVCA written and practical clinical examination and stay current with continuing education requirements.