Chiropractic for Pets

Humans aren’t the only ones on the planet who’s spines shift of alignment and cause discomfort. Animals, especially aging pets or ones with active lifestyles exhibit the same trauma, injury or degenerative wear and tear on their soft tissues, bones and joints that we do. Which means they can benefit from the same chiropractic care that people receive, both to correct specific issues and for preventative measures to help your pet maintain optimal mobility and health.

As one of the leading pet chiropractic offices in New Jersey, Blue Sage can assist your dog, cat, horse, or other pet with any skeletal alignment issues that they may have.

How Can Veterinary Chiropractic Can Help Your Pet

Chiropractic is based on manual spinal manipulation and is used to address alignment issues within your pet that are causing discomfort. The discomfort the animal is feeling is typically caused through vertebral lesions called subluxations that occur as a result of abnormal positioning of the joints and bones. In other words, when your pet’s skeleton is out of alignment, it creates friction, inflammation and damage within the joints that not only affect how your pet moves, but the ability of the nerves in the surrounding area to function properly.

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Our vets look to correct these abnormalities through manual manipulation of your pet’s skeleton called adjustments.

Restoring Balance to Your Pet’s Nervous System

The main goal of animal chiropractic is not just to straighten your pet’s alignment and correct subluxations, but also to restore the critical relationship between the spine and the central nervous system. When your pet’s bones are out of place, whether it’s due to trauma, aging, birth deformity, or wear and tear, they begin to create issues within the joints and soft tissue that damage and block signals from the nerves. Lesions, inflammation and swelling occur and cause waste products to build up. This will result in additional damage and degeneration within your pet that compounds quickly over time and begins to interrupt the messages the nerves send throughout the body. The final result is chronic pain and loss of mobility. Animal chiropractic focuses on realigning spines to remove blockages of communications between the nerves, alleviating pain and restoring function.

Maintaining proper structural alignment ensures optimal function of the muscles, nerves, and tissues supporting the joints. It helps to reduce blockage and inflammation that negatively impact other functions in your pet such as their ability to fight off disease, digest food, and rid their body of toxins. By maintaining excellent chiropractic health in your pet, you can expect extraordinary benefits such as improved immune function, a stronger metabolism, and a healthy nervous system. All of these play a very important role in an animal’s ability to heal and to live a long, active and high quality life.

Preventative Care

One of the best uses for chiropractic in pets is preventative care. Getting your pet adjusted regularly can help to preserve their health and avoid the occurrence of issues such as joint degeneration or stiffness, limitations in movement or reduced physical performance.   It can even help to correct skeletal deformities before they advance into more serious issues.

Issues that Can Be Treated with Chiropractic Care    

The following issues can both be treated and in some cases prevented with proper chiropractic care:

  • Joint Degeneration
  • Musculoskeletal Degeneration
  • Disc and Joint Stiffness and Problems
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Pain or Limping
  • Floating Kneecaps
  • Neck, Back and Leg Pain
  • Muscle Spasms and Nerve Problems
  • Tail Injuries
  • Sports Injuries
  • Injuries from Slips, Falls, Accidents
  • Certain Skin Conditions (including “hot spots” and “lick granulomas”)
  • Acute Cases of Digestive Upset
  • Jaw or TMJ problems
  • Regulation of the Limbic and Immune Systems
  • Maintenance of Joint and Spinal Health

How to Know if My Pet has a Chiropractic Issue

Diagnosis of chiropractic issues is not always easy. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and can worsen over time if not addressed. Often times your pet’s issues may begin well before he or she begins to show symptoms, which makes chiropractic checkups very beneficial for their health. Generally, the most apparent sign is that you’ll notice a difference in your pet’s behavior or mobility indicating pain.

If your dog is experiencing misalignment discomfort you may see the following symptoms:

  • Panting often, or more than usual
  • Pacing
  • Loss of coordination, stumbling, weakness
  • Yelping, crying or flinching in pain
  • Standing or sitting in an awkward position
  • Limping or dragging a limb
  • Moving his head or tail differently
  • Struggling to sit up or stand
  • May be reluctant to perform activities that cause pain such as jumping, running or playing
  • Difficulty going down or up stairs or getting on or off couches and beds
  • Sensitivity to being touched or handled
  • Aggression or fear due to pain
  • General stiffness or lameness
  • Changes in gait, or normal way of moving
  • Constant signs of being uncomfortable or unable to become comfortable
  • Laziness, reluctance or disinterest in activities or moving, including for food or treats.
  • Atrophy

Keep in mind that your pet may be in more pain than you realize. Do not be afraid to give our office a call if you have any questions or concerns for your pet’s behavior or if they are exhibiting symptoms. Only a full chiropractic wellness exam can make full certain whether or not your pet will need an adjustment.


When you visit Blue Sage Veterinary Wellness Center for chiropractic care, we will begin by taking a detailed history on your pet. He will then receive a thorough physical exam including a Traditional Chinese medicine exam, to help diagnose the problem.  By developing a comprehensive picture of your pet’s lifestyle and health status, we will be able to determine if veterinary chiropractic treatment will help.

Once we have diagnosed the problem we can begin to administer chiropractic adjustments to correct the abnormality.  The adjustments will restore the normal positioning of your pets vertebrae, which will alleviate pain and assist the body to begin the process of natural healing.


Frequently Asked Questions about Animal Chiropractic

Who is the Ideal Candidate for Chiropractic Care?

All animals at any age. Prevention is the best medicine. Young, old and growing pets can benefit from the maintenance of proper alignment. Because of the benefits that maintaining proper spinal health in your pet can have on their complete wellness, any pet is a candidate for a chiropractic adjustment or checkup, not just pets that are showing symptoms. Not only should chiropractic be used to help your pet with specific issues as they arise, but utilized by owners on a regular basis as a preventative and maintenance to help their pet maintain the highest quality of life possible.

Like any athlete, pets that are extremely active, such as ones that compete/show, are excellent candidates for routine checkups and adjustments, being at higher risk for injury, misalignment, or damage due to overuse.

Pets most commonly adjusted, but not limited to, are dogs, cats and horses.

Does it hurt my pet?

No. The veterinarians at Blue Sage take special care to make sure that all adjustment techniques are administered as gently and painlessly as possible. There are cases where your pet’s current condition may be causing them discomfort that may be agitated during adjustment, but the adjustments themselves do not typically hurt.

Most animals are extremely aware of their own issues and body, and for this reason, can be very tolerant of receiving adjustments. At times they even manipulate their own stance to help the chiropractor better address the issue.

How Many Treatments Will My Pet Need?

It depends on what they are treated for. All animals, especially older ones and pets that live extremely active lifestyles can benefit from a routine checkup, but how many treatments needed to address a specific issue depends on what it is. Some issues can be fixed in one or two sessions, while other issues may need regular adjustments to maintain optimal health and comfort for your pet.

Who Administers Chiropractic Treatment in my Pet?

Only licensed chiropractors or veterinarians who have completed a certification from an accredited animal chiropractic school should be allowed to adjust your pet. At Blue Sage, experienced, spinal manipulation certified vets are ready to help your pet with their every chiropractic need.

Next Steps...

Interested in learning more about chiropractic for pets or getting treatment for your pet?  Please call our office and schedule a consultation today!