Why Chiropractic


  • A direct hands on approach involving assessment of each joint of the spine and extremity individually to determine which specific joints are restricted, prior to performing any adjustment
  • Gentle and performed with a very specific High Velocity, Low amplitude thrust. Due to the anatomy of the quadruped, they rarely cavitate or “crack” when adjusted like humans tend to and it does not indicate the animal was not well adjusted.


  • Using a Mallet to ‘bang’ the VSC into place.
  • Using an instrument to click all the way down an animal’s spine, without first using their hands to check each joint of the spine and extremities for aberrant or restricted movement.
  • Forceful movement of the animal’s extremities, outside of their normal range or motion
  • Twisting or cracking of the neck or low back.
Apex Animal Chiropractic

What might cause my dog to have a vertebral subluxation complex (VSC)?

  • Trauma
  • Lack of exercise
  • Obesity
  • Age
  • Activities (i.e. agility, fetch, frisbee, hunting)
  • Job/Work (i.e. K9, show, agility)
  • Poor collar/harness fit
  • Birthing process
  • Atmosphere (proper space for size, sleeping surface)
  • Surgery or history of surgery

What are some signs that my dog may have a VSC?

  • Changes in normal behavior
  • Animal sitting to one side
  • Preferring to lay on only one side
  • Tail laying more to one side or tucked
  • Skin sensitivity
  • Refusing to take the leash
  • Refusing to go up or down stairs
  • Refusing to jump into the car/climbing
  • Decreased performance (i.e. obedience training, agility, tracking)
  • Stiffness
  • Undefined lameness (following a proper veterinary evaluation to assess the situation)

What might cause my horse to have a vertebral subluxation complex (VSC)?

  • Trauma- slips, trips and falls
  • Confinement
  • Poor exercise
  • Saddle
  • Transportation/trailering
  • Birthing Process
  • Activities/animal’s job (jumping, racing, roping, dressage, lesson horse etc)
  • Rider
  • Age
  • Surgery/history of surgery
  • Poor hoof care

What are some signs that my horse may have a VSC?

  • Swishing of tail
  • Poor performance
  • Poor engagement of hind end
  • Flattening ears
  • Pinning ears when being saddled
  • Baulking at commands
  • Shortened stride
  • Bending is asymmetric from side to side
  • Range of motion is decreased
  • Undefined lameness
  • Stiffness when the horse first leaves the stall
  • Difficulty flexing poll
  • Horse wants to pull on one rein
  • Abnormal gait rhythm
  • Gait irregularity that can’t be pointed to one leg or particular gait
  • Sensitive to touch
  • Hard time collecting
Apex Animal Chiropractic

When Should I Seek Treatment?

If your animal is experiencing any of the above issues, it may be time for you to consult with your veterinarian to discuss having a chiropractor evaluate your beloved family member. In most cases, animals do not begin developing symptoms until weeks, or even months after the initial phases of the subluxation. The focus of chiropractic is to assist the body, specifically the nervous system, to ensure the signals to and from the brain to the rest of the body are functioning at optimal levels. Just like humans, animals are constantly experiencing a variety of stressors including physical, mental and chemical variables which can lead to poor communication of these signals. When this occurs, a common result is decreased motion of the affected joint, an increase in inflammatory response, inhibited nerve function and muscle atrophy, or simply put, a subluxation. Having regular chiropractic care will minimize these issues, ensuring you a happy animal with more motion, less pain and a higher quality life!


Animal chiropractic is not intended to replace traditional veterinary care. Animal chiropractor do not dispense medication, perform surgery, inject medications. Underlying pathology should be ruled out prior to an animal chiropractic evaluation. Animal chiropractor are not veterinarians and work in adjunct to traditional veterinary care.

Apex Animal Chiropractic