Last Updated on September 7, 2023 by Dr. Alisha Barnes
Chiropractic care is a great way to help your dog be in show dogs shape. By improving overall alignment and joint motion, we are able to assist in better conformation and improved performance.
One of the most common signs of back pain is a roach back appearance. The dog will flex their spine so that they can take the pressure off of their back and reduce their pain. By using specific chiropractic adjustments, pain can be eliminated allowing the dog to relax and exhibit a beautiful topline.
When joints (especially the shoulders and hips) are not moving properly or have a limited range of motion, you will see stutter-stepping, pacing, and short striding. By restoring full range of motion, dogs are able to take longer strides and their overall motion appearance becomes more fluid and appealing.
Dogs in pain is less likely to want to perform or to show well. It may be difficult for them to move or stand when there is something bothering them. However, many times it can be difficult to determine what is going on, especially if it is something minor.
Many times, this behavior is blamed on a poor attitude when in fact, the dog is in pain. One of the great benefits of chiropractic care is reduced pain, reduced muscle tension, and improved circulation. All of these benefits will allow the dog to feel their best and give them that winning spirit.
Improved Head Position
Cervical restrictions can cause dogs to hold their head low or even cause a head tilt or head rotation. By assessing joint range of motion in the neck and cervical-thoracic junction, we can free up the head and allow the dog to hold it in the proper position.
Improved Tail Position
Muscle tension in the back and hind end can cause altered tail position. A frequent cause of tight and tender muscles is joint restriction also known by the chiropractic term, subluxation.
During an adjustment, the Golgi Tendon Organ is activated in the joint which allows for a relaxation response in the muscle. By reducing muscle tension, the tail position can be affected.
Tail position can also be off due to alignment issues in the sacrum. This can also be addressed with a chiropractic adjustment.
If you are getting in the ring, chiropractic care is a great way to allow your show dogs to do their best and have fun in the process. To find the best animal chiropractor in your area, check out the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association website.
The AVCA certification and training holds doctors to the highest level of knowledge, expertise and skill set. P.S. Chiropractic care is also great for the handlers! Reducing pain, improving alignment and improving overall joint motion will make for a better performance and more pleasant experience for two legged and four legged participants.