Understanding the Role of the Vagus Nerve in Pets

The vagus nerve is a major nerve in the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) and is the main nerve responsible for calming the stresses put on the heart and other organs by the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight). The body has one vagus nerve on either side of the body that travels from the brain to the internal organs. The vagus nerve is responsible for the regulation of internal organ functions, such as digestion, heart rate, and respiratory rate, as well as vasomotor activity, and certain reflex actions, such as coughing, sneezing, swallowing, and vomiting.

As you might well imagine, if there is something that is interfering with the nerve flow from the brain through the vagus nerve, one can experience anxiety, increased heart rates, shallow breathing… basically panic attack. As it also branches into other nerves (facial, glossopharyngeal, spinal accessory trigeminal and hypoglossal), interference can also cause issues with facial expression and taste, swallowing, high blood pressure, fullness of the ears, saliva production, movement of the neck and shoulders, headaches and tongue movement. These can happen in animals as well as humans, should the nerve not be able to function as it is supposed to.

Chiropractic care removes the interference and restores the nerve flow through the vagus nerve that can restore the proper function of the parasympathetic nervous system, allowing the body to calm and return to a state of homeostasis, with the ability to function as designed. If you should notice issues with your pet such as excessive vomiting, coughing, sneezing, a droopy face, not eating as usual, excessive drooling, tongue constantly hanging out or to one side, or difficulty lifting its head and/or walking with front paws, these can be signs of vagus nerve dysfunction. Give Tails Animal Chiropractic Care a call. We would love to help your fur baby live its best life with proper nerve flow and function!

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