Animal chiropractors perform essentially the same function as human chiropractors: they make small adjustments in their patient’s spinal column in order to relieve pain or help the animal perform to its athletic potential.
While animal chiropractors work on a variety of animals, there is an especially large need for equine chiropractors.
So what exactly is an equine or animal chiropractic?
Equine chiropractors specialize in the manipulation of their patient’s vertebrae to corract any misalignment, which relieves pain in the spinal column and allows the animal to perform better. This is especially important with race horses, where any improvement in the horse’s health can result in better times on the racetrack.
Some animal chiropractors practice both traditional veterinary medicine and chiropractic, while others work exclusively as chiropractors. There are also chiropractors who work on both animals and humans, after specialzed training in equine and other animal anatomy. Still others practice a variety of non-traditional medicine, including animal massage and acupuncture.
Just like traditional veterinarians, farriers, and other animal health professionals, animal chiropractors normally travel to where they’re patients are located. This is especially true in rural areas, where an equine chiropractor may travel many miles to reach the horse to be treated. As one would expect, knowledge of horse anatomy and an ability to work well with all types of horses and other animals is essential.
Traditional veterinarians who wish to practice as animal chiropractors much pursue additional education and training, then pass a written examination in order to gain certification in this field. Since most are self-employed, they also need a good grasp of marketing and business practices, be able to supervise an office staff, and train and delegate work as needed.
Training and education: a DVM with veterinarian school, or additional training in equine or animal chiropractic. A state license in the respective field from the American Veterinary Chiropractic Assocation is also required.
Related jobs and careers include veterinarians, veterinary acupuncturists, and animal massage therapists.
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