Chiropractic Ends Pup’s Pain

By Kristin Bjornsen

You might not think Rover needs an adjustment, but chiropractic can help dogs heal from traumatic injury as well as chronic conditions like back pain, hip dysplasia, and stiffness. “Just like in humans, when a dog’s vertebrae become misaligned, they pinch nerves,” says Debbie O’Reilly, DC, an animal chiropractor in Littleton, Colorado. “I make gentle adjustments to realign the spine, and by taking pressure off the nerves, I stop the pain, restore movement, and improve overall health.” O’Reilly usually sees considerable improvement in her furry patients after two sessions, but for chronic conditions she recommends maintenance treatments as needed.

If you’ve ever had a chiropractic adjustment, you’re probably wondering, What dog in the world would tolerate that kind of manhandling (in this case, doghandling)? “At first, they may wiggle or resist, especially if they are in pain, but after I begin, they get still and quiet, the pain eases, and they seem to understand that I’m helping,” says O’Reilly. To find a doggie chiropractor in your area, go to the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association’s website (, and make sure you choose someone AVCA-certified.