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Briony Geekie D.C. Animal Chiropractor From a young age I have always adored animals. I was fortunate enough to study at the renowned Welsh Institute of Chiropractic where I qualified to treat humans, which was the pre-requisite to becoming an animal chiropractor. The animal chiropractic passion was a little more long standing after being involved with chiropractors treating injured horses. I developed a fascination for how they treated the animals and the incredible results I witnessed. It was during this period, I knew which direction my career was heading. I enrolled on the International Academy of Veterinary Chiropractic course, where I learnt about the world of animal chiropractic and all it had to offer. I specialize in a number of animal chiropractic based skills primarily assessing spinal pain, lameness, poor performance and other acute and chronic issues in the quadruped. I cover all equine and canine chiropractic and rehabilitation issues. I have had a number of successful cases. Freddie the German pointer who was sadly hit by a car, the damage was so significant that vets were considering amputating his leg, with patience and hard work he is now a fully active pointer running round on four legs. Also, Whitney the Hanoverian whose traumatic young life had led to many behavioral issues, which transformed with a few chiropractic sessions. She is now living a more peaceful life and is much loved by her family. My favourite part of treating animals is the recognition I get from them after just a few visits, the excitement yet relaxation as they know I am helping them, but most of all the look on their owners face when they tell me they have their old friend back. "Amber is an eleven and half year old Irish Terrier who has been running with a pack of whippets since she was 18 months old. This has meant that she has kept great fittness, that is until this year when she began to 'go lame' both on her left fore and her back right. She also appeared to be 'not quite straight'. Now, however she is as right as rain! thanks to you;in fact after you have treated her she is like a 3 1/2 year old and long may it remain so. The most important thing is that she so loves you treating her and (as you know) she is so glad to see you where ever and when ever she does." Judith Taylor, Reading Berkshire

  What is Animal Chiropractic Chiropractic treatment is a manual method of care, derived from the Greek meaning “to perform with hands” it was developed in the 19th century by DD Palmer as a method of maintaining health by treating neurological and musculoskeletal dysfunction and the subsequent effects on the body.  Chiropractic care focuses on abnormal movements of the joints of the spine and entire skeleton and the effect this has on the nervous system and muscles of the body. It aids to optimize skeletal and nervous system function to enable uninterrupted transmission of information from the brain to all organs and muscles of the body. Restriction of two vertebra in the spine can adversely effect or irritate the nerves exiting the spinal cord leading to dysfunction. Animal chiropractic includes a case history and examination of the animal prior to any spinal or extremity adjustment. The examination performed includes, posture and gait analysis, vertebral and extremity static and motion palpation also including orthopaedic and neurological examination.  Chiropractic treatment does not replace conventional veterinary medicine, however it does enhance traditional medical therapy. It is also an effective treatment for acute and chronic pain caused by biomechanical problems.  IMPORTANTThe animal patient must always have concurrent care by a primary care veterinary.    What is a Vertebral Subluxation Complex (VSC) The VSC is described as decreased or restricted mobility between 2 adjoining vertebra causing an alteration in the biomechanical and/or neurophysiological components of these joints. If these restrictions are present, stiffness, muscle tension, pain and impairment of performance may be seen. The nervous system may also become impaired. The spinal nerves exit from the spinal cord and should provide an uninterrupted flow of information from the brain to the muscles and organs of the body.  In the presence of a VSC this information can become disrupted causing poor co-ordination and/or dysfunction to the organs. Some subluxations can cause only slight impairments where the animal may show signs of stiffness, a decrease in playfulness and possible increased sensitivity to touch in certain areas indicating possible nerve irritation.  VSC’s may be far more noticeable in performance, working or sporting animals. Altered posture and movement patterns may be witnessed in animals with VSC’s. This is due to compensatory movement in order for the animal to avoid pain. This will cause increased mechanical strain on other parts of the body causing secondary restrictions in different areas of the spine or extremities. Signs and symptoms of a VSC in the Dog Dogs with VSC’s show a variety of symptoms, the most common of which are pain, dysfunction and abnormal posture and/or motion. 
  • Acute neck and back pain
  • Limited performance
  • Reluctance to move, climb stairs or jump onto raised areas
  • Signs of pain when performing certain movements or being lifted
  • Lameness, ambling or altered gait, running on the diagonal
  • Hypersensitivity to touch or lick granulomas on the legs
  • Recurrent ear or anal gland infection
  • Altered sitting position
  • Animal only lies on one side
  • Incontinence
   Common Causes of VSC’s in horses 
  • Trauma: trips, slips, falls or being cast in the stable
  • Narcotics: the entire anaesthetic process can cause back problems
  • Transportation: Reduced suspension, long transportation times
  • Birthing Difficulties: Births where the foal is forcibly extracted can cause problems in the mare and foal
  • Lack of Movement: lack of space to move around does not allow the horse to time to ease tension by bucking and rolling
  • Performance: Every event strains the horse in a specific way
  • Rider: Problems with the riders back or seat can cause problems in the horses spine
  • Shoes: poorly fitting shoes or poor hoof care can interfere with the horses movement and create compensatory movement
  • Saddle: poorly fitting saddles is a very common cause of back pain
  • Age: with increased age so do the effects of small or large previous trauma become apparent.
  Does your Horse need Chiropractic Treatment? Are they displaying any signs of pain? 
  • Reduced performance
  • Abnormal posture
  • Snapping and pinning back its ears when being saddled
  • Insubordination to being ridden
  • Head tossing
  • Tail swishing and pinning back its ears
  • Disobedience when jumping
  • Difficulties with collected or lateral gaits
  • Behavioral changes
  • Frightened or painful facial expression
  • Sensitivity to touch
 Subluxations in the spine can cause altered muscle function and changes in co-ordination patterns, does your horse show signs of….. 
  • Abnormal gait rhythm
  • Stiffness when the horse leaves the stable
  • Stiffness when bending and in its general posture
  • Muscular atrophy
  • Brushing
  • Tying up
  • Difficulty engaging the hindquarters
  • Difficulty working “long and low”
  • Shortened stride in one or more legs
  • Overall decreased range of motion in gait
  • Difficulty flexing the poll
  • Lameness
  • Horse pulls against one rein
  • Rider seated off centre
  • Back does not swing
 A major effect of VSC’s in the spine can be to disrupt the flow of information through the nerves leaving the spinal cord. These nerve innervate the skin, glands and blood vessels, indications of nerve disruption can include… 
  • Unusual itching at the base of the tail or other parts of the body
  • Increased sensitivity to heat or cold
  • Asymmetrical or reduced perspiration
   Chiropractic Treatment If a VSC is present the functional misalignment will be adjusted, restoring mobility to the joint.  The chiropractic adjustment is a very specific, short lever, high velocity, low amplitude controlled thrust carried out using the hands, directed at specific articulations to correct VSC’s in the spine and/or extremities. The correction of these VSC’s has a positive effect on the nervous system. Chiropractic treatment does not overstretch the ligaments and works within the normal anatomical limits of the joint and its supporting structures.  Most animals show visible improvements within the first one to four treatments. Acute problems respond more quickly to treatment while chronic problems may require a little more extensive treatment. Patients with chronic conditions (for example arthrosis, hip dysplasia or spondylitis) where restricted joint movement appears as a result of the condition respond well to regular supportive treatment every 2-6 months.  Chiropractic Treatment helps….. 
  • Spinal trauma, treatment only after prior x-ray clarification
  • Spondylosis (ossification of the spine) in many cases mobilization of symptomatic restrictions in the healthy area of the spine can lead to improvement of symptoms.
  • Cauda Equina syndrome
  • Cervical Vertebra Syndrome
  • Discopathy following prior x-ray clarification
  • Lick Granuloma
  • Existing irreversible changes (hip dysplasia, spondylosis, arthrosis)which can lead to VSC’s in the spine as a result of compensation.
  • Arthrosis, often causes VSC’s in the spine.
  • Sciatica neuralgia
  • Recurrent anal gland infections
  • Recurrent ear infections
  I am registered with the:International Veterinary Chiropractic AssociationBritish Chiropractic AssociationGeneral Chiropractic Council


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