Firstly I will take a detailed record of the animal’s history including previous and current problems, illnesses, injuries and behavioural issues. I will also take details on the animal’s exercise and daily routine as well as veterinary information. This information could indicate what the possible causes of the problems are, could help preventing problems to reoccur and could indicate whether there is anything that needs taking into consideration when treating the animal.
During this part the animal will be felt all over to feel whether there is any heat, tension or swellings which could be signs of injury. The hoofs and claws will be looked at to see whether there is any uneven wear which could be a sign of movement imbalance. During this assessment I will also look for musculo-skeletal asymmetry such as muscle atrophy and differences between the left and right side.
The animal will now be assessed at walk and trot, in-hand. This gait assessment will show any lameness, stiffness, unevenness, weakness or differences in limb placement which could be an indication of a problem. This assessment is also needed to determine the appropriate treatment for the animal.
I will run her hands along the animal’s spine and pelvis to feel for any misalignments which could cause nerve impingements or muscle spasms. She will also feel for any associated muscle spasms and decide if massage Therapy might also need to be used as this works on the animal’s soft tissue.
The treatment will consist of adjusting the misalignments found during palpation. The adjustment is a light but quick thrust to the specific misalignment which will allow the joint to regain its normal range of movement. This treatment is safe and gentle, and is readily accepted by the animal.
Healing is a process so it is important that the changes in the musculo-skeletal system after treatment are maintained. I will give the owner or the person in charge of the animal at the time of the treatment, an after care program which should be followed to get the best results out of the treatment. If necessary the animal might need to be referred back to the veterinary surgeon.