If you understand biomechanics, you understand that Chiropractic is mandatory for all dogs, especially performance dogs.
To keep the nerve communication flowing without disruption, biomechanical balance must be maintained. Unlike you, your dog requires efficient movement of most joints, bones, muscles, and ligaments in the body to complete a stride.
Flexion and extension occurs in the spine close to the tail, at the top of the neck, and towards the base of the neck where it approaches the shoulders. These areas are known as the lumbosacral junction (closer to the tail), the Atlas and Axis (where the first and second cervical vertebrae meet the occipital bone (the skull between and behind the ears), and the lower neck as it nears the shoulder. Decrease in flexion and extension at any level of the spine will effect movement such as running and jumping. The neck must flex and extend in conjunction with the area near the base of the tail for normal locomotion to occur.
Motion is generated at the rear of the animal, and travels fluidly to the front in an undulating motion along the spine. Pelvic limbs are like the pistons driving the trunk and forelimbs forward. The rear legs articulate with the spine through the sacroiliac joint. They communicate with the front legs along the spine and rib cage (thoracic spine), between the shoulder blades, neck (cervical spine), and muscular attachments to the front legs.
If you think about it, all levels of the spine, the pelvis and limbs are needed for movement. A minor problem with any joint (a subluxation), will cause the animal to alter movement of that joint and, like a domino effect, the surrounding joints, bones, muscles, ligaments, and nerves. This has an effect on the animal, especially if it is a performance animal or an animal with an existing orthopedic or neurologic problem.
If a subluxation occurs, you may see a change in performance, an area of discomfort, an altered stride or movement, behavioral changes, difficulty in getting up and lying down, etc.
Your Veterinarian may see lameness, arthritis, muscle imbalance, spasms, or atrophy. The Veterinarian will assist in diagnosing the problem.
Your Animal Chiropractor will work with your veterinarian to find subluxations by the use of palpation and observing animal movement and gait. Your Animal Chiropractor will also help to identify lameness and/or imbalances caused by the altered joint movement.