How do I know?
When an animal has received chiropractic care there are distinct signs if the animal has been helped. Listed below are behaviors and clinical observations that the animal will display either immediately after or within the first 24 hours after a chiropractic adjustment.
1. Areas of localized heat on the animal's body should return to the same temperature as the rest of the body. If the ears are warmer than the rest of the body after a chiropractic adjustment, then an ear infection or another pathology should be suspected.
2. Incontinence (loss of urinary control) should improve within 24 hours after an adjustment. If the situation does not improve, then pathologies such as the estrogen level or infection need to be considered.
3. If the animal's head is tilted or held in a crooked manner upon the neck, then after the chiropractic adjustment the head should be held straighter upon the neck. In severe situations such as a torticollis (wry neck) several adjustments might be needed but there still should be some improvement in the carriage of the head after the first chiropractic visit.
4. Muscle tension (the hardness of the muscle) will become softer after the adjustment. This softness should be able to be felt by the touch of the animal's owner.
5. The animal should sleep 2-4 hours immediately after the chiropractic work. This usually will occur in the young or older animal and Dr. De Grasse has observed this behavior in any species. Many animals will sleep longer, depending on the depth of the adjustment and the degree of nerve impingement upon the spinal column.
6. There should be an obvious relaxation of the animal. Panting or pacing should diminish. Often the animal will "settle" himself - going from a standing position to sitting down or from a sitting position to a recumbent position upon the ground.
7. There should be an immediate change in the stance of the animal. This change may not be permanent but should be evident after the initial chiropractic visit. Small changes need to be observed such as the placement of a leg further under the animal's body or more weight bearing upon an extremity.
8. Demeanor should return to normal or improve. Characteristic behaviors such as barking at a knock at the door should be observed. Often there is a return to regular habits such as eating or specific actions that the animal stopped when the owner first sought care.
9. Bald spots of hair should demonstrate hair growth. An oily patch of skin will resolve and moist, open areas of skin should demonstrate dryness.
10. Whatever clinical sign or behavior that was displayed prior to the chiropractic adjustment should demonstrate some degree of improvement. The degree of improvement or the timeframe required to demonstrate improvement may reflect the skill of the practitioner