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Chiropractor works on pets, livestock
Livestock producers and pet owners can solve some of their animals' health problems by combining the expertise of a vet and an animal chiropractor, according to Dr. Julie Kaufman, one of only 20 certified animal chiropractors in the world.
Kaufman practices animal chiropractic work on horses, cattle, hogs, and dogs.
She's a member of the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association, which was formed two years ago by Dr. Sharon Willoughby of Port Byron, Ill. According to Kaufman, animal chiropractic work may be performed only under veterinary referral and supervision. It's a new idea that she says will become more popular.
"Veterinary chiropractic medicine offers a natural, drug-free approach to an animal's total health care," says Kaufman, who works with about 30 Wisconsin veterinarians. "Animal and human skeletal systems are similar except that one is erect and the other on four legs. Both skeletal systems serve as conduit for nervous systems between the brain and organs. When something in the skeletal system is out of alignment, nerves are squeezed and ailments result."
About 90% of Kaufman's practice is done on horses and dogs. Horses can be treated for spinal misalignments which can lead to chronic lameness, gait abnormalities, hock pain caused by poor shoe trimming, or back pain caused by the way a rider mounts or rides the animal or by a poor saddle fit. Some cattle may benefit if they're lame, down, or have problems caused by pressure on the joints during birth. Lame hogs may also benefit in some cases.
"Horses have a large skeletal system so it's easy fora trained eye to see a misaligned vertebra," says Kaufman. "I'm frequently asked, `How in the heck do you adjust a horse?' It takes only 10 or 15 lbs. of pressure to adjust a joint so it's not a matter of using 2 by 4's or mallets. I may need some hay bales to stand on but for the most part the work is easy for a well-trained person."
Kaufman is required by state law and American Veterinary Medicine Association guidelines to work only in conjunction with licensed veterinarians. She and other animal chiropractors are setting up national standards for animal chiropractors. "Too many animals are hurt by bad chiropractic work where more force is used than is necessary. I recommend that you don't use an animal chiropractor unless he or she is certified by the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association. Certified animal chiropractors have gone through one year's worth of additional training in addition to obtaining a veterinarian license or chiropractor license."
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Dr. Julie Kaufman, Alternatives For Animals, 1135 E. Dayton St., Madison, Wis. 53703 (ph 608 251-6303).

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1991 - Volume #15, Issue #4