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chiropractic care

Canine Chiropractic Care

Dr. Les Waddell, DC had been in practice as a chiropractor for 13 years before deciding to become a chiropractor for animals as well as humans. One of his patients, Dr. Deb Sell, DC, who was a human and animal chiropractor herself, encouraged him to get certified to work with animals. Dr. Waddell has a calm, confident energy that Dr. Sell felt would be perfect for working with animals. Since becoming a Certified Animal Chiropractor, Dr. Waddell has worked with dogs, cats, donkeys, goats, and horses.

One thing Dr. Waddell noticed right away when working with animals is how responsive they are to adjustments, and how easy it seems to be for them to release tension and come back into their natural alignment.

If an animal has suffered a minor injury while jumping, playing, or being involved in an accident, there is a good chance that the animal has suffered a subluxation or lack of movement of the vertebrae. This movement can put pressure on a nerve or nerves. Since the spinal cord controls all the functions of the body, if there is some dysfunction of the spinal cord, some parts of the body may not be getting adequate nerve messages, and the body will not be functioning at 100 percent of its ability.

This is where a chiropractic adjustment can be very important. An adjustment will allow the joint to move properly and release pressure on the nerves.

Often animals will approach Dr. Waddell and “ask” for an adjustment. Once he was adjusting a horse when a donkey named Eddie, who he was told was not very friendly, kept coming up and nudging at him with his nose. When Dr. Waddell finished with the horse, this “unfriendly” donkey let him feel his spine. He did feel some subluxations, did some adjustments, and Eddie trotted off having received what he came for.

Dr. Waddell has seen many amazing recoveries since he began working with animals. He recalls Max, a five-year-old dog, who was in real bad shape. He looked more like a 12-year-old dog when he first came to Dr. Waddell for a consultation. After the first adjustment, Max was 70 percent better. He had decreased pain and relaxed muscles. After just three adjustments, he had none of the symptoms that had been debilitating him for months.

Chiropractic adjustments can be helpful for dogs who are aging or have symptoms related to ailments such as arthritis, neurological problems, or hip dysplasia. Chiropractic adjustments can also be an essential part of a young, active, athletic dog’s maintenance plan for optimum health and wellness. This is especially true for any dog who participates in sports or work that is hard on the body such as agility, frisbee, search and rescue work, or police work.

Dr. Waddell’s daughter’s dog, Sprocket, loves to get adjustments. Often when she sees him, she pushes on him with the part of her body where she needs an adjustment.

Dr. Waddell respects and utilizes unspoken communication when working with animals. He relies on his connection with the animal and his ability to feel the joints and the spine and listen to the animal’s body to know what is going on and where corrections need to be made. Dr Waddell never underestimates  the wisdom of the body to know what to do to heal itself when given gentle encouragement.

Dr. Les Waddell, DC adjusts cats and dogs at Animal Health Center in Salinas and Natural Veterinary Therapy in Pacific Grove. He can take referrals from any veterinarian in California, but primarily practices in Monterey County. He also adjusts large animals in their own environment. For more information, contact Dr. Waddell at 1-800-871-7970.

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