Chiropractor or Vet? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 11 Old 08-05-2009, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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Chiropractor or Vet?

Hi everyone, this is my first post on this site.

My horse on occasion had been stopping and stands as if he is going to pee but his body does not get as stretched out and he does nothing. It takes a bit to get him moving. I was recently told that it seems he has a knot in his back and should have him looked at by a chiropractor. I am wondering if he is stopping and standing this way because his back is uncomfortable. Money is tight and I don't know who to call first. Any suggestions?
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post #2 of 11 Old 08-05-2009, 03:48 PM
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A chiro is going to be cheaper than a vet if money is tight. From what you describing I would call my chiro first before the vet. I would also have a good look at my saddle fit. His body could of changed due to his fitness level and now the saddle is bothering him.

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post #3 of 11 Old 08-05-2009, 04:02 PM
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Could be several things.

Founder (Have you checked his hooves for heat?)

Kidney stone

Sore back

Sore hocks

Colic (gas bubbles - some horses lay down, some park out)

Bean (causes discomfort with urination)
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post #4 of 11 Old 08-05-2009, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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It is nothing related to his feet. I am sure of that. I had originally thought of possible beans and had his sheath cleaned (2mths ago) and he had 3 beans. I thought that was probably the problem but he did it again today. He does not show any signs of gas.
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post #5 of 11 Old 08-06-2009, 10:12 AM
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People, please understand that chiro's can have as little as 5 HOURS of training and that can all be ONLINE. They are simply not a substitute for a veterinarian. They have NO medical training unless they are also a veterinarian. There are no requirements for training for calling yourself and equine chiropractor, education and certification can be granted by anyone who can print a document using their computer.


In a situation where there is a problem with your animal you should always have a veterinarian perform a physical exam to rule out that there is some medical condition that needs treatment. Then consider a chiropractor if a back issue is diagnosed.

And don't count on people from an online forum to tell you if something isn't likely to need veterinary care. What everyone missed in this post is one of the classic descriptions of a horse tying up. This horse needs to be examined by a veterinarian within 12 hours of one of these episodes so that blood work can be run to see if that is in fact what is going on. (The changes in the blood that indicate muscle damage start to return to normal after 12-24 hours. So blood needs to be collected during that time period.) And any pattern to these episodes needs to be looked for as well. It may be a dietary issue, a metabolic issue or a poor conditioning issue if it is indeed tying up. http://www.thehorse.com/pdf/factshee...p/tying-up.pdf

Get a vet exam and if your horse is not tying up and your vet can't find a problem then consider a chiro but don't try to use them in place of a veterinarian.

Cindy D.
Licensed Veterinary Technician

Last edited by Ryle; 08-06-2009 at 10:22 AM.
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post #6 of 11 Old 08-06-2009, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryle View Post
People, please understand that chiro's can have as little as 5 HOURS of training and that can all be ONLINE. They are simply not a substitute for a veterinarian. They have NO medical training unless they are also a veterinarian. There are no requirements for training for calling yourself and equine chiropractor, education and certification can be granted by anyone who can print a document using their computer.

What everyone missed in this post is one of the classic descriptions of a horse tying up.

In our state an animal Chiro HAS to be a vet. We have the same law for equine dentists.

When a horse ties up - the stance is typical to be under themselves vs parked out as the OP described.
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post #7 of 11 Old 08-06-2009, 10:35 AM
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It is not the case in most states that chiro's have to be vet. In most states there are no legal requirements for someone representing themselves as a chiro therefore on this type of forum it is safer to assume that a chiro is not a vet unless otherwise indicated.

One of the most common owner descriptions is a horse that is stretched out and appears to be trying to urinate frequently. ( What owners coming into the equine clinic noted.)
Tying Up ... or Worse?

The Horse | Tying-Up

http://www.cvm.umn.edu/umec/lab/PSSM/home.html

Equine medicine and management - Google Books

Cindy D.
Licensed Veterinary Technician

Last edited by Ryle; 08-06-2009 at 10:41 AM.
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post #8 of 11 Old 08-06-2009, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryle View Post
It is not the case in most states that chiro's have to be vet. In most states there are no legal requirements for someone representing themselves as a chiro therefore on this type of forum it is safer to assume that a chiro is not a vet unless otherwise indicated.
According to AVMA there seems to be a fair number of states who's legislation do require a chiro to either be a vet or must be under a vets supervision. Not saying there aren't quacks out there, some do their jobs better than others. But that can be said for any profession. It's up to the owner to do their homework and get recommendations.

State Legislative Resources - Issues

Question: How does the practice you work for feel about alternative therapies. I have found in my neck of the woods some of the vets are very open to it but others think of it as some sort of "black magic".
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post #9 of 11 Old 08-06-2009, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the advise. I made an appointment with a chiro who is a Doctor. My horse also had a physical recently and everything was good. She seemed knowledgable and was highly recommended to me. She also does accupuncture. I hope she can help.
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post #10 of 11 Old 08-06-2009, 06:37 PM
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Despite the requirement for a chiro to work under a veterinarians supervision in many states, this generally doesn't happen. Just the same as a lay equine dentist is required to work under a vet's supervision in most states but they don't. Just like farrier's aren't legally allowed to give any sort of sedation to another person's horses but they do.

For example, the OP here asked if she should have her horse seen by a vet or a chiro...... Many horse owners call a chiro expecting a diagnosis. And many of those chiro's are not vets.

Cindy D.
Licensed Veterinary Technician
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