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Chiropractic Journal of Australia : December 2011
Chiropractic Journal of Australia Volume 41 Number 4 December 2011 127 INTRODUCTION Chiropractors have been adjusting the spine of animals and birds "almost from its inception" some 115 years ago.1 Ramey cites Gibbons and Godzway as recording chiropractic care of animals from early last century.2,3 We record birds, reptiles, a shark and kangaroos that have been reported as being adjusted with positive response. Now however, veterinarians are collaborating with chiropractors and developing the chiropractic model in a growing amalgamated profession, with "several hundred members worldwide."4 A Review of Chiropractic Veterinary Science: An Emerging Profession With Somatic and Somatovisceral Anecdotal Histories PETER L. ROME and MICHAEL McKIBBIN Peter L Rome DC Private Practice of Chiropractic Melbourne, Victoria Michael R McKibbin DC Private Practice of Chiropractic Perth, Western Australia Received: 29 July 2011, Revised version accepted:28 September 2011. ABSTRACT: This presentation discusses the state of animal chiropractic care. It is also designed to illustrate the variety of disorders and the response of quadrupeds to chiropractic spinal adjustments and management. Further, it serves to portray the range of animals that have been served by chiropractic spinal care. The diversity of conditions and their neurological implications provides some insight into the current models of the vertebral subluxation complex. Method: A call for cases was made through an informal electronic newsletter. This proved to be most successful. In addition, the authors' own experiences also brought examples of animal patients. Finally, an internet search of The Index to Chiropractic Literature, PubMed and Google, revealed informative detail on the emerging profession of veterinary chiropractic. Review: There is remarkably little in the way of high-level research on spinal adjustments of animals as the patients. There are however, extensive papers on animals as research subjects on this topic. It became apparent that pet owners' demands have driven the advancement of this relatively new profession. Discussion: A general discussion on the emergence and background of veterinary chiropractic is presented. The cases cited are not intended to be in classic case history format. The manner in which patients bring pets to chiropractors can often be casual and even impromptu. However, with some practitioners specialising their practice in animals, a greater volume of formal evidence is bound to emerge. Indeed it is surprising that the profession has been accepted and evolved thus far in the absence of greater research. Conclusion: Examples of somatic and somatovisceral neurovertebral disorders afficting vertebrates are presented. However, these anecdotal histories are not at a level approaching formal research. They are examples of the types of cases seen regularly and noted at this stage in the development of the veterinarian chiropractic profession. The terminology ('chiropractic' and 'subluxation'), and concepts appear to have been embraced by veterinarian chiropractors, associations and practitioners. Further, chiropractic techniques seem also to have been adopted. Despite the dearth of research, veterinary science appears to have implemented and merged with a chiropractic model of health care - seemingly more readily than medicine. INDEX TERMS: (MeSH):ANIMALS; VETERINARY MEDICINE; VERTEBRATES. (Other): QUADRUPEDS; SUBLUXATION; SOMATOVISCERAL. Chiropr J Aust 2011; 41: 127-39 At times, there has been some scepticism as to whether manipulation of spines is effcacious, and that any perceived results could be due to a placebo effect.5 However, with the dramatic results observed in chiropractic care of infants and animals, the argument in support of the placebo effect or psychosomatic factors, must be questioned - if not defused altogether. In 2008, Ramey stated that "there's no evidence whatsoever that animals can beneft from, or even experience, placebo effects. Indeed when doctors claim effectiveness for a treatment beyond the evidence in the belief that they are doing the patient a favour by inducing a 'placebo effect' to the animal’s supposed beneft, they are abusing three trusted roles: expert, authority figure, and comforter. Animals deserve better."5 It seems unexpected that spinal manipulation of animals has been adopted and accepted so widely in veterinarian circles with relatively little research.1 One could compare this to relatively extensive research conducted by the manipulative professions over many decades, yet some appear to dismiss or ignore such studies without research evidence to the contrary,
CJA March 2012