Integrative Care

High-Quality Chiropractic Care for Your Pet

At Minnetonka Animal Hospital, we’re proud to offer veterinary chiropractic care by Dr. Leilani who is a Certified Veterinary Chiropractor.

What is Animal Chiropractic?

Animal chiropractic care studies the condition and function of the nervous system, which essentially controls your pet’s entire body. Specifically, we focus on the spinal cord and its interaction with the vertebral column that surrounds it. When joints of the column don’t move properly, nerves that enter and leave the spinal cord are affected. Consequently, this can interfere with the flow of signals and information between the brain and the body. By manipulating and adjusting these joints, veterinary chiropractors try to correct and restore this flow of stimuli.

When is it Beneficial?

Veterinary chiropractic care can help alleviate a variety of acute and chronic conditions, including:

  • Slipped (herniated) disc/pinched nerves
  • Lameness
  • Lack of coordination or weakness in hind limbs
  • Limping
  • Abnormal gait
  • Pain in the spine, neck, ribs, or tail
  • Trouble getting up or sitting down
  • Shaking/tremors in the limbs or body
  • Senior pet pain and stiffness
  • Some behavioral issues

Healthy animals may also benefit from chiropractic care. By maintaining the neuro-musculo-skeletal system, your pet’s body will function better overall and can enhance factors such as agility, endurance, and quality of life.

While veterinary chiropractic isn’t meant to replace traditional veterinary treatments, it is a highly effective component of integrative care that addresses concerns that might otherwise go unnoticed.

What to Expect

Cute PuppyPrior to an adjustment, your pet will be thoroughly examined by our veterinarian who is certified in animal chiropractic care. In addition, a complete medical history will be reviewed, and any necessary diagnostic testing will be performed.

A chiropractic adjustment causes little to no pain. Unlike in humans, you shouldn’t hear any loud cracks or pops during your pet’s visit. The entire process is very gentle, and you can trust our team to handle your companion with great care. Please contact us with questions or for more information about our chiropractic services.

Myofascial Trigger Point Release Therapy

While muscles make up a large portion of an animal’s body, they are not often considered as a source of pain for our pets. In reality, severe pain may be coming from the muscles in the form of myofascial trigger points. Myofascial trigger points are contracted muscle fibers that result in painful knots and tightness in the muscle (myo) and its surrounding connective tissue (fascia). These trigger points develop when a muscle becomes stressed or injured.

When a trigger point first occurs (or is “active”), it results in significant pain. This pain may be felt in the area of the trigger point or may be referred, meaning the trigger point is in one area but the pain is felt in a different location. If a trigger point has been present for a long time, it is called a latent trigger point. While these points are usually painful only when pressed directly, the real problem is their ability to inhibit proper muscle function, leading to secondary issues and concerns.

Myofascial trigger point release therapy is used to unlock the contraction of the muscle, thereby releasing the trigger point. At Minnetonka Animal Hospital, Dr. Leilani is trained to recognize the symptoms of myofascial pain, palpate and locate trigger points, and treat these points. She uses either a manual pressure technique (increasing pressure to the trigger point with her finger) or a dry needle technique (isolating the trigger point and releasing it using an acupuncture needle).