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In December 2006, Dr. J.C. Thieke completed a 210 hour post graduate course at Options for Animals School of Animal Chiropractic in Wellsville, Kansas. The course consisted of a 1 week module of instruction including both lecture and lab over a period of 5 months. The modules were: sacro-pelvic, thoraco-lumbar, cervical, extremity and integrated. Each module included a written and practical exam over the past module’s material. The final exam for the course was in December. Dr. Thieke passed the course as well as the certification exam administered by a separate organization: The International Veterinary Chiropractic Association. The IVCA certifies graduates of the three U.S. and one European animal chiropractic schools.
Equine chiropractic is another treatment option for horses that are not necessarily lame but who are not performing up to their normal level of work. These horses may be stiff, have a difficult time collecting, or may not travel as well in one lead versus the other. Chiropractic like anything requires a good knowledge of the patient’s history and an exam to help determine where the problem may be. The adjustments are aimed at restoring the normal range of motion to a “motion unit.” A motion unit consists of the bones, ligaments, tendons, nerves, and the other soft tissue structures that exist between these bones. Abnormal range of motion can result from pain, scar tissue, muscle spasm or arthritis. The abnormal range of motion over time will result in compensation in other parts of the body, and therefore affect the way a horse will move or act when being worked.
To get the correct adjustment it is important to have the chiropractor’s hands in the correct location, provide the correct line of drive for the adjustment, and to do the thrust quickly. The combination of these three items will result in a successful adjustment. Adjustments in horses unlike in people do not often result in the audible pop or cracking sounds we expect when we are adjusted by a human chiropractor. The large musculature and depth of the vertebral column is the main reason for this. However, a correctly applied adjustment to the correct motion unit will result in a return to a more normal range of motion in that area. This allows the horse to feel and move more correctly which improves the horse’s overall performance and well being.
If you have questions on equine chiropractics or would like to schedule your horse for a chiropractic evaluation with Dr. Thieke, please call our clinic.
Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine
Acupuncture is the stimulation of specific points on the body by the insertion of needles through the skin. Anatomically these points correspond to areas of lymphatic vessels, nerve endings, arterioles, and mast cells. When stimulated these areas release beta-endorphins, serotonins and other neurotransmitters. Needling also causes a local immune response, muscle relaxation, and increased blood flow. The mechanism of acupuncture is not fully understood but research indicates it can be a beneficial adjunctive therapy in many conditions.
Acupuncture may help with:
· Back pain
· Tendon and ligament problems
· Muscle atrophy
· Nerve paralysis
· Gastrointestinal disorders including colic
· Anhydrosis (non-sweater)
· Reproductive problems
· Itchy skin
· Performance enhancement
· Pain Relief
The number of treatments, placement of needles and type of treatment depends on the nature, severity and duration of the problem. A single treatment may be enough for an acute condition but 3-5 treatments may be necessary to obtain results for more chronic conditions.
Acupuncture needles are ½ -3 inches long, solid, sterile and very thin. Typically 10-25 needles may be inserted in a single session. Depending on the patient, the needles may be periodically rotated or attached to an electro-acupuncture unit to enhance stimulation.
Acupuncture is a very safe treatment modality and most horses tolerate the treatment s very well. When used together with conventional Western medicine, acupuncture can be a great tool to help your horse be its best.
Dr. Ingrid Borkoski was certified in equine acupuncture by the Chi Institute in 2002.
information on acupuncture and how it can help your horse, call Anoka Equine today.