Pet chiropractors gaining popularity |

Pet chiropractors gaining popularity

Elisabeth Jordan
Vail, CO Colorado

SUMMIT COUNTY ” The field of pet chiropractic seems to be poorly understood.

“I have a friend who won a visit to a chiropractor in a silent auction last year at the Canine 4K,” said Janiece Agnew of Frisco.

“She was so excited, until she realized it was a visit to a pet chiropractor. She thought it was so ridiculous, and so did her friends. She couldn’t give the coupon away. No dog owners she knew wanted to use it.”

Yet, animal chiropractics is becoming more and more popular. As people seek alternative forms of medical treatment for themselves, they seek them out for their pets, too.

Dr. Sharon Willoughby founded the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association in 1989. Now there are 855 certified animal chiropractors. There are only five certified animal chiropractors in Colorado. Dr. Ed Hastain is not one of them, but he uses chiropractic methods on animals in his Breckenridge office.

Hastain uses the “activator methods chiropractic technique,” a treatment in which a handheld instrument is used to make consistent low-force, high-speed chiropractic adjustments. Though the company that developed the techniques offers seminars on how to use them on people, Hastain has adapted them for pet treatment.

“It was amazing to see the improvement,” said Sharon Alcalay of The Dog Den in Dillon about the chiropractic work done on her dog by Hastain.

Alcalay had been camping with her 7-year-old Australian shepherd mix in Park City, Utah, when she noticed her dog acting strangely. She couldn’t identify where her dog was injured and feared that she would have to stop at any veterinarian’s office she passed on her way back home to Alma.

Luckily, she called Hastain and he met her in Alma where she lives and he has a second office.

Hastain did chiropractic techniques up and down the neck of Alcalay’s dog and then gave the dog a steroid shot.

“After Hastain did chiropractic work on my dog, I could see my dog improve within an hour,” she said. “I was thrilled.”

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