Conditions We See

Vet chiropractor Melbourne


Lameness is a term used for abnormal walking gait or posture of an animal. This is usually a result of a mechanical dysfunction of the legs. In most animals this is caused commonly by pain.

Disc injuries

Disc injuries are very common in humans, and also in animals, especially animals involved in shows and performance. A disc injury happens over time, where there is abnormal vertebral joint movement, this altered movement results in uneven wear and tear on the joints and the disc. The disc is made up two components, the outer annulus fibrosis and the inner gel nucleus pulposus. When there is wear and tear on the outer component of the disc, there is an opportunity for the gel component to leak out. When this happens it is an injury and the gel contents puts pressure on the nerve root, thus causing pain.


Limping can be caused by many different factors, arthritis, nerve pain, lameness, injury. You can tell when an animal is limping because they do not walk properly. They often guard or favour one or more legs.

Nerve impingement

Nerve impingement can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort to an animal. It is when the joints of the spine or pelvis lock up after an abnormal movement, this then causes pinching of the cartilage this is also called facet joint impingement. This pinching puts pressure on the adjacent nerve root which causes nerve pain and pressure. Nerve impingement can cause, limping, painful gait or stance, paralysis and or lameness. Nerve impingement can be caused by falls, slips, trips or accidents.


Paralysis is a very scary experience for both animal and owner. Paralysis is the inability to move and function as normal. There are many different causes of paralysis, they include, injury, like a broken leg or dislocation, illness such as a virus or infection and lameness.

Hip dysplasia

Hip dysplasia can be a common condition seen in animals. It is an abnormal hip socket joint formation and can lead to pain, limping, and altered gait, early onset degenerative arthritic change and in worst cases lameness. It is very common in dogs and in certain dog breeds such as German Shepherds.


Like in humans, arthritis or degenerative joint disease can affect animals too. It is a condition where over time the protective cartilage of a joint wears away which results in bone on bone contact of a joint. Over time this bone on bone contact wears away the healthy bone and cause degenerative change of the bone surface. Arthritis can cause pain, loss of mobility, limping, abnormal gait and decreased performance in an animal.

Sprain or Joint Injury

Performance or show animals like dogs or horses place extra stress on their bodies than normal animals. This makes them more susceptible to the risk of injury. Most common injuries are of the limbs, knees, shoulders, lower back and pelvis. Racing, running, jumping and agility are

Other injuries

In a busy practice, often we see pets with symptoms similar to some of the above, however in actual fact they are suffering from other conditions (*some listed below), in these cases we work with local veterinary practices to best manage your pet’s health.

  • Bite wounds &/or Lacerations
  • Tears and trauma to the nails
  • Bites/stings from insects
  • Abrasions and/or Superficial wound
  • Punctures from sharp objects
  • Foreign objects in the skin, eye or feet
  • Snake bites
  • Scratched eye
  • Cataracts
  • Viral and bacterial infections
  • Gastric Foreign Object Ingestion
  • Mouth Trauma or Fractured Tooth
  • Cruciate Ligament tear
  • Post Surgical infection
  • Cruciate Ligament sprain (non- surgical)
  • Soft Tissue Trauma (bruise)

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Indications your dog requires a Chiropractic Check-up

  • Does your dog walk or move with an uneven or unbalanced pelvic movement (i.e not inline with the ribcage)
  • Do the rear legs split stride, trot or hop? Again, uncharacteristic movement of the rear legs can indicate pelvic malalignment and spinal problems
  • Are your dogs nails wearing unevenly? Like observing the wearing pattern on a human’s shoe, the wearing pattern of an animals nail can indicate joint dysfunction
  • Does your dog display back arching? Back arching can demonstrate pain guarding, muscle spasm or joint pain
  • Does the rib cage move evenly from left to right during movement?
  • Does your dog’s tail move evenly?
  • Does your dog display abnormal head and neck position when walking and running? This may indicate abnormal muscle tone, joint problems or pain guarding
  • Does your dog demonstrate difficulty standing, sitting, or rolling over
  • Has your dog recently stopped doing normal activities such as jumping onto furniture or racing to the backdoor when you arrive home? Changes in behaviour are subtle clues to suggest your animal is not coping
  • Is your animal constantly licking or chewing at a particular area? If so, investigation is needed to assess the problem
  • Is your dog currently on prescription medication such as anti-inflammatories? Long-term use of such medications can have adverse reactions, many manual therapies such as Chiropractic treatment may be able to help

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