Animal chiropractor refers to the person who treats various ailments in animals, but before you check how to become a chiropractor you need to know about their duties and complexities related to their tasks. They treat different musculoskeletal and neurological problems in animals. It involves adjusting their joints and in some cases in their vertebrae to lessen the pain, reinstate balance, and increase their performance. An animal chiropractor can treat various animals including racehorses, livestock, animals that are kept in the zoo, and even your pets.
This kind of treatment can only be done by a person who holds a certificate of a chiropractor or a person who is a professional chiropractor and works under a veterinarian.
Chiropractors can treat many ailments in animals and can inspect animals for several causes that may include:
- Perform a baseline examination for a young domesticated animal to let the neurological system develop without any problems
- They can also treat curved or deformed spine
- They can help the animal to recover from anesthesia when the surgery is done
- They can perform dental cleaning of animals and other related problems as well
- They can perform a checkup of athletic animal regularly to ensure that they perform according to their capabilities and at the same time reduce the chances of injury
- Treatment of disc herniation and general causes of back pain
- Treating senior animals that show signs of arthritis, organ dysfunction, lack of coordination, and general weakness.
General duties of Animal Chiropractor
Generally, chiropractors including equine chiropractor take care of animals by:
- Assessing the details about the animal’s previous treatments by asking the owner
- They review all the x-rays that have been done before and also check the details written by a veterinarian
- They thoroughly observe the animals in both situations i.e., when they are moving and when they are at rest
- They palpate the spine and/or other areas that are a possible source of discomfort or pain
- After carrying out all of the assessment they decide on treatment and carry out adjustments
They can also provide suggestions to animal owners, for example, therapeutic exercises that may help keep animals healthy. Likewise, the owner may be asked to come back for a routine follow-up to carry out the comprehensive treatment.
Animal Chiropractor Salary
There is no set standard to measure the salary as the earnings are dependent on the number of clients, the expertise of a practitioner, geography, and years of experience in the field. So, the more number of clients a chiropractor can attract, the more money he will make. Generally, the animal chiropractor opts for a per-session fee and it is also convenient for clients to pay per-session.
Additionally, the professional human chiropractor and most of the veterinarians perform animal chiropractor tasks and use it as an extra source of income. It substantially increases their monthly income as they are already getting good salaries from their professions.
There are no specific stats and figures about the salary of this profession, however, the report of U.S Bureau of Labor Statistic (2017) provide details about general chiropractors and veterinarians.
Per annum income of chiropractors is given below:
- Income of top 10%/year: $144,730 ($69.58/hour)
- Income of bottom 10%/year: $34,550 ($16.61/hour)
- Median income/year: $68,640 ($33.00/hour)
Per annum income of veterinarians is given below:
- Income of top 10%/year: $159,320 ($76.60/hour)
- Income of bottom 10%/year: $53,980 ($25.95/hour)
- Median income/year: $90,420 ($43.47/hour)
Certifications, training courses, and education
You can complete a basic animal chiropractic course to start your career in this field. The most noticeable certification in this regard is the one provided by the American Chiropractic Certification Commission (ACCC) of the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA). For this purpose, you need to have a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine or Doctor of Chiropractic degree, and you must have passed a detailed written examination. Furthermore, you also need to go through another exam which tests your practical skills.
The certificate will expire in 3 years and if you want to continue to be certificate holder then you have complete 30 credit hours of approved continuing education. These 30 credit hours are needed to be completed within 3 years of the certification period.
So, in conclusion, you need to have strong knowledge about the physiology and anatomy of animals to be successful in this field. You can visit the AVCA website to get more information about courses and programs related to this field.
Skills you need for this job
You need to have these key skills to be successful in this field, and these include:
- You need to be very gentle and have smooth movements. This should be coupled with a calm personality so that you can get closer to animals and make sure they do not feel threatened by you.
- A kind person can help in calming down the nervous of a scared animal
- Study animal behavior, a better understanding of their behavior can help you to treat them better.
- Safe handling of animals is also important because you should not add to the pain of already suffering animals.
- You also need to aware of equine chiropractic laws by state
- Every practitioner need to have problem-solving skills and know-how to make quick and right decisions
- Proper treatment is that in which you keep a written record of everything that you have done. It also helps to treat the animal in the future.
You can find jobs related to a chiropractor on various online websites and you can also check job ads from government departments. Otherwise, you can search for terms such as a chiropractor, chiropractor of animals, and if you want to search job in your state, just use the name of your state at end of the above-mentioned terms, for example, animal chiropractor Oklahoma. This is an excellent job, with the right certifications, and enough experience you can earn thousands of dollars per year. Additionally, you need to be aware of animal safety laws and how to treat animals with kindness, to have a successful career in this field.