Animal Chiropractic
All small animal (cat/dog) appointments will be offered at Capital Veterinary Specialists, located at 1615 Mahan Center Blvd. Appointment times are on Mondays 8:00AM-12:00PM and 3:00PM-6:00PM.
All animal chiropractic is performed by Dr. Alex Shippy who is a chiropractic physician certified in animal chiropractic by the International Veterinary Chiropractic Association. Dr. Alex Shippy is not a veterinarian, and cannot take responsibility for the primary care of an animal. Animal chiropractic care is not intended to replace traditional veterinary care. All animal services must be under the referral of a licensed veterinarian.
Dr. Shippy hold a dog
Dr. Shippy with a dog
Dr. Shippy adjusting a dog
Dr. Shippy with a dog
Two people with a dog
Animal chiropractic adjustments
Available for cats, dogs, and horses by referral from your veterinarian. This is satisfied by completing a referral request letter. If you would like a referral request letter to be sent to your veterinarian, please email us.
What is animal chiropractic?
Animal chiropractic is a healthcare discipline for animals that looks at the function of the spine in relation to the nervous system. Animal chiropractors use their hands to feel for and correct chiropractic subluxations. A chiropractic subluxation is a dysfunctional joint that leads to the dysfunction of the nervous system. In animals, only light adjustive impulses are needed to correct a chiropractic subluxation and positively affect the nervous system. A more functional spine is a more functional nervous system. This translates to better health and increased ability to adapt to new stressors presented in everyday life. These foundational principles of animal chiropractic are the reason adjusting animals can improve body movement, gut issues, immunity, healing times, and much more.
Animal (quadruped) adjusting
Animal chiropractic has the same goal as human chiropractic, which is the correction of chiropractic subluxations. Although the goal is the same, the method by which cats, dogs, and horses are adjusted is very different. Cats, dogs, and horses are quadrupeds. Quadrupeds are vertebrates (animals with a spinal column) that stand on four legs. Humans are bipeds (stand on two legs). The very nature of forces placed on quadruped and biped bodies are completely different. Since humans stand up-right, the primary forces on the spine are compressive forces. Quadrupeds on the other hand are horizontal, and therefore the primary forces on their spine are shear forces. Shear forces are the forces on adjacent structures when the structures move parallel to each other.

Due to the horizontal nature of quadrupeds, the chiropractic subluxations that their bodies present are different and are often more neurologically based rather than structurally. Since the neurology of an animal lies in the soft tissues of the body, only light adjustive impulses are needed to positively affect the nervous system and therefore the integration of the chiropractic subluxation.
What are common signs that my animal may need an animal chiropractic adjustment?
The signs described in the following sections does not necessitate an animal chiropractic adjustment, but are potential signs that may be positively influenced by the therapeutic effect of an animal chiropractic adjustment. The necessity of an animal chiropractic adjustment can only be deciphered after referral from a licensed veterinarian and the performance of an animal chiropractic examination by a professional certified in animal chiropractic.

Cats and dogs
Abnormal walking pattern
Difficulty changing positions
Hypersensitive to touch
Changes in sport or job performance
Difficulty running, jumping, or going up stairs

Abnormal gait
Hypersensitive to touch
Changes in sport or job performance
Changes in chew pattern
Irritability with a rider
Not making turns
Trouble taking leads