Because horses are asked to ride, jump, exercise, work, compete, stand in the stall for long periods of time, etc., their body is put under tremendous stress. This stress can lead to a condition referred to as «vertebral subluxation complex» (VCS).

When vertebrae become immovable through trauma, injury or degenerative wear and tear, the joints between them become jammed, often affecting the nerves that are in these congested areas. Because the nerves are the communication links from these joints to the brain and spinal cord, messages to the rest of the body become interrupted, leading to pain and loss of function

Signs that a horse has a VCS:

  • Pain and stiffness when moving or being touched

  • Reduced performance

  • Negative changes in behavior or attitude

  • Abnormal gait, shortened stride or lameness

  • Inability or difficulty in taking a lead

  • Bucking

  • Difficulty or inability to collect

  • Pinning ears or snapping when being cinched

  • Difficulty flexing at poll

  • Changes in posture

  • Resistance to being ridden


Chiropractic adjustments help restore proper motion to the joints. A healthy spine allows pets to run, walk, jump and rest comfortably.

How can you tell that your pet has poor range of spinal movement?

He/She may exhibit some of the following signs:

  • Pain when being touched, pet or lifted

  • Reluctance or difficulty when climbing stairs or jumping

  • Difficulty when getting up after lying down

  • Negative changes in attitude or behavior

  • Altered sitting (“Puppy Sitting”)

  • Changes in eating or eliminating

  • Constantly licking or chewing paws

  • Lameness or changes in gait

  • Changes in performance

  • Lying on one side


Cats with spinal problems may exhibit some of the following signs:

  • Obvious pain or discomfort (difficulty jumping, reluctance to climb stairs, cries when being picked up)

  • Limping or toe dragging

  • Difficulty getting up or lying down

  • Refuses to play

  • Loss of appetite

  • Unexplained changes in weight

  • Twitching, licking or head jerking when being pet or brushed

  • Diarrhea or changes in litter contents, urinating outside the box

  • Prolonged or repeated vomiting (though eliminating hairballs is normal, continual vomiting is often a sign of infection and can cause dehydration)

  • Discharge from the eyes and/or nose (common sign of upper respiratory infection)

  • Finally, cats tend to hide if injured or ill. If your cat has suddenly gone into hiding, it’s generally a sign that something is amiss

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56 Edourard Gagnon,

Gatineau, QC

 J9H 6X7

Riverside South Pet Shop

3771 Spratt Rd Unit 1, Ottawa, ON K1V 2P3

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Tel: 819-682-3285