We're trained veterinarians who can evaluate and perform adjustments on your horse.

Cedarbrook Veterinary Care's veterinarians are American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA) trained veterinarians who can evaluate and perform adjustments on your horse.

Veterinary Chiropractic (often described as spinal manipulation therapy) is a holistic approach to healthcare that is based on symmetry and freedom of movement. It does not replace traditional medicine and surgery but works in conjunction with traditional veterinary medicine to improve the health and movement of all the joints in the body, but especially the spinal column. When used concurrently with traditional medicine, many of your horse's musculoskeletal conditions respond dramatically and rehabilitation can take place quickly and efficiently.

The Spinal Column

Chiropractic care focuses on the health and proper movement of all joints in the body, but especially, the proper functioning of the spinal column.

The spinal column is made up of bones (vertebrae), muscles, ligaments, spinal cord, and nerve roots. It functions to support the body and serves as an attachment for the paraspinal muscles. Nerve roots exit the spinal cord between vertebrae and communicate information to the entire body. When two adjacent bones (vertebra) come together, they form a Joint. There are over 175 joints in the spinal column.

When these joints are moving normally, the horse is flexible, happy, and healthy. When these joints are not functioning well, the animal becomes stiff and inflamed, and the nerves that exit the spinal column through these joints become impinged upon, creating pain and illness. Over time, this pain worsens and we start seeing other signs including, muscle loss, postural changes, and lameness.


When used by chiropractors, the term subluxation is used to describe a very specific condition, or disease, of the spinal column in which one or more of the joints are not moving properly. When the horse's bones are "stuck", so to speak, this condition causes a nerve to be "pinched" or compromised. Even if only one of the many joints of the spine is "stuck", the entire spinal column will lose flexibility, and the horse will become stiff, resistant, and begin to show signs of poor performance and/or health.

Keep in mind that nerves branch off the spinal cord and travel through these “stuck” areas. Misaligned and "stuck" vertebral joints can affect the nerves as they exit. These nerves are the communication lines between the brain and the rest of the body, carrying impulses both to and from all of the structures in your horse, down to every last cell. When a horse has a subluxation, it affects those lines in a detrimental way.

Every movement, from simple swishing of the tail to the piaffe in dressage, requires a constant synchronization of many muscles, some contracting, some relaxing. The communication lines that allow this precision motion are the nerves. If these are “pinched”, incoordination will result. Major, long-term interference can cause lameness/laminitis, while minor interference may cause only minor, almost imperceptible changes. More importantly, lack of coordination in these movements can cause missteps, or improper gaits, that can lead to damage in the remaining healthy joints such as stifles, knees, or elbows. In addition, "pinched" nerves are painful, no matter how slight. Pain will also prohibit your horse from working to his maximum potential.

Adjustments to Improve Motion

Chiropractic evaluates the entire spinal column looking for vertebrae that are not moving well. When these areas are identified, they can be adjusted with very specific rapid thrusts to improve the motion at that particular location.

A veterinarian trained in animal chiropractic should make final diagnosis of subluxations. Once identified, the doctor will attempt a correction of the subluxated or "stuck" vertebra. This correction is called an adjustment. An adjustment is performed onto a vertebra in a very specific direction (line of correction) that will restore movement to a fixated joint. Improper or forced adjustment can be harmful to your horse. Working with a properly trained bodyworker with the accountability that comes with credentials (i.e. a veterinarian certified in animal chiropractic) is important!

Chiropractic is very specific, and adjustments are made on each vertebra directly. Jerking on legs or tails is not an adjustment. A proper examination and evaluation by the doctor is necessary to determine what needs to be adjusted, and more importantly, what not to adjust. While delivering an adjustment the doctor uses a controlled force. Large horses don't necessarily need more force than very small ones. Each joint of the spine is moveable, and if the correct angle is used and the patient is compliant, the adjustment is relatively easy using low force.

While an animal chiropractor will pay particular attention to the spine, they may also adjust the joints of the jaw, legs, pelvis, or skull.
Please call Cedarbrook Veterinary Care at (360) 794-9255 to see if chiropractic is right for your horse.

We treat the whole animal, every time.

Cedarbrook Veterinary Care offers chiropractic for equines in Snohomish, Monroe, Woodinville, Duvall, Lake Stevens, Redmond and the surrounding areas. If you live outside of our service area you are welcome to haul in to our Cedarbrook Farms facility.

Call or text us today (360) 794-9255


Cedarbrook Veterinary Care

Veterinarian Appointments

Available Monday - Friday.
9812 215th Avenue SE,
Snohomish, WA 98290

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