Animal chiropractic becoming more common place with Canadian pet owners
SUDBURY -- Sudbury chiropractor Dr. Sherrie Guillet has been treating spines in the City of Greater Sudbury for 15 years now and some of her best clients don’t exactly walk on two feet.
"When I was in chiropractic college, there was an animal chiropractor that came in to do a presentation on what she does, and I was really fascinated by the stories that she told of the animals that she helped, and I thought I’d like to do that as well," said Guillet.
The Sudbury practitioner is one of only a handful in the country who has the special certification.
"There are definitely some differences, but there are a lot of similarities as well," she said. "The same general idea, that we’re affecting the spine. For the animals, I will do it on the floor or a little table I have for them."
Guillet admits she catches some people off guard when telling them she can treat dogs and cats.
"The most common response is that people are surprised that it even exists as a profession, most people have never heard about it. They’re surprised and then they’re really excited that there is such a thing," she said.
Marina Mogensen began visiting Guillet’s home office six years ago after getting referred to her through a natural health store.
"I was shocked that it even existed. I looked at the lady and said 'you’ve got to be kidding me right?'" said Mogensen.
Her dachshund had stopped walking and she was told by a vet that she could either deal with a $5,000 surgery, with no guaranteed chance of success, or the dog would have to be put down.
Devastated, she began to visit Guillet’s office in hopes of finding a homeopathic miracle.
"She started treating the dog, within a week she was walking again, and that was six years ago," said Mogensen.
Guillet now treats Mogensen's two dachshunds, ages 16 and 14 respectively, once a month.
"They’re almost as old as my daughter. You’re attached, they’re like my children," she added.
"This one still chases chipmunks. They’re not very happy when they have the treatment done," Mogensen laughed. "But, like I said, it keeps them mobile."
The long-time chiropractor, who also treats humans out of her Westmount Ave. office, says while it’s possible to treat anything with a spine, she’s only treated cats, dogs and the odd horse.
"I’ve heard of other stories that treated other animals, like cows or things like that. I haven’t myself, no one’s asked me to adjust their cows, but mainly it’s dogs, cats and horses that are the main animals," said Guillet.
The Ontario Chiropractic Association has issued a statement:
"Animal chiropractic does not replace traditional veterinary medicine or surgery, but provides an integrative method of care. Often, veterinarians and animal chiropractors work together to best serve the needs of an animal."
The association adds that animals can have similar issues and injuries.
Chiropractors who treat animals must also have completed a post-graduate training program, which is open to both chiropractors and veterinarians.