Foals need Chiropractic Care too
Trauma, toxins and stress are the three causes of vertebral subluxations.
The most common subluxations found in young foals involve the atlas and sacral iliac joints. The atlas is the first cervical vertebra and must assume a very awkward angle for the foal to exit the birth canal. The sacral iliac joint, where the pelvis attaches to the spine, is usually the widest part of the foal's body. It is a very common occurrence for the pelvis of the foal to catch on the pelvis of the mother during delivery. Even a minor catch of one pelvis on the other can cause a subluxation to occur. This is one reason that I recommend checking both mother and baby as soon as possible after the birth.
Biomechanically and neurologically the atlas and the pelvis are very important areas of your foal's spine.Each and every spinal segment contributes a small portion of the total amount of movement that allows the foal's back to move. This cumulative motion allows your equine baby to bend around momma's rear leg to suckle, change directions quickly when kicking up its heels with its pasture playmates, or just allow for a nice smooth movement when it's time to lie down and sleep. The loss of function in one spinal segment will affect the way your newborn foal's entire body moves and reacts to the world around it.
A nerve exits the spinal canal between every two vertebra. These nerves transmit data from the brain and spinal column to the rest of the body and then back from these remote areas to the central nervous system. When the vertebral bones are misaligned, even slightly, they affect the nerves and the flow of nervous energy. Nerves are extremely sensitive and even a slight amount of pressure can affect their function. Scientist Chung Ha Sue at Colorado University has discovered that the weight of a feather can decrease nerve transmission by up to 50% (1). This decrease in transmission will cause faulty input and output from the brain and spinal column to the rest of the body.
Remember, the information has to travel both ways. If your newborn foal doesn't really know where his legs are, how can he learn to walk and run properly? Proper body function relies on constant feedback from the organs. Nerves supply muscles and organs with nutrition. These nutrients are essential for muscle tone and organ vitality.
Routine chiropractic care started at an early age can be very beneficial in the proper development of your newborn equine family member. To find a certified animal chiropractor near you go to www.avcadoctors.com .
Dr. Bill Ormston operates Jubilee Animal Health in the Dallas area, using mostly alternative methods of treatment. Dr. Ormston has lectured nationally and internationally on Animal Chiropractic and biomechanics, and gait analysis in the quadruped. His prior contributions to Holistic Horse include "The Chiropractic Flow" [Fall 2006] and "Domino Effect: Toe Length Affects Chiropractic Care" [Winter 2006]. Bill and his three teenagers, Riley, Philip and Jessica, live in Celina, TX, with 2 dogs and 4 cats.
1. Equine Chiropractic Care: Bringing Out the Best in Your Horse , Bill Ormston, DVM. Copyright 2004.