How Do I Become a Veterinary Chiropractor?

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  • Written By: Bobbie Fredericks
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 01 April 2020
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To become a veterinary chiropractor, you need to be either a veterinarian or a chiropractor. Veterinary school is a post-graduate school that takes four years to complete. Chiropractic school can be entered after the completion of a two or four year degree, and also takes four years to complete. It may be possible for a student in the last year of one of these programs to take veterinary chiropractor courses. In some countries medical doctors may qualify, if they are specialized in osteopathy or physiotherapy.

A veterinary chiropractor performs adjustments to the spines of animals to relive discomfort or treat injuries and other conditions. Dislocations of the spine can cause discomfort and other problems throughout the body. Reasons a pet might need a chiropractor include recent surgery, injury, or bladder problems. Chiropractic care can also help animals suffering from signs of aging, such as arthritis.

Once you have become either a veterinarian or a chiropractor, you can apply to a veterinary chiropractor course or program. The duration of training to become a veterinary chiropractor will depend on your country's requirements. At the end of training you may be registered, certified, or neither, depending on your country, state or province. Your school can often guide you as to what is required.


Course work to become a veterinary chiropractor includes both textbook lessons and hands-on labs. Students should dress accordingly for working with animals, including horses. Requirements for passing the course, such as attendance and grades, will be determined by your specific learning institution.

Typical courses to become a veterinary chiropractor include anatomy of four legged animals, and how it differs from human anatomy. Various methods of restraint will be learned and practiced. Safety precautions for both animal and chiropractor will be taught. Students will learn how spinal alignment can affect the rest of the body, and proper treatment methods to restore proper alignment.

Other courses to become a veterinary chiropractor include veterinary and chiropractic terminology and pathophysiology. Common drugs and diseases will be studied, as well as ethical and legal considerations. Students will learn how to evaluate animal patients in the clinical setting, including diagnosis by palpation and observation of the animal's gait.

In some countries, veterinary chiropractor training is given as a masters level program. In this case, an original dissertation is needed to pass. In other countries, a final examination and practical examination on live animals will be given. Graduates may work independently, or with other chiropractors, veterinary chiropractors, or veterinarians.


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