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Middletown Animal Hospital

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21503 S. State Highway 29
Middletown, CA 95461
Phone: 707-987-2000
Fax: 707-987-2082

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Chiropractors and Animals

By:  Jeffrey Smith, DVM

Although several chiropractors offer to perform musculoskeletal manipulation (MSM) on animals, this practice may only be performed by a veterinarian or by a California licensed chiropractor working under the direct supervision of a veterinarian.  Both veterinary and chiropractic associations worked together to create this law in order to protect pets and pet owners, including horses.

According to the California Veterinary Medical Practice Act, MSM is a “system of applications applied manually or mechanically to enhance physical performance, and prevent, cure or relieve impaired or altered function of related components of the musculoskeletal system.”  Only veterinarians with knowledge or training in this area should perform MSM.  Alternatively, a chiropractor (doctor of chiropractic currently licensed to practice in California) may perform MSM if the supervising veterinarian is in the same hospital premise, or in the same general area on a ranch, and within quick and easy response.

It is the responsibility of the treating veterinarian to determine that MSM will not be harmful to the animal.  Since chiropractic is considered an alternative (non-standard) therapy, veterinarians should obtain written consent from the owner that acknowledges this fact.  Injuries to animals have occurred and do continue to occur as the result of improper chiropractic care.  It is important to establish a medical diagnosis first, if at all possible, before proceeding with MSM.  For example, spinal manipulation would be inappropriate on a pet with a fractured vertebra (back bone).

Alternative therapies can help pets when standard medical care has failed.  Some therapies, like animal massage, are effective and gentle, and are not illegal to perform.  Physical therapy, on the other hand, is restricted in much the same way chiropractic is regulated. Likewise, dentistry, whether performed on your pet or on your horse, may only be provided by a veterinarian or by a veterinary technician under direct supervision of a veterinarian.  Most veterinarians are willing to work with providers of alternative therapies as long as those providers are willing to accommodate the standards of practice expected of competent practicing veterinarians.  By following these laws, all parties’ benefit and are protected.

Throughout February, Middletown Animal Hospital will be honoring Pet Dental Month by offering 10% off on either equine or small animal dental services.

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Exclusive Offer

Jan/Feb 2018 Special

$50 off dental cleaning for your  

  dog or cat. Call 987-2000 to

schedule your pet!


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About Us - What makes us unique Are these things important to you?  Learn more about us! Make An Appointment We will do our best to meet your needs. Schedule an appointment today! Hospital Tour Click here to take a Virtual Tour of our state of the art hospital!


We are the only animal hospital in Lake County, CA to offer all of these benefits:  laser surgery, laser therapy, climate controlled boarding, separate cat reception, examination, and boarding areas, dental x-ray and dental suite, multi-modal pain management, physical therapy, underwater treadmill, shockwave therapy, PRP therapy, cryotherapy, digital thermal imaging, stance analyzer, tonopen for eye pressure, behavior services, house calls.....and much more.

Middletown Animal Hospital 707-987-2000
21503 S. State Highway 29 Middletown, CA 95461

Office Hours

Day Open Closed
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
9:00am 9:00am 9:00am 9:00am 9:00am 8:00am Closed
5:30pm 5:30pm 5:30pm 5:30pm 5:30pm 4:30pm Closed

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  • 21503 S. State Highway 29 Middletown, CA 95461
  • 707-987-2000
  • Get Directions

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