I bought my first dog in 1979 and over the years since have bred and owned many Field Trial bred Irish Setters, primarily Red & Whites but some good Reds, too. For a long time I rarely had less than a dozen and my highest population was 22!!   As well as my beloved Irish Setters I have also had care of other breeds, either as picking up dogs or as boarders.

Alongside my dogs for 13 years I had a herd of Golden Guernsey goats which I milk recorded and showed.   My vet at the time remarked that the peace and quiet of the Goat House was a lovely antidote to the jet propelled activity that typifies the Irish Setter when he is working at his best!

I also had a small flock of Hebridean sheep as well as our Limousin cattle and suckler herd.

Although “not my department” we were given a couple of Mill Reef mares – beautiful creatures but I confess my favourite of the horses by far was a Welsh Section pony bought in one year to keep a lone yearling company whilst the mares went off to France to be foaled and covered.

Of course we had cats!! They lived primarily in my Goat House, controlling vermin and thankfully banishing thieving sparrows and their deposits. The cats also terrorized the house dogs with paws of iron but had the good sense never to be around when the kennel dogs were out and about!

In 1981 I was introduced to McTimoney Chiropractic for animals. I had just purchased a good dog in Ireland who promptly attempted to hang himself in a vain attempt to escape from my car whilst we waited on Cork Docks. Mercifully I was standing beside the car and caught him the instant his collar tightened on its tethering chain as his feet dangled in mid air. In ignorance I thought the only damage was to the paintwork of my new motor-car!! Once back in Norfolk it was obvious from his low-headed carriage when working and uneven paw prints on the beach that something was amiss. As luck would have it, having listened to poor Shane’s mishap the week before, the tripe delivery lady instantly declared “He needs Ronnie Longford”.   A few days later this magic man was in Norfolk, off we limped to see him and hey presto! I had discovered McTimoney Chiropractic for animals and my conversion was both immediate and complete!!

In the intervening years I came to rely very heavily upon the skill of the various McTimoney Chiropractors who have treated simply countless of my animals. As far as young stock was concerned Chiropractic appeared to have effect with new-borns of most species which were apparently unwilling to suck. Many a kid and not a few calves and the odd foal benefitted, as have several failing puppies.

Our horses, my dogs and goats were the most frequently seen by our Chiropractor to very great effect, as well as several valuable cows, a cat and lastly two old ewes which had had difficult lambing.

The dogs leading the most energetic lives were treated most often. Jumping in/out of the vehicle, running at speed over varying terrain twice a day at exercise or training and the knocks and bumps that inevitably occur with active livestock sometimes leads to injury which Chiropractic appears to treat effectively, with swift, precise and gentle adjustments.

The goats were also treated – being unsettled during milking or when being stood to Show, were always good indicators that a treatment might be of use. Sudden unaccountable lameness or awkward gait, as well as an unusual difference in yield between the quarters could often be sorted out …… of course always with Veterinary consent because there can be medical causes which need Veterinary treatment for these problems.

Chiropractors are taught that for humans mental and emotional stressors, as well as physical stress, can cause musculo-skeletal imbalance. Over the past 31 years I think that the same may be true for some animals. I can think of several dogs, goats and horses that seemed to have suffered in this way. Where the Veterinary Surgeon could find no medical reason behind the problem I found that addressing their musculo-skeletal problems with Chiropractic invariably did the trick.

Thirty-one years later, now with just four dogs to my name and much encouraged by Sue Armstrong, I have trained and qualified as a McTimoney Chiropractor and hope to provide the sort of help and well-being for your animals that the many Chiropractors who have treated my animals have given them.

What is McTimoney Chiropractic for animals?

John McTimoney developed his gentle method of Chiropractic for humans from the early 1950’s but in 1954 also commenced treating animals using the same method of checking and treating the whole body – not just the “problem” area.

Chiropractors check the alignment of bones and joints and then make gentle, swift and precise adjustments that are the hallmark of McTimoney. This helps the nervous system work more efficiently, relieves pain and discomfort and increases mobility.

What is the difference between a McTimoney Chiropractor and a McTimoney Animal Manipulator?

Both Chiropractors and Manipulators have been trained in the same McTimoney animal technique.     A Chiropractor is someone who is also trained and qualified to treat humans.

I think my dog needs Chiropractic treatment, what do I do?

By law Veterinary Surgeons must give their Consent before your animal may receive chiropractic treatment. Many Veterinary Surgeons are aware of the benefits of McTimoney Chiropractic for animals and usually agree.

Will it hurt?

No!   As far as we can tell animals do not seem to find Chiropractic uncomfortable, even for the first treatment; some “experienced” animals appear to understand what is going on and “enjoy” being treated.

What will I have to do whilst my animal is being treated?

When treating animals the Chiropractor will need you to hold your animal steady so that its head, spine and pelvis are aligned. If your animal is a medium to large dog you will probably sit with the dog facing you and hold both sides of his collar. For “table dogs” (and cats) you will need to stand at the table and similarly hold your animal.   Your dog will always be able to see and feel your touch.

What will happen afterwards?

Once your animal has been treated you will be given advice on how to look after him for at least the next 48 hours and in what stages to resume full activities.   You will also be advised when he should receive his next treatment.

My animal is working/competing regularly?

We will always be willing to fit in with competition/working schedules where it will not be against the animal’s best interests.

How often will my animal need treatment?

This varies greatly with the reason for treatment and how the animal responds. Initially it would be best to plan for three treatments with about a week between each appointment.   Thereafter it is largely down to the type of injury and length of time the animal has had the problem. The animal’s breed and lifestyle may also have an impact on response to treatment. Some animals benefit from a maintenance programme of two or three check ups a year.

What happens if my animal does not appear to respond?

At the first visit a careful note of your animal’s history and lifestyle will be recorded as will any changes between appointments. If your animal does not appear to benefit from treatment you will be advised to return to your Vet for further advice.