ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) - To many of us, our dog or cat isn't just a pet, they're family.
So, when it comes to taking care of them, some people would do just about anything, but officials in both Illinois and Missouri are now cracking down on a type of pet care some veterinarians say could be dangerous.
Dr. Teresa Garden, with Animal Health and Healing, says lately, more people have turned to all kinds of alternative medicines for their pets with treatments like acupuncture, CBD oils, supplements, and much more.
As in human medicine, the idea is to combine eastern and western medicine.
“Often times, combining the two will give the pet the best outcomes when it comes to quantity of life and quality of life,” Dr. Garden said.
But, officials are expressing concerns about one thing, chiropractors trained on humans but working on our four-legged friends instead. Officials on both sides of the Mississippi River have been sending out sanctions or cease and desist letters to some chiropractors in the St. Louis area.
Even still, a simple internet search makes it easy to find chiropractors who advertise for services on both humans and animals.
“In certain cases, chiropractic can be dangerous to animals,” said veterinary neurologist Dr. Fred Wininger.
Wininger says a dog’s or cat’s anatomy is actually quite different from a human's.
“Disc herniations are much more dangerous in dogs than in humans,” he said.
Dr. Wininger says unlike other alternative medicines and therapies, the benefits of chiropractics for animals is controversial.
“Clients often ask me, ‘Is it okay to take my pet to a chiropractor?’ It’s hard for me to recommend that,” he said. “If you are going to see a vet for chiropractic, make sure they are well-versed in all areas of veterinary medicine so they can make the best choices for your pet.”
If you're thinking about this type of care for your pet, you might want to check the laws. In Missouri, for example, a human chiropractor can work on animals if they are working in the direct vicinity of a licensed vet.