Holistic healthcare for our families, both human and furry members, continues to gain popularity. If you haven’t had a chance to read about Dr. Corinna Tressler and her work with acupuncture, be sure to pick up the January/February issue of Tulsa Pets Magazine or read it online.
Also falling under the umbrella of holistic healthcare is chiropractic care, an Eastern medicine approach that deals primarily with the mechanics of the spine and associated joints. Exams include adjustments or a short, controlled thrust by hand directed at a joint to improve function and motion.
Dr. Willa Weisel, DC, CAC, is a doctor of chiropractic care who is also certified in animal chiropractic through the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association. Her practice, American Chiropractic Clinic, is located in Shawnee but she makes monthly visits to Tulsa, Oklahoma City and Norman.
Many pet owners who seek chiropractic care for their animals do so because of an injury.
“If you have a dog or a cat, you know they have a tendency to be very active and to jump on and off of things. And that very thing is what can be the start of repetitive stressor that leads to a real significant disability for them,” Weisel said. “It’s almost always the case that I don’t see that dog or cat or horse until the problem is so big that it is really disabling for the animal.”
Weisel is also involved with a variety of canine sports and will attend agility trials and other events to adjust dogs that become injured on the spot.
“If you have a dog that is involved with sports, agility, fly ball, discs, those types of things, they are athletes just like you and I are athletes if we are out playing volleyball or running track,” Weisel added. “So they need to get checked. They are going to have problems just from the repetitive stress exerting themselves in a physical nature like that.”
While chiropractic does not replace traditional veterinary care, it does offer a drug-free and noninvasive approach that can be used preventatively as a wellness tool in addition to treatment for existing problems.
“It should be a wellness treatment, a supportive treatment,” Weisel said. “We all have bumps and grinds, everyday.”
Though Weisel began her career focusing on chiropractic for people, her first animal adjustment happened by chance in 1988. A client who wanted her to adjust a foal born with an S-curve in its back approached Weisel and she agreed to take a look at the horse and give it a try.
“I went out there and this little horse was really cute. She couldn’t go backwards and she couldn’t go to the right and so she had kind of adapted to that,” Weisel recalled. “She had taken the horse several places and they had all advised her to euthanize the horse and she just couldn’t bring herself to do it. This little horse was not thriving though. She had diarrhea and she wasn’t processing food. I made one simple adjustment on her pelvis and it was so interesting … I can still see this blonde little horse, she turned around and she touched her nose right on her butt to the right and then she galloped off to the right and kicked her heels up and came back around.”
From that moment on, Weisel knew she would pursue expanding her practice to animals. Shortly after becoming certified through the AVCA, Weisel moved to Oklahoma and opened her practice in Shawnee in 2006.
In addition to the cats and dogs that visit her in the office, Weisel has had the chance to work with goats, sheep, a rabbit, a duck and even a llama.
“I was very much interested in pursuing that part of my practice and it has just grown and I love it,” Weisel said.
Weisel books appointments in Oklahoma City the first Saturday of the month, in Tulsa the third Saturday of the month and in Norman the second Tuesday of the month. To make an appointment, call 405-275-6363. You can learn more about Weisel and her clinic at drwillaanimalchiropractic.com or follow her Facebook page.
- Lauren Cavagnolo, l[email protected].