The Postgraduate Essentials in Animal Chiropractic Course is designed as continuing education for chiropractors and veterinarians. The curriculum meets the standard of education put forth by the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA), the International Veterinary Chiropractic Association (IVCA) and the Kansas Board of Regents. Its purpose is to provide exceptional education in Animal Chiropractic to ensure that its graduates can practice with the highest Standard of Care.
The Course Agenda
The Essentials course consists of 5 modules and is offered 2 primary ways. Please read the following carefully, however, as there are limitless ways you can attend our courses.
- Our most popular one has you attend once a month for 4 1/2 days (Wednesday – Sunday ending at 1pm ) allowing you to complete the course in 5 months. Each day we start at 8am and end at 7pm. This 5 month class is offered in the Fall and Spring each year
- The other is our 5 week accelerated class offered twice in the summer usually during the months of July and August. The class days are Wednesday through Sunday. Each class day starts at 8am and ends at 7pm except Sunday when lectures end at 1pm. There is additional hands-on homework on Sunday afternoons and Tuesday mornings
Other Information to Consider When Choosing a Schedule
- All modules must be taken in the designated order: Sacropelvic, Thoracolumbar, Cervical, Extremity, then Integrated.
- Once you begin, you have up to 2 years to complete the Essentials course.
- The course curriculum consists of at least 210 hours. A minimum of 135 hours are lecture and a minimum of 75 hours are is hands on. For curriculum details please see below.
- Our laboratory animals are on site. No traveling to a barn is necessary. All students are required to learn and participate in both horse and dog labs.
- Breakfast, Lunch, and a light snacks are included with tuition.
- Two large notebooks of extensive notes are also provided.
- Home study is required with the average student spending at least 8 to 10 hours to complete homework assignments after each module. All class and home study progress is monitored by written and practical examinations.
- Once a student has successfully completed the Essentials in Animal Chiropractic course, they are eligible to sit for the clinical competency certification examinations given by either the AVCA (American Veterinary Chiropractic Association) or IVCA (International Veterinary Chiropractic Association). The IVCA offers their exam on Sunday, the day following our final exams. More information on either the AVCA or IVCA can be found on their prospective websites and will be provided while attending the course.
The Course Curriculum
The curriculum of the Basic Animal Chiropractic Course is composed of at least 210 clock hours of education. There are a minimum of 75 clock hours of hands-on laboratories and a minimum of 135 clock hours of lecture. Each lecture clock hour consists of 50 minutes of lecture and 10 minutes of break time. Following is a brief description of these classes (Times are estimates, as some classes of students require more time to complete the required studies, and some require less.):
Anatomy and Biomechanics (Lecture) (22 Hrs)
A. Comparative Anatomy – 8 hours – All pertinent aspects comparing equine, bovine, canine, feline and human osteology, myology and syndesmology will be discussed. Fully articulated skeletal models of the horse and dog, equine and canine spine models, as well as hundreds of individual bones and models are available for use in these classes.
B. Neuroanatomy and Physiology – 6 hours – The basic cellular and physiological processes of the neuron and nervous system will be discussed. Topics include cellular neuroanatomy and physiology, the brachial plexus, the lumbosacral plexus, the autonomic nervous system and the cranial nerves.
C. Basic Spinal and Extremity Biomechanics – 4 hours – Normal movement and joint mechanics in each motion unit of the body will be discussed in order that the student is able to analyze normal versus compensatory movement.
D. Advanced Biomechanics – 4 hours – Equine and canine gait analysis including topics such normal gaits, abnormal gaits and conformational faults and gait.
Anatomy and Biomechanics (Laboratory) (16 Hrs)
A. Topographical Laboratory – 6 hours – All students will statically palpate and locate all pertinent anatomical landmarks on the equine and canine.
B. Dissection Laboratory – 8 hours – Students will investigate and study pertinent comparative anatomical structures by dissection and by examining previously dissected specimens.
C. Posture and Gait Analysis Laboratory – 4 hours – Equine and canine gait analysis including topics such normal gaits, abnormal gaits and conformational faults and gait.
Applied Functional Neurology (12 Hrs)
Applied Functional Neurology – 12 hours – These lectures explore the functional aspects of the nervous system as it applies to animal chiropractic diagnosis and treatment. Topics include the evolution of joint injury, mechanoreceptors and proprioception, spinal reflexes and cord level reactions, suprasegmental control, and nociception as well as lectures that put it all together.
Chiropractic Sciences (24 Hrs)
A. Basic Chiropractic Theories and Tenets – 14 hours – Fundamental chiropractic topics are discussed including terminology, the vertebral subluxation complex, chiropractic theories, and the contemporary VSC.
B. Chiropractic and Pathology – 6 hours – Pertinent chiropractic pathologies and how adjusting techniques as well as integrative modalities can influence treatment of those pathologies.
C. Chiropractic History and Philosophy – 4 hours — The history of chiropractic and the philosophy on which it is based. Will include discussion on different chiropractic techniques and listing systems.
Veterinary Sciences (20 Hrs)
A. Basic Veterinary Theories and Tenets – 10 hours – Fundamental veterinary topics are discussed including safety and handling, physiology and pharmacology, handling zoonotic and infectious patients as well as metabolic conditions and lameness.
B. Veterinary Pathology – 8 hours – Pertinent large and small animal pathologies are discussed as well as their implications in complimentary chiropractic care. Discussion on how chiropractic and other integrative modalities can influence treatment of those pathologies.
C. Diagnostic Imaging – 2 hours – Plain film radiography, digital radiography, myelography, fluoroscopy and magnetic resonance imaging are discussed and evaluated for normal and abnormal findings.
Animal Chiropractic Diagnosis (Lecture) (12 Hrs)
A. Differential Diagnosis of Large and Small Animal Neuromusculoskeletal Conditions – 8 hours – These lectures emphasize an integrated diagnosis of the entire patient using diagnostic resources of signalment, history and consultation, posture analysis, static palpation (osseous, muscle, temperature, coat changes, etc.) motion palpation and gait analysis. Emphasis is placed on how these diagnoses relate and integrate into the primary health care of the animal.
B. Diagnostic Imaging – 2 hours – Plain film radiography, digital radiography, myelography, fluoroscopy and magnetic resonance imaging are discussed and evaluated for normal and abnormal findings.
C. Neurological Examination – 2 hours – This lecture explores the traditional equine and canine neurological examination including live and video demonstration.
Animal Chiropractic Diagnosis (Laboratory) (10 Hrs)
A. Motion Palpation Laboratory – 8 hours – These laboratories assist the student in developing their ‘feel’ for the normal versus abnormal movement in motion units. Motion palpation is carried out on small and large animal as well as each other.
B. The Chiropractic Examination Laboratory Demonstration – 2 hours – Students observe and question as a complete equine and canine examination is performed.
Animal Chiropractic Adjusting Techniques (Lectures) (26 Hrs)
General Principles of Animal Chiropractic Adjusting – 4 hours – Certain factors increase the efficiency, safety, reliability and comfort of the doctor and patient during the chiropractic adjustment. These factors are discussed and demonstrated.
Basic Animal Chiropractic Adjusting Techniques – 16 hours – Specific animal chiropractic treatment techniques will be discussed and demonstrated. Areas included are sacropelvic, thoracolumbar, cervical, front limb, rear limb, ribs, TMJ, tail and cranium.
Review of Basic Animal Chiropractic Adjusting Techniques – 4 hours – All basic animal chiropractic adjusting techniques are reviewed.
Comparative Animal Chiropractic Techniques Lecture – 2 hours – At least four different animal chiropractic adjusting techniques are demonstrated and the students are encouraged to ask questions about each. This gives the student exposure to other methods and affords them the opportunity to seek further education in those techniques if desired.
Animal Chiropractic Adjusting Techniques (Laboratory) (42 Hrs)
A. General Principles of Animal Chiropractic Adjusting Laboratory – 8 hours – SStudents will learn and fine tune, through hands on laboratories, the principles learned above. Topics such as doctor hand and body positions, contact points, safety and handling, use of speeder boards and intricacies of the chiropractic adjusting thrust will be practiced.
B. Basic Animal Chiropractic Adjusting Techniques Laboratory – 22 hours – Individual hands-on instruction in all adjusting techniques above are practiced on the horse and dog.
C. Review of Basic Animal Chiropractic Adjusting Techniques Laboratory – 8 hours – All adjusting techniques taught the module before are reviewed and individual hands-on instruction is utilized for the second time on each technique. This individual hands-on teaching occurs a third time during the integrated module as a review before the final examinations.
D. Open Question and Answer Technique Laboratory – 4 hours – Students are given a chance to ask any questions they may have while in a laboratory setting so that demonstration on the animal is possible.
Management of the Animal Chiropractic Patient (28 Hrs)
A. Basic Case Management – 8 hours – These lectures address some of the common topics in everyday case management including, the lay lecture, introduction to leads and collars, introduction to saddle and harness fit, equine teeth and bits and the equine foot. (4 hours of laboratory included)
B. Integrated Case Management – 10 hours – (All of the following are addressed by lecture, in small group discussion and/or with expert panel debate through an open question forum including 4 hours of laboratory.) Review of the chiropractic theories and the contemporary vertebral subluxation complex; define assess and apply animal chiropractic diagnosis of the vertebral subluxation complex; and, investigate the creation and application of appropriate clinical goals and applying them to our integrative treatment protocols.
C. Rehabilitation – 2 hours – This lecture offers a basic review of several muscle, exercise and rehabilitative techniques.
D. Ethics and Legalities – 4 hours – In depth discussion on ethics and legal issues including, referrals consultations, insurances, etc.
E. Current Research – 2 hours — Explores the most current research in Animal Chiropractic.