Chiropractic for Quadrupeds

Finally…finally….finally! Almost exactly 3 years after having a revelation to completely change my life and go to chiropractic college, I am learning what I came here to learn: how to adjust animals. But wait, you say. Palmer doesn’t have an animal chiropractic program, does it?

Unfortunately, no. This past weekend I flew to Dallas, TX for a four day module on animal chiropractic through Parker University. The program takes six months to complete, with one module a month covering a different area of the body. This module was the sacropelvic unit, and we learned anatomy, physiology, neurology, pathology, and adjusting techniques for the sacropelvic region in addition to covering chiropractic history and philosophy, veterinary basics, and animal safety and handling. To become certified in animal chiropractic, you must be either a Doctor of Chiropractic, a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, or a “senior student” of either (within a year of graduating).

My class this year consists of about 30 people, with about a dozen chiropractors, a dozen veterinarians, and half a dozen chiropractic students from varying colleges. Parker is one of only three schools for animal chiropractic in the country (the others are Options for Animals in Kansas City and Healing Oasis in Wisconsin) and is the only one that is taught at an accredited chiropractic college, and that’s why I chose it. The teachers are all AVCA certified (American Veterinary Chiropractic Association) and are very good at what they do.

It was an amazing weekend, getting to work with other chiros, vets, and students to learn about something we all have a passion for. On Thursday and Friday we had lecture, which was tedious but very interesting. It was so much fun when they brought in the dogs on Saturday for us to practice palpation, set-ups, handling, and other skills. On Sunday we went to a hunter-jumper equestrian farm and practiced on horses. The weekend left me exhausted but fired up to learn more about how to adjust “quadrupeds!”

 I arrived at Parker a few hours before the seminar started, so I decided to give myself a little self-guided tour around campus. School was in session so I got to see a little what life was like for the students as they went about their day.

Parker has a very nice campus, the grounds are well-taken care of and the buildings are new and nice. I had the chance to talk to some of the Parker students, and also some students from other chiropractic colleges as well, and throughout the weekend I kept telling myself, “Wow, I am really grateful for my Palmer education.” Not to put down any of the other schools, but I did feel that I had a better handle on a lot of the material and in comparing our stories that Palmer definitely has a good program compared to the rest. Now, if only they would offer an animal chiropractic program here!

Alissa Grover, 8th trimester student
Davenport Campus

Halfway done…almost

I can’t believe I have almost made it to the half way point here at Palmer. I made it through the first year which I hear is the hardest, delivered my first adjustment in toggle recoil class, and passed round one of boards! It has been a crazy ride so far, but looking back on what I have accomplished I have to say it was worth it!

There are, of course, a few things I would do differently and many things I would not change. One thing I would do differently is I would have become involved with clubs here on campus right from the start. I have learned so much in the past few trimesters from the very knowledgable club representatives and wish I would have started sooner. There is only so much time in class so clubs allow you to explore the different techniques and determine which ones suit you best. There are so many fabulous clubs to attend but the two that I have come to know and love are the Animal Chiropractic Club and Motion Palpation Club. My first experiance with chiropractic was when my horse got adjusted so natually I got involved with the animal club and I am now vice president and loving every minute of it. I got involved with Motion Palpation Club when my friend became a club representative and dragged me to club one day during third trimester. I can’t thank her enough for making me go to club instead of sitting around doing nothing during the club hour!

I look forward to next trimester where there are even more technique classes and I get to start observing in clinic. It is hard to believe that in August I will get to start taking care of patients in the student clinic. It is exciting and scary all at the same time. As for the next seven months prior to entering clinic I plan to continue attending club meetings on campus and seminars off campus in order to master my adjusting skills because there is always more to learn.

Kaitlin Bowen, 5th Trimester Student
Davenport Campus


The craziest month of my life…

WOW!! September was one crazy month!! When you come to Palmer you hear the upper trimester students talking about boards and you think no big deal I took the SAT’s, how bad could another standardized test really be? Well I found out just how crazy it can get! Not only do you have to study for boards but life goes on in class as well. So while studying for the five tests I had the week and a half prior to boards I was also refreshing my memory on all the information I have learned during my first year here at Palmer. As bad as this sounds we all made it through, some of us with very little sleep and A LOT of coffee. When you are this tired and trying to remember names of muscles, organs, and diseases every word starts to look like it should be pronounced in Latin. My friends will never let me live down the fact that I did not pronounce the word urgency correctly. I don’t remember how I pronounced it while we were studying but it sounded like it could have been a legitimate Latin word. And that is where sleep would have been really beneficial. LOL

I have to say the hardest thing about boards was not re-learning all the material (because you realize how much you appreciate your professors for making you learn it the first time, thanks Mr. Morter!!) but the hardest thing was only knowing, with absolute certainty, about 30 or 40 answers out of 110 questions. Many of you may be doing the math in your head and yes that would be failing in any other situation except on the NBCE boards! So when you walk out of school at the end of a the day feeling like you were just hit by a truck you have to pick your head up because everyone else is feeling the same way.

But now that boards have come and gone, class goes on and then came three more exams! But thankfully I made it through those relatively unscathed. Next, I was looking forward to the multiple seminars that ended that crazy month. First, a trip to Cleveland Chiropractic in Kansas City for a Motion Palpation Full Spine seminar! This was my first MoPal seminar so I was excited to put my skills to the test! Seven people in a hotel room for the weekend made for an interesting time, but here at Palmer we are such a tight knit group that it was a blast!

Finally to round out the month, I went to a small animal chiropractic seminar here in Iowa, and took more exams, of course. Animal chiropractic is my passion and what got me interested in this profession. I love these seminars because my dog gets to come to class with me! For those of you who have never seen an animal get adjusted, it is not as difficult as you may think. You just have to be quick, precise, patient, and a little creative especially with the horses. I was very excited because the animal seminars are hands on, and Juan Diez Rancheros a horse therapy center for children, allows us to use their horses for these seminars so there are animals of every size. It was definitely a great end to such an insane month! September showed me that I can survive anything, which is good because I hear part two and three board exams are just as hectic!! However, that is a year away so I am going to get to catch up on sleep before then. As crazy as this sounds if they told me I had to do it all over again I probably would because I love chiropractic and cannot wait to start sharing it with others.

Kaitlin Bowen,  4th Trimester Student
Davenport Campus

Why chiropractic? Why Palmer?

I am a 9th trimester student, yes that means only one more trimester until I graduate! I cannot believe how fast time has gone. I can remember being in first and second trimester and feeling as though I would never get to the point where I would be graduating and actually become a doctor, but that time has actually come. I am a campus guide and one of my favorites questions I get asked is how I got into chiropractic.

Well the answer is that I actually started taking my horse to a chiropractor. It all started when she was having trouble in her hind legs again, the vet was giving her corisone shots, but the problem just kept coming back. When my horse would get the shots she would be out for at least a month recovering and one time when she was having trouble right before a big show and I didn’t have enough time to take a month off my trainer recommended I try a chiropractor.

I knew nothing of chiropractic, but was willing to give it a try. The chiropractor watched her walk and move and found the problem was actually in her neck and she was compensating in her rear, so he adjusted her and then watched her move again. It was amazing to see her move before and after the adjustment! Animals don’t lie, so I knew that this was definitely something to look into and well the rest is history.

I chose Palmer because two of the animal chiropractors I shadowed said I had to go where everything started and where I would truly learn to use my hands to heal. I came to Palmer for a campus visit day and knew walking through the halls that this is where I would go.

Holly Scaro, 9th Trimester Student
Davenport Campus