Ruth Pugh

25561 Argyle Line
West Lorne
Ontario, N0L 2P0

Phone: 519-282-4886
E-mail Dr. Ruth  

American Veterinary Chiropractice Association


How does a person adjust an animal as large as a horse?
Remember that the chiropractor is not trying to move an entire horse but rather a specific joint in the horse’s spine. Every joint has sensitive nerve receptors which send messages to the brain. The adjustment, a high velocity , low force thrust by hand, stimulates these nerve receptors. To be successful the adjustment is applied to a specific joint in a specific direction. The adjustment restores normal motion in the joint and alleviates muscle spasm and pain.

How many adjustments will my horse need?
Several factors determine the number and frequency of adjustments required to correct a problem. The horse’s age , physical condition, and severity of the problem are three major factors. Also the length of time that the problem has been present is a factor. Generally speaking , though, a horse responds much quicker to chiropractic adjustments than people do. Often changes in the horse’s attitude and movement can be noticed even after one treatment. Three treatments a couple weeks apart will resolve a lot of minor issues. A lot of owners and trainer will continue with periodic treatments to keep their horses at their optimum, especially during competitive season.

How long does a treatment take?
Initial visits take about one hour and include a history, gait and posture assessment and then a spinal exam and treatment. Subsequent treatments take 30-45 minutes and include a brief re-assessment and treatment. My treatments include spinal and extremity adjustments, trigger point work, massage and stretching. I like to leave the owner/handler with exercises they can do with the horse to help the condition to resolve and not return.

How does a person become an equine chiropractor?
To be fully certified as an equine chiropractor you must be a veterinarian or a chiropractor first. Then you attend a school for animal chiropractic. There are now several such schools in the United States and Europe and also one in Ontario. Upon successful completion of one of these schools you must then pass a certifying exam by the American Veterinarian Chiropractic Association (AVCA) or he International Veterinarian Chiropractic Association (IVCA).

Do you practice acupuncture too?
As a chiropractor working on horses I am not licensed to use needle acupuncture on horses. I do use acupressure points to assist me in my assessment and treatment of horses.

Do I need a referral from a vet before I contact you?
No, a veterinarian referral is not necessary. However remember that as a chiropractor I am not the primary care taker of your horse. I like to work in conjunction with your regular vet as well as other members of your horse’s performance team including the farrier, massage therapist, trainer and coach.