Equine Chiropractor Training Programs

Equine chiropractors treat neck and back pain, injuries from falls, muscle spasms and joint problems in horses. To become an equine chiropractor, first you need to become either a licensed chiropractor or a licensed veterinarian. Explore these two career paths, and find out how you could specialize your medical training in equine chiropractic. Schools offering Animal Care degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Who can be an Equine Chiropractor?

Before becoming an equine chiropractor, you must first become either a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C) or a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) These two fields are obviously somewhat different, so you'll need to decide which field of study is right for you.

Required EducationDoctor of Chiropractic or Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Chiropractor Course TopicsAnatomy, physiopathology, business practices, diagnostic imaging
Veterinary Course TopicsBiochemistry, genetics, biology, animal behavior
Animal Chiropractic Course TopicsNeuroanatomy, biomechanics, neurology
Median Salary (2018) $93,830 (for all veterinarians)*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 19% growth (for all veterinarians)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

How Do I Become a Chiropractor?

The first step in pursuing a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree is to complete prerequisite coursework in math and science. Many schools offer associate's and bachelor's degree programs for aspiring chiropractic students. You also have the option to complete only the required classes specific to the D.C. program you choose. Most schools require credits in biology, physics, math and chemistry. Check with your state board, because some states require a bachelor's degree prior to licensure.

Once admitted to a D.C. program, you'll spend the next 3-5 years learning about chiropractic technique and philosophy, anatomy, physiopathology, diagnostic imaging and business practices. Your curriculum will involve classroom work and hands-on clinical experience in the field. New chiropractors are required to complete the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners' certification. The state you plan to practice in may require additional licensure.

How Do I Become a Veterinarian?

Prerequisites for Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (D.V.M.) degree are similar to those for the chiropractic track. You may choose to enroll in pre-veterinary associate's or bachelor's degree programs or simply take the required coursework prior to admission. Required coursework includes biochemistry, biology and genetics. Most students need a minimum of three years to complete the undergraduate studies.

Many students take 4-5 years to finish a D.V.M. program. You complete extensive coursework in anatomy, physiology, animal nutrition, pharmacology and animal behavior. You also perform clinical rounds under close supervision in tracks such as small animal practices, large animal surgery and radiology.

Upon completion of your degree program, you must pass the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE). A veterinary residency is usually the last step before becoming a practicing D.V.M. and focuses on your area of expertise.

What Happens After I Graduate?

A practicing chiropractor or veterinarian may enroll in one of a small number of animal chiropractic post graduation programs around the country. These programs are generally around 220 hours in length, and provide continuing education units. Coursework may include comparative anatomy, neuroanatomy, biomechanics, neurology and diagnostic imaging. Participation in classroom lectures, lab work with animal cadavers, discussion of case studies and practice on live animals, such as dogs, cats and horses, are part of the curriculum.

After completing the program, you may sit for the Animal Chiropractic Certification Commission's (ACCC) examination. It is recommended that you check with your state board for laws pertaining to animal chiropractic. A passing grade on the exam will certify you as an animal chiropractor, assuming there are no laws in your state against animal chiropractic practitioners.

Along with gaining recognition by the ACCC and the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA) as a certified animal chiropractor, certification allows you to become listed in the ACCC's directory of certified doctors. It also helps to promote the growth and recognition of the field of animal and equine chiropractic. After graduation from the program and certification, you have the option of working for an animal hospital that offers chiropractic services or setting up your own practice.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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