Animal Chiropractic in Illinois
Q.: May chiropractic physicians in Illinois adjust or otherwise treat animals?
A.: No. The Medical Practice Act limits chiropractic scope to human ailments and conditions. The Veterinary Medicine and Surgery Practice Act includes chiropractic manipulation of animals in the definition of veterinary medicine, which requires a veterinary license. Therefore, D.C.s do not have direct access to provide care to animals under any circumstances; i.e., an animal owner may not directly seek services from a chiropractic physician to be performed on the animal.
The veterinary law and rules allow non-veterinarian licensed health care professionals to treat animals by providing assistance to a licensed veterinarian, but only if specific conditions are met. A member in good standing of another licensed profession may perform service on an animal if:
- The service is requested in writing by an Illinois licensed veterinarian;
- The veterinarian has an established veterinarian-client-patient relationship with the animal owner;
- The owner-client has provided informed consent to the veterinarian;
- Appropriate records are maintained by the licensed veterinarian that includes written evidence of a veterinarian-client-patient relationship, client consent, diagnosis, and referral.
The licensed veterinarian maintains responsibility and general supervision for the chiropractic treatment under this arrangement. The rules define this level of supervision to mean that the licensed veterinarian must be accessible to the chiropractic physician in the event of a mishap or emergency. This definition is typically interpreted to mean that the veterinarian need not be on the premises, but available to come to the premises within a reasonable amount of time (approximately 30 minutes) if needed.