Structural and Functional Assessment of the Canine Spine Online Course

Course Description

This course provides an in-depth, guided evaluation of the functional anatomy, biomechanics and manual assessment of the canine spine using soft tissue and chiropractic evaluation techniques.

Upon successful completion of this course, you will have the working knowledge needed to fully assess the structural and functional aspects of the canine axial skeleton. In addition, the course material will help to improve your physical examination skills, clinical decision making processes, and increase your awareness of the role of the axial skeleton in activities of daily living and compensatory mechanisms related to chronic pain and lameness issues in dogs.

Learning Outcomes

– Ask focused and pertinent questions to help to develop a complete medical history related to the head
– Describe pain behaviors, postural preferences, and movement patterns associated with dysfunction or injury to tissues and structures of the head
– Describe the soft tissue and osseous features of the skull and temporomandibular joint
– Perform a detailed evaluation of the head using manual therapy evaluation techniques
– Assess the active and passive mobility of the mandible and temporomandibular joint
– Discuss the structural and functional aspects of the temporomandibular joint
– Identify specific dysfunction and associated rehabilitation issues related to the clinical signs
– Determine the clinical relevance of the identified issues in order to develop appropriate treatment plans or the need for referral


Small Animal

Race Approved CE



Course Type


Course Introduction

– Background and Purpose of the Course
– Course Content
– Course Instructor

Head and Temporomandibular Joint

– Pre-assessment Survey
– Case Presentations

Functional Anatomy of the Head

– Introduction
– Topographical Anatomy
– Bones of the Head
– Temporomandibular Joint Anatomy
– Temporomandibular Joint Motion
– Muscles of the Head – Overview
– Temporalis Muscle
– Masseter Muscle
– Digastricus Muscle
– Innervation of the Muscles of Mastication

Clinical Examination of the Head

– Observation
– Soft Tissue Palpation
– Palpable Bony and Articular Landmarks
– Assessment
– Mobilization Techniques


– Lateral Mobilization of the Mandible
– Medial Mobilization of the Temporomandibular Joint
– Summary of Mobilization Techniques


– Neuro-musculo-skeletal Integration