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Animals respond favorably to treatment by longtime chiropractor

| Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013, 8:31 p.m.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
Jennifer Bonzo holds her horse Sunny' so Dr. Dave Smolensky can give the animal a chiropractic session in a Valencia barn Friday, Oct. 25, 2013. Dr. Smolensky is treating the equine for age-related issues.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
Dr. Dave Smolensky leaves a barn in Valencia Friday, Nov. 14, 2013 following a session.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
Dr. Dave Smolensky watches 'Lance' the dog limp away following a rub in Valencia Friday, Nov. 14, 2013. Dr. Smolensky is an animal doctor who is treating 'Lance' for lingering effects of Lyme Disease.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
Dr. Dave Smolensky applies a final adjustment to 'Lance' the dog in Valencia Friday, Nov. 14, 2013.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
With a table slung over his shoulder, Dr. Dave Smolensky arrives at a barn in Valencia Friday, Nov. 14, 2013. Dr. Smolensky is an animal doctor who has treated everything from a hummingbird to a horse.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
Beth McMaster hands a Canada goose to Dr. Dave Smolensky in Valencia Friday, Oct. 25, 2013. Dr. Smolensky administered an animal chiropractic session to the water fowl that they think was on the receiving end of a kick by a horse.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
Beth McMaster holds an Eastern screech owl as Dr. Dave Smolensky works on the bird in Valencia Friday, Nov. 14, 2013.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
Dr. Dave Smolensky adjusts a horse during an animal chiropractic session at a barn in Valencia Friday, Oct. 25, 2013. Dr. Smolensky is treating 'Sunny' for age related issues.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
A great-horned owl is transported to Dr. Dave Smolensky for a chiropractic session at Wildbird Recovery in Valencia Friday, Nov. 14, 2013. The owl was being treated after someone had just dropped off the bird of prey following a collision with a vehicle.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
Dr. Dave Smolensky works on an Eastern screech owl at Wildbird Recovery in Valencia Friday, Oct. 25, 2013. 'With birds, all I do is hold pressure until the muscles relax,' explains Dr. Smolensky.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
Dr. Dave Smolensky works the spine of 'Sunny' in Valencia Friday, Nov. 14, 2013.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
Beth McMaster holds a very relaxed Eastern screech owl as Dr. Dave Smolensky works on the bird in Valencia Friday, Nov. 14, 2013.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
Dr. Dave Smolensky gives a chiropractic session to 'Sunny' the horse as its owner Jennifer Bonzo passes time on the phone at a barn in Valencia Friday, Nov. 14, 2013.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
By applying pressure, Dr. Dave Smolensky works on a pigeon at Wildbird Recovery in Valencia Friday, Nov. 14, 2013.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
A great-horned owl is adjusted by Dr. Dave Smolensky during a chiropractic session at Wildbird Recovery in Valencia Friday, Nov. 14, 2013. The owl was being treated after someone had just dropped off the bird of prey following a collision with a vehicle.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
Animal chiropractor works the neck of a Canada goose at Wildbird Recovery in Valencia Friday, Oct. 25, 2013. They think the goose was on the receiving end of a kick by a horse.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
Animal chiropractor Dr. Dave Smolensky applies pressure to a pigeon at Wildbird Recovery in Valencia Friday, Nov. 14, 2013. Smolensky has worked numerous birds including humming birds, owls, hawks, and song birds.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
Dr. Dave Smolensky gives a big hug to 'Sunny' at the end of a chiropractic session in Valencia Friday, Nov. 14, 2013.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
Dr. Dave Smolensky looks over his next patient, Lance the dog, as he prepares for his next session of animal chiropractic care at a barn in Valencia Friday, Nov. 14, 2013. Dr. Smolensky is treating Lance for the lingeing effects of Lyme Disease.

A typical patient of Dr. Dave Smolensky needs a spinal adjustment. Then again, this doctor has no typical patient.

“If a bone is pinching a nerve, it will cause problems,” Smolensky says. “As a chiropractor, the objective is singular: Get the bone off the nerve.”

For 27 years, Smolensky has practiced chiropractic and, a decade ago, he began adjusting animals as well.

It doesn't matter if a bone belongs to a pigeon, hawk, owl, dog or horse — he can adjust any.

“Animals are instinctive. They know when you are trying to help,” he says.

Animals respond more quickly to the treatments than humans, Smolensky says, healing from an injury in weeks rather than months.

“Sometimes animals have to heal faster in the wild, or they become food. They heal very rapidly due to survival instincts.”

On a recent visit to a barn, his hands worked on a Canada goose presumably kicked by a horse, an Eastern screech owl struck by a vehicle, an aging horse, a dog with Lyme disease and a great-horned owl brought in after colliding with a vehicle the night before.

“It's the coolest thing in the world, working with wild animals,” he says. “They love it.”

Phil Pavely is a Trib Total Media photographer. Reach him at ppavely@tribweb.com.

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