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Veterinary Chiropractic Care for Pet Pain Relief


Veterinary chiropractic care, also called Veterinary Orthopedic Manipulation (VOM), is a drug-free non-invasive treatment that works by restoring the animal’s spine and joints to normal function. Once the spine is aligned properly, the patient’s innate healing powers restore balance and allow the healing process to begin.

Acacia Animal Health Center is pleased to offer the services of Dr. John Harrison, a human chiropractor licensed in VOM, working under the supervision of Drs. Bausone and Lockwood. Dr. Bausone, Dr. Lockwood, and Dr. Harrison use VOM to treat their patients.

Uses for Veterinary Chiropractic

While chiropractic is useful for a variety of issues, it is most commonly used to address acute and chronic pain from injury or disease, support performance in competitive animals, and to assist senior pets with age-related discomfort.

The result of chiropractic treatment, or VOM, is typically increased range of motion, improved mobility, and decreased pain in pet patients. It is often implemented in animals with chronic structural problems, such as arthritis, muscle spasms, back disease, and hip dysplasia, to minimize pain, maintaining spinal alignment, and restore overall balance. At Acacia, we have performed an internal study of the patients we selected as candidates for and treated with VOM, and have found an overall success rate and/or client approval rating of over 85%.

What to Expect

The VOM technique stimulates the proprioceptive nerves around the joint complex. This reduces swelling and helps remove the chemical by-products of boney misalignment and pain, allowing the body to begin the healing process. VOM does not involve the typical manual manipulations associated with chiropractic adjustments. This means no “cracking” and virtually eliminates any possibilities of harm or hurting the patient. This is important because our animal patients cannot talk or describe their level of pain.

Treatment includes use of an impulse device and a percussion massager:

  • Adjusted exactly to your pet’s needs, the impulse device is so fast that the body does not resist or respond negatively and will actually relax during and after treatment. Most animals begin to respond within three to five treatments. This device is used exclusively in the veterinary myofascial release technique that is part of VOM.
  • The handheld percussion massager and lymphatic drainage tool applies a gentle vibration, relaxing tight muscles and joints, and reducing inflammation. This all increases blood flow to the muscles and the joints of the back to decrease pain and increase mobility.

Pain Management for Pets

We have seen excellent results in managing pain with chiropractic treatment, especially regarding back, hip, and joint pain. Animals that are injured, recovering from certain surgeries, or suffering from chronic issues such as arthritis respond very well to chiropractic care. As a result, we are able to minimize or avoid pain medications altogether in many cases.

Working dogs and athletes also benefit from chiropractic care and regular maintenance, even those that have never suffered an injury. Preventive treatments may allow a patient to function for years longer with optimum performance by creating a state of balance in the skeletal structure of the animal.

Other conditions where VOM may bring relief include gastrointestinal upset, chronic hot spots on the skin, ear infections, edema, and heart rate irregularities. Some cases of urinary incontinence have been successfully treated with this method as well.

To discuss veterinary chiropractic care for your pet, contact our office for a consultation.

Learn more about Veterinary Orthopedic Manipulation (VOM).

Read more about pet chiropractic and view a video explaining how it can help pets with various health issues.