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Veterinary Orthopedic Manipulation

Veterinary orthopedic manipulation (VOM) is a healing technology that locates areas of the animal's nervous system that have fallen out of communication, and re-establishes neuronal communication and thus induces healing.

VOM is singularly the most simple, effective and safe healing modality in veterinary care to date.

VOM  IS NOT Chiropractic Care

VOM exists between veterinary medicine and chiropractic care.

It has similarities to some of the chiropractic modalities and functions in restoring function by reducing "subluxations" as is done in chiropractic care.

VOM uses a hand-held device that is used in a popular human chiropractic technique called "Activator Methods," but it is not to be confused with that technique.

The differences between VOM and chiropractic care are significant and distinct.

  • VOM exists in a gray area between both professions—veterinary and chiropractic
  • VOM is not animal chiropractic care and thus is not taught by the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA).
  • VOM is not recognized by the AVCA (the AVCA does not recognize anything it does not teach).
  • The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) does not currently recognize veterinary chiropractic care of the AVCA.
  • VOM is formally recognized by the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, the Maine Veterinary Medical Association, the German Shepherd Clubs of America, and the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association in Washington State, to name a few.

History, Origination, and Development of VOM

VOM was developed by Wm. L. Inman, BS, DVM, CVCP, Seattle, WA, in his clinical practice from 1982 to the present. Before Dr. Inman began using these non-invasive techniques he was an accomplished veterinary surgeon and still consults in veterinary surgery. His vacillation to VOM from surgery reflects his frustration to ineffective surgical solutions to common veterinary medical problems.

The body of VOM technology is the culmination of information gleaned from more than 35,000 patients treated for clinical disease. Dr. Inman has taught more than 1,500 practitioners throughout the US in a seminar series of four modules. Dr. Inman now limits his efforts in this field to teaching only.

Why VOM Is So Accurate

VOM finds and reduces all neuronal subluxations. All neuronal subluxations have a pathological reflex demonstrably associated with them. A pathological reflex is like a knee-jerk response. It is either there or it is not. VOM determines the presence and reduction of neuronal subluxation. The pathological read is not "partially there," "kind of there" or "almost there," and it does not add a factor of subjectivity to interpretation. VOM is a precisely objective science.

How VOM Works

All chiropractic modalities have one thing in common: they all reduce the vertebral subluxation complex by providing motion or force to the fixated or subluxated joint.

  • Spinal injury = neuronal subluxation syndrome = pathological read
  • Neuronal subluxation + motion (force) = subluxation reduced

So if you put motion into a joint that is associated with a neuronal subluxation sign (a pathological read), you reduce the subluxation. It is that simple. All the various types of chiropractic techniques have this motion or force into the subluxated joint in common.


VOM delivers its force with a hand-held device called a spinal accelerometer. It looks a bit like a spring-loaded doorstop. Circled in Red is the rubber-like tip. Your VOM practitioner has extensive references covering the research investigating the principles portrayed above and can provide them upon request. These references are in chiropractic journals.

Is VOM Similar to Activator Methods?

VOM is NOT an animal version of Activator Methods. Arian Fuhr, D.C., developed Activator Methods, which uses the spinal accelerometer and relies exclusively on listings demonstrated by leg-length checks that are anatomical subluxation signs.

Functions of the VOM Hand-Held Device


The hand-held device reduces the subluxations present in the joints of your pet. It cannot create a subluxation. Instead, it flips the neuronal switches on that are turned off. It cannot flip a switch off. The device provides very accurate and precise motion to specific areas of the pet's spine — if a subluxation is present it can detect and reduce it quickly without pain or injury. It can confirm that the neuronal subluxation is reduced even if it is not associated with an anatomical listing.

Can the Device and VOM Harm My Pet?

NO! The device provides the exact amount of force to the subluxated joint needed to reduce the subluxation without having to induce a lot of motion. The motion (torsion, twisting, mass movement inherent in manual adjusting techniques) is what can potentially injure the animal. The device trades motion for speed to maintain the force needed to reduce the subluxation through Newton's Second Law of Motion (Force=Mass X Acceleration).

In the more than 35,000 animal adjustments done, including pets with fractures, tumors and acute spinal diseases, no pet has been injured with the accelerometer. Note: Sometimes the adjustments may cause some minor pain or discomfort, but not enough movement is done to cause injury.

VOM Does Not Use Hands Like Other Veterinary Chiropractors

Our hands are too slow for VOM. The fastest an excellent veterinary chiropractor can move a joint under optimum conditions and patient cooperation is 80 milliseconds. The animal's natural reflexive resistance to adjustments is 20 milliseconds or 4 times faster. This demonstrates the need for patient relaxation and cooperation and is the reason that excellent techniques are imperative for success using manual adjusting.


Conversely the hand-held device fires at a rate of 2-4 milliseconds, which is 5-10 times faster than the animal's ability to resist adjustment. With VOM, patients are always adjusted, every time, all the time, whether they want to or not, in any position, attitude or mood. Throughout Dr. Inman's experience, only 50 percent of domestic animals will completely cooperate with manual chiropractic adjustments. All of them can be adjusted using VOM technology.

Why VOM Is So Successful

Regardless of whether clinical listings are present in the animal, VOM locates, reduces and confirms the reduction of all the neuronal subluxations. Inherent in VOM technology is a built-in rescheduling protocol that inserts the patient on a self-regulating readjustment interval, making it an easy, objective science. VOM technique goes to the root of the problem, relying on an animal's innate ability to heal itself. VOM re-establishes communication with the pet's ability to heal itself and is easy, powerful and effective.

Conditions routinely treated using VOM include:

  • Acute and non-acute lameness
  • Progressive lameness
  • Hip dysplasia-like syndromes
  • IV disc disease
  • Progressive myelopathies (in dogs' rears)
  • Urinary and fecal incontinence
  • Unilateral lameness
  • Wobblers' disease
  • Knee diseases
  • Esophageal disease
  • Increased or decreased GI mobility disease
  • Digestive disorders
  • Performance problems
  • Behavioral problems
  • Agility dysfunction
  • Endocrine disease
  • Many more

What Happens to My Pet During VOM? 

The veterinary chiropractitioner does a "diagnostic pass" by running the device down the pet's spine searching for pathological reads indicative of subluxations. The subluxations are recorded.

If significant subluxations are found that correspond to the clinical disease presented, the vet will recommend a course of VOM treatment.

The veterinarian will then generate an estimate of recommended procedures, including blood work, X-rays and other diagnostic tests.

A second VOM therapeutic pass is done and changes to the reading pattern are noted. Your pet may already show signs of improvement.

A third VOM (second therapeutic pass) is made and that data evaluated. Most if not all of the reads may be reduced at this point.

Depending upon the nature of the case, your pet is then sent home or may be observed overnight by the clinician.

Upon release, a return-for-readjustment appointment is made, and the veterinarian gives post-adjustment instructions as to activity and potential discomfort in your pet that may occur that evening.

Depending upon the clinician and nature of the case, some medicines may be prescribed.

The VOM series consists of 3-5 readjustments to reach a point where no reads are found—in which case the subluxation pattern is "cured."

Maintenance checks may be recommended every 4-6 months to watch for reoccurrence.

What should I Expect as Results from VOM Treatment

You may see a response while your pet is on the examination table. It can be that fast. Experienced practitioners using VOM technology have treated cases who haven't walked for weeks, given up for dead, with one adjustment thrust and the pet stands and walks about the exam room. The average case will see some sort of positive response with the first week. Commonly the entering clinical complaint will be gone within the first three adjustments giving the client the false security that the case is completed. Cases that have had paralysis or lack of function for years or months may not respond well to VOM; however, one does not know until one tries.

Why do I have to Come Back? Readjustment Important

When the body is used to functioning in an out-of-communication state, the nervous system throws up a nerve adaptation that allows some marginal level of function—the body develops a pseudo-memory of how it has "adapted." When the body is re-introduced to functioning correctly, that system wins out for a stretch of time until the nagging pseudo-memory of the neuronal adaptation re-express itself on the body again and the body slips "out of adjustment." Systematic readjustment on a succinct schedule then finally wins out over the pseudo-adaptive memory and further adjustments are not necessary.

Treatment Failures

Treatment failures fall into two categories:

  • Neurological damage is extensive, significant and permanent (too much serious injury for too long).
  • VOM treatment schedule not kept (most common cause of VOM failure and easiest to prevent).

VOM Practitioner Information

To find a qualified VOM practitioner or certified veterinary chiropractitioner (CVCP), contact the following:

IMPORTANT:  Dr. J. Gonzalez BS, DC, CVCP is in the Wellsboro Area and is accepting patients.  Please contact the Wellsboro Small Animal Hospital (570-376-2800) for availability and pricing.  You will need a referral from a licensed veterinarian or one of the veterinarians at our Middlebury Center or Mansfield offices.