Veterinary Orthopedic Manipulation

A. What is VOM?

Veterinary Orthopedic Manipulation is a healing technology that locates areas of the animal’s nervous system that has 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. For the VOM practitioner is an exquisitely objective, fast and easy to apply technology that takes a minimum of time to master and whose scope of application appears has yet to be fully appreciated.

B. Is Veterinary Orthopedic Manipulation Chiropractic care?


VOM exists in between veterinary medicine and chiropractic care. It has similarities to some of the chiropractic modalities and functions by restoring function by reducing “subluxations” as is done in chiropractic care. It uses a hand-help 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 in significant and distinct.

VOM exists in a gray area between both professions (Veterinary and Chiropractic) and benefits from the positive aspects of both, a hybrid, and thus more effective than either by themselves.

VOM is not animal chiropractic care and is thus not taught by the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA). VOM is not recognized AVCA, (the AVCA does not recognize anything it does not teach) .

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) does not recognize veterinary chiropractic care or AVCA for now.

C. History, Origination and Development of VOM

VOM was developed by Wm. L. Inman BS, BS, CVCP, in Seattle WA, in Dr. Inman’s clinical practice from July of 1982 to date.

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 in ineffective surgical solutions to common veterinary medical problems.

VOM was developed in a vacuum, meaning it was developed with a trial and error approach in a clinical setting without input from other sources. Dr. Wm. Inman has been the sole source of the VOM technology.

The body of the VOM Technology is the culmination of information gleaned from over 35, 000 patients treated for clinical disease.

Unlike AVCA certification and instruction that takes 150 hours and five modules to complete, a veterinary chiropractitioner (VCP) can adequately apply VOM after a “VOM small Animal Module One” seminar attended in their hometown in a weekend. This unfortunately generates some criticism from AVCA Graduates whose excellent and extensive training is somewhat undercut by VOM’s simplicity and accuracy.

D. Why is VOM so Accurate?

Because 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 reaction. It is either there or it is not. It is an objective means to determine the presence and reduction of neuronal subluxation. The pathological read is not “partially there”, “kinda there”, or “almost there” adding a factor of subjectivity to interpretation.

VOM is precisely objective science.

E. Chiropractic “Listings” vs. VOM “Pathological Reads”

All chiropractic techniques (veterinary and human) rely on the chiropractic “listing” to determine the presence of subluxation.

Through manual palpation a misplaced bone prominence or a taught and tender muscle may be discovered by a competent veterinary chiropractor whose patient is cooperative and relaxed.

This is a listing an anatomical subluxation sign, and almost always is indicative of a neuronal subluxation syndrome.

Unfortunately only 40% of all neuronal subluxations produce palpable anatomical subluxation signs. This means over half of all animal’s subluxations will be overlooked if anatomical listings are used as a means to discover them.

The good news is that all neuronal subluxations produce “pathological reads” and all these reads are obvious and easy to discover and reduce.

The goal of an adjustment in an animal is all vertebral subluxations in that animal are reduced. Subluxation reduction based on anatomical listings will get approximately half of the total neurological subluxations present in the animal. Subluxation reduction based on pathological reads will get them all, and will verify they have been reduced. Fast, easy, effective.

F. How it Works

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

Spinal or 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.

G. What will happen to my Pet?

  1. The veterinary Chiropractitioner will do a “diagnosis pass” which entails him/her running the device down the pet’s spine, search for a pathological reads indicative of subluxations. The subluxations found will be recorded.
  2. If significant subluxations are found and they correspond to the clinical disease presented, then a course of VOM treatment will be recommended.
  3. An estimate may be generated and other procedures may be recommended and quoted such as blood work, x-ray and other diagnostic tests.
  4. A second VOM pass will be made (therapeutic pass) and the changes to the reading pattern will be noted. Your pet may be already showing signs of improvement.
  5. A third VOM pass will usually be made, (a second therapeutic pass) and that data evaluated. Most if not all of the reads may be reduced at this point.
  6. Your pet may then be sent home or may be observed overnight by the clinician depending upon the nature of the case.
  7. An appointment to return for readjustment will be made upon release and post adjustment instructions will be given as to activity and potential discomfort that evening.
  8. Some medicines may be dispensed depending on the clinician and the nature of the case.
  9. A series of 3-5 readjustments may be needed to reach a point where no reads are found in which case the subluxation pattern is “curved”.
  10. Maintenance checks may be recommended every 4-6 months to watch for recurrence.

H. What should I expect as results from VOM Treatments

You may see a response while your pet is on the examination table. It can be that fast. An experienced VPC may have treated cases who haven’t walked for weeks, given up for dead, with one adjustment thrust and pet stands and walks about the exam room.

The average case will see some sort of positive response within the first week and 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 show no response within 1 month may not resolve toward a satisfactory solution. 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 you try.

I. Why do I have to come back?

The body has gotten used to functioning in a sort of state of out of communication and the nervous system has thrown 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 over the pseudo-adaptive memory and further adjustments are not necessary.

J. Treatment Failures

Treatment failures fall into two categories:

1. Neurological damage is extensive, significant and permanent (too much serious injury for too long)

2. VOM treatment schedule not kept (most common cause of VOM failure and easiest to prevent)

K. How to find/choose a VOM Practitioner

  • A qualified VOM practitioner or certified Veterinary Chiropractitioner (CVCP) can be located by contacting:
  • Animal Chiropractic Seminars Inc. 800-742-8433
  • Wm. L. Inman BS, DVM, CVCP 800-527-9955 ext. 11
  • AVCA (may not recommend VOM over manual adjustment) 309-523-3995
  • American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association Directory look for CR = Chiropractic

L. What will it cost?

Your practitioner will generate an estimate for you including projected costs and will make estimations as to prognosis and success rates.

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