Lameness in Dogs
an Introduction to Veterinary Chiropractic

This is Emma, Gayle's 13 year old Silky and a poster child for the good chiropractic care of her owner, Gayle Snow, CVC.


While a good vet can be extremely helpful in lameness in dogs, there are alternative treatments that can compliment his care. Your vet can sometimes refer you to such practitioners, your breeder may be able to help or you can look up the major organizations licensing such therapists.

Veterinary Chiropractic (VOM) is a non surgical approach to lameness in dogs and spinal disease. Once your vet has ruled out a fracture or tumor, VOM can be used as a very gentle means of restoring fluid and nerve flows to an injured area, allowing healing to begin.

Gayle Snow is a licensed VOM. This is what she says about her profession and its role in curing lameness in dogs:

"Veterinary Orthopedic Manipulation (VOM) was invented by Dr. William Inman, a Veterinarian, to help lame dogs and other animals that were difficult to treat effectively using traditional Veterinary methods. Such diseases as lameness in dogs and spinal problems, make the animals and the pet owners miserable, and are considered barely manageable or treatable without VOM.

This therapy is a non-surgical approach to lameness in dogs and spinal disease. Any animal with a spine can be treated if the animal’s Vet gives the OK, (as he will have ruled out a fracture or a tumor which he or she could treat). VOM is a very gentle means of restoring normal nerve and fluid flows to an injured or lame part of the body, so that the animal’s innate healing ability is focused on that area of disease.

VOM is a system of chiropractic that has been created entirely for animals and is not adapted from human chiropractic. It is fully validated by over 20 years of testing and hundreds of thousands of treatments and computer documented case studies. It can be applied to all quadrupeds and even most exotic animals. VOM treats neuronal interference by use of a spinal accelerometer gun with a precisely metered thrust. I have additional treatment modalities for muscle, scar tissue and myofascial release as well as infrasound equipment for inflammation.

My typical canine patient has various symptoms of lameness in dogs; he may have weak rear legs, and won’t jump up any more or is refusing to climb stairs, or else has shifting foreleg lameness. Some pets may have trouble sitting straight, or even may not have the strength to remain standing under the weight of a hand when being petted. Some pets just don’t ever want to be touched on a part of their back and get very irritated if you stroke that area. As you can see, there are many manifestations of lameness in dogs and spinal disease. None of them make for a long and happy life!

By putting this specialized motion into the joint, I can stimulate the mechano-receptors and thereby balance neurosomatics. It is a complete treatment technology to restore normal neurologic balance and function of the autonomic system. It is used to treat the fast growing, heavily muscled breeds as puppies and early detection and treatment of specialized lameness in dogs such as canine wobbler syndrome.

It is used for degenerative myelopathy and fibrocartilaginous embolism. Also, it has a high success rate in improving hip dysplasia-like conditions where surgery would like to be avoided. It really shines in the area of treating disk disease, early detection and prevention of stifle injuries and canine epilepsy. In horses it is a very successful therapy for laminitis, founder, shoulder injury and other lameness. Many conditions that may appear to be EPM are a result of neuronal interference that is routinely treatable with this VOM technology.

The number of treatments required can vary as older animals, unexercised pets, longer term injuries or genetic problems can extend the therapy. But, 85 to 90% are significantly better after 5 or 6 treatments (done on a precise schedule over a month), and continue to improve thereafter. Some situations that have developed over a long time require a monthly adjustment for as long as a year to reach maximum improvement.

But, they generally do become pain free and a happy, contented friend again. It is very amusing to see a patient run up to greet me and, as I reach out to pet him, see him turn around to present his back to me. An adjustment and a massage sure do feel good!

Not all of my patients have four legs! One day my son’s baby snake spit up her food, so we took her to the vet. He held her over a bright light and showed us a blockage inside her . He said there was nothing he could do and the snake could possibly die, so we took her home. She was such a gentle, sweet pet, and I wanted to try to help her, so I gave her little six-inch spine an adjustment! Within minutes the blockage started to move and by the next morning she was eating again. She has continued to grow and Rabbie measured her at five feet long recently!

Another time I was called out to see a very bad tempered stallion. This horse took great delight in biting and kicking, so everyone kept away from his big teeth. There is a machine I have that allows me to begin work from 8 to 10 feet away. So, I started using it and slowly he calmed down and walked up to the machine, then rested his head on it for a few minutes. After that he was a sweetheart to manage.

Apparently he had been suffering from a headache for a long time and it had made him very grouchy! He was not mean anymore, but he was still a high spirited stallion! These same treatments can also help a racehorse with sore or hot legs after a race and put him in condition to race again soon. If he is not in pain, then racing is play to him!

If an animal is not a happy, playful and contented friend, it is usually because he is unwell or in pain. Some people blame lack of playfulness in their pet as “old age”, but, any cat should be happy and playful (even if not boisterous!) at 20, most dogs past 15 (except the giant breeds), and horses 30 years of age.

All animals depend upon freely moving electrical flows and circulation throughout their bodies for good health. This is where the therapy of the Chiropractioner really shines in the treatment of animals. The happy, playful companion is very uplifting for everyone!"

Gayle Snow is a Certified Veterinary Chiropractioner and practices in and around Pinellas, Pasco and Hillsborough Counties in Florida. Her phone number is (727) 365-7677 and email is gaylejs@tampabay.rr.com. 

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