Alternative Medicine for Pets

In addition to traditional Western forms of veterinary medicine, Dr. Teresa Sauer and Intermountain Pet Hospital are pleased to offer holistic options to pet owners in the Boise area. With veterinary acupuncture, we can effectively treat a wide variety of conditions, including:Pet Acupuncture Success Story

  • Chronic pain
  • Arthritis
  • Degenerative joint disease
  • Stiffness
  • Anxiety
  • Recovery from injuries and surgery

IPH can also provide your pets with Western herbal remedies. By pairing standard treatment options with responsibly sourced, rigorously tested herbs, we can:

  • Ease pain in your pets
  • Alleviate gastrointestinal disorders and cancer symptoms
  • Treat the conditions listed above when the usual types of therapy isn't working by itself

Veterinary Acupuncture

Acupuncture is founded on the concept of viewing the body as a system with a natural flow of electrical energy. By inserting hair-thin needles under the skin, we stimulate your pet's nervous system and cause the underlying muscles to activate. In turn, this causes pain-blocking chemicals to be released, which helps the body heal.

We perform our acupuncture sessions in a room designed to keep your pets calm and comfortable. Since the needles are so thin, animals can barely feel them go in. Sessions last 30-60 minutes. The number of visits can vary depending on the condition being treated.

More Information on Veterinary Acupuncture

Veterinary acupuncture and its benefits have been the subject of many studies. For more information, visit these websites:

Veterinary Herbal Therapy

At IPH, we take a holistic, integrative approach to Veterinary Herbal Therapy. Instead of replacing  treatment options like surgery or physical therapy, we may prescribe herbal supplements to complement them.

Our vet Dr. Sauer has taken courses in the responsible, evidence-based use of Western herbal remedies. Thanks to her training and education, she can make prescriptions based on clinical evidence, not old wives' tales.

Some herbs that Dr. Sauer may prescribe for your pet include:

  • St. John's wort (can help reduce pain)
  • Milk thistle (can help with liver disorders)
  • Ginger (can be prescribed for stomach problems)
  • Curcumin/Turmeric (can relieve arthritis symptoms)
  • Boswellia (can help with pain and arthritis)
  • Devil's claw (could be used for gastrointestinal problems, arthritis, allergic reactions)

More Information on Herbal Therapy

There have been numerous studies on the effectiveness of herbal remedies. Check out these websites for details:

Pet Chiropractic - Veterinary Orthopedic Manipulation

VOM toolIntermountain Pet Hospital is now offering veterinary orthopedic manipulation (commonly referred to as pet chiropractic care), a healing technology that assists a pet's nervous system in re-establishing neuronal communication to encourage full healing where other medical practices may not be able to fully heal.  Dr. "Toby" Bingham has been a successful human chiropractor and has two practices, in Boise and Meridian, and is now extending his skills to provide this specialized care to your pet.

We use a hand-held device that fixes the spinal misalignment and re-establishes nerve communication. VOM helps to release the tightened muscles surrounding the spinal subluxation. Dogs that once were struggling to walk or have had difficulty moving and don't respond well to traditional care now have an alternate option.

Here are some of the more common questions about veterinary orthopedic manipulation (a specialized pet chiropractic care method).

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 it 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.

What Can VOM Treat?

Routinely treated are conditions such as:

  1. Acute and non-acute lameness
  2. Progressive lameness
  3. Hip Dysplasia-like syndromes
  4. IV disc disease
  5. Progressive myelopathies, (down in the rears dogs)
  6. Urinary and fecal incontinence
  7. Unilateral lameness
  8. Wobbler’s Disease
  9. Diseases of the knee
  10. Esophageal disease
  11. Increased or decreased GI mobility disease
  12. Digestive disorders
  13. Performance problems
  14. Behavioral problems
  15. Agility dysfunction
  16. Endocrine disease
  17. Many more

Is Veterinary Orthopedic Manipulation Chiropractic Care?

No! 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-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) 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 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 recognize veterinary chiropractic care or the AVCA for now. VOM is formally recognized in Washington State, by the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, Association of Pet Dog Trainers, the Maine Veterinary Medical Association, and the German Shepherd Clubs of America, to name a few.

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.

Your VOM practitioner has extensive references covering the research investigating the principles portrayed above and can provide them upon request. These references are replete in chiropractic journals.

What Does the Hand-held Device Do to My Pet?

It reduces the subluxations present in the joints of your pet. It cannot create a subluxation in your pet. It can only flip the neuronal switches on that are turned off. It cannot flip a switch off.

It provides very accurate and precise motion to specific areas of the pet’s spine and if a subluxation is present it can detect and reduce it quickly and 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 beauty of the VOM Technology is that it provides the exact amount of force to the subluxated joint needed to reduce the subluxation with out having to induce a lot of motion.

It is motion that can potentially injure the animal, torsion, twisting, mass movement etc. inherent in manual adjusting techniques.

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 over 35.000 animal adjustments including pets with fractures, tumors and acute spinal diseases I have yet to injure a pet with the accelerometer. (Note: sometimes the adjustments may cause some minor pain or discomfort but does not produce enough movement to cause injury)

Why Not Just Use Your Hands Like Other Veterinary Chiropractors?

Because our hands are too slow. 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 adjustment is 20 milliseconds or 4 times faster. This demonstrates the need for patient relaxation and cooperation and is the reasonthat excellent techniques are imperative for success using manual adjusting.

Conversely the device fires at a rate of 2-4 milliseconds which 5-10 times faster than the animals ability to resist adjustment. The patient is always adjusted, every time, all the time, whether they want to or not, in any position, attitude or mood.

In my experience only 50% of domestic animals will completely cooperate with manual chiropractic adjustments.

All of them can be adjusted using the VOM Technology.

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. Anexperienced VPC may have treated cases where the animals haven’t walked for weeks, oreven have been given up for dead. With one adjustment thrust, the pet stands and walksabout 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 towards 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.