Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Off to Visit Dr. Harrison for VOM Treatment for Barney's Injured Spine

A few weeks ago Barney began exhibiting what is called "foot drop" on our evening walks at Dog Beach. Other symptoms followed including his rear legs giving out beneath him, trouble standing and incontinence. I knew there was only one thing to do: visit Dr. John Harrison, a chiropractor and practitioner of veterinary orthopedic manipulation (VOM) at the Acacia Animal Health Center in Escondido. Followers of this blog might remember that Dr. Harrison treated Lara while she went through her dramatic weight loss in 2009. Dr. Carmine Bausone, a veterinarian, and also practitioner of VOM at Acacia, examined Barney and gave him the green light for treatment under Dr. Harrison's care. (Click photos below to view videos.)

Our first visit was Sat., May 28. Dr. Harrison initially petted and stroked Barney to get a sense of him. When he ran his hand along Barney's back, he stopped suddenly and explained that he noticed considerable inflammation. As he worked on Barney, I mentioned that the veterinarian who examined him immediately after I began fostering him in August 2009 took x-rays of his hip. The vet noted, "He has a little arthritis, but it's not bad for an old dog." At that time, he estimated Barney's age to be 8. He lowered the age to 4-6 years the next visit when Barney began responding to medication, good nutrition and old-fashioned TLC.

Dr. Harrison suggested that it would be helpful if I could get a hold of those x-rays.

I had them with me when we arrived for treatment last Sat. I explained that Barney was already walking better after the first VOM treatment, and his legs were collapsing less frequently. Dr. Harrison was pleased with the news, then became serious as he examined the x-rays. He excused himself, then brought veterinarian Dr. Klotz into the room for a second opinion. What they saw was arthritis of the vertebral spine caused by a previous trauma(s) to the joints or muscles. I thought, "With a name like 'Cujo,' his bottom teeth ground down to the gum line, and a severe infestation of maggots in his ears and anus, and now this, what other horrors did Barney endure in his previous life?"

The good news is that Dr. Harrison said Barney's backbone didn't look like that of an old dog. He was reassuring, adding that he was confident that VOM treatment would help ease Barney's pain and enable him to remain mobile. Barney loved the treatment and attention. Like the previous week, he was a little wobbly afterwards, but that subsided by the next morning.

Per Dr. Harrison's request, I brought Lara along on Saturday for one of his "VIP" VOM treatments. After examining her, Dr. Harrison reported that she was in the same, fit condition as the last time he saw her in Dec. 2009 and wouldn't require any additional treatments for a while.

Two days after our visit with Dr. Harrison, I took Barney, Lara and Ollie for a walk through San Dieguito Park. You can see from this video (above) that Barney is on the mend again, enjoying life.

If you are interested in making an appointment with Dr. Harrison, call the Acacia Animal Health Center at (760) 745-8115. The center is located at 655 Citracado Parkway, Escondido. Dr. Harrison also works on other animals including rabbits, cats, dogs and even horses. I first met Dr. Harrison two years ago when I was assigned to write a story about his work for Today's Local News, published by The San Diego Union-Tribune. If you're interested in learning more about VOM, click here.

1 comment:

  1. Lillian,
    Barney is such a special soul it is so rewarding to know that he found an Angel like you to spend the rest of his life with and that you surround him with such wonderful professionals like Dr. Harrison.