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Case Studies

'PoPo' the Japanese Spitz
'PoPo' the Japanese Spitz

Case Study Courtesy of
Dr Kelly Halls, Australia, DVM, CVNN

Category

Western Herbal Medicine, Nutrition, Chinese Herbal Medicine

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Western Herbal Medicine, Nutrition, Chinese Herbal Medicine

Case Study Courtesy of
Dr Kelly Halls, Australia, DVM, CVNN

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PoPo is a Japanese Spitz currently aged 10 years and 7 months. Popo first came to see me in November 2017 (at 5 years of age) as her owner had always fed her a home cooked diet and was prompted to seek my advice on ensuring this was complete and balanced for her. After analysing her diet of cooked meat, rice and green vegetables, a nutritional balancer was added to her diet to approach a nutritionally complete recipe. PoPo’s owner was very averse to feeding any commercially prepared diets. Baseline blood and urine testing at the time returned normal results.

In October 2018, PoPo returned to see me as she had been urinating indoors which was very unusual for her. Blood and urine testing was performed and it became evident that PoPo had developed early chronic renal disease. Her diet was again analysed and recalculated to provide a diet with moderate protein, moderate carbohydrates and a reasonable amount of fat.

On a Dry Matter basis, the diet was formulated to provide 30% protein, 25% fat, 35% carbohydrates (7% fibre and 3% ash). Proteins were chosen to be white meat only (chicken, turkey, pork and fish), avoiding the extra DNA breakdown products from lean, red meats. The Ca:P ratio was adjusted to be higher (2:1) and the B group vitamins, and other micronutrients were increased by adding a micronutrient supplement, to help cope with her metabolic stress. A calculated omega 3 fatty acid supplement was added, as was a TCM Rehmannia 8 herbal formula. Silymarin was also later introduced.

During the almost four years since her diagnosis, PoPo has progressed from IRIS Stage 1, normotensive, normo-proteinuric to now being IRIS Stage 2 (SDMA of 34 and Creatinine of 200 in July 2022). Her blood pressure and urine protein remain normal. Ipakitine was introduced in November 2021 as her blood phosphate levels increased but ground eggshells were also introduced to her diet to increase the calcium further and the Ipakitine was later discontinued as PoPo refused her food with this added. Her blood phosphate levels have since remained near the upper end of normal.

Earlier this year CBD oil was introduced to manage back pain related to osteoarthritis and her mobility and general demeanour have improved with this addition. PoPo has required yearly dental treatments under general anaesthesia, sometimes requiring dental extractions. Analgesia during these times were with carefully calculated non-steroidal medications, as well as opioids and paracetamol. A combination Silymarin, SAMe and Vitamin E preparation was used to support PoPo in the peri-anaesthesia period.

Sadly (for us), PoPo’s family will be returning to Korea in early 2023 and PoPo’s ongoing care may be lost to us as she will migrate with her family. Her back pain will be managed with palmitoylethanolamide and a concentrated green lipped mussel extract due to concern over the different prescribing laws for CBD oil in that country. This case is a good example of how a combination of tailored nutrition and herbal supplementation can be used to manage a case of chronic ill health for many years.

PoPo is now four years into her diagnosis and remains a bright and alert and very happy little dog. Whilst many practitioners and owners may baulk at performing general anaesthesia and dental treatments for a dog with a diagnosis of kidney disease, we feel this has enabled PoPo to remain well over the past four years. We are constantly amazed at the care and dedication her owner provides her, her compliance and her gratitude for our care. She has been a darling little dog to know and to care for. We wish both her and her owners the best of luck for their move to another country.

'Princess' The Shepherd Cross
'Princess' The Shepherd Cross

Case Study Courtesy of
Dr Michelle Schraeder, USA, DVM, MEd, FAAVA

Category

Chinese Herbal Medicine

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Chinese Herbal Medicine

Case Study Courtesy of
Dr Michelle Schraeder, USA, DVM, MEd, FAAVA

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“Princess”, a 9 year old spayed female Shepherd Cross, presented as a new client. Princess used to leak urine daily after coming in from her walk. She had a history of urinary infections and her previous vet regularly ran urinalysis which were normal. Her only medication was Proin (phenylpropanolamine) 50mg ¼ tablet every other day, due to the owner’s concerns about using the drug. This was controlling the issue just enough for the owner to be able to tolerate the leakage. The owner was willing to try herbal medicine, so Princess was started on Restore Restraint (Kan Herbal version of Sang Piao Xiao Wan) and kept on Proin for one week after which time the Proin was stopped and she was only given the herbs. Two weeks later the owner called wanting to buy 360 tablets to last her a good while because she had not seen any incontinence since started on the herbs and taken off the Proin. She was obviously highly impressed with the result. 

'Baxter' the Dachshund
'Baxter' the Dachshund

Case Study Courtesy of
Dr Sara Baldey, Australia, BSc (Hons), BVMS, CVA, TAE

Category

Acupuncture

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Acupuncture

Case Study Courtesy of
Dr Sara Baldey, Australia, BSc (Hons), BVMS, CVA, TAE

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Baxter is a seven year old, male neutered dachshund. Eleven months ago, Baxter developed back pain which progressed to bilateral hindlimb paresis. CT/myelogram revealed significant spinal cord compression at T12-L1 and multiple mineralised intervertebral discs. A hemilaminectomy was performed over T12-L1 by a specialist orthopaedic surgeon.

After recovering from surgery, Baxter was under the care of a rehabilitation therapist and doing home exercises and hydrotherapy to regain his mobility. Six months later Baxter was recommended for acupuncture as he had plateaued with his progress.

Baxter was ambulant but had weakness and mild conscious proprioceptive (CP) deficits in his hindlimbs as well as some back pain. Acupuncture treatments were directed at strengthening the hindlimbs and back and alleviating any pain. After his first acupuncture treatment, Baxter was able to lift his left hindleg up to urinate for the first time. Baxter’s mobility continued to improve such that he was trying to climb the stairs again (even though he shouldn’t!). Since starting acupuncture, Baxter has gained more strength in his hindlimbs and the CP deficits have resolved.

Baxter now has maintenance acupuncture treatments every two to three months to support his mobility and back pain. Acupuncture continues to be a beneficial modality for Baxter alongside his regular hydrotherapy and rehabilitation sessions.

 

'Crystal' the Cat
'Crystal' the Cat

Case Study Courtesy of
Megan Walsh, USA

Category

Nutrition

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Nutrition

Case Study Courtesy of
Megan Walsh, USA

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Crystal is a 2 year old spayed/vaccinated all white cat.  She was in foster care for more than 12 months because nobody wanted to adopt her due to her skin issues.  She was losing fur and had dry, bumpy skin with bleeding sores. She also had pockets of swelling all over her body, as well as a yeasty discoloured coat. Her diet while in foster care consisted of two commercial food products. During that time she was administered an allergy injection, topical steroids and steroidal shampoo baths with no visible change reported. After 12 months the foster carer could no longer afford Crystal’s vet care. Fortunately, she was adopted by an owner who had a sound knowledge of natural nutrition and therapies. She immediately set about switching the cat to a more natural diet. It took only a week to transition Crystal to a raw food diet with the help of some added 100% natural canned cat food. Raw goat’s milk was also gradually added to the diet for its naturally occurring probiotic properties to support a healthy gut and immune function. Over the next few weeks Crystal was moved onto two all natural food products – one frozen and one freeze dried – as well as fish oil and CBD oil. In less than a month her coat was dramatically improved as seen in the photos.

'Sebastian' the Birman Cat
'Sebastian' the Birman Cat

Case Study Courtesy of
Dr Clare Middle, Australia, BVMS, CVA, CVHom

Category

Nutrition

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Nutrition

Case Study Courtesy of
Dr Clare Middle, Australia, BVMS, CVA, CVHom

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Sebastian is a 10 month old Blue Point Birman kitten with dysuria - straining to urinate and frequent urination - over several days. He was examined by his vet and a urine test showed no infection, but quite a lot of blood and inflammatory white blood cells in the urine, and a urine pH of 7.

Often in such a case, ongoing anxiety or a recent stress event can cause a dysuria or cystitis, but Sebastian’s owner said that there had been no stress and that he was a very relaxed character. However, she was feeling guilty that he was eating mainly dried kibbled food, and that she was concerned this could be the problem. He was a fussy eater, who would only eat other fresher foods for one day, then would refuse them the next, so it was easier for the owner to just leave the dried food out all the time.

I suggested not giving any dried food, so he would actually be hungry! Then I asked her to list the foods he did like for a day – raw lamb, cooked lamb, egg, cheese, canned sardines, canned salmon, one flavour of a good quality sachet food and a good quality freeze died raw complete diet for cats.

We drew up a calendar so that he had one of these foods in rotation at each meal, so would only have each food for about two meals a week, and they added up to a complete and balanced diet over one week.

We were able to get Sebastian to eat the raw lamb several times a week, which was important as raw meat is nature’s urinary acidifier, and if we could keep his urine at pH 6, it would be near impossible for him to get cystitis again.

A follow up urine test a month later showed healthy urine, and he had no more symptoms of dysuria. Sebastian has now been well for over 6 months on his frequently changing natural diet.

 

'Mr Brownie' the Chihuahua
'Mr Brownie' the Chihuahua

Case Study Courtesy of
Terri Grow, USA, BIS, Cert NAN (CIVT), Cert TCM Herbology

Category

Nutrition

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Nutrition

Case Study Courtesy of
Terri Grow, USA, BIS, Cert NAN (CIVT), Cert TCM Herbology

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Mr Brownie, an eleven-year-old, 2.27 kg, Chihuahua, was diagnosed in December 2021 with Laryngeal Paralysis and Renal Disease. He also suffers with severe food allergies and as his owner shared, he would go through bouts of inappetence due to coughing and resulting regurgitation. His treatments began with the transition to a kidney-friendly homemade diet incorporating food therapy principles to support healthy lungs, increase kidney yin, and strengthen Spleen Qi. His favorite recipe includes cooling pungent aromatic peppermint to stimulate circulation and move energy up and out; sweet and sour properties of apples to moisten dryness and cool heat of the lungs; sweet, neutral flavors of green beans to strengthen digestion and increase yin fluids; cooling and sweet flavors of Napa cabbage for inflammation and qi deficiency; with warming energetics of turkey to balance the overall cooling nature of the recipe; and blueberries, not only for kidney yin but the added benefits of antioxidants and phytochemicals. Food texture was also adjusted for his preferences, and he now dances in anticipation of his meals. Additionally, Xiao Chai Hu Tang was introduced to address the collapsing trachea, along with Yi Guan Jian for the renal disease. Recent blood test results reveal his renal functions have improved significantly. And while he’s still challenged with Laryngeal Paralysis, coughing is minimal, vomiting of meals has been eliminated, and he can sleep through the night with the support of hydrocodone. With a goal of removing this last medication, we are adjusting the herbal therapies and adding aromatherapy.

‘Jinx’ the Moggie
‘Jinx’ the Moggie

Case Study Courtesy of
Dr Nichola Spooner, Australia, BVSc (hons) MANZCVSc (EMCC) GDVWHM GDVA Cert IV TAE

Category

Western Herbal Medicine

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Western Herbal Medicine

Case Study Courtesy of
Dr Nichola Spooner, Australia, BVSc (hons) MANZCVSc (EMCC) GDVWHM GDVA Cert IV TAE

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Jinx is a thirteen year old domestic shorthair who presented with chronic rhinitis non-responsive to conventional medications despite a full diagnostic work-up and interventions over many years. His treatment approach included transitioning to a homemade diet supplemented with EPA/DHA, probiotics, antioxidants and turmeric, steam therapy, medicinal mushrooms and a western herbal formula of tinctures and glycetracts of Marshmallow Root, Elder Flowers, Echinaceae, Eyebright, Goldenseal and Gotu Kola. He has now been weaned off all conventional medications and breathes freely with only occasional minor episodes of nasal discharge and has excellent quality of life.  Several years following the introduction of natural therapies Jinx is still going strong! His owners travel around Queensland with Jinx in their caravan working and periodically phoning with an update and a request for more herbs to be posted to them. 

‘Oreo’ the Chihuahua
‘Oreo’ the Chihuahua

Case Study Courtesy of
Dr Nichola Spooner, Australia, BVSc (hons) MANZCVSc (EMCC) GDip VWHM GDip VA Cert IV TAE

Category

Western Herbal Medicine, Nutrition

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Western Herbal Medicine, Nutrition

Case Study Courtesy of
Dr Nichola Spooner, Australia, BVSc (hons) MANZCVSc (EMCC) GDip VWHM GDip VA Cert IV TAE

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Oreo, an anxious six year old male neutered Chihuahua, presented with a long history of recurrent anal gland abscessation and a more recent history of unusual neurologic episodes that appeared to be triggered by stressful events and exposure to certain foods and toxins. Bloodwork and urinalysis were unremarkable. Further diagnostics were declined and the owner sought an integrative medicine consultation. Oreo’s diet was changed from kibble-based to a balanced lightly cooked novel protein homemade diet supplemented with fibre and probiotics, and a western herbal tincture containing Passionflower, Bacopa, Chamomile, Baical skullcap, Burdock and Milk Thistle. This was implemented alongside behavioural modification strategies and a consistent home environment. Oreo’s stool bulk improved and his anal gland disease resolved. Neurologic episodes became very rare and only mild when they did occur, and his anxiety was well managed. He is now a very happy and healthy nine year old and the owners are delighted with his quality of life!

 

'Kyser' the Rhodesian Ridgeback
'Kyser' the Rhodesian Ridgeback

Case Study Courtesy of
Dr Jacqui Snell, New Zealand, BVSc, GDVWHM

Category

Western Herbal Medicine, Nutrition

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Western Herbal Medicine, Nutrition

Case Study Courtesy of
Dr Jacqui Snell, New Zealand, BVSc, GDVWHM

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Kyser, a 7 year old male Rhodesian Ridgeback, presented with a history of reoccurring Mast Cell Tumours, chronic anal gland infections, conjunctivitis, dermatitis and hindleg discomfort. He had received many courses of antibiotics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, skin supportive medication, antioxidants and Vitamin C. The aim was to support Kyser’s immune system, reduce the inflammation, detoxify the body, address any food intolerances, possible gut imbalances and possible nutritional deficiencies. He was treated with herbal tinctures, a course of stem cell treatments and his diet was changed from processed foods to a raw diet. Probiotics and further supplements were also introduced. Two years later Kyser’s mast cell tumours have been managed, the anal gland infections, dermatitis and conjunctivitis have resolved and he is maintaining a good quality of life. His owners feel that he is a happier dog, often walking up to one hour a day.

'Abby' the German Shorthaired Pointer
'Abby' the German Shorthaired Pointer

Case Study Courtesy of
Dr Tanya Grantham, South Africa,  BSc (Hons) BVSc (Univ. of Pta,,S. Africa) CCRP (Univ of Tennessee, USA) CCBW (USA) CVA (Chi Institute, USA) Canine Sports Medicine CRI (USA)

Category

Rehabilitation

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Rehabilitation

Case Study Courtesy of
Dr Tanya Grantham, South Africa,  BSc (Hons) BVSc (Univ. of Pta,,S. Africa) CCRP (Univ of Tennessee, USA) CCBW (USA) CVA (Chi Institute, USA) Canine Sports Medicine CRI (USA)

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Abby is a five year old female neutered German Shorthaired Pointer. She was referred to me by a locum veterinarian who was concerned about tendon contracture in the right hind paw. The practice principal had diagnosed a partial rupture of the Achilles tendon in May 2020. Rest and NSAIDs were advised. 13 months later Abby was referred to me. I immediately recommended a consultation with a specialist surgeon. Amazingly, the surgeon was able to reconnect the tendon despite the time that had elapsed. Apart from the contracture of the digital flexor tendons, there was severe muscle atrophy of the hind limb. The difference in thigh circumference between the two rear limbs was 4.6 cms. Following on five weeks from the repair,  Abby started rehabilitation and our challenges were:

- breed tendencies (active and highly strung)

- tendon contracture

- decreased ROM of the right hock (especially in flexion) 

- muscle atrophy

We tried to teach the client to perform heat and stretching of the distal limb, but the dog was not cooperative. The compromise was to treat Abby twice a week. The first three weeks of therapy consisted of photobiomodulation, heat and massage to release the tendons. This was very uncomfortable for Abby. After release we performed gentle weight shifting exercises to encourage weight bearing. The water in the underwater treadmill assisted with support in the early phases. After two months of therapy Abby was becoming increasingly resistant to our efforts. The circumferential difference between the two rear limbs had decreased to 1.5 cms. The digits remained slightly flexed and hock ROM improved marginally. It was decided to stop therapeutic interventions and reassess a month later. (This still has to happen). 

I am surprised and very pleased at the response. I was uncertain that we would be able to regain use of the limb because of the length of time that the injury had been present. 

Please click HERE to watch a video of Abby's rehabilitation progress.

 

'Pippin' the Chihuahua
'Pippin' the Chihuahua

Case Study Courtesy of
Dr Natasha Lilly, USA, DVM CVA

Category

Chinese Herbal Medicine

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Chinese Herbal Medicine

Case Study Courtesy of
Dr Natasha Lilly, USA, DVM CVA

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Pippin, a two-year-old male neutered Chihuahua, presented with a one year history of progressive alopecia, diagnosed by his DVM as Alopecia X.

For review, Alopecia X or Adrenal Hyperplasia-Like Syndrome, is a rare, cosmetic skin condition characterized by areas of alopecia and hyperpigmentation as seen in the images of Pippin. For some unknown reason, the growth phase of the hair follicle is arrested which causes the hair loss. This condition can happen as early as one year of age but can also occur much later in life. There is no known therapy or treatment for this condition in conventional veterinary practice. His TCVM clinical presentation of weak, deep pulses, cold extremities, pale tongue with cracks and diffuse alopecia indicated a Blood Deficiency pattern. 

Following Pippin’s first visit, his treatment plan included implementing a fresh, balanced, species appropriate diet, and a Chinese Herbal formula: Bu Gan Tang. Specifically, we used the Kan Essentials, Liver Support Formula, starting with the normal dosing for his body weight. After three months there was a mild improvement in hair growth, but it is not significant. During this visit, the Chinese herb dose was increased to double the amount daily. During this time, the owner was in email communication and expressing excitement about the results. The second image was taken after six months on the doubled dose of Bu Gan Tang, full hair coat regrowth was eventually achieved shortly after this image was taken. Pippin was slowly weaned off the Chinese herbs completely over the next six months and his owner was absolutely grateful. We think Pippen was also likely thankful for not having to shiver as much! 

'Mindy' the Maltese
'Mindy' the Maltese

Case Study Courtesy of
Dr Nichola Spooner BVSc (hons) MANZCVSc (EMCC) GDip VWHM GDip VA Cert IV TAE

Category

Western Herbal Medicine, Nutrition

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Western Herbal Medicine, Nutrition

Case Study Courtesy of
Dr Nichola Spooner BVSc (hons) MANZCVSc (EMCC) GDip VWHM GDip VA Cert IV TAE

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Mindy, a 9yo Maltese cross, presented with a history of frequent recurrent urinary tract infections and two surgeries for struvite bladder stones. Her dedicated owners were finding it challenging to tablet her, collect repeat urine samples and feed her a prescription diet. They were also highly motivated to implement a more natural preventative strategy. Her treatment approach involved a high moisture containing homemade diet supplemented with probiotics and Cranberry extract, as well as the administration of a twice daily Western herbal tincture based on Crataeva, Astragalus, Marshmallow Root, Withania and Chamomile. She has had no further urinary tract infections since commencement of this regime over a year ago and is a very happy little dog who willingly takes her food and supplements!

'Paris' the Doberman pinscher
'Paris' the Doberman pinscher

Case Study Courtesy of
Dr Jodi Van Tine, USA, MA DVM CVA GDVA GDVCH

Category

Acupuncture

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Acupuncture

Case Study Courtesy of
Dr Jodi Van Tine, USA, MA DVM CVA GDVA GDVCH

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Wobbler’s disease, or cervical spondylomyelopathy, is a genetic disease of Doberman pinschers, characterized by primary stenosis of the cervical vertebral canal, exacerbated by type 2 herniated disc disease typically involving the C4-C7 intervertebral disc spaces.  Clinical manifestations include hypermetria of the front legs with concurrent hind end weakness and ataxia, and pain on lateral, dorsal, and/or ventral cervical flexion. These individuals are conventionally treated with anti-inflammatory medications, analgesics, and husbandry changes such as feeding on an elevated platform and use of a harness instead of a collar.

Acupuncture is easily integrated into treatment of Wobblers disease. “Paris”, a 7 year old female spayed Doberman pinscher, was presented for neck pain and hind end weakness. TCM exam findings included a moist red-pink tongue with a slight purple center, toned mid-depth pulses and small white skin flakes, along with sensitivity at acupuncture points GB 21 and BL11.  A TCM diagnosis of Kidney Yin (Jing) deficiency with Wind invasion, and local cervical Qi-Blood stagnation was assigned.  TCM treatment principles of tonifying Blood and Yin, and relieving stagnation and pain were employed using dry needle acupuncture.  Acupoints were chosen above and below the area of obstruction (GB 20-GB 21, BL 10-BL 11, GV 20-GV 14).  Master point for the Head and Neck LU 7, Master point for the Face and Mouth LI4, and SI 3 used distal limb points to treat the neck.  Kidney and Yin tonification was performed using KID 3 and SP 6. LI 4 and BL 60 assisted with pain relief. 

Twice-weekly treatments were performed for two weeks, and then weekly treatments for four weeks, resulting in significant improvement to the point the owner discontinued acupuncture therapy, and has maintained health with prednisone and management practices only. There have been no relapses of cervical pain over the last year. This case is an example of how acupuncture can be safely and effectively used integratively to treat cervical spondylomyelopathy.

'Samwise' the German Shepherd Dog
'Samwise' the German Shepherd Dog

Case Study Courtesy of
Dr Jodi Van Tine, USA, MA DVM CVA GDVA GDVCH

Category

Nutrition, Chinese Herbal Medicine

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Nutrition, Chinese Herbal Medicine

Case Study Courtesy of
Dr Jodi Van Tine, USA, MA DVM CVA GDVA GDVCH

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Integrative treatment of hip and stifle pain in a dog with lymphangiectasia.

Samwise is a 7 year old MN German Shepherd dog, who presented for TCM evaluation for treatment of hip and stifle pain. At 10 weeks of age he was surrendered with a dislocated, broken mandible. He additionally suffered from giardiasis and parvovirus. Despite this, he was adopted by the current owner, a veterinarian. At two years of age he was diagnosed with bilateral hip dysplasia, and a cranial cruciate rupture of the left stifle, at which time he underwent a tibial plateau leveling osteotomy (TPLO). With this history, he had been administered chronic pharmaceutical regimens of antibiotics and analgesics.

One year later, he developed a reaction to the TPLO implant which required removal of the implant. Around the same time he was diagnosed with lymphangiectasia and was prescribed steroid therapy. If the steroids are tapered or discontinued, overt severe foul-smelling diarrhea occurs. The diet must be strictly controlled with prescription low-fat kibble, and the only treats he tolerates are carrots and watermelon. The dog can no longer take conventional analgesics without a severe exacerbation of diarrhea and associated abdominal pain.

The owner sought integrative therapy for progressive musculoskeletal pain, with the goal of allowing the dog to comfortably enjoy weekend hiking and camping.A TCM diagnosis of Spleen Qi deficiency with Damp Heat was made based on poor muscle condition, maldigestion and lymphangiectasia with foul-smelling diarrhea. Kidney Jing deficiency was assigned due to the presence of hip dysplasia. Pain that was not severe and migratory between stifles and hips indicated Qi stagnation. Chronic medication with antibiotics and steroids exacerbated the Spleen Qi deficiency and Damp. The TCM treatment principle was to tonify Spleen and Kidney Qi, drain Damp and clear Heat (resolve inflammation), and invigorate Qi to relieve pain.

Biweekly acupuncture was performed, timed around Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) treatment of the hips and stifles. The addition of a whole food nutritionally complete diet was prescribed to supplement, if not replace, the processed kibble. The combination of acupuncture and food therapy has successfully allowed the dog to continue to participate on hikes, sometimes many miles in mountainous terrain, comfortably without pharmaceutical intervention for pain.

‘Winston’ the Border Collie
‘Winston’ the Border Collie

Case Study Courtesy of
Dr Barbara Royal, USA, DVM CVA

Category

Nutrition

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Nutrition

Case Study Courtesy of
Dr Barbara Royal, USA, DVM CVA

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Winston is a five year old male neutered Border Collie owned by a local harbor master in Chicago, USA. 

History and PE 

Winston was being fed a half cup of a dry kibble food twice a day and was significantly overweight. His owners considered the dry kibble food to be a "high-quality'' food. He was also given baked treats and occasionally raw bones to chew on, but not recently. He was given plenty of exercise and was able to go to work with his owner. He has a history of a hypothyroid condition managed by 0.8mg Levothyroxine with food, his levels had been tested three months prior to presentation. Overall, he was described as having decreased energy at home, decreased appetite and not playing anymore.

On presentation he weighed 92 pounds, his coat was dry with significant dandruff and his body condition score was 8/9. He had difficulty and was slow to get up from lying down and slow to go up and down stairs. He had 0-2/4 dental tartar and mild gingivitis and halitosis, a heart rate of 80 bpm and deep, slippery pulses. 

After His Integrative Veterinary Consultation

Winston’s diet was changed to a high quality fresh raw food. It was recommended that he be fed once a day but his owner wanted to wait a few weeks before starting once a day feeding. They transitioned him over ten days to 8 ounces of fresh complete and balanced raw food twice a day. The raw food was low carbohydrate, with fat and protein percentages almost equal. Fresh raw bones to chew on were again provided. His dose of Levothyroxine was decreased to 0.4mg and given on an empty stomach twice daily. He was also given a quarter cup of fermented goat milk three times a week to improve his gut biome, sustainably sourced fish oil from pelagic fish (mackerel, sardines, anchovy) for omega 3 and a half teaspoon of sunflower oil twice a week for linolenic acid.

At a three week physical examination he had already lost 10 pounds. The owners commented that his energy, appetite, cheerfulness and interaction had improved dramatically, and he was "a different dog." His heart rate was 96 bpm, he was energetic, engaged, not slow to get up or down and he moved with alacrity in the room. His coat was shiny and lustrous with no dandruff. His eyes were bright, his teeth and gum condition had already improved significantly. The owners and many people at the harbor club commented that he seemed like a much older dog before the dietary changes. After his transition they stated that he seemed to be younger and more engaged. He is overwhelmingly excited by his food, eating enthusiastically. In addition, his stools and intestinal gas were significantly improved as well – smaller, firmer and easier to pick up faeces, and less frequent defecation (once a day, normal for a canine) and much less flatulence.

The short turnaround in his condition was noted by all who know Winston and his improvements continue at the time of this writing (four weeks after initial consult) and are impressive. His thyroid regulation will be checked in two weeks. It is anticipated that it all will be well as his physical condition is so good.

'Armadeus' the Cornish Rex
'Armadeus' the Cornish Rex

Case Study Courtesy of
Terri Grow, USA, BIS, Cert NAN (CIVT), Cert TCM Herbology

Category

Nutrition, Chinese Herbal Medicine

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Nutrition, Chinese Herbal Medicine

Case Study Courtesy of
Terri Grow, USA, BIS, Cert NAN (CIVT), Cert TCM Herbology

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Amadeus is a 4-year-old, neutered Cornish Rex, whose owner contacted me for a nutrition consult due to a history of urinary tract and renal disease. 

In our initial consult, I worked on a detailed history of his diet, litter box protocols, and environmental enrichment strategies. Given the owner was a well experienced cat owner, litter box and lifestyle issues did not appear insensitive to Amadeus. His canned food diet seemed appropriate initially, but I was concerned with the limitation. He had been fed one formula of one brand for the last three years. He was fed this as a default because it seemed to reduce his itchy skin and lesions and had been recommended by the breeder. Nonetheless, this limitation gave us an important break: analysis of the formula proved it unfriendly to both the urinary tract and the kidneys.  

Diet changes were implemented to include a rotation of a few well-balanced canned formulas and the addition of some raw meats as a topper to encourage the incorporation of raw food meals over time. An herbal anti-inflammatory urinary formula along with a kidney formula based on Er Xian Tang were introduced, and if he would accept, additional water in his food.

Two months after our initial consult, Amadeus was seen by a feline specialist with significant improvement in his laboratory results. A bonus with the diet change, his skin issues resolved.

'Pogo' the Chihuahua Cross
'Pogo' the Chihuahua Cross

Case Study Courtesy of
Dr Joanna Milan, Australia, DVM GDVCHM GDVA DVetHom

Category

Chinese Herbal Medicine

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Chinese Herbal Medicine

Case Study Courtesy of
Dr Joanna Milan, Australia, DVM GDVCHM GDVA DVetHom

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Pogo is a four-year-old male neutered Chihuahua/Jack Russel Terrier cross. He was adopted by an elderly couple as their dog had recently passed away. There was no information available regarding his conditions prior to his arrival at the re-homing facility.

Pogo had been with his new carers for eight weeks, and arrived with itchy skin. He scratched vigorously at his face with his front paws, causing bleeding. He chewed on his front feet and rubbed his back on the sofa. They gave an itch scale of 6/10, but they were concerned his skin would worsen and they didn’t want to use steroids. He had a good appetite and was eating supermarket moist food and supermarket kibble.

Pogo was quite difficult to treat – he seemed agreeable to being handled, but became suddenly aggressive with any noise or sudden movement – lunging and barking at the veterinarian. His Tongue was slightly swollen, with pale edges and a lavender centre. His TCM Pulses were very superficial, deficient and slightly taut. Pogo had moderate erythema and alopecia in both flanks, and under both elbows. His coat was dry and brittle. He had bilateral conjunctivitis, was tender laterally on both sides of his abdomen.

Pogo was sent home with the Chinese herbal formula Si Wu Xiao Feng Yin, also known as Four Materials Eliminate Wind Combination, to Tonify Blood and Expel Wind Heat We discussed leadership for Pogo to give him more confidence and decrease his anxiety . Instructions were given for green tea application to his most itchy areas.

At his two week re-check Pogo’s mom and dad reported that he had stopped pawing at his face , and his paw chewing had greatly reduced. He liked the application of the green tea and would roll over to have it applied. On physical examination his Pulse had moderated, and the erythema had resolved in his axillae and flanks, and the conjunctivitis had resolved. Treatment is ongoing and leadership training is ongoing – Pogo will go to his bed now when asked but is still very reactive when visitors come to the door and doesn’t listen as well at those times!

‘Gracie’ the Terrier
‘Gracie’ the Terrier

Case Study Courtesy of
Dr Alexia Tsakiris, USA, BVetMed GDipVWHM, CVA

Category

Western Herbal Medicine, Chinese Herbal Medicine, Acupuncture

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Western Herbal Medicine, Chinese Herbal Medicine, Acupuncture

Case Study Courtesy of
Dr Alexia Tsakiris, USA, BVetMed GDipVWHM, CVA

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Gracie is a 12 year old female spayed Terrier who was diagnosed with megaoesophagus 5 years ago. She presented 4 years ago for acupuncture because she had an increased frequency of regurgitation with phlegm and coughing, with one episode of aspiration pneumonia. She ate in a Baily chair, but that wasn't helping her enough and her owners felt that they felt something in her throat after she ate, even after standing in the chair. Gracie was eating a raw diet made into a gruel, but she was losing weight. Abnormal findings were a BCS of 2/5, and a dental disease of 2/3. Her pulses on the right were weaker than the left and her tongue was light pink. The goals for Gracie were to increase motility and peristalsis, improve absorption, support her back legs and heal potential gastritis. Gracie was treated with the following acupuncture points: ST36, PC6, SP6, CV17, BL54 and ST25. She was prescribed Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang powder and a tincture that contained chamomile, licorice, angelica archangelica, orange peel, calendula, gotu kola and ashwagnadha. Her regurgitation went from daily to once every 5 weeks, and she comes in for acupuncture every 4-6 weeks. Not only has she gained weight, practically stopped regurgitating, but she has been living a normal healthy life for the past 4 years. Gracie is a happy girl living her best life with the support of acupuncture and herbs.

'Kiara' the Burmese
'Kiara' the Burmese

Case Study Courtesy of
Dr Shelley Doxey, United Kingdom, BVetMed (Hons), MRCVS

Category

Western Herbal Medicine

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Western Herbal Medicine

Case Study Courtesy of
Dr Shelley Doxey, United Kingdom, BVetMed (Hons), MRCVS

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Kiara, a 17 year old female neutered Burmese cat, suffered from osteoarthritis and chronic pain, she struggled to move around her home, was on occasion noticeably wobbly on her hind legs and could not go up the stairs anymore. She had also been diagnosed with chronic renal disease so her primary veterinary surgeon avoided the use of NSAID and had trialled her on tramadol, but this had not helped her. 

Kiara was seen by our pain clinic and was started on acupuncture and laser therapy. This was initially performed weekly but after four sessions we extended this to every other week. Kiara is generally a little grumpy at the vets but she was always good for her treatment and sat calmly in her carrier for her sessions.Her owner noticed after a couple of acupuncture and laser treatments that she was brighter and moving around her home better, she was even jumping over the stair gate that her owner had used to prevent her from going up and down the stairs. We had also introduced Kiara onto a daily capsule containing Reishi, Devil’s claw, Boswellia and Turmeric which her owner sprinkled onto her food. 

It is now six months since Kiara fist came to see us and we are now treating her with acupuncture and laser therapy monthly along with continued use of her capsule supplement. She is moving around her house much more freely; her owner is very happy with her progress and she is certainly less grumpy when seen for her general vet visits.

'Piper' the Mastiff Cross
'Piper' the Mastiff Cross

Case Study Courtesy of
Dr Nichola Spooner, Australia, BVSc(hons), MANZCVSc (EMCC), GDVWHM, GDVA

Category

Western Herbal Medicine, Nutrition

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Western Herbal Medicine, Nutrition

Case Study Courtesy of
Dr Nichola Spooner, Australia, BVSc(hons), MANZCVSc (EMCC), GDVWHM, GDVA

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Piper is a six year old Mastiff cross who was rescued from an abusive situation as a puppy. She presented with severe anxiety disorder which manifest as antisocial behaviours, phobias and a highly reactive personality. Her owners are committed to a non-pharmaceutical approach to her rehabilitation. Some progress was made with the introduction of a homemade diet, including Chamomile tea, whole oats and probiotics, as well as Adaptil collars (canine appeasing pheromone), environmental enrichment and behaviour management strategies. However most progress was made after the introduction of Rescue Remedy bushflower essences and a western herbal tincture of Passionflower, Chamomile, Lemonbalm, Bacopa and Withania. The owners report a significantly calmer and less reactive demeanour and visitors to their house are amazed at her transformation!