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Case Studies

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

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

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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.Case study courtesy of Dr Jacqui Snell, BVSc, GDWHM, Veterinary Holistic Healthcare, New Zealand.

'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

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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 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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Case Study Courtesy of
Terri Grow, USA

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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

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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 Tasakiris, USA, BVetMed GDipVWHM, CVA

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Case Study Courtesy of
Dr Alexia Tasakiris, 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 has 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

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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

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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!

'Louie' the Mixed Terrier
'Louie' the Mixed Terrier

Case Study Courtesy of
Dr Monica Chapman, USA, DVM, GDip VWHM

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Case Study Courtesy of
Dr Monica Chapman, USA, DVM, GDip VWHM

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Louie, an approximately 7 year old male neurtered Yorkshire terrier mix, 4.8kg, presented for help managing liver failure. He was adopted 4 years previously by a Veterinarian and at that time was in liver failure of unknown origin. He initially responded to allopathic medical management but when his condition deteriorated, a surgical exploratory was performed. Grossly his liver appeared contracted, small, firm, and nodular with irregular texture in all lobes and a fibrotic capsule. His liver biopsy revealed evidence of prior injury with fibrosis between portal tracks, infiltrate of large lymphocytes and the presence of necrotic hepatocytes. This was thought to be indicative of a secondary immunopathology suggestive of immune injury to the liver and not cirrhosis. He was initially treated with prednisone but that was discontinued due to worsening of lab work and clinical signs. He had been maintained on lactulose, metronidazole, ursodiol, intermittent antibiotics, and cyclosporine for the past 2.5 years. He was experiencing more frequent episodes of hepatitis marked by nausea, vomiting, inappetence, weight loss, and lethargy, that have were lasting longer and recoverywas slow and incomplete. Louie was anxious and the owner has noticed that stressful events often precede his flare ups. Abdominal ultrasound revealed that his liver appeared small with hypoechoic heterogeneous parenchyma, with chronic active hepatitis being the primary consideration. Louie’s dedicated owner has kept a spreadsheet that included more than 50 entries over the past several years with CBC, chemistry profile, treatments and treatment responses. Treatment goals included normalizing his immune system function, supporting his liver function, reducing scarring and fibrosis of the liver, improving the tone and function of his liver, and reducing his stress and anxiety.

Louie was started on a western herbal formula containing angelica sinensis, scutellaria baicalensis, bupleurum, astragalus membranceus, silybum marianum and glycyrrhiza glabra. Additionally he was started on a mushroom complex, curcumin extract and a liquid herbal calming formula containing l-theanine, l-tryptophan, valerian and ashwagandha. His diet was changed to Dr. Jean Dodd’s Liver Cleansing Diet. Louie responded quickly and dramatically with not only improvements in his clinic signs but also complete normalization of all his liver values within 6 weeks. The owner reported that he was thriving clinically, was energetic with no discomfort or nausea and the blood work results are the best he had ever had. Louie’s owner knew he was thriving when he started doing a happy dance before meals as his enthusiasm for eating returned. Louie was maintained on his integrative approach for 10 months with a wonderful quality of life for the whole family! 

'Harley' the German Shepherd
'Harley' the German Shepherd

Case Study Courtesy of
Dr Neal Sivula, USA, DVM PhD FAAVA CVA

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Case Study Courtesy of
Dr Neal Sivula, USA, DVM PhD FAAVA CVA

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Signalment: 8-year-old German Shepherd with 6-month history of gradual hind limb weakness/ ataxia.

The dog had a history of gradual rear limb weakness and ataxia over a 6 month period which was unresponsive to both corticosteroids and non-steroidal medications. Neurologic examination revealed weakness, loss of muscle mass, conscious proprioceptive deficits, and normal reflexes in the rear limbs. A localization of T3-L3 was made, with a presumptive diagnosis of chronic intervertebral disc disease or Degenerative Myelopathy. No further diagnostic testing was desired.  
Body acupuncture points were used in addition to scalp acupuncture. Three needlesb (#32 x 1 “) were placed in relay fashion in the upper 1/5 of each motor zone, a single needle was placed in the most cranial aspect of both Balance Areas as well as the most dorsal aspect of the Foot and Motor Sensory Areas. Needles were left in place for 15 minutes, with 10 Hz of alternating cycle stimulation applied to the Motor Area needles. Because of travel limitations, treatments were performed weekly for 6 weeks, then every 2 weeks for 4 more treatments, then monthly for the next 19 months. The patient’s strength stabilized for a period of 19 months at which time the animal was euthanized for progressive rear limb lameness and urinary incontinence.

‘Bunty’ the Staffordshire Bull Terrier
‘Bunty’ the Staffordshire Bull Terrier

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

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

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Bunty, a 12-year-old, spayed female Staffordshire bull terrier, presented due to an ongoing weight-bearing lameness of the right hind leg. Non-steroidal pain treatment provided relief, but the pain returned if the medications were discontinued. The owner's request was to try and reduce the use of non-steroid pain relief and maintain joint comfort. On physical examination, Bunty exhibited pain on manipulation of her neck, right hip and stifle (knee joint). There was also sensitivity over the spine. Radiographs and blood were undertaken. Gastrointestinal sensitivity was evident with intermittent diarrhoea and intolerance to raw food and bones. Her coat was dull and dry. Radiographs diagnosed bilateral hip dysplasia, with the right hip showing more advanced signs of deterioration and osteoarthritis.

Treatment goals:

  • Improve the lameness and generalised stiffness and discomfort by reducing pain and inflammation
  • Improve nutrition, digestion and gastrointestinal function
  • Enhance detoxification
  • Optimise energy by increasing vitality, tonify
  • Improve the quality of the coat 

A herbal tincture was prepared to address the above treatment goals. This was combined with nutraceutical and dietary support.

In Summary:  Bunty has now been on the formula for 18 months. Her general demeanour, coat quality and vitality have improved significantly. She only requires non-steroidal pain relief on very few occasions with the herbs and nutraceuticals controlling most of the pain. She will be maintained on this formula at this stage indefinitely as the owners feel it has significantly improved her quality of life.  

'Ludo' the Cat
'Ludo' the Cat

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

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

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Ludo is a 7 year old, castrated male cat who presented with difficult to control asthma, obesity and constipation.
History: Requiring ongoing steroid injections to control the asthma. Intermittent antibiotics to control secondary chest infections. Laxatives and occasional enemas to aid the constipation.
Diet: Weight reducing dried food.
Therapeutic Goals:
• Increase stool bulk and frequency
• Relieve asthmatic symptoms and ease breathing, ultimately reducing/stopping steroid injections and associated side effects
• Eradicate any infection, parasites (eg lungworm)
• Reduce inflammation and address gastrointestinal tract disorders
• Reduce allergic response and immune reactivity
The herbal tincture included herbs which addressed the above treatment goals.
His diet was changed to a raw food diet, plus vitamin supplements and flaxseed were introduced. Weight loss and increased exercise was advised. Asthma triggers were also identified.
In Summary: There has been a significant improvement in Ludo’s general wellbeing, he has lost a couple of kilograms and is eating the raw foods with relish. His asthma symptoms are being managed without steroid injections (these were slowly withdrawn over a 6 month period). He has not required a course of antibiotics in the last 10 months. The constipation is now resolved.

'George' the Schnauzer
'George' the Schnauzer

Case Study Courtesy of
Dr Alison Shen, Australia. BVSc (hons) Cert VA (IVAS) Cert CICR (CIVT)

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Case Study Courtesy of
Dr Alison Shen, Australia. BVSc (hons) Cert VA (IVAS) Cert CICR (CIVT)

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George, a 5 year old blind Schnauzer presented with chronic RHL lameness and was diagnosed with IVDD (lumbosacral). Physical rehabilitation, acupuncture and laser therapy were performed weekly together with a daily home exercise program, that was performed vigilantly by his owners. George presented with challenges being completely blind, which limited the ability to perform some rehabilitation exercises and progression of the rehab program at times. The combination of regular treatments, monitoring and persistence and dedication of his owner, enabled George to improve, build up his core strength, muscles and use of his RHL.

'Paco' the Mixed Terrier
'Paco' the Mixed Terrier

Case Study Courtesy of
Dr Gary Richter, USA. MS, DVM, Grad Dip VWHM, CVC, CVA

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Case Study Courtesy of
Dr Gary Richter, USA. MS, DVM, Grad Dip VWHM, CVC, CVA

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Paco is a 9 year old neutered male terrier mix, 13.6 kg, with a long history of seizures.  Paco began having full motor seizures at about 4 years old.  The frequency was stable at about 2-3 per month until Paco’s veterinarian began phenobarbital at 34 mg BID.  The seizure frequency declined to approximately one monthly.  Paco presented to Holistic Veterinary Care after having been on phenobarbital for four years.  The reason the owners brought him in was a desire to reduce or eliminate the phenobarbital dosage.  Recent bloodwork showed his levels to be in the therapeutic range but his ALP was 450 IU/L and Paco’s veterinarian stated this may be due to the phenobarbital.  The owner expressed interest in trying cannabis as a therapy to help with his seizures.

I discussed this at length with the owner with regards to the current research indicating CBD can be helpful in reducing seizure frequency but there isn’t much literature out there regarding cannabis and seizures in dogs.  I have had professional experience with dogs using cannabis for seizures and I have found it to be helpful in some cases. 

The owner decided to begin cannabis therapy using a broad spectrum hemp-based CBD formula at a dose of 20 mg CBD BID.  My instructions to the owner were to maintain the current dose of phenobarbital and begin the CBD and then contact me in 2 weeks to discuss their impressions. 

I heard back from the owner about 10 weeks later and they let me know they had cut the phenobarbital dose by ½ one month after starting the hemp formula and then discontinued the phenobarbital one month after that.  At the time they called, Paco had been off phenobarbital for 2 weeks with no recurrence of seizures.  They also reported he had more energy and seemed to be much happier.  

While the owner did not follow my treatment instructions, the results of the CBD formula are impressive.  At two weeks post phenobarbital, it was too soon to know for sure if the dog would remain seizure free without the medication and I instructed the owner to monitor closely.  At present, Paco is 6 weeks post discontinuing phenobarbital and has not had a seizure.  The owner will continue to administer the CBD product and monitor closely.

'Sir Theoadorable' the Burmese
'Sir Theoadorable' the Burmese

Case Study Courtesy of
Dr Nichola Spooner, Australia. MANZCVSc (EMCC) Grad Dip VWHM, Grad Dip VA

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Case Study Courtesy of
Dr Nichola Spooner, Australia. MANZCVSc (EMCC) Grad Dip VWHM, Grad Dip VA

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The adorable Sir Theodorable is a 14-year-old male neutered Burmese diagnosed clinically and radiographically with severe osteoarthritis in both elbows in March 2019. He is currently well managed with an integrative approach including monthly acupuncture treatments, cartrophen injections, nutritional supplements and conventional medications, as well as an environmental modification at home. He has excellent quality of life thanks to his committed human servants and is very receptive to his acupuncture treatments, stretching out on the acupuncture bed and regally receiving the fawning of his staff.

'Bitsy' the Mixed Terrier
'Bitsy' the Mixed Terrier

Case Study Courtesy of
Dr Jodi Van Tine, USA. MA DVM, Grad DipVA, Grad DipVCHM ,CVA

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Case Study Courtesy of
Dr Jodi Van Tine, USA. MA DVM, Grad DipVA, Grad DipVCHM ,CVA

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'Bitsy' is a three-year-old female spayed terrier mix who became paralyzed in the hind legs after jumping across another dog in the car and taking a tumble.

Bitsy's owner was referred for acupuncture treatment after two weeks of conventional treatment with a diagnosis of disc rupture at the T10-T11 intervertebral space. We began integrative therapy which included Chinese Herbal Medicine, photobiomodulation (cold laser) therapy and electroacupuncture. After biweekly acupuncture and laser treatments for one week, Bitsy was already showing strength in her hind legs and was beginning to be able to wag her tail again! Because of a dedicated owner and continued weekly laser and acupuncture treatments, Bitsy is able to move her hind legs and stand for brief periods. Bitsy now is active at home, has a new cart and is entering the rehabilitation phase of her recovery. It is uncertain how Bitsy would have done without integrative therapy but look at her now! Go Bitsy!!