Steve Marden a prominent holistic DVM has recommended the use of a formula called Bu Gan Tang for dogs that are more prone to Liver Blood Deficiency. He goes on to say that the dog breeds that especially benefit from this formula are Dachshunds, Rottweilers and Dobermans.
I have actually used this formula on my own Dobie, in his case I used it because he was getting a little "nippy" (a tad aggressive), and I attributed his aggressive to this specific problem which is the deficiency of Liver Blood. It worked like a charm. Now when he gets "edgy" because he is an old guy, I give him this particular formula, and it calms him. It makes sense doesn't it? If his blood is getting nourished, it only stands to to reason, that it would be quite soothing for his soul, thus relaxing him so that he has more patience and does not bite other dogs on the butt!
I have used Bu Gan Tang modified very successfully on Doxie's that have what I call the "Doxie spastic back". That's when for no apparent reason the dog stops moving, appears extremely stiff, the neck may twist and become quite rigid.
I have wanted to blog about this topic for a long time. But it is a difficult concept to explain to the lay person, because who talks like this anyway? It sounds very strange if you have never been exposed to Chinese medicine.
So try to keep an open mind, because herbal healing and its success has been documented and used for thousands of years. It's a different paradigm, one in which we as Westerners are not at all familiar with...
What in the world is Liver Blood deficiency?
In the terms of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) the Liver stores the blood, it governs the free coursing of Qi (energy), and most importantly to understand is that it is the Liver that governs the health of the sinews (tendons and muscles).
This means that when there is any type of spasming, cramping or bunching of the muscles, or problems with dryness of the tendons, one must look to the condition of Liver Blood. Because if Liver Blood is abundant, the sinews well be well nourished and there will be the free coursing of Liver Qi, thus the dog will remain free from pain.
Here are the Veterinary Indications for the use of the formula Bu Gan Tang;
Thin, taut pulse
Pale or lavender tongue
As well, dogs that benefit often exhibit pronounced spasm tendencies, resulting in;
Tight or bunched muscles
Bu Gan Tang with modifications is indicated for spastic conditions such as;
Neck Spasm or pain
My experience with the Doxies points to that fact that its is actually the neck that is causing the problem, which is extreme pain, which then affects the entire back of the dog. I think that anyone who has hurt their neck can relate this type of pain. Once the neck feels hurt, moving is not an option.
I have worked with two Doxie rescue group, Cat over at 2nd Chance and Amy from the
Dachsie Squad (hope I spelled them right), and they have reported significant positive results. (See Nelson's and Squirt's Blog)
Clearly, alternative healing is something that every dog owner should consider when their dog is suffering from those chronic hard to heal conditions.
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