Wednesday, January 30, 2008

How Baxter Controls Seizures

Dear Dr. Pink Pinkerton and Pawhealer; (this is a happy PawHealer Customer)

I'm completely comfortable with the idea of sprinkling the granules on Baxter's (my Boston) food. To give a Reader's Digest version of his history: He is now 6 yrs old. When he turned 2 he became fear aggressive with no warning and would bite to the bone. I brought in a behaviorist who put him through puppy boot camp behavior modification and saved his life. Around that time he also started with extreme gas, belching, etc. Put him on a very high quality people food and life went on.

We had another BT at the time who developed severe grand mal seizures and went the traditional route with phenobarbital and the heavy salts. Two years later, we had to put him down because the drugs were at such a heavy dose they literally removed any inhibitions in this lovely guy and he would start fights with the others; all this and the meds were no longer functional anyway.

Baxter developed seizures about a year ago. Traditional vet started the routine meds and Bax still had seizures and odd behavior. I, personally, started him on a full raw diet and decided to go the holistic route as we had nothing to lose and everything to gain. Found a wonderful holistic vet who gave him 2 homeopathic doses of belladonna, started him on Calm Repose, as well as magnesium lactate. No more seizures and a complete turnabout in personality. We cannot get over the difference. His coat is gorgeous, he has no awful breath odor, no gassy issues, and is so exceedingly healthy.

Now, have to find a holistic doc for me in the wilds of Buffalo, NY. I've just seen
to many positives from alternative meds.

This is a blog from a dog mom whose dog has eplipsey. The Chinese formula she is referring to is Tian Ma Gou Ting Yin. This formula is known to work very well for dogs with brain function issues.

Thanks for your story Cathy!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Herbal Neck Support For The Dachshund

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;

Chronic pain
Tight or bunched muscles
Muscle twitches

Bu Gan Tang with modifications is indicated for spastic conditions such as;

Neck Spasm or pain
Forelimb lameness
Wobbler's syndrome
Scotty Cramp
Masticatory myositis

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.

PawHealer &

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Dogs With Collapsed Trachea; A Recent Study

Pinky and I are really bummed. We had about 5 posts about our dog patient's with the disease of Collapsed Trachea. But when we were putting up our new blog, we had to delete the old one because there was some sort of problem, and we didn't save our posts!

Boo Hoo.

So, we thought we would start again, but this time we are posting some very valuable information about a recent study about dogs that have a Collapsed Trachea.

Read it carefully because what it's saying is that Collapsed Trachea may be a infectious disease and not just a genetic problem.

That's what I say on my website because we help dogs with a Collapsed Trachea by giving herbs that clear toxic heat, with is a heat evil (germ).

Here is the study...I know that any information about this terrible condition is important to dog owners who have this awful problem.

Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound

Volume 48 Issue 3 Page 199-203, May–June 2007

Veterinary Radiology & Ultrasound 48 (3), 199–203.
Next Article
Full Text

* ANGELA MAROLF11Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, Veterinary Medical Center, University of Florida, 2015 SW 16th Avenue, PO Box 100102, Gainesville, FL,
* MARGARET BLAIK11Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, Veterinary Medical Center, University of Florida, 2015 SW 16th Avenue, PO Box 100102, Gainesville, FL,
* ANDREW SPECHT11Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, Veterinary Medical Center, University of Florida, 2015 SW 16th Avenue, PO Box 100102, Gainesville, FL

1Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, Veterinary Medical Center, University of Florida, 2015 SW 16th Avenue, PO Box 100102, Gainesville, FL

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Margaret Blaik at the above address. E-mail:

Tracheal collapse is common in middle age toy and miniature breed dogs. Cartilaginous defects have been identified histologically and are considered a form of chondromalacia. In addition to tracheal cartilaginous changes, concurrent lower airway histologic changes indicative of inflammation have been noted in dogs with tracheal collapse and these changes may lead to concurrent bronchiectasis. The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of bronchiectasis in dogs with a previous radiographic diagnosis of tracheal collapse. The thoracic radiographs of 60 dogs with tracheal collapse were evaluated for evidence of concurrent bronchiectasis. Eighteen of 60 (30%) dogs had evidence of bronchiectasis, and all were cylindrical in morphology. The signalment of affected dogs was similar to that previously reported. The occurrence of bronchiectasis in this group of dogs with tracheal collapse (18 dogs) was six times higher (P<0.05) than the expected prevalence within a random sample population (three dogs). The results of this study provide evidence of a link between tracheal collapse and bronchiectasis. A finding of bronchiectasis with tracheal collapse should encourage further evaluation for chronic lower airway disease in these patients.

Tracheal collapse is common in middle age Toy and Miniature breeds with a prevalence of 0.5–2.9%.1–8 Tracheal collapse is characterized by reduction in tracheal diameter due to a wide flaccid dorsal tracheal membrane and weakened cartilaginous rings.1,2,9 Compared with normal cartilage, tracheal cartilage from affected dogs is hypocellular, with decreased amounts of chondroitin sulfate, calcium, glycosaminoglycans, and glycoprotein.2,9 Cartilaginous defects may extend into mainstem bronchi and distal branching segments.3 These changes suggest a form of chondromalacia, but the specific etiology of cartilaginous changes associated with tracheal collapse is unknown. Furthermore, in some breeds such as Miniature and Toy poodles, Pomeranians, Yorkshire Terriers, Maltese, Pugs, and Chihuahuas, tracheochondromalacia may be a specific manifestation of a congenital systemic chondrodystrophy.1–3,5–7,9–11 Other breeds may also have a congenital chondrodysgenesis or may have acquired degeneration of cartilage.2,4

In addition to tracheal cartilage changes, concurrent small airway and pulmonary parenchymal histologic changes have been identified in dogs. These include epithelial desquamation, submucosal congestion, and submucosal neutrophilic and lymphocytic infiltration.5,6 These histologic changes may indicate common predisposing factors for tracheal collapse and small airway disease. In humans, congenital and acquired forms of tracheomalacia have been described.12–16 Most forms are congenital and occur early in life including Williams–Campbell syndrome, a congenital deficiency of cartilage, Larsen's syndrome, associated with laryngo- and bronchomalacia, and Mounier–Kuhn syndrome, characterized by atrophic or absent elastic fibers and thinning of tracheal muscle.14,17–19 Acquired tracheomalacia is commonly associated with excessive dynamic airway collapse and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.12,16 Rarely, acquired tracheomalacia is secondary to relapsing polychondritis, characterized by inflammation and destruction of cartilage and other connective tissue.13,20,21 Bronchiectasis, irreversible dilation of diseased bronchi, is reported in congenital and acquired forms of tracheomalacia in humans.16–19,21

As extensive bronchial involvement and small airway disease are components of canine tracheal collapse, concurrent bronchiectasis is possible. Chronic irritation of the tracheal and bronchial epithelium from persistent coughing and airway collapse results in inflammation, epithelial desquamation, and hyperplasia of mucous glands.3,5,6 Together, these pathologic changes hinder mucociliary clearance and provide all of the necessary and classic predisposing factors for development of bronchiectasis.19 Long-standing inflammation of airways leads to destruction of elastic and muscular layers of bronchial walls and, subsequent, bronchial dilation.19

Thoracic radiographs are fundamental in the diagnosis of tracheal collapse and bronchiectasis. In dogs, thoracic radiographs are useful for detection of collapse of the trachea in 60–84% of patients, especially with the use of inspiratory and expiratory projections.3,8,11 However, the esophagus and other overlying structures can make delineation of the trachea at the thoracic inlet difficult.3,22 Fluoroscopy can allow detection of dynamic airway changes and is the diagnostic imaging modality of choice.1,10,8 Bronchoscopy can be used to evaluate the diameter of the trachea and bronchial segments and for grading luminal changes when radiographs or fluoroscopy are inconclusive, but this is associated with anesthetic risks.1,4,8 In humans and animals, thoracic radiographs are a first line diagnostic test for assessment of bronchiectasis, but may be insensitive for detection of early bronchiectatic changes.23,24 The radiographic appearance of bronchiectasis is characterized by nonspecific changes, including bronchial wall thickening and alveolar disease, along with cylindrical and saccular bronchial wall dilation.19,23,24

Coexisting bronchiectasis in patients with tracheal collapse may signal the presence of secondary infection or lower airway inflammation, warranting additional tests and therapy relative to the established treatment for tracheal collapse. The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of concurrent bronchiectasis in dogs with a previous radiographic diagnosis of tracheal collapse.
Materials and Methods

A search for all dogs with a radiographic or fluoroscopic evidence of tracheal collapse diagnoses between January 1, 2005 through March 30, 2006 was performed using the Radiology Information System (RIS) at the University of Florida Veterinary Medical Center. Dogs were selected for study if a radiographic diagnosis of tracheal collapse was reported, and a complete set of radiographs were available (right or left lateral and ventrodorsal or dorsoventral projections).

Tracheal collapse was defined by subjective evaluation and objective measurement of tracheal diameter. Objectively, a ratio of tracheal diameter to thoracic inlet width <0.2 was considered narrowed.25,26 Demographic information collected included breed, age, gender, weight, reason for study, and evaluation of tracheal fluoroscopy if available. Locations of tracheal collapse included the caudal cervica regionl, thoracic inlet, and carina/mainstem bronchi. Radiographically, mild, moderate, and severe degrees of tracheal collapse were determined subjectively. However, a modified scale using grades of tracheal collapse observed on bronchoscopy was used, in which mild, moderate, and severe tracheal collapse was characterized by reductions in lumen size of 25%, 50%, >75%, respectively.3,4,8

Bronchiectatic lesions were characterized subjectively as cylindrical or saccular. Cylindrical bronchiectasis refers to dilation of bronchi with failure to taper peripherally. Saccular bronchiectasis refers to dilation of distal bronchi with rounded, cyst-like structures. No objective criteria have been documented regarding presence of bronchiectasis. The distribution of bronchiectatic changes were described as single lobe, multiple lobe (two or three lobes), or generalized (>3 lobes).

All images were digital computed radiographs* evaluated by two authors (AM and MB) at a single workstation.† Features consistent with tracheal collapse and bronchiectasis were assessed and decision reached by consensus. Identification of tracheal collapse and concurrent bronchiectasis was noted. The location and type of bronchiectasis was identified. Additionally, the degree and location of tracheal collapse in patients was evaluated in patients with bronchiectasis.

An exact binomial test was performed to determine if the proportion of bronchiectasis within the dogs with tracheal collapse was higher than what would be expected from a random sample.

Location and Type of Bronchiectasis

Sixty dogs met the inclusion criteria. Bronchiectasis was identified in 18/60 (30%) of dogs. All dogs had cylindrical bronchiectasis (Fig. 1). Single lobe involvement was noted in 8/18 (44%) dogs with five of the eight involving the left or right cranial lung lobes. Multiple lobe involvement was present in 9/18 (50%) dogs, with the right cranial, right middle, right caudal, and left cranial lung lobes identified in equal numbers. A generalized pattern of bronchiectasis was identified in one dog.
Comparison of Bronchiectasis to Degree and Location of Tracheal Collapse

Eleven of 18 dogs (61%) with bronchiectasis had collapse of the cervical trachea. Two dogs (11%) with bronchiectasis had mainstem bronchial collapse. Five of the 18 (28%) dogs with bronchiectasis had radiographic evidence of both caudal cervical and mainstem bronchial collapse. As this was a retrospective study with thoracic radiographs as inclusion criteria, extra thoracic forms of tracheal collapse in the cranial cervical region would not be included in the field of view. So, inspiratory tracheal collapse was not addressed in this study.

Moderate and severe forms of cervical tracheal collapse were identified in 73% (11/15) of cases with bronchiectasis. Both cases of bronchial collapse and concurrent bronchiectasis were moderate to severe. Mild, moderate, and severe forms of tracheal and bronchial collapse were identified in the cases where both were present with concurrent bronchiectasis.

Given the prevalence of bronchiectasis to be 0.05,27 the occurrence of bronchiectasis in 18 dogs in our study is significantly higher (P<0.05) than the expected count of three.

Of the 60 dogs with tracheal collapse, 20 breeds were represented (Table 1). The most commonly affected breed was the Yorkshire Terrier (Table 1). Dogs ranged in age from 1 to 16 years with a median age of 9 years. Fifty-four (90%) were small breed dogs (body weight ≤15 kg), and six were large breed dogs (body weight ≥15 kg). Twenty-nine dogs were female (28 neutered), and 31 were male (27 neutered).

Breeds affected with bronchiectasis were Yorkshire Terrier, Chihuahua, Miniature Poodle, Maltese, Pomeranian, Shi Tzu, Italian Greyhound, Beagle, Miniature Pinscher, and mixed breeds, were represented. Yorkshire terriers were most commonly affected (5/18 dogs) but this may be due to their overrepresentation in the study and not necessarily due a true increased incidence. Dogs with bronchiectasis ranged in age from 1 to 14 years with a median age of 9.7 years. XX (94%) were small breed dogs. Nine were female (eight neutered), and nine were male (eight neutered).
Reason for Study

Coughing was the most commonly listed clinical reason x/y dogs (53%) for obtaining thoracic radiographs. Other reported reasons were dyspnea, auscultation of crackles, or evaluation for metastasis or other systemic disease.
Fluoroscopic Evaluation

Nine of 60 (15%) dogs underwent radiography had digital fluoroscopy. In all dogs fluoroscopy confirmed the radiographic diagnosis. Three dogs had dynamic mainstem bronchial collapse not apparent radiographically.

The signalment, breed distribution, and clinical signs of dogs in this study are similar to those previously reported for other dogs with tracheal collapse.1–5,7,10,11,22

Tracheal collapse and bronchiectasis were identified in 30% of dogs, which is significantly higher than would be expected in a random sample. In this study, 42 dogs had radiographic evidence of tracheal collapse without bronchiectasis while radiographs of the remaining 18 dogs were characterized by both conditions. An additional nine dogs with bronchiectasis, without concurrent tracheal collapse, were identified in the database during the same time period, confirming the paucity of dogs with this radiographic diagnosis. This provides circumstantial evidence for a link between tracheal collapse and bronchiectasis. However a definitive the relationship, if any, between tracheal collapse and bronchiectasis has not been determined. The majority of dogs with bronchiectasis in our study had moderate to severe tracheal and/or mainstem bronchial collapse.

A multifactorial etiology of tracheal collapse seems plausible.1,11,22 A functional tendency to tracheal collapse may be congenital in origin. However, exposure to aggravating factors, which exacerbate these tracheal cartilaginous changes, may lead to progressive cartilaginous degeneration until the patient develops clinical signs related to the tracheal collapse.5,11 This theory is supported by the breed predisposition and middle age presentation of dogs with tracheal collapse. These initiating factors could also contribute to the development of bronchiectasis through chronic airway inflammation. Decreased mucociliary clearance due to the congenital cartilaginous defects would augment the classic pathway for bronchiectasis and contribute to irreversible dilation of affected bronchi. Previously implicated initiating factors include inhalation of allergens or other irritating substances, congestive heart failure, obesity, and excessive barking.5,11 It is also possible that chronic lower airway disease may exacerbate tracheal collapse due to increased expiratory pressures.

The majority of affected lung lobes in the single bronchiectatic distribution group were either the left or right cranial lung lobe, which is consistent with the previously reported distribution of bronchiectasis.27 This distribution is likely due to the ventral position of these bronchi which allows gravity to compound the already compromised mucociliary clearance mechanisms.27 A multiple lobe distribution likely reflects progression of the overall condition through extension of inflammation to other bronchi.

In humans, acquired forms of central airway collapse can be associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and have similar clinical findings as canine patients.13,16 Congenital forms of chondromalacia are associated with disorganized, hypocellular cartilage and/or atrophy or absence of elastic fibers in trachealis muscles.14,15,17,18 The apparent breed predisposition combined with the histochemical changes in dogs with tracheal collapse correspond to changes noted in the chondrodystrophic mice models in human chondromalacia suggesting a congenital component to the canine tracheal collapse syndrome.9,28

Bronchiectasis has been described as a rare concurrent condition with congenital and acquired forms of chondromalacia in people.13,17,21 In previous reports, bronchiectasis was diagnosed in 22–27% of human patients.13,21 In a prior retrospective study, 9/27 dogs with bronchiectasis had concurrent tracheal collapse.27 Similarly, 18/60 dogs had bronchiectasis and tracheal collapse in our study.

In human patients, inspiratory vs. expiratory computed tomography (CT) is gaining acceptance as a noninvasive way to detect expiratory tracheal collapse, other tracheal changes, concurrent lower airway and lung conditions such as bronchiectasis and emphysema.12,16,17 The sensitivity of CT has been reported at 80–88% for diagnosis of tracheal collapse when compared to bronchoscopy.12,21 Additional benefits of thoracic CT in diagnosis of tracheal collapse include evaluation of airways too small for bronchoscopy, pulmonary parenchymal changes, and tracheal or bronchial calcifications.12,21 The major CT criterion for diagnosis of tracheal collapse is reduction of tracheal lumen ≥50% at expiration or during coughing.12 Intubation and general anesthesia are the major disadvantages of inspiratory vs. expiratory CT in dogs. With short-acting injectable anesthetics and multislice CT scanners, diagnostic quality inspiratory vs. expiratory CT examinations may be possible in dogs.

CT is the imaging modality of choice for diagnosis of bronchiectasis in people.19,23,24 CT is reported to have between 84–90% sensitivity for diagnosing bronchiectasis.19,24 It is possible with the increased sensitivity of CT, that more dogs in our study would have had bronchiectatic changes than were found radiographically.

The overall etiology of tracheal collapse in dogs is unclear; however, a multifactorial condition is most likely. It remains to be determined if chronic inflammation leads to chondromalacia and, occasionally, bronchiectasis, or if congenital factors play the primary role in the manifestation of this condition. Bronchiectasis is considered uncommon in dogs, but the results of this study warrant further investigation into the link between tracheal collapse and bronchiectasis. A finding of bronchiectasis should also prompt consideration of other concurrent lower airway disease. Further evaluation of these patients to search for chronic lower airway disease may be indicated as treatment may change based on evidence of lower airway inflammation or infection.

There is no known common denominator between dogs which have both tracheal collapse and bronchiectasis and dogs which have only tracheal collapse or bronchiectasis. Future studies investigating the presence of coinciding lower airway inflammation or infection in dogs with tracheal collapse and bronchiectasis are necessary. Additionally, research into possible genetic and nongenetic links in these dogs would help elucidate the underlying etiology of tracheal collapse and bronchiectasis

A shortcoming of this study is that no control group, without evidence of tracheal collapse, of normal dogs or dogs with lower airway disease, was included for comparison. Additionally, the evaluators were aware of the diagnosis of tracheal collapse which may have contributed to bias. Although these limitations are present, they should not affect the overall intent of the study, which was to determine whether tracheal collapse and bronchiectasis were found in the same patient.

*Kodak© CR 800/900 Series, Eastman Kodak Co., Health Imaging Group, Rochester, NY.

†Kodak© DX Workstation System 5, Eastman Kodak Co., Health Imaging Group, Rochester, NY.

The authors would like to thank Dr. Nicole Gibson for her assistance with the statistical analysis of the data.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Herbs for Your Dogs Congestive Heart Failure

Unfortunately, I have had first hand experience with a family pet that had significant heart disease that inevitability lead to Congestive Heart Failure (CHF). This was a result to a lifelong exposure to second hand smoke. It was a very sad and frustrating experience because it was my aunt's dog whose name was Puppy. Patty, (my aunt) came to visit, and at the time, Puppy was hacking away and he was unable to breathe properly. I really thought the poor dog was going to die on the spot and I knew something had to be done. Clearly, his prescribed veterinarian medicine was not working for him, because the dog was experiencing horrible distress. That is how I became hands on familiar with a formula called Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang, which spoken in English is called Dispel Stasis In The Mansion of Blood.

What the name of this formula infers, "Dispels Stasis"; Is that it tells us that the action of this herbal formulation. is designed to "move blood" . Understanding that the end result of CHF is the backing up and pooling of blood within the heart, is the key in which to grasp the purpose of this formula.

From a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perspective, this health issue of the blood backing up, as well as the blood not moving, has a name called Blood Stagnation. It makes sense right? The blood is not moving, therefore it has become stagnated. This problem of Blood Stagnation becomes an obstruction that consequently disrupts the flow of Qi throughout the dog's body.

As result of this obstruction of blood, systemically whats going on here, is that the fluids are backing up into the chest. This then may cause the dog to experience a shortness of breath, or perhaps continual coughing or maybe even pain. Therefore, that being said, it is the intent of this formula to break apart and disperse this Blood Stagnation, so that once again, the dog's blood may move unobstructed, and more importantly reestablish the free flow of blood and Qi, allowing the dog to be more relaxed less distressed.

This is a very famous formula designed by the great TCM practitioner Wang Qing-Ren published in the book Corrections of Errors among Physicians dated back to 1830. For people who use herbal formulas and based upon proper presentation, this famous formula is used to treat such bio medically-defined disorders as; coronary artery disease, rheumatic valvular heart disease, and hypertension. (just to name a few)

Dr. Steve Marsden DVM writes that Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang is commonly used for small animals with Blood Stasis in the Upper Burner,(above the diaphragm) which manifests itself as congestive heart failure. He goes on to say that Veterinarians realize that mobilization of Qi and Blood in the Upper Burner (above the diaphragm) leads to better entry of Qi and Blood in the Channels (arteries), and to successfully move Blood, one must move Qi.

Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang , which is a formula that strongly moves Qi and Blood, is used in order to treat dogs with Blood Stagnation that exists within the chest. This formula, Xue Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang is the most common formula prescribed by veterinary herbalists in canine medicine in order to treat the following diseases;

* Congestive heart failure
* Kennel cough
* Thoracic tumors
* Hemangiomas
* Cutaneous mast cell tumor

Xue Fu Zhu Yu Tang contains the following herbs:

tao-ren, dang gui shen, hong hua, chuan niu xi, sheng di huang, chi shao, zhi ke, chuan xiong, jie geng, chai hu, gan cao

peach seed, dong quai root, carthamus flower, cyathula root, raw rehmannia root, Chinese red peop0ny root, bitter orange mature fruit, Sichuan lovage root, platycodon root, bupleurum root, Chinese licorice root

I would would make the addition of dan shen to the formula, since I have had a good response from this herb. Furthermore, there has been a tremendous amount written about this particular herb and the benefits it has when working with heart disease.

This formula can be taken with western medicine. However, I caution you to not try this without consulting with your Veterinarian . Our veterinarian was really open to this type of treatment, so much so, that she suggested other formulas for us to give to Puppy. With our doctor's oversight, we also were able to stop the western medication because we had so much good luck with this formula. Puppy stopped coughing and seemed to be able to breath without laboring. He lived a good quality life until he died 18 months later of old age.


Bensky D, Barolet R. Chinese Herbal Medicine: Formulas and Strategies. Seattle,WA: Eastland Press 1990

Steve Mardsen, DVM. Chinese Herbals For Animals HANDBOOK FOR VETERINARIANS; Classical Formulas for Animals. Scotts Valley, Ca: Kan Herb Co 2006Pinky

Saturday, January 19, 2008

This Doxie Has An Itch!

Dear Pinky and Pawhealer;

OK Anne Oaklee is a 7 year old sable/fawn 14# stocky dachshund.

Annes trouble began this summer we live in northeast Iowa she broke out fur sticking up flacky spots and lossing fur. We tought that it could be heartguard, she really broke out after getting it.

She was doing well untill we bought a new frig and DH was cleaning with some orange cleaner & pinesol (I do not use it unless I have to) and she broke out again.

Stomach problems began last January Vet put her on S/D sensitive Stomach, she also gets boiled Burger & Rice at night.

We had a big problem with glands even thought about having them removed we had to get them cleaned every 2 weeks that has not been a problem for awhile.

Anne sometimes likes cover and sometimes not. Her fur is on the coarser side and no dandruff unless she breaks out.

None of our neighbors spray and we bag our yard every time.

Anne does lick her front feet up to her arm pit. but there is no fur missing.

Pinky's response to Anne's mom is that the diet is everything. We suggested that she put Annie on the elimination diet and see if that helps reduce the itching.

Anne has a condition of Wind (itching), which because the Wei Qi (immune system) is weak as a result of poor digestion, Heat Evils are able to penetrate the superficial level, her skin.

Anne also has something called Damp Heat. This is indicated by the problems with the Anal Glands as well as her constantly licking her front paws and legs. The reason Anne is doing that is because her body actually is generating internal dampness, which leads to heat.

Our suggested treatment for Anne is to Dispel Wind (itching), clear heat, build the blood (immune system) and tonify the Spleen (work on her digestion)


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Sparky Has Congestive Heart Failure

Spakry hails from Tacoma, Washington, and has just been told by the vet that he has Congestive Heart Failure and along with the fact that his trachea is now beginning to collapse.

Sparky is a 12 year old male Silky Terrier and other then this cough that has just started of recent, his mom says he is as active as a puppy and has no other health related issues.

The only real symptom that Sparky is exhibiting is the cough that worsens with activity. Unfortunately the recent set of x rays shows that Sparky does have an enlarged heart....

After asking Susana his mom many questions, the only real clue I could gather is a tendency towards dryness.

The cough is described as a gagging sound, as if Sparky is trying to cough up phlegm.

I asked about vaccinations and Sparky does get them on a yearly basis, and his mom did remember that about two years ago, after the shots, Sparky developed a cough that never really went away.

The only clue that I could ascertain as to what TCM pattern is the cough that is worse with exertion. The pattern that fits this symptomology is Blood Stasis with water obstruction pattern.

The treatment principle is to Boost the Qi and move the Blood, support the Spleen and disinhibit water.

I am also going to clear the lungs of any potential toxic heat, just in case there is any deep seated pathogen which may be aggravating the situation and causing an infectious cough.

The treatment plan will be to invigorate the blood circulation in the upper burner and dispel blood stasis, I will unblock the meridians and relieve pain, if any exist, and warm the Yang of the heart and dispel damp and phlegm

Sparky will need to take this formula long term. The formula is called Circulation and I'm going to modify it with some haang qi and hawthorne berry.

Pinkyand The PawHealer