Common Imbalances in Dogs and Cats According to TCM
We are not veterinarians, but a veterinarian trained in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) advised us on how he was using our herbs for his dog and cat patients. We are happy to share this information with you, but it is always a good idea to check with your veterinarian (if they are trained in Chinese herbs) on which formulas would be correct for your pet.
Spleen Qi Deficiency in Dogs and Cats
Internal Dampness can develop due to Spleen Qi Deficiency in animals contributing to many disease patterns including digestive disorders, skin conditions, pain, atrophy, muscle weakness, low energy, or obesity. Spleen Qi Deficiency can also be indicated by lack of appetite, inability to absorb foods and nutrients, bloating, or weak digestion of pets. Spleen Qi Deficiency also develop with signs of excessive Internal Dampness such as lipomas, chronic sinus congestion or Lung Phlegm, skin eruptions, fungal infections, and rashes with drainage or puss. Tiredeness an weakness of the muscles are also signs of Spleen Qi Deficiency in pets. Consider Restore the Middle Way formula.
Diabetes in Dogs and Cats
In Chinese medicine, the pancreas is part of the Spleen energetic organ system. While there can be several indications of imbalance related to diabetes, the most common patterns are Spleen and Kidney Yin imbalances. Consider Yin Valley formula, together with Temple of Health formula and Restore the Middle Way formula.
Dampness (Fixed Bi)
When Internal Dampness occurs, your pets’ condition will worsen in damp weather, and your pet will dislike getting wet. You should make sure that your pet does not repeatedly have to sit on damp or wet ground as this can contribute to Dampness. Additionally, pets should be given shelter from rainy conditions to avoid exacerbating Fixed Bi. As Internal Dampness sets in over time, it coagulates and becomes more and more difficult to treat; the longer your pet has suffered with this condition, the longer it will take to treat. Pets prone to developing chronic Internal Dampness tend to have Spleen Qi Deficiency. Consider Restore the Middle Way formula with Bamboo Bend Formula.
Liver Imbalances in Dogs and Cats
There are often indications of Liver imbalances with joint stiffness, as the ‘Wood Element’ governs over the joints and this system that includes the Liver, is responsible for bathing the joints in blood, and insuring that they do not become dry and stiff
Liver Qi Stagnation, and Liver Deficiencies in pets:
You may notice increased irritability, rib tenderness, or that your pet angers easily as Liver Qi Stagnation develops. Chronic stress or pharmaceutical medications that your pets may be taking can cause Liver Qi Stagnation. Liver Qi Stagnation can cause the Liver to overact on many other organ systems and can be associated with digestive problems and sleep problems. A pet with Liver issues (Chinese medicine) may seem impatient or frustrated. Consider Free and Easy Wanderer formula.
Liver-Fire Imbalances in Dogs and Cats
If Liver congestion is not cleared up, Liver-Fire can develop in time. Liver-Fire can also be the result of medications in pets, chemotherapy, or toxic poisoning as well as chronic abuse of pets. Liver-Fire conditions would be indicate with dogs and cats who are especially agitated, develop red eyes, pace a great deal, or cannot sleep normally. Consider Peaceful Warrior formula for 3 months followed by Free and Easy Wanderer formula.
Liver-Fire can combine with Dampness to create any number of complicated conditions. Toxic Damp-Heat can manifest as damp-type eczema, jaundice, itchy skin disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, colitis, itching around and possible discharges around genitals in pets. Consider Restore the Middle Way formula with Peaceful Warrior formula. The Peaceful Warrior should be replaced with Free and Easy Wanderer formula after a few months of full time herb use.
Pain and Stiffness (Cold Bi)
Herbs can actually target the tendons and joints relieving stiffness and inflammation. Your pet would have difficulty moving especially in cold weather, trouble getting up after sitting, and probably does not prefer that the joints be rubbed or massaged with indications of Cold-Bi. This condition is often seen in dogs with hip dysplasia. Consider Sea of Qi formula, Free and Easy Wanderer formula and Bamboo Bend Formula used together.
Kidney Support for Dogs and Cats
Back leg edema or coldness in dogs and cats would be a clear indication of Kidney Deficiency. Additionally, renal failure, infertility, and hypothyroidism are indications of Kidney deficiency. In Chinese medicine, the Kidney energetic system is paired with the Bladder; incontinence and dribbling also be indications of Kidney Deficiency.
Kidney Yin Deficiency in Dogs and Cats
Chronic heat or stress in your pet can consume the Yin and lead to Yin Deficiency that must also be addressed for prolonged wellness. Many disease patterns including hyperthyroidism, diabetes, excessive hunger, insomnia, or Cushing syndrome can have elements of Kidney Yin Deficiency. Yin Deficiency can also be indicated in cases of constipation with very dry bowel movements. When Kidney Yin Deficiency is present in your dog or cat, their symptoms can be worse at night time.
With Yin Deficient pain patterns you would notice that your dog or cat experiences more discomfort and limited movement during warm weather, dry weather conditions, or in the evening. Pets will often have dry skin and will be thirsty much of the time. You may also notice that your dog or cat has scanty condensed urination, but may want to urinate often. Your pet may also appear to be irritable. Consider Yin Valley formula.
Healthy Pet Coat
Nourishing the Kidney energetic system and invigorating Blood flow can help to produce a shiny, healthy coat for your furry friend while preventing cracked paws and dry, flaky, or itchy skin. Consider Return to Spring formula.
Heart Health Dogs and Cats
Heart Qi and/or Heart Blood deficiency would be indicated by easy fright or lack of fright to something like thunder, trouble focusing, poor memory and sleeping disorders. Dogs who are recovering from heart worms, or any pet that has a weak heart function can benefit from Heart tonic herbs. Consider Blood Mansion formula. For cats and dogs with congestive heart failure with edema or coldness in their hind legs, consider Sage Mountain formula together with Blood Mansion formula.
Lung Qi Deficiency in Cats and Dogs
Lung Deficiencies would be indicated by chronic coughs (dry or wet), COPD, bronchitis, and asthma in pets which are especially common in dogs. Lung Qi Deficiency would also be indicated with frequent colds and nasal congestion. Consider White Tiger Return formula.
Wei Qi Imbalances in Dogs and Cats
In Chinese medicine, the Wei Qi circulates at the surface of the body and protects the body from pathogens; it is said that disease cannot occur if the Wei Qi (immune response) is strong enough. Often, the Wei Qi is compromised by disease, chronic stress or old age, and must be re-enforced for your pet to maintain health and vitality. This formula would be especially appropriate for any pet who has chronic infections, allergies, colds, or who has a compromised immune response. Consider Wei Qi formula.
Cancer Support in Dogs and Cats
Re-enforcing the Wei Qi helps to protect vital organ systems when your cat or dog is undergoing chemotherapy or radiation, and is vital in the full recovery of cancer in pets. Consider Wei Qi formula and Zenergy formula used together with Free and Easy Wanderer formula.
Healthy Aging Dogs and Cats
Herbs that re-enforce the Spleen-Kidney-Heart are indicated when animals are not thriving, are weak or tired, have developed rear weakness, are not able to maintain a healthy body weight, or who have urinary incontinence, or dribbling. You may notice graying of your pets’ coat, or a lackluster fur which would indicate decline in an animal. Consider Sage Mountain formula.
Nervine-type herbs for calming pets down when they are over-excited, or to use to keep them calm before a stressful event such as visiting the veterinarian's office, traveling, or a move. Consider Calm the Dragon formula.
For dogs and cats who are experiencing chronic stress, and ongoing stressful situations such as a loved owner's prolonged absence, consider Enlightened Emperor formula combined with Free and Easy Wanderer formula.
Pain or Trauma in Cats and Dogs
Pain is an indicator of Blood and Qi Stagnation in Chinese medicine and can be due to traumatic injury, a bad fall, a head injury, neck strain, or surgery of your cat or dog. Consider Great Mender formula.
Types of Arthritis in Dogs and Cats
Restrictions due to joint stiffness can lessen your pet’s quality of life as your once playful cat or dog becomes increasingly sedentary. Chinese medicine designates arthritic and muscle pain as ‘Bi Syndrome’ (pronounced bee) and can include pain and stiffness, osteoarthritis, canine hip dysplasia, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, spondylosis and intervetebral disc diseases (most common in Dachshunds). Pains caused by arthritic conditions are typically chronic and the symptoms may develop gradually and can be more difficult to recognize than pain due to an injury. Dogs and cats generally show a change in behavior or personality when they’re experiencing chronic pain. Consider Bamboo Bend Formula combined with Free and Easy Wanderer formula.
Doses for Pets
Tea pills should be dosed at 1 tea pill daily for every 6 pounds of weight, rounding up for in-between weights. Powders should be measured at 1/4 gram daily for every 18 pounds of weight. Since dogs and cats weight is minimal compared to humans typically, you will find that the formulas will last a good while when treating your pet. Use the full dose of each formula when combining formulas.
Administering Powders to Dogs and Cats
Powdered herbs can be blended in to your pet's meal. Your pet may or may not be okay with the flavor of herbs, so consider tea pills if you have a finicky eater.
Tea Pill Use in Dogs and Cats
Tea pills are small compressed tablets that are sometimes easier to administer to your pets as you can tuck them in to a piece of meat or cheese without dispersing the flavors of the herbs throughout a pets’ meal.
The other nice thing about tea pills is that it is convenient to measure dosing with tea pills without all of the fuss of powder measuring or trying to get your pet to swallow a huge capsule. You can combine 3-4 formulas depending on your pets’ individual needs.
Herbal Saftety for Your Pet
The formulas are considered generally safe for your pet, but there are slight risks that your animal has an allergic reaction to the formulas. Our herb formulas are made in the USA using all organic herbs. You should always consult your veterinarian before putting your pets on any type of supplement.