Katie is a strong-willed 9 year old German Shepherd Dog that
presented to me for acute onset ataxia (a drunken gait) and head tilt. She also
had chronic hind end weakness and recently reduced vision. The owner took her
to a specialist who suspected a brain tumor. The referring veterinarian put
Katie on prednisone, but it was not helping.
Her Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) diagnosis was Interior Wind, Liver Blood deficiency, and Kidney Qi deficiency. In TCVM, her abnormal movement (ataxia and vestibular signs) was caused by Internal Wind secondary to Liver Blood deficiency. Her hind end weakness was due to Kidney Qi deficiency and stagnation of Qi and Blood in the channels.
The goal of acupuncture for Katie was to tonify the Blood to clear the Wind, tonify Kidney Qi to strengthen her spine and legs, and tonify and move Blood and Qi in the channels to resolve weakness.
I opened the Du Mai, an Extraordinary Vessel used for brain problems, with SI3. I used GB20, GV14, and LIV3 to dispel Wind. BL18 was used to tonify Liver Blood. BL17 was used to tonify and move Blood. I tonified Kidney Qi with BL23, KID3 and KID6 and used Four Gates and GB34 to relieve stagnation of Blood and Qi in the channels.
Katie was placed on Chinese Herbs to dispel Wind and to support her Liver, Kidneys and immune system.
Katie’s balance, strength and vision steadily improved. Her ataxia and head tilt resolved completely. She has more strength and mobility in her rear legs and pulls on the leash during walks.
Katie is a nice example of a pet who was given a grave prognosis for recovery, but the pet parent pursued alternative options hoping for a better outcome. Acupuncture and herbal supplements helped Katie rebalance and restored quality to her life!