Toto is a 10 year old spayed female miniature dachshund that presented for acute hind end paralysis as a result of a slipped disc in her back. The owners decided against back surgery and opted for a less invasive, holistic approach to help Toto walk again.
In Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM), Intervertebral disc disease occurs when the discs fail to be nourished by Blood and dehydrate. The resulting obstruction or stagnation of Qi and Blood results in pain and paralysis.
There are four classes of slipped discs. Class 1 is back pain without nerve deficits while Class 4 is paralysis without deep pain sensation. Surgery is recommended in Class 4 disc disease. Dr. Roger Clemmons, Associate Professor of neurology at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, reports that after 72 hours of losing deep pain sensation, the chance of recovery of patients with class 4 disc disease is the same whether they receive surgery or acupuncture.
Toto had Class 3 intervertebral disc disease – paralysis with deep pain sensation. Toto received traditional acupuncture and Chinese Herbs to tonify and move Blood and Qi in her spine. Tonifying Blood nourishes the discs, and moving Blood and Qi relieves the pain and resolves the paralysis. I did electro-acupuncture to produce a stronger and longer lasting effect. Electro-acupuncture is done by connecting wires to the acupuncture needles and running an electric current between them. Additionally, I did aquapuncture to produce a longer lasting treatment as well. Aquapuncture uses hypodermic needles in the acupuncture points and I inject a sterile solution into the point. I also did cold laser therapy at the site of the slipped disc to reduce inflammation and pain, and promote nerve repair and regeneration. The owners initiated hydrotherapy in their bathtub and changed her diet.
After 5 treatments at 1 week intervals, Toto regained full use of her hind legs with no evidence of any pain or nerve deficits!