Case Study: Western Diagnosis "Allergies"

Monday, June 7, 2010

Posted below is a very typical pet survey with respect to Paw Licking and horrible itching. You may know this as an allergy.....In Traditional Chinese herbal theory we don't have such a word...we have patterns...This information sent by the pet owner is a great sample...So I'll break it down how we view the situation, and how we use her words to translate it into the necessary Chinese herbs we'll use for Gypsy. I will put my translations into a different color....

Case Study; Gypsy 10year old Female

Current Medications: Only OTC Benadryl at the moment. With spring here she is getting cranked up and I would love to get help before the onset. I do put fish oil and "e" capsules on her food 3-4 times a week but not daily. I give these to my other 2 shih tzu's also. One other of which has many of the same problems but has never been tested.

I feed all 3 of our girls the same food. Usually Wellness or Solid Gold dry mixed with 5% canned met by Evo or Wellness using Turkey,Duck,Venison, Beison and Chicken. They get occasional greenies,dried chicken breast strips and Evo No Grain dog biscuits for treats.

I'm happy to see that this dog is grain free, in most cases the problems are grain related...

Chief Complaint :chewing on hind end and front feet

History of Chief Complaint*: "Gypsy" had chewed and licked on herself beginning around 2-3 yrs old. She was tested by 2 vets 1st in 2006 and again in 2008.

She mainly chews her hind quarters and around her tail. Sometimes licking her paws. She does this until she is panting so hard she can hardly get her breath.THE AREAS GET RAW AND LOOK AS THOUGH THEY ABOUT TO BLEED IF THEY ARE NOT ACTUALLY BLEEDING AT THAT POINT. SHE'S HAD VERY LITTLE HAIR LOSS. we know that chewing is a form of irritation, and she chews it so that it goes red..

From that we know that we need herbs to clear what we call "internal heat"...Gypsy has internal we need to see if we can find the source of this heat!

She responded pretty well originally on cortizone/prednisone pills and injections but can no longer tolerate that drug because of severe liver enzyme problems when its given to her.

Traditional Chinese medicine does not really work with anything called Liver enzymes...but this does give us a clue...and that tells me that the heat may be due to Liver Qi Constraint...In other words her TCM organ system that we call the liver has at some time experienced a blockage...what causes these types of things? Flea control, over vaccinations...anything type of chemical exposure can aggravate the TCM Liver system

She was on allergy shots for 2 years which did not help and I have stopped them. We use Frontline Plus for flea control. Since she is a Therapy animal she is around cats sometimes for short periods. GYPSY TESTED POSITIVE FOODS: Peanuts*,Lamb,Cow's milk* and milk products*,Carrots,Barley and Wheat*; BORDERLINE POSTIVE FOODS: Beef,Pork,Corn,Oats,Rice and Yeast. INHALANTS :Privet/ Olive Mix,Bayberry,Beach,Cottonwood/Poplar,Maple and Mulberry. GRASSES: Bahia,Bluegrass. WEEDS: Dandelion,Dog Fennel,Goldenrod,Mugwort,Pigweed and Ragweed. MOLDS: Candia and Rhizopus. OTHER : Adarus Siro,Flea**,Dust Mites**,T.putrescentiae. INSECTS: Honey Bees*,House Fly,Wasp* and Yellow Jacket. INDOOR PANEL: Sheep Epithelia **,Tobacco Leaf **,Cat Epithelia,Kapok,Jute,Cotton Linters. We are very careful with her foods always avoiding those with positive results.

We ignore all this...because once we clear this internal heat...the dogs do not seem to have these inappropriate responses because we are normalizing the bodies metabolic temperatures by cooling it and clearing this pathological excess heat. This is accomplished by using herbs that actually will cool her internal body temperature

Does your pet have any diseases of the major organs? She is borderline for Addison's and has had only one real flare up. She does not take daily meds for that at this time. She has had 2-3 ulcer's on her eyes. Healing results was good with little scaring.

The ulcers in the eyes is a giant clue to us who use Traditional herbs...the Liver system actually goes to the eyes...and we see heat type sores in the eyes...we pretty much know what to do from there. Now I have seen the heat...and evidence that the Liver is the source of generating heat..(remember this is a metaphor) it looks to me that so far that I will need to clear Liver Heat to stop itch.[color]

1. Energy Level: 8

2. Sleep:
Restlessness/Agitation: No - Profuse Dreamin: No - Insomnia: No - Excessive Sleeping: Yes - Night Time Panting: Yes -

Here it is again...night time panting...Yang rises and when Yin is deficient the pet will not be able to achieve the sleep cycle or will experience night time I see more evidence of Liver Heat...and it is rising causing the eye issues and night heat.

Comment: She sleeps a good bit but is 10 1/2 years old and we visit 2-4 times a week at local Hospitals, a Cancer Center and a Library. She loves doing her "JOB" and gets up and moving when she see me get on my shirt and her scarf out. I do notice she dreams a lot and moves around in her sleep when she's with us watching TV at night. She does her chewing and scratching off and on all day but really gets wound up a night and pants profusely.

Very very interesting here...this is the second dog I have seen that does cancer work...and with these kind of skin issues...things that make you go hmmmm....

3. Temp/Sweat:
Thirsty: Yes - Seeks sunny spots: Yes - Shivers: Yes - Seeks cool places: No -
Comment: SHe drinks a good bit but I would not say really excessively. She loves to lay in the suuny spots on the porch and LV floor. Sometimes though I'll notice her begin to shake for no apparent reason.

We say that when there is excesss heat...that it will stir "wind"...Thisnk of it like this...Here in California we have wild fires...and when there gets to be that excessive heat...there is always wind..wind to us means shaking, tremors or convolutions.

4. Appetite:
Excessive Hunger: No - Normal: Yes - Decreased food intake: No - Poor appetite: No - Increased water intake: No - Increased food intake: No -
Comment: Always had a healthy appetite.

5. Digestion:
Difficulty swallowing: No - Belching: Yes - Occasional Vomiting (*) please describe the color: No - Farts Alot: No - Pain when lifting the pet: No - Vomiting after taking water: No - Abdominal distention: No - Bad breath: No - Retching: No -
Comment: Understand thats a SHIH TZU thing!

Belching is a Liver Qi Stagantion pattern..

6. Elimination:
Loose stools: No - Smelly diarrhea: No - Frequent urination: No - Constipation: No - Smelly scanty urine: No - Night incontinence: No -
Comment: WE have dog door and never noticed a problem from her when cleaning yard or on daily 30 min morning walks.

Tendency towards ear infections: No - Watery eyes: Yes - Gagging sound in throat: No - Drooling: No - Sensitive to noise: No - Dry nose: No - Cough (Please describe the sound of the cough below): No - Any Red/Bloodshot Eyes: No - Milky Eyes: No -
Comment: Just Ulcer's on eyes. No daily drops at this time.

8. Skin:
Dry skin: No - Itchy skin: Yes - Inflamed skin(swelling): Yes - Rash: No - Pustules: Yes - Open sores: Yes - Fatty Lumps: No -
Comment: When she is really having trouble (not to bad right now) the places have like little puss pockets and are really warm to the touch. They seem to hurt when touched and sometimes bleed.

There is that inflamed skin..which is red in color...that is a TCM indication of heat...the open sores would say that she also have some internal dampness brewing....but clearly above anything else there is excess heat, and I believe it is Liver Heat or Fire.

9. Emotions:
Aggressiveness: No - Withdrawn: No - Sedated: No - Quick temper: Yes - Continuous barking: No - Hyperactive: No - Restlessness: No -
Comment: Gypsy has always been so quiet and layed back. She gets upset now much quicker. We have a 1 yr old shih tzu who she thinks of as her child and if we scold Dolly Gypsy goes off on her something terrible-growling,barking and chasing after her. She's always done that even with our other Shih Tzy Fanci but not so aggressively. She jumps too at sounds that use to not bother her. Also she's now nervous in thunder storms where she use to sleep right through them.

When Liver Qi is constrained there will be aggressive behavior.....have you ever been driving on the freeway and someone just gets really ticked off you for no reason? That is an example of Liver Qi Stagnation.

Now we add something called Deficiency of Liver Blood...there are herbs to help nourish blood so that the Sea of Marrow is nourished....blood is also cooling in nature.

10. Pain:
Back pain: Yes - Hindquarter pain: No - Neck pain: No - Difficulty walking: No - Painful paws: No - Back Weakness: Yes - Hind leg weakness: No -
Comment: She did compress 3 disks about 6 months ago and I took around in a stroller for about a month. She seems fine with that now but I no longer let her jump up on high furniture because she likes to jump down without help or a stool.

Final Comments: I actually have another shih tzu "Fanci" who is 8 yrs old with heart problems on lasix that is having similar allergy reactions. She's never been tested but licks at her front paws all the time. She has licked so much her fur is very thin up there. She is on the same food and walk schedule as Gypsy. I hope you can help us. Trudy suggested I contact you. Gypsy is not in as nearly as bad a shape as Glory but she has been that bad or worse in the past and I don't want it to go there again.

Your other pooch is also contending with Heat...Heart Disease in canines is in most instances is Heat related....Most likely this dog had a coughing problem to start with?

Summary...we will use herbs to Clear Heat, Course The Liver Qi to relieve constraint, and nourish liver blood to cool the skin.