Herbal formulations can be prescribed to your pet to maintain health and to treat numerous disease processes. Chinese herbal medicine also compliments acupuncture well to allow a more complete approach to patient care. The goal of many herbal treatments is to increase the effectiveness of modern Western medicine and to promote a good quality of life in patients with debilitating diseases. Animals suffering from medical disorders affecting the cardiovascular, dermatological, respiratory, gastrointestinal, neurological and endocrine systems are good candidates for treatment.
Chinese herbs are prescribed to balance a patient’s body and to treat a particular disease pattern or illness. Herbal medicine, although natural, is a still a drug and can be very potent. Chinese herbs can cause problems if they are inappropriately prescribed. Therefore, it is necessary for your animal to have a comprehensive TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) assessment with a trained veterinarian to ensure the herbal formula is appropriate for the patient’s individual constitution.
Herbal medicine may be prescribed in a powder, capsule or teapill form. Teapills are a compressed, small size and more palatable option for smaller patients such as cats. Selecting the appropriate delivery formulation is essential to treating your pet successfully with herbal medicine. For extremely picky eaters, there are flavoring options and ways to disguise the taste of medicine. The most common side effect is gastrointestinal upset, which is often treated by simply decreasing the dosage of the herb. Our office utilizes Chinese herbs manufactured by reputable herbal suppliers in the United States; therefore, we are confident in the quality of the products prescribed to our patients.
Herbal prescriptions are not designed to be an immediate treatment solution and many formulas may take a month to reach full efficacy. Generally speaking, acute excess conditions such as a sprained muscle or bruise may respond quickly to herbs, while chronic conditions such as arthritis may take weeks to show positive clinical response. Chronic conditions may require lifetime herbal administration while acute issues may only need treatment for a month or less. Additionally, herbs can often lessen side effects of certain medications. For example, cancer patients receiving chemotherapy may experience less nausea, more energy and improved appetite if treated with herbal therapy. Chinese Herbal Medicine can be an excellent adjunctive therapy to western treatment modalities and significantly improve a patient’s overall quality of life.