Can Acupuncture Be Used to Help My Dog with Seizures?

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Casey is a 1-and-a-half-year-old neutered mixed breed with a seizure disorder: fly biting seizures. He snaps at the air as if he were trying to catch flies. Casey experiences uncontrolled electrical activity in the brain, which produces an unintended physical move-ment or convulsion.

Seizure disorders are a common ailment in dogs and may be precipi-tated by anything that may alter normal brain function and cause inflammation. Even with all the remarkable advancements with Western diagnosis, a definitive cause of the seizures may not be easily determined, which makes it difficult to find a treatment designed to address the root cause and not just the symptom, the seizure. If a definitive diagnosis cannot be made, treatments such as phenobarbital are used to help control the seizures. These medications can have toxic side effects, and with prolonged use can cause sedation and changes in personality.

A definitive diagnosis could not be made for Casey. According to Western medicine, Casey is said to have idio-pathic (cause unknown) epilepsy.

Integrative veterinarians, like my-self, look for ways to treat the seizures from a different perspective. Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) allows me to treat the illness based on a Chinese pattern diagnosis and the pet’s constitution, instead of just palliative treatments. My TCVM diagnosis for Casey is a kidney jing deficiency, with “internal wind.” Jing is stored in the kidneys and defines our basic constitution. It is intimately connected to growth and maturation. Jing is differentiated into prenatal jing, which we are born with, and postnatal jing, which we acquire during life. Jing is consumed continu-ously in life. I believe that Casey was not born with enough prenatal jing.

Many herbal formulas are used to treat seizure disorders. I chose to use a Chinese herbal formula called Di Tan Tang, which is designed to address kidney jing deficiencies. In addition to the herbal formula, I also used acupuncture to treat Casey.

Using Chinese herbs in combination with acupuncture is a very effective way to treat seizure disorders. We gave 20 to 30 minutes of acupuncture weekly for four to six weeks. During this time, we saw a dramatic reduction in the sei-zures Casey was experiencing. We are very happy with our success in treating Casey and continue his acupuncture and herbal treatments with the hope of completely eliminating seizures from his life.

Source: Dr. Michel Selmer of Advanced Animal Care, located at 260 Evergreen Ave., South Huntington. For more information, call 631-FOR-PETS (631-367- 7387) or visit See ad on page 2.

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