Category Archives: Acupuncture

All aspects regarding the use of acupuncture in animals.

Life-Saving Acupressure Point You Need to Know

04-24-04 GV 26

Acupuncture is the oldest medical system on earth. It is still used today because it works. Stimulating an acupuncture point triggers nerves to send signals to the brain. In response, the brain releases bioactive substances, such as endorphins, into the system affecting the whole body. The body’s response to acupuncture depends on which point(s) are activated.

The best way to stimulate an acupuncture point is with an acupuncture needle. However, for anyone who doesn’t have one of these tools handy, a fingertip will do. In the case of the pint I’m about to discuss, I would suggest stimulating it with your fingernail.

Governing Vessel 26 (GV 26) is located where the “leather” of the nose meets the fur of the upper lip, right where that interface crosses the center groove in the nose and lip. This point is used for resuscitation. With the use of this point, I have made believers out of every skeptical vet I’ve ever worked with. I have seen the strong stimulation of this point bring apparently dead pets back to life.

GV 26 is used for such things as shock, respiratory arrest, and cardiac arrest. When I use a needle to stimulate this point, I drive the tip down to the bone and vigorously tap the bone. (You would obviously never use this technique on a conscious pet). If I did not have a needle to use, I would jab a fingernail into the point and vibrate it hard and fast.

Studies have shown that stimulating GV 26 stabilizes brain chemistry and stimulates the heart and respiratory centers. It can be used any time a pet loses consciousness such as when a pet has suffered physical trauma. It can even help puppies or kittens if they stop breathing during the birthing process. This point is even being taught to veterinarians and technicians taking conventional ER medicine courses.

If your pet were to get hit by a car or pass out from some other cause, the first thing to do is call the ER vet and get on your way. While en route, someone should stimulate GV 26 with everything they’ve got. This technique may just be enough to keep your pet alive until you reach professional help.

Have you ever used acupressure on your pet?

Holistic Tips for Kidney Disease


If your pet has been diagnosed with kidney failure, there are natural treatments that can help. The first thing to be aware of is that monitoring will help you know what is needed. Many veterinarians will do blood work periodically to see how things are progressing. The BUN and Creatinine are the most commonly monitored tests. However, it is important to also keep an eye on the phosphorus, the hematocrit (red blood cell count), and the potassium.

The BUN and Creatinine monitor the progression of the disease. The phosphorus often elevates as the kidneys fail and can cause lack of appetite and vomiting. The hematocrit helps us keep an eye out for anemia. Finally, some cats with kidney disease will develop low potassium which complicates the condition. Be sure your vet is monitoring everything and is not struck with tunnel vision.

The first thing for any pet with renal disease is to feed the kidneys by providing the nutrients they need to function as well as possible. One great supplement for this is the Fermented Fish Stock made by Answers Raw Pet Foods. They also make an excellent probiotics delivery system in their Fermented Raw Goat’s milk. Most pets find this very yummy and it often gets a finicky pet eating again. A final supplement to feed the kidneys is Canine or Feline Renal Support from Standard Process.  The omega 3 fatty acids in fish oil reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and preserves kidney function.  If your pet develops a low potassium level, there are supplements that can be added to the mix.

A supplement that can help the body rid itself of waste that the kidneys are not handling well is called Azodyl. It provides special probiotic bacteria that basically suck the nitrogenous waste in the body out through the colon. This is a good place to start for pets with high BUN/Creatinine.

If your pet’s phosphorus is starting to go above normal, a phosphorus binder can be used. Aluminum Hydroxide is the most common one. It binds to phosphorus in the gut and keeps it from getting absorbed. I like Phos-bind by Rx Vitamins.

Milk thistle is well known for its positive effects on the liver but it can help the kidneys too. My favorite herb for the kidneys is Rehmannia. It is part of Chinese herbal formulas for kidney failure and helps improve the blood circulation to the kidneys. It is best to have your pet seen by a TCM practitioner to find the right Rehmannia formula for your pet.

When you look at all the supplements that can help with renal failure, it is easy to see that you can’t get everything into most pets. There just wouldn’t be room for food if you gave them all. I suggest you try the different ones and see what works for you and your pet. I have found acupuncture to help with pets’ appetites and renal function. And it is one less thing you need to get down the pet’s throat.

Have you had success with any treatments for kidney disease?

The Amazing Blaze!

Blaze Torres 1 - Copy

I just have to share this case with everyone.

Blaze is an amazing 13-year-old Greyhound who recently injured his neck around Christmas time. Xrays indicated that he probably had a bulging disc in his neck that was causing him much pain and some numbness in his legs. A chiropractic adjustment did not help and he was put on pain medications and muscle relaxers.

A week after starting the medications, Blaze had improved slightly but was still in a lot of pain and was having trouble walking. Dr. Doug decided to get him started on twice weekly acupuncture treatments. We did the first few treatments with him laying on his side because he could not stand for long.

Blaze began to recover immediately. Very soon he improved to the point that he would not lay down at all (standing is his normal posture while at the vet’s office). Within a month of starting the acupuncture, blaze was almost 100% back to his normal self. He’s still doing great today thanks to those healing needles.

Has your pet ever had acupuncture?