Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) is a medical system that has been used to treat animals in China for thousands of years. Using TCVM requires a shift in perspective. In general Western Veterinary Medicine (WVM) believes in control while TCVM believes in balance; WVM is more mechanistic while TCVM is more energetic. Western medical practitioners are very familiar with analyzing a disease process to discover its specific, fundamental, physical cause whether this is an infectious agent, an enzymatic defect or a toxic insult. By fully understanding the functions of the physical body all the way down to a cellular or molecular level, one can target the abnormality and better control the disease process. On the other hand, TCVM practitioners recognize disease as an imbalance in the body. They understand that the body is an integrated, energetic structure, and the disturbance of energy flow creates disease in the whole organism. When a disease pattern is identified, one can restore balance and health by helping the body regulate itself.
Both systems rely on medical history and physical examination to make a diagnosis or identify a pattern. Western medicine adds in diagnostic tests such as bloodwork or radiographs. The diagnostic test for TCVM include palpation of the pulse, examination of tongue and the Shu points. In both cases, an experienced clinician interprets the findings and chooses an appropriate therapeutic regimen. A Western veterinarian may recommend surgery or reach for antibiotics, steroids or other pharmaceuticals. A TCVM practitioner may recommend herbs, acupuncture or a specific diet.
These medical systems are not mutually exclusive. Through the integration of the two systems (what we call Integrative Veterinary Medicine), one may take advantage of the strengths of each while minimizing weakness. Practitioners who are able to bridge the mental gap between Eastern and Western medicine may find that this combination brings better results than either one alone.
TCVM can be used for:
- Muscle pain
- Soft tissue injury
- Neurological disorders
- Incontinence (fecal and urinary)
- Post-operative recovery
- Chronic kidney disease
- Gastrointestinal disturbances (diarrhea, constipation, nausea, inappetence)
- Cancer (improve comfort)
- Ocular disease
- Auto-immunie disorders
- And more!