People in ancient China were excellent observers. They looked for patterns in health and disease to create a unique system of diagnosis. It seems weird that a tongue could give us any answers, but it can be one clue among several for practitioners of acupuncture.
Distinct colors in certain areas correspond to weakness or excess in certain parts of the body. This tongue has pink/reddish edges and a pale purple center and base.
To an acupuncturist, this would go with Liver Qi stagnation, Spleen Qi deficiency, and Kidney Qi deficiency if other signs agreed.
This fits with the clinical picture of this dog — hind leg weakness (Kidney Qi deficiency), muscle atrophy (Spleen Qi deficiency) and a little bit of a temper (Liver Qi stagnation).
We use acupuncture points to tonify Kidney and Spleen, and relieve Liver Qi stagnation. We feed foods to build Blood and nourish Yin — so cool leafy greens, beef, and liver. And we use herbal formulas to support the treatment.
Chinese Medicine offers a unique paradigm that gives patients options where conventional medicine runs dry. There is not much to help hind-end weakness, atrophy, and grumpy dog syndrome in conventional medicine.
Well, maybe try some NSAIDs, but what then?
Acupuncture seems to help dogs like this one. The theory may be strange, but we are glad to have it as an effective way to improve quality of life for dogs and cats.
Dr. Turner practices integrative veterinary medicine for dogs and cats at Heal in Stateline, Nevada. She can be reached at 530-580-6062 or firstname.lastname@example.org