Pawsitive Press for October ’18



Herbal Snapshot:

Di Gu Pi San
By: Dr. Michael Bartholomew

The Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine herbal formula Di Gu Pi originated from a classical formula that has been adapted for veterinary use by Jing Tang Herbal in Reddick, FL. This herbal medicine contains 13 different herbs which are combined in a perfect ballet to address arthritic conditions in both our canine and feline patients. In TCVM, the Kidney is said to govern the bone, and one of the possible TCVM pattern diagnoses for arthritis is Kidney Qi and Yin Deficiency with Stagnation. This is also known as a type of “Boney Bi” Syndrome. The Yin can be thought of as the climate control or air conditioning of the body. When it is deficient, the body will heat up and the pet may start looking for cool areas to lay, drinking more water, or have increased panting. The Qi can be thought of as the gasoline that makes the engine go. If pets are Qi deficient, they may display signs of weakness, muscle wasting, poor appetite, and lethargy. The third component to the diagnosis, Stagnation, refers to discomfort or pain. When the Qi stagnates in an area of the body (like an accident on an interstate) and is not flowing freely, pain will occur.

From a western diagnostic perspective, this formula has been used successfully to treat Arthiritis, Hip Dysplasia, Degenerative Joint Disease, Rheumatism, and Intervertebral Disc Disease (I’m looking at you Dachshunds!). Herbal medicines are often combined with acupuncture as each enhance the effect of the other. The beauty of being a TCVM practitioner in this day and age is that we are beginning to see the blending of thousands of years of art with scientific research. As more and more research becomes available, it is becoming more apparent how these herbs within the formula act and how they do indeed address disease.

One of the first questions people always ask is how safe the formula is. Di Gu Pi has been shown to have minimal side effect while causing multiple benefits. Human clinical trials have shown that the herbs Qin Jiao (Gentiana macrophylla) and Du Huo (Angelica pubescens), which are found within the formula, will help to improve both swelling and pain. One study showed that Qin Jiao had an anti-inflammatory effect similar to prednisone in a study with rats displayed by decreased joint swelling. Another herb within the formula Di Gu Pi (Lycium chinense) has been shown, through studies, to increase blood cell production, have anti-oxidant effects, and to be immunostimulatory. The immunomodulatory effects included increasing the numbers of white blood cells and antibodies. Dang Gui (Angelica Sinensis) and Dan Shen (Salvia miltorrhiza) have also shown anti-inflammatory effect.

The Animal Hospital of Dunedin believes in bringing your pet the best possible medicine. Dr. Bartholomew and Dr. Todd have studied Chinese Medicine extensively and are here for your pets TCVM needs, whether it be herbal medicine or acupuncture!


In Western cultures, the terms acupuncture and Chinese Medicine are often interchangeably used when in truth there are actually four branches of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine. Human Traditional Chinese Medicine has five branches but the last one Qi-gong is omitted from Chinese Veterinary Medicine because they are meditative exercises that cannot be done by animals. The four branches of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine are:

Acupuncture: A treatment done with the insertion of specialized needles to stimulate certain points with in the body, usually along the body’s Meridian Channels.

Food Therapy: This practice uses the awareness of energetics in food ingredients to tailor specialty diets for individual animals to prevent and treat imbalances in their body.

Tui-na: The application of Chinese medical massage in which difference acupoints are manipulated to promote circulation and discrepancies with the internal organ systems.

Herbal Medicine: The use of herbal ingredients listed within the Chinese Herbal Materia Medica in precise mixtures to treat certain disorders.

National Veterinary Technician Week – October 14th-20th

Veterinary technicians are critical to the day-to-day function of veterinary practices, and play vital roles in preserving animal health and welfare. National Veterinary Technician Week, first celebrated in 1993, takes place in the third week of October each year, and provides an opportunity to recognize veterinary technicians’ contributions.

Although we value veterinary technicians every day of the year, we take this week to honor their commitment to compassionate, high-quality veterinary care for all animals.

Thank you, veterinary technicians, for all you do!


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