Acupuncture Or Acupressure Are Good Modalities To Compliment Western Based Treatment For COPD In Dogs And Cats, Or Heaves In Horses



Fall  is coming and sometimes weather changes can trigger existing issues in the body. In TCM Fall represents  metal which  is connected to air through the lungs. The lungs and the large intestine, associated with metal in Chinese medicine, both deal with purification and elimination. The lungs take in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide through breathing. The large intestine absorbs water and completes the absorption of nutrients, minerals and vitamins. It also holds and eliminates waste. So if your Dog or Cat has COPD or your horse has Heaves or is prone to lung issues these points may help.

This is a human based study, but the implications for our Dogs, Cats and Horses is exciting. Acupuncture or Acupressure is the perfect compliment to Western based treatment for COPD or  Heaves in horses.  I have a few clients with COPD and St36 St40 and KI3 are a great points for easing symptoms of COPD or Heaves.  So if you have a four legged friend with COPD Acupuncture may be a great add on to your routine, but be sure and check with your Vet first…

That groundbreaking study concluded “that acupuncture is a useful adjunctive therapy in reducing” breathlessness in patients with COPD. That study showed acupuncture improving exercise capabilities, arterial blood gas, rib cage motion, respiratory function including forced vital capacity and respiratory muscle strength. Acupuncture also demonstrated a significant positive impact on the activities of daily living score. Additionally, acupuncture improved the body mass index and pre-albumin levels of patients with COPD.

Classic acupuncture points were used in this very first placebo controlled study. Manual stimulation at each needle for 3-5 minutes was performed until a de qi sensation arrived. The acupuncture points in the study were: LU1 (Zhongfu), LU9 (Taiyuan), LI18 (Futu), CV4 (Guanyuan), CV12 (Zhongwan), ST36 (Zusanli), KI3 (Taixi), GB12 (Wangu), UB13 (Feishu), UB20 (Pishu), UB23 (Shenshu). The researchers note, “We demonstrated clinically relevant improvements in DOE  (dyspnea on exertion) (Borg scale), nutrition status (including BMI), airflow obstruction, exercise capacity, and health-related quality of life after 3 months of acupuncture treatment.”

Mounting scientific based evidence now supports acupuncture for the treatment of COPD. The new research is helpful in quantifying the benefits of acupuncture for COPD patients and for setting realistic expectations regarding clinical improvements.

What are symptoms of COPD in Dogs and Cats?

In its early stages, the main symptom of COPD is chronic coughing, or coughing that persists for longer than a month. The cough is usually ‘dry’ or harsh, and gagging is common after coughing. As the disease progresses, the dog may have difficulty breathing and often has decreased exercise tolerance (tires easily) or may even faint with overexertion. Breathing may become noisy, and the pet may wheeze when exhaling. In later stages, the gums may develop a bluish tinge as a result of lack of oxygen. Dogs with COPD rarely have a fever and usually their appetite remains normal.

To learn more about COPD in dogs click below

To learn more about COPD in cats click below

To learn more about COPD aka Heaves in horses click below

Here are a few points from the study that you can try

ST 36 find the front of the patella (knee) and slide your finger down into the little groove on the lateral side of each knee.

KI3  top of the hock thin skin your fingers will slide into it on the medial or inside of the hindlimb it is kind of like our Achilles

ST40 Outside hind leg half way between the knee and the ankle One finger breathe lateral to the tibial crest 

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