A Little Doggie Dementia ? New Study Shows Good Results With Acupuncture… And Other Great Ways To Keep Your Senior Pet Happy And Healthy


As with humans they are finding nutrition and mental stimulation play a huge role in preventing Canine Cognitive dysfunction. ( senility) A new study just came out with some really interesting solid results for the use of acupuncture ( evidence based) for alzheimer’s patients in humans.

The points will also work well for senior pets to ease doggie dementia and possibly to help prevent or slow it down. The controlled clinical investigation of human subjects measured multiple regions of disrupted connectivity in AD patients. After acupuncture, MRI imaging revealed that AD patients had significant improvements in connectivity for both frontal and lateral temporal regions of the hippocampus.

The researchers note, “Due to the cognitive impairment associated with AD, acupuncture on specific acupoints can modulate the cerebral blood flow and strengthen the hippocampal connectivity in AD patients.”


Acupressure or Acupuncture can do a lot to support brain function and cognitive response. There are several points and combinations of points that your practitioner can chose from. So if you have senior pet who seems a bit out of it or depressed, withdrawn or grumpy take them to your vet and get them checked soon. Then think about adding a little TCM to your seniors routine.




Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (Senility in Dogs) Pet owners frequently complain of age related problems with their older pets. Common complaints are house training issues, memory loss, confusion, disorientation, panting, drooling, wandering, night pacing and other sleep disturbances , obsessive licking and other conditions.

These behaviours usually start gradually and many times owners do not notice them until they are quite severe. How common is this syndrome? Approximately 30 % of all 11 year old dogs have this condition and 100% of all 16 year old dogs are affected.

Studies have shown that dogs affected with this condition have amyloid protein deposits in their brains just like those found in the brains of humans with Alzheimer’s Disease. Cognitive dysfunction is also associated with low levels of dopamine –a neurotransmitter– in the brain.

Treatments for Canine Cognitive Dysfunction can include medications, herbals, dietary changes and modification of the environment. Conventional practitioners will often reach for L-Deprenyl or Anipryl to help these pets. L-Deprenyl reduces the free radicals in the brain and helps the dopamine to stay around longer.

This is effective in about 70% of dogs and the earlier it is started the better. Melatonin can be used for sleep or anxiety disorders in this syndrome. I like this because it is a liquid and easy to give to the dog. It has vegetable glycerin base and so is safe for pets. The dose is 1 ml in the evening. L theanine is another natural product that can be used. It should be available from your local health food store. 100 to 200 mg is the dose depending on dog size. Chinese herbal therapies and acupuncture can also be quite helpful. You would of course need to seek out a veterinary acupuncturist.

Dietary supplements with Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Vitamin E, Coenzyme Q 10 and antioxidant vitamins are also recommended. A good, balanced,natural diet, homemade or otherwise is essential. Adding colourful fruits and vegetables, if your dog can tolerate them, is very important.

Environmental enrichment has been shown to help these dogs as well. Grooming and petting, teaching new tricks, varying routes during walks, playing with toys and playing with other dogs are all things you can do to help improve your old dog’s life. In fact diet changes and enrichment are the two most effective tools in the treatment of canine cognitive dysfunction, more effective than any medication, so a recent study has shown. By doing some of these simple things you can help your dog learn to manage his old age.

Be sure to contact your veterinarian if you are concerned about this problem in your older dog. Here are the points used in the study that help break down amyloid proteins in the brain and increase cerebral blood flow .

Happy pointing

GV20 dorsal midline between the ears there is usually a bump where the point is GV14 dorsal midline between the last cervical and first thoracic vertebrae

LI4 front paws between the first and second metacarpal bone at the webbing of the dew claw

LIV3 on the back paws where the inside big toe meets the paw between the 2nd and 3rd metatarsal balances

BL23 1.5 cun lateral to the caudal border of the spinous process of the second lumbar vertebrae or find the last rib and follow it straight up about 1.5 cun off the spine

New Doggiee Dimensia points


If Your Pup Is Greying Prematurely,Fear Or Stress May Be A Factor




A recent study examined the premature graying of dogs in the U.S. The researchers concluded that fearfulness, anxiety and impulsivity are significant factors in dogs that begin to go gray around the muzzle between the ages of 2 and 4

So from a TCM perspective this is interesting as the emotion of fear is housed in the Kidneys. The Kidneys in TCM oversee many aspects one of which is fur or hair . So the correlation of the study makes sense. The kidneys also oversee bone so it would be interesting to see if these pups who grey early also have early onset of joint or arthritis pain. The Kidney also opens to the ear so if you pup is very  afraid of loud noises that may also lead to premature greying

If you have a fearful pup there are many ways to help them. First if possible find the source of the fear.

Here are a few tips from Dr Karen Becker

In addition to behavior modification (for example, avoidance of triggers, desensitization and/or counter conditioning), there are many things you can do to help alleviate stress in your anxious or fearful dog. For dogs with separation anxiety:

  • Leave your dog with an article of clothing or blanket with your scent on it.
  • Leave a treat-release toy for your dog to focus on in your absence. Place small treats around the house for her to discover, along with her favorite toys.
  • Add a flower essence blend like Separation Anxiety from Spirit Essences to her drinking water. This works wonders for some dogs. And put on some soothing doggy music before you leave.
  • Make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise, playtime, mental stimulation and TLC. The more full her life is when you’re around, the calmer she’ll be when you’re not.

For dogs with noise phobia:

•Play calm,  soothing music before a possible stressor occurs. This may relax your dog and have the added bonus of drowning out distressing noises.

In addition calming massage, acupressure and certain essentials oils and or bach flower remedies are a good add. For essential oils always be sure to let your pet smell and choose their oil before diffusing or applying. Having choices can be very empowering for your pup.

  • The researchers hope their study results will prompt owners, veterinarians and others to assess prematurely graying dogs for issues with fear and anxiety

For the full article click below and scroll down for some calming and fear releasing points for your pup




KI3/BL60 top of the hock thin skin your fingers will slide into it on either side it is kind of like our Achilles this is actually two points KI3 and BL60 KI3 is a source point good for the kidneys which house original chi. This should help release unnecessary fears BL60 is a sister point helps with pain and stiffness in the body.
KI 27   found between the sternum and the first rib and 2nd rib two fingers off the ventral midline brings up and releases old issues, fears and thoughts or mental patterns that no longer serve them
Points to Clear Brain Calm Mind 
 Yin Tang center of the fore head at the medial edge of his eyebrow ridge. Good point to clear the brain and calm the mind also helps with anxiety and agitation…
GV20 dorsal midline between the ears there is usually a bump where the point is…revives consciousness clears brain from wind and heat
 GB 20 Right behind the skull or occipital bone one finger off the cervical spine on either side in the divots. Also a good relaxation point good point to ease over thinking. Pulls the energy down from the head, in addition it helps with brain function and connection.
GV 17 Right behind the skull in between the GB 20 points. Little divot under the bump. Great point to disperse energy and create calm.

points for premature greying blog


February Is National Heart Month… So Here Are Some Good Points And Information For You And Your Pet… Have A Happy Healthy Heart Month





Keeping your dogs heart healthy is very similar to what you would do to keep your own heart healthy. Good diet , exercise,  good oral care,low stress environment and lots of playtime  are great ways to maintain your pups heart health.

Heart disease in canines can be congenital (hereditary), but the vast majority of cases (95 percent) are acquired. It is typically a condition of middle-aged and older dogs, and involves either the heart muscle itself, or the valves of the heart.

Common heart disorders in dogs include:

· Valvular disease- Heart valve problems are the most common type of canine heart disease. The valves of the heart weaken with age and begin to leak when the heart muscle pumps.

· Heart Worm Disease- Mosquitoes are the carriers. The worms take up residence in the heart and cause disease.

· Myocarditis – an inflammation of the heart caused by infection (usually bacterial). Myocarditis both weakens and enlarges the heart muscle.

· Pericardial disease, in which the protective sac around a dog’s heart fills with liquid, interfering with the normal beating mechanism.

· Arrhythmia, which is an irregular heartbeat brought on by a problem with the body’s electrical control system.

Interestingly, one of the most common reasons for heart disease in humans, blocked arteries, is rare in dogs. Unfortunately, heart problems in dogs are relatively common. A heart murmur can be caused by abnormal blood flow within the heart, usually involving the heart valves. Murmurs can also be caused by problems in communication between the left and right sides of the heart. Murmurs can be present at birth (congenital). They can also be acquired due to disease or the aging process.

Heart murmurs in puppies tend to be pretty innocent… but with older dogs it should be looked into. Heart issues can be difficult to detect but there are some signs that should not be ignored

·         Coughing that does not go away after 4 to 5 days

·         Blue or Bluish appearing tongue ( this is serious so vet  asap.)

·         Loss of appetite

·         Fatigue, weakness, loss of stamina, decreased exercise endurance

·         Too fast or too slow heart beat; increased respiratory effort, including increased respiratory rate

·         Heart rate depending on size of dog.. little guys beat faster 60-140 beats per minute

·         Breaths per minute you can count these but make sure your pup is at rest 10-35 per  minute the full up/down motion is considered one breath.

Certain breeds are more prone to heart problems:

Breed Heart Condition

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Dachshund, Small breeds Acquired mitral valve disease

Bull Terrier, Rottweiler Congenital mitral valve disease

Boxer, Cocker Spaniel, Doberman Pinscher, Great Dane, Irish Wolfhound, Labrador Retriever Myocardial failure

Cocker and English Springer Spaniels, German Shepherd, Maltese, Poodle Patent ductus arteriosus

Boxer, Cocker Spaniel, English Bulldog, Mastiff, Miniature Schnauzer, Samoyed, West Highland White TerrierPulmonary stenosis

Boxer, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Newfoundland, Rottweiler Subvalvular aortic stenosis

Labrador Retriever Congenital tricuspid valve disease

English Springer Spaniel Ventricular septal defect

The good news is, if your pup is diagnosed with any if the above in most cases there is a lot you can do to keep them happy and healthy.

Diet and supplements play a big role in your dogs heart health, along with good dental health.

For more information on click on the link below


There are also some great acupressure points that can also help if your dog has been diagnosed, or can be used as preventative  to keep the heart strong and functional especially if your dog is on the list above.

PE6 Inside of the front limb  between the tendons three cun above the crease in the wrist ( transverse carpal crease)

HT 7 PE7 in the depression between the tendon and the ligament it is a natural depression and pretty easy to find just above the bend in the wrist. Your fingers will slide in the groove on either side. Hold both sides that is actually 2 points Ht7 and Pe7

CV17 ventral midline 4th intercostal space  caudal border of the elbows

LIV3  between the 2nd and 3rd metatarsal  (back legs)

KI 27    found between the sternum and the first rib and 2nd rib two cun off the ventral midline


Cat parent’s this one is for you.


As we know, cats are very stoic and masters of hiding their ailments. Heart health is very important so here is some information including diseases, symptoms, and recommendations for your cats heart health.

Feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the most common heart disease seen in felines. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a term used when there is no known cause, however secondary, is brought about by other conditions such as high blood pressure, hyperthyroidism etc.

Cats with secondary hypertrophic cardiomyopathy tend to be older.

The main feature of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is excessive thickening of the left ventricular wall, papillary muscles and septum.  This enlargement causes stiffening and prevents the heart from expanding (to receive blood) properly.  It may also reduce the ability of the valves to work properly, and in some circumstances obstruct the flow of blood out of the heart. Arrhythmias, irregularities of the heart beat and conduction disturbances are also common complications of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

The thickened wall sometimes distorts one leaflet of the mitral valve, causing it to leak.

Fluid can leak into the lungs causing heart failure.

Blood clots can form in the left atrium and be carried into the systemic arterial system, most often lodging in the terminal artery, causing paralysis of the hind legs.

Cardio=heart, myopathy=muscle disease and hypertrophic=thickened. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy tends to affect cats one to five years of age, and male cats are more commonly affected.

What are the symptoms of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy?

A cat with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy may display no symptoms at all, but die suddenly and unexpectedly.  Symptoms may include.

·         Lethargy

·         Anorexia

·         Weight loss

·         Rapid,  laboured and noisy breathing

·         Decreased activity

·         Congestive heart failure

·         Irregular heart rhythm

·         Heart murmur

·         Gagging

·         Lameness or paralysis of the hind legs

Are some cats more prone than others?

In humans HCM can be inherited as an autosomal manner. It appears Maine Coons and American Shorthairs also have a predisposition towards HCM.

How is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy diagnosed?

A physical examination may reveal abnormal heart or lung sounds, irregular or gallop heart rhythm or heart murmur, this may well be the first indication that your cat has HCM.

Echocardiogram (heart ultrasound) is the best diagnostic tool for HCM. Your veterinarian will evaluate the size, shape and functioning of the heart.

X-Ray can show if there is fluid in the chest and heart enlargement.

Electrocardiogram. is a test that measures the electrical activity of the heartbeat.

Blood tests including a complete blood count and chemistry panel. These can help provide information on the function of other organs. This information is important when determining methods of treatment.

Thyroid function test to determine if the cause is due to hyperthyroidism.

Arterial blood pressure to check for hypertension.

How is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy treated?

Asymptomatic cats may require no treatment, but your veterinarian will want to monitor him/her closely. It is not possible to cure HCM, treatment is aimed at controlling symptoms and preventing complications.

The thick ventricles of HCM contract and relax abnormally, and to assist the relaxation phase some drugs may be necessary. Beta blocking drugs and calcium blocking channels may be prescribed to assist.

If the cat has congestive heart failure, diuretics may be prescribed. Restricting activity also reduces the strain on the heart and your veterinarian may prescribe a period of cage rest.

For more information click on the links below:



Here are a few points  to keep your cat’s heart happy and balanced

 LI4 LU11 is on either side of the dew claw of the front paw

PE6 Inside of the front limb  between the tendons three cun above the crease in the wrist ( transverse carpal crease)

HT 7 PE7 in the depression between the tendon and the ligament it is a natural depression and pretty easy to find just above the bend in the wrist. Your fingers will slide in the groove on either side. Hold bold sides that is actually 2 points Ht7 and Pe7 This point is considered to be the “source point” of the Heart meridian. It is very nourishing to all aspects of the heart,this clears the mind and calms the spirit great relaxation point.

LIV3  between the 2nd and 3rd metatarsal bones

Heart points newsletterblog2016

Heart points cat2


Addison’s Disease Mimics Many Other Diseases, Making It DIfficult To Diagnose. It Is Treatable, If Caught In Time…So Here Is Some Good Information To Help Identify and Hopefully Prevent ,Or Keep It Under Control




Addison’s disease, named for the 19th century physician who defined this adrenal gland dysfunction, is also known as hypoadrenocorticism or adrenal insufficiency. While fatal if left untreated, with appropriate treatment Addison’s can be managed so that affected patients lead normal, active lives. First diagnosed in dogs in the 1950s, it is considered an uncommon canine disorder. However, veterinarians who routinely test for Addison’s often find it, suggesting that the illness is not really rare but rather under-diagnosed and under-reported. You don’t find Addison’s unless you look for it. Some veterinarians speculate that Addison’s disease occurs in dogs at a rate as much as 100 times the rate in humans.

From 70 to 85 percent of dogs with Addison’s disease are female and between the ages of four and seven. Some breeds seem more at risk for the disease than others, including Great Danes, Portuguese water spaniels, Rotties, standard poodles, Westies, and Wheaten terriers.


There are so many factors and symptoms and each dog will present differently.

Commonly reported symptoms, which can vary dramatically from dog to dog, include loss of appetite, weight loss, depression, listlessness, vomiting, diarrhea, hind-end pain, muscle weakness, tremors, shivering, increased thirst, excessive urination, a painful or sensitive abdomen, muscle or joint pain, and changes in coat, which may become thicker, thinner, longer, or even curly. About 15 to 20 percent of Addisonian dogs will have dark, tarry stools (melena, caused by gastrointestinal hemorrhage) or blood in their vomit. Symptoms often wax and wane, with the dog getting worse, then better, for months or even years.

From Dr. Becker There are actually three types of Addison’s disease – primary, secondary and atypical.

Cortisol is a corticosteroid produced by the middle layer of the adrenal gland and it acts on sugar, fat and protein metabolism in a dog’s body. Corticosteroids, remember, are responsible for the fight-or-flight response and play a huge role in an animal’s ability to adapt to stressful situations.

When cortisol is under-produced, even the smallest amount of stress can result in physiologic disaster for the dog.

The mineralocorticoids, one of which is aldosterone, are produced by the outside layer of the adrenal gland, and their job is to regulate electrolytes like sodium and potassium.

Typically, both the middle and outer layers of the adrenals begin to under-produce hormones, which is what leads to primary Addison’s disease.

If only the middle layer fails, meaning the adrenals are still producing electrolyte balancing hormones, the condition is known as atypical Addison’s disease.

A common root cause of both the primary and atypical forms of the disease is immune-mediated damage to the adrenal glands. This is a situation in which the dog’s immune system attacks the adrenal tissue.

Although it is rare, adrenal gland failure can also occur due to infection or tumor of the glands, or even death of adrenal tissue due to obstruction of the blood supply.

Secondary Addison’s is caused by failure of the pituitary gland or the hypothalamus, both of which act on the adrenals, but in different ways.

For full article click here:


If your dog is having persistent symptoms it may be time to talk to your holistic or western vet and have them test for Addison’s specifically..

Is Addison’s becoming more prevalent because of diet or environmental factors? Are our dogs more stressed out than they were fifty years ago? It would be interesting to see if dogs in certain states are more prone to the disease, or if there is a difference in dogs that live in rural areas vs urban. How many cases are brought on by over treating Cushing’s disease. Hopefully the AVMA  or another organization will run some studies so pet parents can be more aware of the disease and what to do to prevent it.

If diagnosed ; options for treatment range from western steroid protocol, to a more holistic approach including diet and acupuncture or acupressure as well as other modalities. It is wise to work with a Holistic Vet to make sure you are getting the best results.  If western is your preferred method, maybe incorporate some acupressure or TCM to support the organ systems during this time.. a few good points to support adrenals kidney and liver function are listed below

Ki3 BL 60 top of the hock thin skin your fingers will slide into it on either side it is kind of like our Achilles
Liv3  between the 2nd and 3rd metatarsal bones on the hindlimbs
Sp6   3 cun above the medial malleolus or ankle bone this point is on the bone so just follow it up two finger widths on the  inside of the back leg.


addisons points blog2

To read articles on Addison’s,  including breeds that are predisposed and additional symptoms and prevention  click below…



Evidence Based Study… Two Acupuncture Points Improve And Save Brain Function After An Ischemic Incident.

New research demonstrates that specific electro-acupuncture frequencies result in superior neurologic functional recovery following ischemic incidents. A recent study demonstrates that specific electro-acupuncture interventions protect the structural integrity of astrocytes and exert a protective mechanism in the brain following cerebral ischemic injuries. Researchers discovered that electro-acupuncture applied bilaterally to LI11 (Quchi) and ST36is effective in preserving the structural integrity of astrocytes, important regulators of neuronal survival following ischemic brain injuries.

So two take aways from this; If points are applied after there is an incident, ie stroke or any injury that prevents the brain from receiving an adequate supply of blood and oxygen these points will help reverse brain damage. In addition there is also the possibility that using these points will help maintain the integrity of the brain. So something to think about especially for older people and  pets. These may also help with Vestibular disease.

Full article below and points for humans and canines