Hawthorne Veterinary Clinic Newsletters
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Fall Season and TCM
- In this Issue:
- Fall is Here!
- Animal Healers
- Senior Profile / Discount Pricing
Fall Season and TCM
It seems that just a couple of weeks ago it was still summer here. Things certainly have shifted weather-wise. Autumn is now upon us in the Northwest, with crisp cool mornings and rain on the way. Fall is the time for transitioning away from the sun and activity of summer to the consolidating restorative phase of winter. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), each season is associated with various organs of the body, so that if an individual (animal or human) has a weakness or imbalance in a particular organ, it would most likely have symptoms of dysfunction in its associated season.
In TCM, fall is linked to the Lung, so we might see more cases of bronchitis and asthma in the upcoming months, as well as worsened symptoms in geriatric pets with chronic respiratory problems. You probably know somebody who doesn’t seem to handle the cooler wetter conditions of autumn in western Oregon. The same is true of some of our pets. Animals as well as people can be categorized into distinct constitutional types, so it makes sense that individuals with cold, damp constitutions wouldn’t do as well here in the fall and winter as a person or animal with a hot, drier nature.
What does this mean for our pets, and what can we do to help our pets adjust to the months ahead? Just as we enjoy more stews and root vegetables, and fewer salads and cold foods in fall and winter, our pets would benefit from more warming diets. If you prepare homemade meals for your dog, you might consider adding cooked sweet potatoes or oatmeal to his or her diet. Cats may benefit from switching from fish-based diets to more energetically warming chicken or lamb. (Read more about energetics of foods.) And in general, it’s a good idea to add stovetop-warmed water to your pet’s food in the colder months. If you have an older arthritic pet, consider grating fresh ginger (warming, drying anti-inflammatory herb) root into meals. And certainly, some of our more cold-natured pets appreciate wearing a sweater or lying on a heating pad or blanket in colder weather.
We commonly see many of our senior pets having more arthritic stiffness and respiratory problems in the fall. These conditions respond well to acupuncture and herbal treatments. Let us know if you feel your dog or cat needs some assistance in the cooler wetter months to come.
We’re not talking about veterinarians or health care therapists—these are actually animals with the ability to heal humans! One intriguing example is the Mexican Hairless Dog, or Xolo. These now rare dogs were revered by the ancient Aztecs and thought to possess mystical healing qualities. Even today, people use these dogs as living heating pads to sooth aching arthritic joints. (Read the ABC News story.) Several studies have shown that gazing at a fish tank can significantly reduce blood pressure in hypertensive patients or calm hyperactive children. Some dogs have the amazing ability to warn their human guardians of an impending seizure. With the elderly, caring for a pet can improve cognitive ability and emotional wellbeing. There are many examples of dolphins being used as therapists for children with special needs and individuals suffering from neurological disorders. Certainly, we owe these amazing animal healers a great deal of respect and gratitude!
Senior Profile Testing
Is one of your canine or feline companions eight years of age or older? Though you may not think your pet is ready for his or her AARP card, the average eight-year-old dog or cat is equivalent to a 60-year-old person. Age-related disorders begin to develop and degenerative changes start to take place around this time, often without visible symptoms. While yearly physical exams are very important, laboratory testing is a great way to practice true preventative medicine. It allows you to discover and address health problems at their earliest stages when they are more responsive to nutritional support and herbal therapy – before they turn into serious diseases requiring more aggressive and expensive treatments.
We are able to offer a comprehensive laboratory evaluation including a blood profile and urinalysis at a special discount of only $95. This same testing would cost $160 or more at most clinics. Call us to schedule an appointment for the “mature” canine or feline members of your household.