Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs for Mammary Cancer in Cats

By Elizabeth McKinstry, VMD

Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM), including acupuncture and Chinese herbs, can help pets when conventional therapies have been exhausted. TCVM often works by strengthening the patient and its immune system, enabling it to overcome a variety of problems, including cancer.

Sydney was a spayed elderly cat with quite a few problems. She was positive for Feline Leukemia Virus, had hyperthyroidism, and suffered from a chronic upper respiratory infection. On top of all of these maladies, she had a malignant mammary gland (breast) mass. This had been surgically removed with “clean” margins, but unfortunately the mass had regrown by the time Sydney presented for TCVM several weeks later.

In Sydney’s case, she was started on two Chinese herbal formulas and injected with vitamin B12 in the appropriate acupuncture points. One of the herbal formulas stimulates the cat’s immune system, builds muscle tissue, increases energy and inhibits mutation. The other works to “soothe Liver Qi,” “move blood” and shrink masses. These herbal formulas and acupuncture points were selected based on Sydney’s specific TCVM pattern and can be different for each cat with mammary cancer.

At the two-month check-up, the tumors had totally disappeared and her chronic upper respiratory infection had also cleared for the first time in two years! Sydney was continued on both herbal supplements for the next year and the cancer did not return. She gained weight and had a beautiful shiny coat!

Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are a growing alternative to conventional therapies, especially when the goal is to improve the quality of life of the whole patient.

Dr. McKinstry practices Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine by appointment on certain Saturdays at Wilmington Animal Hospital.

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