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April: Windy Spring

Thursday, 01 April 2021 09:00

Spring is a wonderful time of year. Winter is melting, and life is remerging from the recesses. The temperature is warming, and the spring wind brings with it the scent of fresh air and flowers. However, with spring comes an array of allergies that affects both humans and animals.

Likely your allergy patients will be coming through the door soon with the usual hair loss, hot spots, pustules, and red itchy skin. Some of the most common conditions vets see during this time is pruritus, allergic dermatitis, alopecia, and flea allergies.

Some common dermatology patterns include External Wind (mild), Wind-Heat (moderate), and Damp- Heat (severe). Even further severe patterns are Blood Deficiency and Yin Deficiency.

Pattern Discription Acupoints Herbal Formula

Eternal Wind

Pruritus that moves and may be seasonal. This is allergic pruritus or  allergy.

Tongue: Slightly dry, red, quivering

Pulse: Superficial, may be fast.

LI-4, LI-11, BL-10,GB-20, GV-14, BL-13, TH-5



Pruritus with crusts, often lesions will affect the face, neck and top line. Crusts may be present on the top line. Also erythematous wheals.

Tongue: Red

Pulse: Superficial and fast.

LI-4, LI-11, BL-10, GB-20, GV-14, BL-13, TH-5, SP-6, BL-17, SP-10



Moist stinky skin with dermatitis. Often will affect dependent areas of the body such as ventrum and feet.

Tongue: Red

Pulse: Slippery

LI-4, LI-11, SP-6, ST-36, CV-4, CV-6, GV-14, BL-20, LIV-3


Blood Deficiency

Dry skin with dandruff (large flake) and dry pads. Skin may be thickened and pigmented (hyperkeratosis). Pruritus may not be that severe. No temperature preference.

Tongue: Pale and dry

Pulse: Fine

LI-4, LI-11, SP-6, SP-10, BL-17, BL-18, BL-20, CV-4



Yin Deficiency

Intense Pruritus that may be worse at night. The skin will be dry and the patient may be cool seeking. Frequently, the alopecia and skin changes will be worse on the caudal portion of the patient. Often seen in older patients.

Tongue: Red and dry

Pulse: Thready

LI-4, LI-11, SP-6, KID-3, BL-18,  BL-23, GV-14,




Hypothetical Case 1

kisspng the irish setter gordon setter english setter 5b456f6b23e928.9150953315312771631471Species: Canine
Breed: Irish Setter
Age: 5 years
Gender: S

Clinical Diagnosis (conventional): Atopic dermatitis with secondary superficial pyoderma

Conventional Indications:  Diagnosed two weeks ago with superficial pyoderma.  The patient just completed the first week of a combination of apoquel and clavamox tablets.  The pruitus has decreased from a 10/10 to a 2/10.  The ventrum, however, still shows multifocally diffuse erythematous scales. Skin scrape was negative for mites.  Skin cytology reveals TNTC cocci, no Malassezia.

Traditional Indications: This pet has a good appetite.  Her stools occasionally can be soft and may contain a small amount of mucus. Her hair coat is slightly dull with multifocal areas of alopecia with numerous, greasy, erythematous scales on the ventrum. Prior to the apoquel this pet was chewing her feet and licking her flanks and ventrum excessively. There is a strong smell to the skin.

Tongue: Red

Pulse: Slippery

TCVM Diagnosis:  Damp-Heat Skin

TCVM Assessment:

  • Soft stools- Spleen Qi Deficiency
  • Mucus in the stool- Damp
  • Pruitus- Wind
  • Lesions on the ventrum-Suggest Damp as Damp is heavy and sinks
  • Red, greasy scales-Damp and Heat
  • Strong smell to the skin- Heat
  • Red tongue- Heat
  • Slippery pulse- Damp

Treatment Principles:

  • Clear Heat
  • Resolve Damp
  • Clear Wind
  • Release the Exterior
  • Tonify the Spleen

Acupoint Prescription:

LI-4, LI-11, GV-14, SP-6, SP-10, BL-18, BL-20, LIV-3

  • Clear Wind, Release the Exterior- LI-4, LI-11, GV-14
  • Clear Heat-LI-4, LI-11, GV-14, SP-10, LIV-3 (Cools the Blood)
  • Resolve Damp- LI-11, SP-6, BL-20
  • Benefit the Spleen-SP-6, SP-10, BL-20, (LIV-3 and BL-18 by harmonizing the middle jiao and helping to move Qi to move Damp).

Chinese Herbal Prescription:

  • Damp Heat Skin concentrated*

Dose: 0.5g/ 20 lbs of body weight

*This formula was created by Dr. Huisheng Xie and is based on the classical formula Qing She Re Tang.



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