Cindy Lankenau, DVM, RH (AHG), CVA, GDVCHM, ACCHVM, MS-TCVM
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Case Presentation: April 10, 2022, Bob, a Hereford bull calf was born in a manure filled gutter. This farm is an organic beef farm. It was several hours before the owner was able to help the calf get up, dried off, and nurse. His mother was in a stanchion and unable to assist her calf. By April 11, he was septic, barely conscious, down, unable to rise, his lungs were very heavy sounding. He had 104-degree F temperature, injected sclera, hot ears, tongue was very wet but cold to the touch; pulse was rapid and bounding, and slippery. He had a swollen still wet umbilical cord; a presumptive diagnosis of E. coli septicemia was made. TCVM diagnosis of invasion of an External Pathogenic Factor (EPF) of Cold/Damp, stagnating Qi creating Heat with a possible primary Heat toxin. Bob had been moved to a box stall with his mother, and although the owner was attempting to keep him dry and clean, his umbilical cord was still wet and swollen. His mother was very protective, and our acupuncture was fast using LI-4, LI-11; tip of ear and tail, and BI-40 which had aqua-puncture of a commercial Selenium product. His was given Gan Mao Ling and Early Comfort, a Kan tincture of Huo Xiang Zheng Qi San, 60 drops of both. His navel was dipped with a commercial iodine-based product. After giving the herbs in a tincture form, he jumped up and started nursing. He has continued to do well, received 60 drops of both tinctures four times a day for the next 5 days, decreasing the dose then to twice a day; on April 18, all seems well, and the herbs have been discontinued.
On April 13, Patches was born, another bull Hereford calf. Although he was born in a bedded box stall with an attentive mother, the owner was unable to dip his navel. On April 15, he was breathing heaving, lungs very heavy, nursing slowly, 103.5 F temperature, tongue phlegmy, pulse rapid bounding and slippery. He was similarly treated. Within 24 hours, he seemed normal, but his mother was extremely protective allowing no human contact, so the herbs were given to the mother with hopefully enough effect through the milk. Herbs were continued for 5 days. Patches, having a normal activity level and normal attitude, herbs were discontinued on April 20th.
Discussion: Both calves were invaded by an EPF with resulting Qi stagnation creating Heat and interior Dampness. They needed the exterior pathogen to be expelled and the interior dampness and turbidity to be eliminated. It was felt that the calves’ EPF had progressed deeper than the Wei level and was already affecting the Qi Level with signs of Heat. The initial pathogenic factor could have been Heat, E.coli or cold/damp, the microbial bouquet in the environment of the gutter. The treatment goal was to clear Heat at the Wei level and clear dampness that was accumulating in the Qi level (heavy sounding lungs).
Gan Mao Ling is a formula that addresses External Wind-Heat patters and is designed to clear Exterior Wind Heat at the Wei and Qi level. It dispels EPF from the surface layer of the body while trying to prevent their invasion into the deeper internal layers. The leading herb is Pubescent holly root, Mao Dong Qing, invigorates Blood and clears Heat. Evodia lepta leaf and root, San Cha Ku, clears Heat and fire invasion. Isatis root, Ban Lan Gen, drains Heat, clears Fire, cools the Blood and benefits the throat. Chrysanthemum flower, Ju Hua, dispels Wind, clears Heat and calms the Liver. Simple-leaf chaste tree fruit, Man Jing Zi, clears externally contracted Wind Heat. Honeysuckle flower, Jin Yin Hua, clears Heat and fire invasions, vents, and disperses externally contracted Wind Heat.1
Huo Xiang Zheng Qi San is indicated for acute viral or bacterial gastroenteritis.2 It is best suited for treating exterior syndromes accompanied by internal dampness. The king herb, Huo Xiang, Chinese giant Hyssop, releases exterior wind-cold and dispels dampness enabling the clear Qi to ascend and turbid Qi to descend. Zi Su Ye, Perilla leaf and Bai Zhi, Angelica dahurica releases the exterior wind-cold and dispels interior dampness and turbidity; Ban Xia Qu, processed Pinella and Chen Pi, Tangerine rind, transforms dampness, harmonize the Stomach, redirect the reversed flow of Qi. Bai Zhu, Atractylodes and Fu Ling, Poria, strengthens the Spleen, dispels dampness, and harmonizes the middle Jiao. Hou Po, Magnolia bark, and Da Fu Pi, Betel husk; activates Qi and dispels dampness. Jie Geng, Platycodon ventilates the lung and resolves Dampness. Sheng Jiang, Ginger; Da Zao, Jujube; and Zhi Gan Cao, honey roasted licorice, regulates the Spleen and Stomach, and harmonies the herbs.
The combination of these two herbal formulas Cleared accumulated Heat and Fire Toxins, as indicated by all the Heat symptoms, of elevated temperature, scleral injection, rapid pulse. Internal Damp is evident by the heavy lungs and Phlegm had obstructed Bob’s portals of his mind when he was almost comatose when first seen on April 10. The calves responded very quickly and since no antibiotics were used, these calves did not lose their organic status.
Kan Herb Company, Kan Traditionals Formula Guide, Santa Cruz, CA, 2015
Chen, Chen, Beebe, Salewski; Chinese Herbal Formulas for Veterinarians; Art of Medicine Press, City of Industry, CA, 2015