Pet Doctor: TCVM helps fussy feline with chronic sinusitis

Sampson is an approximately 11-year-old domestic long-haired male-neutered cat who received Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) after he was brought in for sinus drainage. The cat would have sneezing fits several times a day and a thick greenish discharge would be expelled. This had been going on since 2006, when he was adopted. The cat had been treated with antibiotics and steroids over the years with some positive response but continued discharge.

Recently, antibiotics had been tried and he reacted to the antibiotics with severe diarrhea.

During examination, Sampson was not the friendliest cat. The owner had warned that Sampson did not like veterinarians.

Tongue evaluation was done when he hissed and taking a pulse was out of the question. The tongue was small, shrunken and red. The cat did have some greenish nasal discharge and the top appeared slightly swollen. His breathing suggested the nose and sinuses were clogged up.

The ears were very hot. The skin was dry and had small flakes. He had diarrhea. The cat was very sensitive in the lumbosacral area.

The hot ears and green discharge are considered excess heat in TCVM. The chronicity indicated dampness. The thickness of the discharge suggested phlegm. Heat, dampness and phlegm are pathogens in TCVM. The chronicity, dampness, phlegm and diarrhea suggested spleen qi deficiency as the underlying problem. The diagnosis was nasal damp heat due to spleen qi deficiency. There was also pain in the lumbosacral area.

The cat was treated with acupuncture needles on the back, the only place safe enough to allow needle placement. The strongest points for the nose were located in the feet, so laser acupuncture was used instead of needles. Chinese herbals also were recommended to tonify the spleen for the diarrhea and clear the nasal passages.

After the first treatment, the owner emailed to say "it was a miracle" the cat had not sneezed the entire day after the treatment and only once that day.

On the third weekly treatment, the owner reported the cat was much more energetic and was still having some sneezing. The diarrhea completely cleared up in one month.

Six weeks after the initial visit, the nasal problem was 80 percent improved and the cat's energy had improved 100 percent.

The owner had reported over the years the nasal problem would get better than worse. The cat now was feeling better than it had its entire life.

This case was very interesting since the presenting complaint had been going on for nine years. No one really knew what to expect but the owner wanted to try something different.

Sampson responded very well to the TCVM treatment in spite of his limiting the acupuncture points that could be used.

Essentially, it was trying to treat with only half of the options.

In chronic cases, it usually takes longer for an animal to be balanced. In spite of the chronicity and the limited acupuncture points available, everyone -- including Sampson -- was happy with the outcome.

Dr. Connie Clemons-Chevis, has received certification in acupuncture, Tui-na and Chinese herbology through Chi Institute in Reddick, Fla., and China National Society of TCVM. Alternative Medicine for Pets offers TCVM services in Bay St. Louis. Write to