I see this scene play out on a regular basis, and very often, the owner/friend/treat-hander-outer has brought them to me as a last resort. Is there anything that can be done to keep our beloved dog comfortable just a bit longer? I always get excited at this point, because yes! Almost without fail (there have been a few cases where we just couldn’t make enough of a difference in the pup’s pain levels) we can get that old dog moving more smoothly again.
In Chinese medicine, our Kidneys play a huge role in the aging process. I’m not talking about the biomedical kidneys here, so if I say your dog has weak kidneys, there’s no need to panic. I’m talking about the Chinese medical Kidneys. These are the jobs that are attributed to the Kidneys in Chinese Medicine: bone health, aging, some aspects of the urinary tract, menstruation in women – just to name a few.
When our dogs (and us, for that matter!) get older, their Kidney’s ability to manage all of the jobs mentioned above starts to decline. This is when we start seeing arthritis, graying of hair, and incontinence (and in human women – menopause). The process for treating arthritis in dogs involves strengthening the Kidneys, and making sure that their Qi flows smoothly throughout their bodies.
It’s always exciting to see that dog who previously hobbled into my office come bounding up the stairs to give me a kiss hello before their next treatment. Yep, there’s no better reward than that!