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Acu in Practice: Atopy, Itchy Skin + Ears

Welcome to Acu in Practice! Meet Nelson, a 8.5 year old canine who has dealt with chronic atopic (allergic) dermatitis and otitis for years. Here are his “before and after” the getting on the Integrative Program shots! Nelson is prone to Damp Heat affecting his ears and his skin. He has been responsive to steroid therapy, but still has flare ups even when he is on them. Currently, he is on Temeril P which is a combination of antihistamine and steroid. However, when he came to visit you can see that he was still suffering from otitis, as well as pododermatitis and a general itch. His feet and ear canals were red, swollen and both had quite a bit of moist, dark exudate (check out all of our cleaning materials!). He also had sticky, thick crusting in his facial skin folds and around his eyelid margins. His skin and ear cytology showed bacterial overgrowth, but no yeast. His overall energy level is great. Nelson is a super sweet dog and very tolerant. His digestion is normal other than occasionally he has mucous in his stool. He was eating a very wide variety of food and treats. Pulses were fast and he had red edges to his tongue.

Since starting the integrative program (3 months ago), the Damp Heat in his ears and on his feet has resolved, he only has mild intermittent itch, and he just looks a lot happier! His tongue is pink and his pulses are normal.

TCM Diagnosis:

Damp Heat affecting the Skin and the Ears (Gallbladder Channel)

Wei Qi Deficiency/Imbalance (since young) likely stemming from Jing Def

TCM treatment principles:

Clear Damp Heat

Tonify and Balance Wei Qi, Support Kidney, Spleen and Lung

Acupuncture RX:

GV 20, GV 14, BL 20, BL 23, ST 36 right, SP 6 left, LIV 13, LU 7 left and LI 4 right, GB 20

When ears were really inflamed, I used Vitamin B12 aquapressure in SI 19 and GB 2.

Now, he receives Vitamin B12 in the point/on the channel that I feel is most deficient at that specific visit.

Other treatments to note:

Nelson started on Long Dan Er Miao San (I used Damp Heat Derma Relief by Kan Herb) when his Damp Heat signs were really pronounced. Currently he is on Si Miao San (Four Marvels by Kan Herb) for less intensive prevention of Damp Heat.

We streamlined Nelson’s diet to more cooling foods and treats that do not potentiate Damp.

He has continued the Temeril P and medicated ear cleansing, but we hope to phase these out over time. The goal is to give Nelson the happiest, healthiest, least itchy life possible!

This post was created by Nell Ostermeier, DVM, CVA, FAAVA and is intended for informational use, not to replace medical advice.


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