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Acu in Practice: Urinary Crystals

Welcome to Acu in Practice! Meet Archie, a 9-year old pug who has had multiple medical problems throughout his life but has a great attitude! His main reason for seeking integrative care was the development of acute inappropriate urination that coincided with finding calcium oxalate crystals in his urinalysis. Archie has a history of diet related dermatitis and allergies, mucous in his stool, chronic bronchitis, and ear infections – so basically, a long line of Damp Heat in TCM terms! Damp Heat is an excess pattern in the body, but based on Archie’s exam, history and physical exam I diagnosed his main underlying pattern as long-standing Spleen Qi Deficiency, allowing the Damp and Heat to accumulate in various areas of his internal and external body. In addition to the Spleen Deficiency, Archie’s Lung Qi is failing to descend and he is showing signs of Lung Phlegm.

Archie’s guardian’s main goal was to resolve the crystalluria through food therapy, but after his consult, it became clear that we could do so much more for his whole body health!

TCM Diagnosis:

Spleen Qi Deficiency with Damp Heat Accumulation

Lung Phlegm and Lung Qi failing to descend

(also very likely, Kidney Jing Deficiency, which we can focus on if more Kidney signs show up after treating the initial patterns)

TCM Treatment Principles:

Drain Damp Heat from the Bladder and prevent in the Body in general

Support the Spleen

Resolve Lung Phlegm and assist in the Descent of Lung Qi

Acu Rx:

Pictured: BL 23, BL 25, BL 28, ST 36 left, LU 5 (it looks a bit like LI 11 in the photo, which would not be a bad choice either), LU 7 (left), BL 60-KID 3.

Not pictured: BL 20 (used Vitamin B12 aquapressure), SP 6 (right only)

Herbal Formula: Three Seeds by Kan Herb. (Especially because there are Lung Signs).

Also to consider:

In cases of Bladder Damp Heat only: Ba Zheng San

For Damp Heat in Lower Burner and Spleen Def: Si Mao San

Food Therapy:

Focused on around adding as much moisture as possible. Fed ½ calories in home cooked foods that are known to resolve Heat and Damp and to Support the Spleen. Fed the other ½ calories in Honest Kitchen.

Outcome: Crystalluria completely resolved by 4 months! Archie continues to come for acupuncture appointments every 4-6 weeks in order to stay in balance. Because he has had chronic, multiple patterns throughout his lifetime his guardian is electing to invest in preventing the exacerbation or escalation of these patterns for as long as possible!

*note: prior to acupuncture and integrative treatments, radiographs were taken to rule out urinary stone formation and a urine culture was sent to rule out infection.

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


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