Pet Dental Month continues with this post from my colleague Dr. Vanessa K. Moore, DVM
Traditional Chinese Medicine is one of the most ancient forms of medicine. It continues to have a huge relevance in the way we practice medicine today. The Five Element theory was based on observation of the cycles of nature and life in 16-221 BC. It was later applied to the body and medical practice. It is the basis of Traditional Chinese Medicine. The Five Elements are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. Each element governs specific organs and systems within the body.
For example, the water element is directly related to dental health therefore when this element is weakened or imbalanced in the body dental disease is one of the manifestations. The Water Element is also associated with older age, therefore other ailments such as osteoarthritis, kidney disease, bladder and urinary disease, hind end weakness and lameness, intervertebral disc disease, dental disease, and hearing or eyesight loss are often seen as symptoms of this imbalance.
In veterinary medicine, we most commonly see kidney disease, dental disease, intervertebral disc disease and osteoarthritis and lameness either as single diseases, or often combined. Conventional veterinarians see these illnesses as separate diseases but in fact, they are all related and stem from the same deficiency within the water element. Treating each of these diseases independently will result in some success but does not get to the root of the problem. Traditional Chinese Medicine detects and works to correct the underlying deficiency to result in improvement in all associated ailments.
Dental health is extremely important and feeding a raw diet, brushing your pet’s teeth, and routine dental cleanings by your veterinarian are tantamount to maintaining good oral health. Because dental disease is often not an isolated problem, it is important to look at the animal as a whole and to determine where the imbalance is and how to correct it. In addition using Traditional Chinese medicine to diagnose the deficiency or imbalance, it is also used to correct it using acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and food therapy. It is an excellent way to extend your pet’s lifespan and quality of life.