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An accidental Shen Calmer overdoes with good result

An accidental Shen Calmer overdoes with good result

by Claudia Fonterrada,DVM

Author: Chi Institute/Thursday, April 1, 2010/Categories: Student Case Reports, TCVM Newsletter, 2010 Spring Issue

Abstract: A 2-year-old female Whippet, weighing 20 pounds, had access to Shen Calmer (a Chinese Herbal Formula) and ingested approximately 20 teapills.  She was being treated for separation anxiety for 1 week.  She showed signs of bloody diarrhea for 3 days and the separation anxiety symptoms resolved for 2 days.

Since the dog was 4 months old, she has separation anxiety and, in addition to destroying furniture, she eats her own feces.  Western treatments were tried, without ever having any responses.  She is a Fire/Wood dog and always gets deeply hurt when yelled at.  She has some Yin Deficiency signs (since she was a puppy her legs are red at night and she dreams a lot) and Jing Deficiency (retrognathia).  On October 27, 2009, she was put on Shen Calmer (2 pills BID).  On November 3,  she found the bottle of Shen Calmer and managed to chew it open, eating approximately 20 pills. She was given a half tablespoon of salt to induce emesis.  A few minutes after emesis, she started panting a lot and had bloody diarrhea with mucus that lasted approximately 1 hour.  Her tongue was red and pulse was strong.  She had no other symptoms, she looked fine and alert.  She was treated with acupuncture in GV 1, LV 3, LI 11, LI 4, GV 14 for 3 days and a cool diet (beef, rice, spinach, potato).  Diarrhea improved every day and on day 3 it was completely resolved.  Despite the diarrhea, her appetite was normal; she was very active and had a normal attitude. During this time, she did not chew furniture or eat her feces.

It is unlikely that the acute diarrhea was caused by the formula because the individual herbs are mostly blood tonics and decrease heat.

Retrognathia is Jing Deficiency and the Yin deficiency signs are probably constitutional since she has them since she was a puppy.  She does not appreciate being around other dogs and children, attacking them sometimes.  She is well built, has nice and strong muscles and usually gets deeply hurt when is yelled at, typical Wood constitution.  Wood constitution animals usually have their Liver/Gallbladder affected.  When she was force fed with salt, she didn’t accept it very well, therefore her Liver Yang rose, over controlled the Earth and was passed on to the Fire element (SI), causing acute Damp Heat in the GI (fresh bloody diarrhea and mucus).  

Diagnosis: Excess Damp Heat in the GI + Heart Yin Deficiency
Treatment: First eliminate Damp Heat and then tonify Heart Yin. The acupoints used, GV1, LV3, LI11, LI4 and GV14, were intended to stop the diarrhea and eliminate Damp Heat. The cool food also was to eliminate heat.

A good option for an herb would be “Great Saussurea Coptis”. Since she ingested a high dose of “Shen Calmer”, the separation anxiety symptoms quickly improved. After 1 week, she was put on “Shen Calmer” again.

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