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Pinellia Combination is a Chinese herbal mix. This formula contains ginseng, ginger, jujube, coptis, and scute, along with pinellia, and is for vomiting in pets.

Because of the Chinese diagnosis and classification of diseases, the ingredients in each formula may vary. Individual Chinese pharmacists include herbs in their tented formulas based upon their experience. However, they can compound formulas to the needs of an individual pet.

For example, a Western diagnosis of allergies allows a selection of treatment based upon this diagnosis. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), diagnosis and treatment are based upon the need to rebalance the patient so the individual, not the disease, is treated. As an example, with TCM we might be concerned about selecting herbs to circulate Qi, nurture Yin, or invigorate Yang. This system has been used for thousands of years, even prior to the advent of Western medicine, and the herbal treatments have been passed down through time.

This doesn't mean Chinese herbal formulas cannot be used based upon a Western diagnosis, only that if the herbal formula doesn't work, it might indicate the need for another formula or a correct TCM diagnosis so that the correct remedy can be selected.

Herbs are usually supplied in powder or capsule form; tinctures can also be found. Many products made for humans can be used in pets. Unfortunately, the "correct" dosage for the pet has not been determined for many herbs, and clinical experience and extrapolation from human data is often used. The lower dosage is usually used and dosage increased if needed. Compared to traditional drug therapy, herbal treatments usually take longer (several weeks or longer) before an effect is seen. As with Western herbal therapy, quality control in the manufacturing of the product used is important, and only herbs from reliable companies should be used. The following guidelines serve as a starting point for herbal therapy.

Use 1 gram per 20 pounds, 2 to 3 times daily of concentrated herbs for dogs and cats; 4 grams of fresh herbs/20 pounds, 2 to 3 times daily for dogs and cats; tinctures 5 to 10 drops per 20 pounds, 2 to 3 times daily for dogs and cats.

Alternately, some herbalists recommend extrapolation based on weight. Since human doses are based on a 150-pound male, a recommended dose of 3 capsules given 3 times daily for this 150-pound male would extrapolate to 1 capsule given 3 times daily for a 50-pound dog. There are some suggestions that dogs and cats require more herb per pound of body weight than humans. This would supplest a 10-pound cat should receive 20 percent of the recommended human dosage, whereas a 25-pound dog should receive 25 percent of the human dosage.

Safety Issues
While many herbs are used safely in pets, remember many potent drugs (such as digitalis, vincristine, or aspirin) were first described in plants and herbs, and have actually been extracted from plants and herbs. This means it is essential you work with your holistic veterinarian before using herbal remedies in your pet. For example, a report of a Chinese herbal cream used on people for skin disorders showed a high level of the steroid dexamethasone in the product, with the highest levels in the products recommended for children. Other reports of the product ma huang, which contains the potent drug ephedra, revealed varying levels of ephedra in a number of products tested. Stories such as these reinforce the need for proper medical care and advice when using complementary therapies in pets.

Shawn Messonnier, DVM

As my thank you for reading my articles, enter code “drshawn” at my natural products web store,, to save 10% on all your future purchases!

Shawn Messonnier DVM Past Supporting Member, Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians Author, the award-winning The Natural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats, The Natural Vet’s Guide to Preventing and Treating Cancer in Dogs, and Breast Choices for the Best Chances: Your Breasts, Your Life, and How YOU Can Win The Battle!

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