Welcome to Acu in Practice! One of the most common medical conditions we see in veterinary medicine and treat with acupuncture is renal insufficiency. Often times, this condition may be referred to as “kidney disease” or “renal failure.” I prefer to use the term “insufficiency” as it provides a clear description of what is actually going on with the kidneys …they are not functioning at a sufficient level to fully support the needs of the body. Meet Lucy, a 13 year old female cat who has been living with renal insufficiency for a couple of years. Her base acupoint protocol is very typical for a cat with this condition: GV 20 (for grounding/calming), BL 23 (Kidney, Yin), GV 4 (Kidney Qi/Yang), BL 52 (Augments BL 23, Kidney function), Lumbar BH (supports the Kidney, aids in treating and preventing Bony Bi or arthritis of the spinal column).
Throughout the past 2 years, she has also presented with intermittent symptoms such as inappetance, weight loss, mild bronchitis. When these symptoms arise, we can design additional points to aid the body and ease discomfort. For example: PC 6 (appetite, antinausea), ST 36 (improve digestion, increase Qi or Energy), SP 6 (improve digestion, build Blood and muscle), LU 7 or 9 (for bronchitis, 9 for more chronic conditions). 

Lucy recently went through a period of weight loss. With the help of acupuncture and herbs, in addition to her owner’s dedication and the Western medication Cerenia, she was able to gain back 1 full pound (0.5 kg) over 1 month. Her kidneys are not in “failure,” but they do need assistance to stay sufficient as long as possible!

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