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How to Start Using TCVM Herbal Medicine for Pets

How to Start Using TCVM Herbal Medicine for Pets
Herbal medicine for pets is one of the five branches of TCVM (Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine). Eastern herbal medicine blends consist of herbs carefully chosen to work synergistically to relieve your pet's symptoms.

At the same time, the herbs in each blend address the underlying causes of your pet's symptoms by using principles of TCVM.

Why Do I Need an Authorization for TCVM Herbs?

Many TCVM herb manufacturers require a veterinarian's authorization to ship TCVM herbs. Or, they may state TCVM herbs can only be sold through your veterinarian. The reason is, there are hundreds of different herbal formulas (with wide dosing ranges) available to help pet health problems. Many of these blends may help your pet a little, but there's usually one herbal formula (or combination of a few formulas) that will help your pet the most. The herbal formula that will help your pet the most is the one best suited to your pet's tongue and pulse (two important diagnostic criteria TCVM vets observe during an exam). In our veterinarians' experience, many pet owners don't choose the optimal formula when they try to self-diagnose. Then, they don't see the results they wanted.

In addition, many TCVM herbal formulas are designed for intermittent rather than indefinite use. The goal is to bring your pet back into balance and then cease using the herbal formula. A vet's advice and authorization helps you know when to stop giving the herbal medicine to your pet. You can save money if your vet instructs you when to stop giving herbs. In some situations, your vet will switch your pet to a different formula after the first formula helps your pet reach balance. Many times, the second formula helps your pet feel even better.

We want all pet owners to experience the full benefits of TCVM herbal medicine for pets. So, we want to assure you are using the right formula for your pet's condition and constitution.

If you feel the authorization process is inconvenient and time-consuming, we understand! However, we observe that it helps pets feel better faster than they would without veterinary authorization. For this reason, we strongly believe it's in your pet's best interest if we require veterinary authorization for all herbal formula purchases. Find a Vet to Authorize TCVM Herbs for Your Pet

Tips for Using TCVM Herbal Medicine for Pets

TCVM herbal formulas come in several different forms. You can get powders, capsules, teapills, and tinctures (liquids).

Bulk powders work well mixed in wet food, tuna, peanut butter, or any food with a good, strong scent of its own that your dog may like. You can easily hide capsules and teapills in a pill pocket, piece of meat, or other soft treat. And, tinctures are easy to give--just drop into your pet's mouth.

What to Expect When Using Herbal Medicine for Pets the First Time

Herbs are gentler than pharmaceuticals and also have fewer side effects. Because they are more gentle, herbal formulas usually don't work as fast. Often, herbs take approximately 2-3 weeks to start working. You'll usually see maximum benefits in 6-8 weeks.

Adapting to TCVM Herbal Formulas

It may take one to two weeks for your pet's body to adjust to the herbs.

During the adjustment period, your pet may experience mild gastrointestinal distress and loose stools.

Our vets recommend continuing the use of the herbs during this period.

If the distress is too intense (i.e. having accidents in the house), you may cut back to ¬Ĺ the recommended dose for the first week, then resume the full recommended dose.

As mentioned earlier, mild gastrointestinal distress is the most common side effect when your pet is getting used to Eastern herbs.

However, some pets may have a slight change in overall energy and appetite.

Warning Signs When Using TCVM Herbs

Although side effects are rare, occasionally a pet will have a reaction to a herbal formula. You should stop using the herbs and call your vet immediately if you notice:
  • Abnormal behavior
  • Drooling
  • Dizziness
  • Face rubbing
  • Whining or excessive meowing
  • Vomiting
  • Excessive diarrhea
Reactions usually resolve as soon as your pet stops taking the herb.

How Long Do Pets Need to Take TCVM Herbal Formulas?

Some pets need an herbal formula only for a few months or until the health issue is resolved.

Other pets, suffering from chronic conditions, need to continue taking the herbal formula for the rest of his/her life. It's important to stay in touch with your veterinarian so you'll know when to stop, start, and change formulas.

All in all, TCVM herbal formulas are a wonderful tool to help pets heal and maintain balance in their bodies.

Need Extra Help for Your Special Needs Pet?

If you ever feel like you need extra help in managing your pet's health conditions naturally, we can help. Our co-founding veterinarians, Dr. Marc Smith and Dr. Casey Damron, offer TCVM telemedicine consultations.

If you get a TCVM telemedicine consultation ($110), you'll get personalized TCVM recommendations specific to your pet, including:
  • Food Therapy Recommendations
  • TCVM Evaluation
  • TCVM Herb Recommendations & Veterinary Authorization
  • Supplement Recommendations
  • Alternative Medicine Recommendations
If you reside in the Middle Tennessee area or would like to commute, you may choose an in-clinic appointment instead. You can learn more about each vet and contact the clinic you prefer directly: We hope this information helps you, and wish you the best in helping your pet feel better.

If you have any other questions or if we can help you in any way, just let us know!

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