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Case study: Tucker – Treated with TCVM

Treated by Dr. Sterenn – Veterinarian, Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) expert.


Tucker is a 1-year and 9-month Yorkie Poodle. He was doing very well when suddenly his owner found him lying on his side, not moving. He was brought in to our Thao Dien hospital immediately.

Clinical Examination:

  • Tucker presented in lateral recumbency, curved to the right but still conscious.
  • His right legs were very stiff while his left legs were flaccid.
  • His neurological exam showed that his reflexes were still there but
  • his proprioception was absent .He was paralyzed but still able to defaecate and urinate.
  • He had no evidence of fever and his heart and lung auscultation was normal.


Full bloods were run immediately and nothing abnormal was detected. We still couldn’t rule out poisoning or intervertebral disk disease but in view of the symptoms and the suddenness of the condition we suspected a fibrocartilage embolism.


  • Tucker was immediately hospitalised to ensure he had optimal nursing care and constant observation.
  • As surgery was not an option in this case, we opted for an alternative treatment plan of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM).
  • TCVM Exam and pattern: His tongue was red on the tip, pale at the bottom. His femoral pulse was deep, weak and weaker on the right side.
  • His TCVM pattern was: Spinal cord Qi/Blood stagnation and Kidney Qi Deficiency.

TCVM Treatment:

  • Tucker had physiotherapy almost every day for 1 week.
  • He had 3 sessions of Acupuncture within 4 days as part of his TCVM treatment. The goal was to dissipate the local stagnation and tonifie his Kidney Qi. For that we did a 20-minute electroacupuncture treatment each time with some Tui Na at the end (Traditional Chinese Therapeutic massage).
  • During his second acupuncture session he suddenly sat up! He also started to move his head in both side.
  • Tucker had his next session the following day and he started to walk.
  • As he improved very well we planned 3 more acupuncture sessions within 10 days and continued his physiotherapy to obtain a better gait.

First session:

Tucker during his first TCVM session

Second session:

During the 2nd session, Tucker was able to move his head both sides.

during second session, able to move head both side, prorprioception starting to come back 2d session.

Third session:

After 3 sessions, Tucker was able to stand and start walking again!

Tucker can walk after 3rd session!


Fourth session:

Walking after the 4th session – need to continue veterinary acupuncture and physiotherapy to walk better!

Tucker after 4th session

Fifth session:

After fifth session Tucker starting to run again!

after 5th session


TCVM was very effective in this case. It’s a useful tool to integrate with the conservative treatment plan or to use as a sole therapy when no traditional treatment is available.

We did three sessions within a few days as we needed to go strong and quick in order to get a faster recovery.

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