Dr. Ana Falk, DVM

Chinese Herbal Medicine

Native cultures all over the world have traditionally used herbs to maintain health and treat illnesses. There is an abundance of herbal knowledge both Easter and Western I have chosen to focus on Chinese herbal medicine because it has the widest and best documented system.
A little history: by 200 BC, traditional Chinese medicine was firmly established, and by the first century AD, a listing of medicinal herbs and herbal formulations and their uses had been developed.

When are Chinese herbs recommended?

Generally speaking I use Chinese herbal medicine mainly with dogs (it is very difficult to give herbs to cats) usually with patients that are also taking traditional medications, as Chinese medicine integrates well with conventional veterinary medical care.
Chinese medicine is also excellent for keeping the body healthy and preventing disease.

Are Chinese herbs safe?
We use only the best quality of herbs free of heavy metals and contaminants. We only use Chinese herbal formulas developed specifically for pets, therefore adverse reactions are extremely rare and are negligible when compared to those commonly produced by pharmaceutical drugs. Sometimes the pet may develop mild loose stools when given herbal medicines, this is rapidly corrected by reducing the dose.

What are the Herbs like and How Much Will They Cost?
Herbs come in powder, capsule and biscuit form. Powder is the least expensive but the most difficult to give as some dogs do not like the taste.  Treat form is the easiest to give and dogs like it; it is also the most expensive. Cost depends on the size of your pet; an individual formula ranges from $10-$60 per month. Your pet may need 1-3 herbal formulas at a time.

Can I buy the herbal formula on the internet or at a health food store?

No, the herbal formulas we use in our practice are sold only to licensed veterinarians with training in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

What can Chinese herbs treat?
Chinese Medicine can treat the same conditions as Western Medicine except for surgical conditions. The results that can be expected and the length of treatment required will depend on the severity of the disease, its duration and the general health of the patient. Chinese Herbal Medicine is mostly known in the west for its effects on:
  • Pain management – Arthritis
  • Skin disease
  • Reproduction
  • Digestive problems
  • Respiratory conditions
  • Allergies
  • Disorders of the immune system

Do Chinese Herbs need to be used in conjunction with acupuncture?

No, Chinese Herbs are also very effective by themselves without the use of acupuncture. While it is common to combine the two, it is not required. In my work in North Liberty, Iowa  at the Animal Kingdom Veterinary Care Center, I sometimes use only acupuncture, sometimes only herbal medicine, and sometimes both.

Please call 319-626-2999 to schedule your appointment