Feline Acupuncture
World Small Animal Veterinary Association World Congress Proceedings, 2011
Huisheng Xie, DVM, MS, PhD
Clinical Associate Professor, Acupuncture Service, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA

Feline Acupuncture Techniques

Restraint: lighter touch, gentle restraint, human companion present padded surface, rug with towel

Tips for Acupuncture Techniques

 Best Acupuncture Needles to use for all cats: Ø 0.25mm (#32) or Ø 0.22mm (#34) with a length of 13 mm (1/2')

 Do not start at paw points (LI-4, TH-5, LIV-3, etc.)

 Water/Wood Constitution: Start with Bai-hui (L-S conjunction at GV)

 Fire Constitution: Aquapuncture at An-shen with 0.5-1 cc of saline prior to starting acupuncture treatment

 Earth/Metal Constitution: Start with GV-20

Upper Respiratory Infections

In TCVM, upper respiratory infections in cats are often caused by Wind Heat, Lung Heat, Lung Qi Deficiency and/or Lung Yin Deficiency.

Wind Heat or Lung Heat: (ACUTE) Goal: Dispel, tonify Wei Qi and/or Lung. Points to use: LI-4/11, GV-14, LI-20, TH-5, BL-13, LU-5, Tip of Ear, Tip of Tail.

Lung Qi or Yin Deficiency: (CHRONIC) Goal: Support Yin and/or Lung Qi. Points to use: LU-7, LU-9, LU-1, BL-13, CV-17, CV-22, LI-10, ST-36, BL-20/21

Herbal Med: Bu Fei San for Qi Deficiency, Bai He Gu Jin (Lily Combination) for Yin Deficiency

Feline Asthma

In TCVM, feline asthma is often caused by Wind Cold, Lung Heat, Lung Qi Deficiency and Lung Yin Deficiency.

Wind Cold

BL-10/12, GB-20, LI-4/11: Dispel Wind, clear Surface

BL 13: disperse lung

ST-40/CV-17: Transform phlegm

Ding-chuan /CV-22: stop asthma

Herbal: Zhi Suo San

Lung Heat

Er-jian/LU5/LU 10: Clear Lung Heat

BL 13/LU-7: disperse lung

ST-40/CV-17 (Tan-zhong): Transform phlegm

CV-22/Ding-chuan: stop asthma

Herbal: Qing Fei San

Lung Qi Deficiency

LU9/7: Tonify lung Qi to stop asthma

Qi-hai-shu, CV-17, BL 13: Tonify Lung Qi

ST-36 + SP-6: Strengthens Spleen and Stomach.

CV-22/Ding-chuan: stop asthma

Herbal: Bu Fei San

Lung Yin Deficiency

BL-13, BL-42, LU-1, LU-9 (strengthen the Lungs)

CV-22, Ding-chuan (stop asthma)

SP-6, SP-9, BL-23 (tonify Yin)

LI-10, ST-36, ST-37 (tonify Spleen Qi)

Herbal: Bai He Gu Jin

Lung Qi + Kidney Qi Deficiency

KID-3/7/10, CV-4/6, BL-23/26: Tonify Kidney Qi

CV-17,BL 13,LU-9/7: Tonify Lung Qi

ST-36 + SP-6: Strengthens Spleen and Stomach.

CV-22/Ding-chuan: stop asthma

Herbal: Ren Shen Ge Jie San

Immune Mediated Diseases

Immune mediated diseases include feline leukemia virus (FeLV), feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and feline infectious peritonitis (FIP).

Acute Flare-Ups:

 Fever, chills (Wind Heat)

 GV 14, LI 4, LI 11, TH 4(source), TH-5

 Herbal: Yin Qiao San

 Vomiting, decreased appetite

 SP 6, ST 36, CV 12/14, PC 6, GB-34, BL-20/21

 Herbal: Huo Xiang Zheng Qi

 Swollen lymph nodes (Heat Toxin)

 Check location: Local points, LU-5, GV-14, SP-10, BL- 40, LI-11

 Herbal medicine: Pu Ji Xiao Du

Prevention of Flare-Ups:

Points: LI-4/11, GV-14, ST-36, BL-20/21, LIV-3, SP-6

Herbal: Wei Qi Booster

Mega Colon

Local Stagnation with Qi Deficiency, Yin and Blood Deficiency.

 Qi deficiency: can't expel stools adequately
History of difficult bowel movements

 Yin & Blood deficiency: inability to properly moisten stools

 Points for Qi/Yin/Blood: BL-20/21/25, CV-12, ST-25, ST-37/39/36, GV-1, BL-17, SP-10, KID-3, SP-6/9

 Herbal: Fan Xie Ye

 With Qi Deficiency: Add Si Jun Zi Tang(Four Gentlemen)

 With Yin/Blood Deficiency: Dang Gui Cong Rong


Stomach Fire/Heat with local stagnation

 Points: GV-14, LI-4/11, ST-44, CV-12, ST-45

 Local points: ST-4/5/6, TH-17

 Oral Herbal: Nu Yu Jian (Jade Lady)

 Topical Herbal: Bing Peng San

Inappropriate Spraying

Shen Disturbance with Yin Deficiency or Liver Qi Stagnation

 Points: Aquapuncture at Da-feng-men, An-shen

 Dry Needle: GV-20, HT-7, BL-14/15/18/19, LIV-3

 Herbal: Shen Calmer

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

There are Heat Toxin (Damp-Heat), Liver Qi Stagnation, Spleen Qi Deficiency and Kidney Yang Deficiency.

Heat-Toxin (Damp-Heat)

 Points: GV-1, BL-20, BL-21, LI-4, SP-6, LI-11, GV-14, Wei-jian, BL-25, ST-25, LI-10, ST-36, GB-34

 Herbal: Da Xiang Lian Wan

Liver Qi Stagnation

 Points: PC-6, BL-14, HT-7, GB-34, ST-36, GB-41, LIV-3, BL-18/19

 Herbal: Chai Hu Shu Gan (Liver Happy)

Spleen Qi Deficiency

 Points: GV-1, BL-20/21/22, LI-10, ST-36, SP-6/9

 Herbal: Shen Ling Bai Zhu

Kidney Yang Deficiency

 Points: GV-1, BL-20/21, ST-36, GV-4/3, Bai-hui, BL-23, Shen-Shu, KID-3/7

 Herbal: Si Shen Wan (Four Immortals)

References/Suggested Reading

1.  Xie H, Preast V. Dr. Xie's Veterinary Acupuncture. Blackwell Publishing. 2006.

2.  Xie H, Preast V. Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine Volume I-Fundamental Principles. Reddick, FL. Jing-tang. 2002.

3.  Schwartz C. Four Paws Five Directions. Berkley, CA. Celestial Arts 1996.

4.  Schoen AM. Veterinary Acupuncture. 2nd Ed. St Louis, MO. Mosby 2001.


Speaker Information
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Huisheng Xie, DVM, PhD, MS
College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL, USA