Integrative Medicine: What Can a Tongue Tell Us?

Did you know you can get clues about how your pet is feeling just by looking at his/her tongue or feeling his/her pulse?

In Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM), it is important to look for patterns in order to arrive at an accurate diagnosis. These patterns include the behavior of the pet and the types of conditions the pet is repeatedly experiencing. Regular examinations are the best way to determine any patterns your pet may be exhibiting.

A vital part of any integrative exam is the palpation of the pet’s pulse and the careful observation of the tongue.

The pulse is considered an underlying expression of the Yin/Yang, or circulatory, dynamic as it permeates the body. The force, depth, tension and rate all provide different information.

The tongue is an indicator of the circulatory effects over time on the body’s tissues. When evaluating the tongue, we are looking at the color, shape, moisture and any coating that may be present. A normal tongue is pink. A very red tongue might indicate excess heat or inflammation in the body, whereas a pale tongue may indicate a deficient state.

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