Traditional Chinese Medicine terms for pets

At the end of your appointment with Dr. Bishop or Dr. Fisher, they discuss that Ralph or Lady has a pale tongue and is blood deficient.

Uhh… What?

Like every form of medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has terms and jargons that can be confusing. This brief glossary of terms will cover the basics to help you understand what the veterinarian is seeing when she looks at your pet.

The body contains 5 fundamental substances: Qi, Blood, Jing, Shen and Fluids.

Qi: Described as matter on the verge of becoming energy, or energy at the point of materialization. Everything has Qi; it is a source of movement, protects the body, provides warmth, and governs organs and substances.

Blood: Nourishes, maintains and moistens the body while in constant circulation. It can be found both in vessels as well as along the meridians in the body.

Jing: Most appropriately translated as essence. It is fluid-like, supportive and nutritive. Similar to DNA or genetics, it is the basis of reproduction and development.

Shen: This is your spirit or consciousness. Relating to our emotional well-being, thoughts and beliefs, it provides guidance to survival instincts, and allows the expression of love, compassion and caring.

Fluids: This covers substances like sweat, saliva, urine, etc. These fluids are responsible for moistening and providing some nourishment to their respective locations.


During the TCM exam, there is also much more focus placed on the tongue then most pet owners are accustomed. This is because in TCM, parts of the tongue represent different organs. The tongue is evaluated for colour, shape and any coating present. Who knew that the tongue could tell you so much!

Still have more questions? Great! Check us out on facebook all this month for more information on TCM in pets! www.facebook.com/fullcirclevet





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Last updated: June 28, 2021

Dear Clients,

With the recent changes for businesses related to Covid, we want to reassure you that we are continuing to provide our full range of services with the safety measures listed below. We will update this page regularly as the safety measures change.

We are continuing to see all cases by appointment only. This includes Canine Rehabilitation appointments, Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine appointments for acupuncture, herbal medicine, food therapy and Tui -na, Animal Chiropractic, Nutrition referrals, and specific blood testing referrals.

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- Your dedicated team at Full Circle Veterinary Alternatives Inc.