Acupuncture treatment of torticollis in a foal

  • Kim, Duck-Hwan (College of Veterinary Medicine, Chungnam National University) ;
  • Liu, Jianzhu (College of Veterinary Medicine, Chungnam National University) ;
  • Lee, Jung-Yeon (Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Obihiro) ;
  • MacManus, Philip (Glenina Veterinary Clinic, Galway, Co.) ;
  • Jennings, Padraic (Glenina Veterinary Clinic, Galway, Co.) ;
  • Darcy, Karl (Glenina Veterinary Clinic, Galway, Co.) ;
  • Burke, Fiona (Glenina Veterinary Clinic, Galway, Co.) ;
  • Rogers, Philip A.M. (Teagasc Grange Research Centre, Dunsany, Co.)
  • Accepted : 2006.01.27
  • Published : 2006.03.29


A 6-month-old thoroughbred filly foal had torticollis and circled towards the right side. A local veterinarian treated her twice using dexamethasone for 1 week but there was little clinical improvement. Needles were inserted into Ting points of both hind limb and one ocular acupoint (shang jiao area from GB01). Injection acupuncture (dexamethasone, twice/week) was used at GV16, GB20, BL10 and LU07, for the neck and head. Acupoint GB34 was added to those points at session 4. In addition, a trigger point in the left neck was injected with 0.2 ml ($200{\mu}g$ of apitoxin) of bee-venom diluted with 1 ml of 2% lidocaine from session 1 to session 3. At session 2, the symptoms had ameliorated a little. At session 3, they were much improved; the right ear was completely normal and the neck could be moved about 60% of normal range. At session 4, nodding was possible and stiffness of the neck was much improved, having returned to about 80% of normal range. Three days after session 4, the symptom of torticollis had disappeared completely and the foal could walk in a straight line. In conclusion, the present patient was a case with equine torticollis which showed favourable therapeutic response by combination of needle-acupuncture plus injection-acupuncture with dexamethasone and apitoxin.


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