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Yunnan Baiyao and its use in Dogs and Cats

Updated on July 23, 2013

Yunnan Baiyao can be used in dogs

Yunnan Baiyao an Introduction

I was first introduced to the Chinese herbal formula Yunnan Baiyao when I was a fourth year veterinary student at the University of Minnesota. I was on my anesthesia rotation, recovering a dog that just finished having a rhinoscopy with biopsies. As the dog was waking up from anesthesia it started bleeding from its nose, which is to be expected in a dog that just had a rhinoscopy with biopsies. In fact, dogs, which have rhinoscopies with biopsies usually, have to spend the night in the hospital because of nasal bleeding. The faculty anesthesiologist supervising, instructed me to run and get some Yunnan Baiyao from the pharmacy. I responded with “get some what?” I had never heard of Yunnan Baiyao before and was in a little bit of a panic that I hadn’t but there was no time to look it up. I just hoped that whatever 2nd or 3rd year student working at the pharmacy didn’t laugh at my pronunciation. I got to the pharmacy and ask the pharmacist for some Yoonan Biyao for Dr. Smith. The pharmacist without looking up or acknowledging me immediately turned around and walked away. Did she hear me? Is she just ignoring me because I’m a 4th year student? Before I could process what happened or ask for someone else to help me, she returned and handed me a small white box with blue Chinese lettering and the words Yunnan Baiyao in black. No wonder I had never heard of it. I ran back to the recovery area and handed the box to Dr. Smith. She opened it up and shoved it up the dog’s nostrils. The bleeding immediately stopped and thus began my fascination with herbal medicine.


History of Yunnan Biayao

Yunnan Biayao is a Chinese herbal formula commonly used to stop bleeding, relieve pain and initiate wound healing. It was first developed in 1902 by Qu Huangzhang in China. While the exact formula is a heavily guarded secret and is currently owned by the Chinese government, it is believed that Panax notoginseng is the major ingredient. Yunnan Biayao first became known when it was used by wounded soldiers during the Battle of Taierzhuang in 1938. It became known to western medicine during the Vietnam war, when it was found that enemy soldiers carried vials of it to use if they were shot.

In Veterinary medicine Yunnan Biayao has been used to treat:

  • Nose bleeds
  • Bleeding tumors
  • Scrapes/cuts
  • Surgical bleeding
  • GI hemorrhage
  • Abdominal trauma
  • Avian bumblefoot
  • Ear hematomas
  • Thrombocytopenic disease
  • Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC)

Use of Yunnan Biayao in Veterinary Medicine

Yunnan Biayao has many uses in veterinary medicine. It can be used both orally and topically. If used topically it's applied directly to the wound. When applied topically, Yunnan Biayao doesn't hurt and is safe for pets to lick.

Yunnan Biayao is commonly used in veterinary medicine to help control nasal bleeding. Nasal bleeding in dogs and cats can be extremely difficult to control. Causes of nasal bleeding in dogs and cats include cancer, trauma, infection, and coagulopathy. Nasal bleeding in dogs and cats is not normal and should always be evaluated by a veterinarian.

Another use of Yunnan Biayao is to help minimize surgical bleeding and increase the speed of recovery. It can be given a few days prior to surgery and continued a couple days post surgery.

Yunnan Biayao can also be used to help control bleeding tumors, such as hemangiosarcoma.

It can also be used on any type of open cut or wound, which makes Yunnan Biayao an ideal addition to any first aid kit. Deep cuts and wounds should always be evaluated by a veterinarian.

Where Can You Buy It?

Yunnan Baiyao is widely available and inexpensive. You can even buy it at Just remember when buying Chinese herbal formulas, it’s important to buy from reputable retailers because the quality and contents can vary.

Has your veterinarian ever prescribed Chines herbs?

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This information is meant as educational and should not replace recommendations by your veterinarian.


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