Cancer is the one word that’s on almost every dog owner’s mind. And if cancer isn’t on your mind, it should be … stats say your dog has a 50/50 chance of getting it.
My old dog, Chili, developed cancer a couple of years back after she needed an emergency spay. I had great results with the following supplements to keep her cancer at bay!
My other dogs also benefit from these herbs. Living in the country has its perks but I never know what the farmers spray the surrounding fields with.
So I’ve always got cancer on my mind and I always take steps to prevent it. After all, the best cure for cancer is prevention.
So here are my top supplements for cancer …
Cannabis and CBD Oil
Cannabis has been part of healing for thousands of years and its oil is very powerful.
It contains compounds called cannabinoids. Not all cannabinoids are psychoactive (which means they can act on the brain and affect mood).
Cannabinol, cannabidiol (CBD) and other forms of THC all have health benefits. Even without the delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9-THC), which is the psychoactive compound.
For centuries Cannabis oil has helped with pain relief, heart, eye and skin health. Research shows that it is an effective treatment and prevention for dogs with cancer.
A 2009 study showed how THC could cause the death of brain cancer cells in mice. Human patients with brain tumors have had success similar results with CBD alone and not just THC.
Cancer cells are different than normal body cells because they never die on their own. Normal cells that are old or damaged carry programming that causes their death.
Cancer cells are able to grow, divide and mutate to form tumors. The good news is that studies show both THC and or CBD can kill these cancer cells and stop tumor growth.
Having the ability to kill these cancer cells helps CBD to control cancer from spreading. For dogs who have a poor appetite due to their cancer, cannabis can help stimulate their appetite.
And finally, both THC and CBD can prevent the development of blood vessels in tumors. Studies show this blocks their access to nutrition and starves them
Currently, there are no long-term clinical studies on CBD oil for dogs with cancer. But there’s enough compelling research so far to add it to my list of top cancer-fighting supplements.
There are now many manufacturers of cannabis and CBD oil for pets in most countries. The good news is that CBD and cannabis oils are inexpensive and easy to use.
Check with your holistic vet and the manufacturer for dosing.
Hemp Seed Oil
Hemp and cannabis oil both come from the same species of plant, Cannabis sativa. But hemp has been bred through the centuries for various use, Including in clothing and oils and this has changed the plant somewhat.
While hemp seed is high in cannabinoids, it contains very little THC. And this is the main difference between hemp and cannabis.
While most hemp carries about 1% delta-9-THC, cannabis or marijuana can vary from 5-20%.
Hemp oil also contains a healthy balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fats. These help to reduce chronic inflammation and support the immune system.
Hemp seed also contains plenty of vital minerals like manganese and zinc, making it a healthy addition to any diet.
To give your dog hemp seed, you can grind it fresh or buy it as an oil. Just add a teaspoon for every pound of food. But try to avoid combining hemp with poultry as it can upset the fatty acid balance.[Related: Holistic Vets Evaluate Dog Cancer Supplements]
Turkey Tail Mushrooms
A 2012 study looked at turkey tail mushrooms in treating dogs with hemangiosarcoma. Which is often found in the spleen.
However, this tumor can also grow anywhere blood vessels are present. That is why it has a high rate of metastasis (spreading to other parts of the body).
Surgery is often recommended as a treatment. Even with surgery, less than 10% of dogs survive past 12 months. Turkey tail support demonstrated an increase in this survival time.
PSP and PSK are active components in turkey tail. PSP is now approved as an anti-cancer drug in Japan and China.
And PSK is the main component of an anti-cancer drug approved in Japan called Krestin.
Turkey tail mushrooms also carry another important compound called ergosterol. This also has anti-tumor and antioxidant properties.
Consider turkey tail when considering chemotherapy. Turkey tail and the chemotherapy drug Cyclophosaminde were compared in this study.
The anti-tumor properties of turkey tail were close to those of the chemotherapy. Consider it on its own or alongside chemotherapy for added support.
The bonus is that turkey tail doesn’t come with all those nasty side effects. Unlike chemo agents, it supports the immune system instead of destroying it.
Reishi mushrooms for years have been part of cancer treatments in China and Japan.
One component of Reishi is its triterpenes. These have many health benefits. Studies have shown Reishi may stop cancer growth and even shrink tumors in some cases. They can also help prevent secondary cancers.
Reishi mushrooms also contain beta-glucans. They help to boost the immune system without over-stimulating it. This study showed how they not only fight cancer cells but also prevent and shrink them.
Studies show reishi can help reduce side effects of chemotherapy or radiation treatment.
Supporting our dogs with antioxidants is always important. We want to provide great antioxidant support when the body is combating cancer.
Antioxidants slow the aging process and boost the immune system by fighting free radical damage.
Phytoplankton contains what’s known as the king of antioxidants, Superoxide Dismutase (SOD). This is a powerful antioxidant enzyme and one we need in the face of cancer cells.
National Cancer Institute studies show phytoplankton has cancer-killing potential. And that’s because of its strong antioxidant properties.
Animals who live a long life, like sea turtles, contain large amounts of SOD. Shorter-lived animals, like mice, contain only small amounts. So SOD needs to be part of your cancer dog’s diet!
Phytoplankton is active in the body immediately after eating it. This makes it a superior antioxidant source to berries or vegetables. Which need digestion first to access their antioxidants.
Curcumin is the active ingredient in Tumeric that has lots of cancer research behind it. The American Cancer Society claims …
“Curcumin interferes with cancer development, growth, and spread. Curcumin has received a great deal of focus because of its ability to reduce tumor size and kill cancer cells.”
A 2012 study on rats showed that curcumin could prevent bladder cancer in rats. For my dogs (and most dogs), this is an important benefit.
This will benefit dogs exposed to lawns with insecticide and herbicide treatments. Due to the connection between exposure to these products and bladder cancer.
Curcumin can change the growth and spread of cancer cells by destroying the cancer cells. Including those found in breast cancer, brain tumors, mast cell tumors, and osteosarcomas.
Turmeric has many other health benefits too. It’s proven to be as effective as aspirin and ibuprofen in reducing pain. Studies also find it to be as effective as steroids.
Chronic inflammation can lead to cancer so controlling it with turmeric is a great idea.
The curcumin in turmeric is hard for your dog to absorb because it’s not soluble in water. Combining it with an oil such as coconut oil will increase absorption.
DIY Golden Paste
Here are the ingredients you’ll need and directions for making your own Golden paste:
- 1/2 cup organic turmeric powder (make sure it’s organic so it contains lots of curcumin and is free of pesticides)
- 1 cup of filtered water
- 1/4 cup organic, cold-pressed coconut oil
- You can also add 1 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper to increase its absorption
Mix the ingredients together in a saucepan. And set it on medium/low heat for 5-10 minutes, until it forms a paste. Let the mixture cool. Then place it in a jar and store it in the fridge for no more than two weeks.
You can add the Golden Paste to your dog’s meals by mixing it with some water or kefir. Most dogs don’t mind the taste at all!
- Small dogs can start with about 1/4 teaspoon per day
- Medium dogs can start with 1/2 teaspoon per day
- Large dogs can start with 3/4 teaspoon per day
- Giant dogs can start with 1 teaspoon per day
This is a rough starting point. You can increase the amount from there, up to about a Tbsp for larger dogs.
You’ll want to give turmeric in smaller amounts a few times a day to keep the level of curcumin consistent in the body.
If your dog is on any medications, check with your vet before giving him turmeric. It can interact with some medications, including anti-inflammatory, diabetes and chemotherapy drugs.
These natural defence supplements need to be part of your dog’s cancer plan. I know these supplements helped Chili and they can help your support your dog too. Let’s face it … we live in a toxic world. Consider this as insurance and investment in their health and longevity.[Related: Protecting Dogs From Cancer With Omega-3]