Cancer is one word that’s on almost every dog owner’s mind. And if cancer isn’t on your mind, it should be … because 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 ways to fight cancer with natural remedies …
Cannabis and CBD Oil
Cannabis has been part of healing for thousands of years. It contains compounds called cannabinoids. Not all cannabinoids are psychoactive. Cannabinol, cannabidiol (CBD) and other forms all have health benefits. This is true even without the delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9-THC), which is the psychoactive compound that acts on the brain and affects mood. So CBD oil won’t make your dog high. But it’s a powerful remedy for your dog.
For centuries cannabis oil has helped with pain relief, heart, eye and skin health. Research shows that it’s an effective treatment and preventive for dogs with cancer.
A 2009 study in Spain showed how THC could cause the death of brain cancer cells in mice. Human patients with brain tumors have had 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.
But cancer cells can 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 (1).
Having the ability to kill these cancer cells helps CBD to control the spread of cancer (2). 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.
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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 seed oil also contains a healthy balance of omega-6 and omega-3 fats. These help to reduce chronic inflammation and support the immune system. And hemp seed oil has been shown to reduce metastasis and cancer growth in brain, breast and lung cancer.
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 a nutritional 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.
Turkey Tail Mushrooms
A 2012 study (3) 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. The study showed that turkey tail increased 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.
It’s also a good idea to consider turkey tail when considering chemotherapy. Turkey tail and the chemotherapy drug Cyclophosaminde were compared in this study (4). 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 risky side effects. Unlike chemo agents, it supports the immune system instead of destroying it.
Reishi mushrooms have long 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 (5). They can also help prevent secondary cancers.
Reishi mushrooms also contain beta-glucans. They help to boost the immune system without over-stimulating it. One study showed how they not only fight cancer cells but also prevent and shrink them (6).
Research also shows reishi can help reduce side effects of chemotherapy or radiation treatment (7)
Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric 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 showed that curcumin could prevent bladder cancer in rats (8). This is an important benefit for dogs who may be exposed to grassy areas with insecticide and herbicide treatments that have proven links to bladder cancer in dogs.
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 into golden paste with an oil like MCT oil or pastured ghee will increase absorption. Here’s how to make your own golden paste for dogs … including dosing instructions.
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! You’ll want to give turmeric in smaller amounts a few times a day to keep the level of curcumin consistent in the body.
Caution: 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 defense supplements need to be part of your dog’s cancer plan. I know they 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 your dog’s health and longevity.
- Rieder SA et al. Cannabinoid-induced apoptosis in immune cells as a pathway to immunosuppression. Immunobiology. 2010;215(8):598-605.
- Hermanson DJ, Marnett LJ. Cannabinoids, endocannabinoids, and cancer. Cancer Metastasis Rev. 2011;30(3-4):599-612. doi:10.1007/s10555-011-9318-8
- Brown DC, Reetz J. Single agent polysaccharopeptide delays metastases and improves survival in naturally occurring hemangiosarcoma. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:384301.
- Awadasseid, Annoor et al. “Purification, characterization, and antitumor activity of a novel glucan from the fruiting bodies of Coriolus Versicolor.” PloS one vol. 12,2 e0171270. 8 Feb. 2017, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0171270
- Patlolla JM, Rao CV. Triterpenoids for cancer prevention and treatment: current status and future prospects. Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2012 Jan;13(1):147-55.
- Lin ZB, Zhang HN. Anti-tumor and immunoregulatory activities of Ganoderma lucidum and its possible mechanisms. Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2004 Nov;25(11):1387-95.
- Wang CZ, Basila D, et al. Effects of ganoderma lucidum extract on chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in a rat model. Am J Chin Med. 2005;33(5):807-15.
- El-Mesallamy H et al. Evaluating the role of curcum powder as a protective factor against bladder cancer–an experimental study. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2012;13(10):5287-90.