Ask any dog-lover, and they will tell you the same thing: dogs are family. They make us smile, give us laughter every day, and keep us motivated to stay active and happy. For some of us, they are no different than our children save for the fact that they walk on four legs. We take care of our dogs and make sure they receive the love and attention they deserve so they can live happy, healthy lives.
Despite the quality care they receive at home, there is always a chance that they will get sick. For some pets, it’s as mild as a stomach ache, but for others, the diagnosis may be more serious. Hearing that your pet has cancer is a devastating blow. There are treatment options, but many of them have harsh side effects and may not restore the health of your beloved pet. Luckily, a holistic cancer treatment may help. The Yunzhi mushroom may help increase the survival rate in dogs diagnosed with the form of cancer known as hemangiosarcoma.
Commonly known as the turkey tail mushroom, the Coriolus Versicolor or Yunzhi mushroom has been used in holistic medicine for hundreds of years. In conjunction with Western medicine and chemotherapy treatments, the mushroom may reduce the severity of side effects and symptoms relating to the treatment and has been used as an all-natural supplement to help cancer patients improve their health. Now, many veterinarians incorporate the mushroom into treatment protocols for pets.
Historically, the Yunzhi mushroom has been used to stimulate the immune system and promote positive immune responses in humans. According to Sara Thyr, ND of the Natural Medicine Journal, the mushroom is thought to increase survival rates of cancer patients and improve the quality of life while they undergo treatment. The use of Yunzhi in human treatment protocols has shown great promise, and large media outlets are starting to appreciate the implications.
In 2011, Paul Stamets, the self-proclaimed “mushroom man” was invited to TedMed to discuss how mushrooms can be effective supplements for cancer treatments. Stamets has been promoting mushroom therapy using the Yunzhi mushroom after his mother saw a significant reduction of tumors and cancer growth while taking mushroom supplements. Check out the video below to learn more about the benefits of mushrooms.
On a molecular level, dogs and humans are relatively close. We respond to treatments similarly. While side effects may be different, we tend to show similar signs of improvement when incorporating the Yunzhi mushroom into a treatment protocol. More research is being done to determine what the mushroom can treat and how traditional Chinese medicine can be used to treat aggressive cancers like hemangiosarcoma in both species.
The Yunzhi mushroom may help boost the immune system and improve your dog’s reactions to chemotherapy and radiation treatments. According to Colorado State University’s Flint Animal Cancer Center, most chemotherapy drugs have some similar effects on pets as they do on humans.
Pets may be lethargic, unwilling to eat, nauseated, or have diarrhea. While veterinarians can control these symptoms with medication, boosting the immune system and maintaining the white blood cell count will work to keep your pet feeling good while undergoing canine cancer treatment. In a study at the University of Pennsylvania, researchers noted that dogs given only Yunzhi mushrooms and no other treatment protocols lived longer than dogs undergoing traditional cancer therapies.
The mushroom works to mitigate the side effects of traditional therapies while also encouraging your pet’s immune system to reduce tumor growth. When the tumors are not growing actively, cancer’s progression slows down. This can mean a longer and healthier life for your pet and more quality time to spend with your best friend.
Currently, most of the research pertains to dogs diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma, a type of cancer that spreads aggressively and forms tumors that typically attack the spleen and the heart or form just beneath the skin. These tumors often rupture and cause blood loss in the abdomen and the heart.
The cancer is one of the most common types among canines and makes up almost 14 percent of cancer diagnoses in dogs. While the mushroom may be beneficial for other types of cancer, it’s proven to be effective in treating hemangiosarcoma.
Most Yunzhi for dogs comes in 3 forms: tincture, powder and capsules. Tinctures are the liquid concentrate of the mushroom and can be placed directly on your dog’s tongue or mixed in their water bowl. It is important to note that some dogs may notice and dislike the taste of tinctures. For these dogs, capsules may be the better choice. Hide capsules in pill-friendly foods like hot dogs, canned food, or specially designed pill treats. For the dogs that eat everything, a powdered form can be sprinkled on food for easy digestion.
While there are no known side effects associated with Yunzhi, each dog has the potential to react differently to the treatment. For this reason, you should discuss any and all supplements with your vet before starting a holistic dog cancer treatment. Veterinarians widely accept Yunzhi therapy as a viable form of Chinese medicine for dog cancer.
Unlike chemotherapy drugs, Yunzhi will likely leave your dog feeling better and may reduce the severity of the chemotherapy’s side effects. However, as Dr. Demian Dressler, DVM points out, “Most of the whole mushrooms have an antioxidant effect, which may interfere with chemo and radiation. The use of these mushrooms should be timed after consultation with your vet or oncologist.” The treatment should help your pet, not hurt them.
If you have been struggling with the realization that your dog was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma, the Yunzhi mushroom may help improve the quality and duration of their life. The next time you speak with your veterinarian, ask them about incorporating Yunzhi into your pet’s treatment protocol. It might just be the extra push your pet’s immune system needs to help them live a happier, longer life.Check Pricing For Yunzhi Capsule On Amazon Check Pricing For Yunzhi Powder On Amazon