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Fight Canine Cancer with Mushrooms

This heavily researched mushroom has been found to be immunity-boosting and cancer-fighting

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Research in dogs found the polysaccharides in Turkey Tail mushroom extended survival time in dogs with hemangiosarcoma without additional treatment, delaying metastases and improving quality of life.


Turkey Tail mushroom—the scientific name for which is Coriolus Versicolor—has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries. Turkey Tail mushrooms carry an array of health benefits. They restore a healthy immune response and improve gut function. But the components that have cancer researchers excited are polysaccharide-K (PSK) and polysaccharide-P (PSP). These beta-glucans, or soluble fibers, in Turkey Tail mushrooms show promise as cancer fighters and have been demonstrated to extend survival time in human patients with breast, stomach, and colorectal cancer.

Researchers wanted to see how Turkey Tail supplementation would affect dogs with naturally occurring hemangiosarcoma. This aggressive, invasive canine cancer typically affects the spleen and heart. Commonly struck breeds include Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, and Labrador Retrievers.

A study, conducted by the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, found that dogs with hemangiosarcoma who were treated with a compound derived from the Turkey Tail mushroom had the longest survival times ever reported for dogs with the disease. 

The survival time in dogs without treatment averaged 86 days. But the treatment groups saw much better survival times:

• Average survival time with 50mg/kg Turkey Tail daily: 117 days

• Average survival time with 100mg/kg Turkey Tail daily: 199 days


“We were shocked,” said professor and department chair Dorothy Cimino Brown. “Prior to this, the longest reported median survival time of dogs with hemangiosarcoma of the spleen that underwent no further treatment was 86 days. We had dogs that lived beyond a year with nothing other than this mushroom as treatment.”

Formulations specifically for dogs make adding Turkey Tail mushroom to your dog’s protocol easy. I’m-Yunity’s powerful medicinal mushroom supplement for dogs ($95, is often used as an adjunct health supplement in cancer and chemotherapy. This natural supplement delivers the polysaccharopeptide (PSP) isolated from the Coriolus Versicolor mushroom and is clinically proven to boost energy levels, stabilize white blood cell counts, maintain a healthy appetite, and provide immune support.

“I’m-Yunity extended my dogs life for 18 months,” raves a reviewer. “You wouldn’t know he had cancer. I’m so thankful my dog’s oncologist told me about I’m-Yunity. I highly recommend and I’m thankful for his extended time with our family.”

Furbabies’ Turkey Tail Mushroom powder (from $35, is also used for canine cancer parents. It likewise fortifies immune function, aids digestion, and is rich in the beta-glucans which are known to help activate immune cells and increase antibody production to better fight off infections. 

“Our boy was diagnosed with canine hemangiosarcoma,” one reviewer writes. “We were heartbroken. We researched and found that Turkey Tail mushrooms could help and contacted FurBabies. The life expectancy for a dog with this cancer isn’t long, and we opted for surgery, which may have given him five to seven months longer. We absolutely feel that FurBabies helped us to have our big boy for almost a year, with a great quality of life… the gift of extra time was immeasurable.”


This article originally appeared in the award-winning Modern Dog magazine. Subscribe today!

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