Mushrooms for Dogs
Could your dog benefit from a mushroom supplement? If they’re older or have cancer, the answer may well be yes
Dr. Katherine Kramer, a veterinarian at VCA-Canada Vancouver Animal Wellness Hospital, has been using mushroom supplements as a component of her veterinary practice for over a decade.
“We primarily use a turkey tail (Coriolus versicolor) supplement for senior dogs to support the immune system and to help prevent and treat cancer,” says Dr. Kramer, who notes other types of mushrooms, such as maitake, shiitake, and cordyceps have been shown to have health benefits as well.
The use of mushrooms in traditional and folk medicine can be traced back thousands of years. Similar to cannabis, mushrooms have been shown to contain multiple components with multiple health properties, including immune modulation and anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-tumor effects.
Though research in dogs is fledgling—there have been many more studies involving the use of medical mushrooms in humans—it’s promising. “There has been one interesting study investigating the effects of a compound extracted from the Coriolus versicolor mushroom used in dogs with hemangiosarcoma,” notes Dr. Kramer. “The dogs that received this compound had the longest survival times ever reported for this type of cancer.” She recommends all her cancer patients add a turkey tail mushroom for support. “While there is no conclusive data, I observe that patients receiving mushroom supplements (in addition to other therapies) have longer lifespans.”
In addition to cancer patients, Dr. Kramer suggests a medical mushroom supplement for middle age to senior pets in general. But while mushroom supplements can be extremely beneficial, many varieties can be deadly, the vet cautions. “It is important to note that pet supplements are not well regulated, and some are better than others. Please discuss the best supplement for your pet with your veterinarian.”
The Cancer Fighter/Immune System Boosters
The Coriolus versicolor mushroom, more commonly known as the Turkey Tail mushroom, is often recommended as an adjunct health supplement in cancer and chemotherapy. It possesses immune-boosting properties thanks to its polysaccharopeptides (PSP).
“The dogs that received this compound had the longest survival times ever reported for [hemangiosarcoma].”– Dr. Katherine Kramer
I’m-Yunity’s natural Coriolus versicolor mushroom (Turkey Tail) supplement for dogs is clinically proven to boost energy levels, stabilize white blood cell counts, and provide immune support. Deep layer cultivation and hot water extraction is used to create this peer-reviewed, proprietary Polysaccharopeptide (PSP) Extract containing not less than 38% polysaccharide content and 11.5% peptides. (from $95, buyimyunity.com)
The organic Turkey Tail Mushroom Extract from Healthier Pet is their premier anti-cancer offering. Hot water extracted from 100% turkey tail mushrooms, this USDA-certified-organic extract is guaranteed to contain more than 30% beta-glucans and is verified for quality by a third-party lab. ($48, healthierpet.org)