Dec 24

Medicinal Mushrooms – from Traditional Medicine to Alternative Medicine

Are you interested in learning more about the history of medicinal mushroom use to treat many health issues?

Check out this article on Myko San’s blog. Are mushrooms really the “alternative” approach?

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Nov 23

10 Commonly Asked Canine Cancer Questions

If you have just gotten bad news at the vet and are searching for some answers, or you are worried about something that has appeared on your pet, take a look at these 10 commonly asked questions.

Do take the answers with a grain of salt, and know there are still many more options to be looked into, especially holistic treatments in conjunction with typical Western methods.

Have a question on how best to treat your dog holistically using medicinal mushrooms? Give our friends at K9Critical Care a call (800-364-6299). They are happy to talk about holistic options that may help your dog.

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Oct 17

My Dog Was Just Diagnosed with Cancer. What Should I Do?

Excerpt from an article posted on Millie’s Million. Read the full piece with expanded information on each of the 10 suggestions here.

When you find out that your dog has cancer, it’s one of the most surreal experiences possible. You panic and grab a camera to take a million pictures of your pup. You assume that your dog is going to die tomorrow.

That’s not always the case. Usually you have some time.

What should you do with this time?

1. Approach the cancer journey with hope.
2. Talk to other pet owners who have been down the
canine cancer road with their own dogs.
3. Always talk to an oncologist whenever possible.
4. Do Research
5. If you need financial assistance, there are places you
can try.
6. Find clinical trials.
7. Don’t freak out if you can’t afford traditional treatments. There are still things you can do.
8. Consider adding a wellness program to traditional treatments.
9. Don’t feel guilty about any decisions you make.
10. Don’t mourn the living!

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Aug 30

The “Whys” and “Hows” of Mushroom Use in Dogs

In Dr. Basko’s blog post “The Many Health Benefits of Mushrooms (And How to Add Them to Your Pet’s Diet),” he provides a wealth of information on the background of medicinal mushroom use and how to begin implementing them for treatments today.

Why Use Mushrooms in Dogs?

Mushrooms not only taste great but also help a variety of human and animal issues. According to Dr. Basko, “the most common use of ‘medicinal’ mushrooms is in the treatment and prevention of cancers.”

He goes on to list other typical uses and benefits of mushrooms:

  • Help support liver, kidney function
  • Improve diversity of nutrients in the diet; especially minerals: K. Zn, Se, Cu
  • Improve nutrition in weak and deficient animals
  • Improve geriatric conditions (blood sugar and metabolism)
  • Lower cholesterol and helps support weight loss and fatty liver diseases
  • Prevent viral infections
  • Contain many antioxidants and immunomodulators and improves health

Which Mushrooms Should Be Used in Dogs?

Which mushrooms are used most by Dr. Basko? His three “power mushrooms” (used in combination) are Reishi, Maitake, and Shiitake.

According to Basko, “reishi mushrooms are good to use with pets experiencing chronic degenerative processes, weakened immune systems, dysfunctioning liver, heart or kidney systems, or general weakness.”

And, “depending upon the pet’s underlying weaknesses or ‘deficiencies,’ symptoms and constitution, other mushrooms will be added, such as Maitake, Shiitake, Cordyceps sinensis, and Trametes versicolor (Turkey Tail).”

We at Dog Cancer Info also like to see Agaricus blazei (for its antitumor properties) and Coriolus versicolor (for its anticancer and anti-infection properties) implemented as well.

What Issues Can Mushrooms Help With in Dogs?

Dr. Basko likes to use Reishi, Maitake and Shiitake mushrooms to address, among other issues:

  1. Geriatric diseases with chronic debilitation complex: muscle atrophy, cardiac problems, and weakness (Qi Deficiencies)
  2. Alone or in conjunction with chemotherapy for Cancer patients (synergistic effects)
  3. The side-effects of cortisone therapy (adaptogenic & hepatoprotective)
  4. Supportive care with Cushing’s disease (adaptogenic)
  5. Weak puppies or kittens with severe parasitism
  6. Cats with compromised immune systems (FIV, FIP, FeLV) or kittens with viral upper respiratory tract infections
  7. Hepatitis, liver failure, mushroom poisoning
  8. Adjunct to antibiotic or anti-fungal pharmaceuticals (synergistic effect)
  9. Acute and chronic cystitis (add Poria cocos, Polyporous umbellata)
  10. Urinary Incontinence (add Cordyceps)

How to Use Mushrooms for Your Dog

Mushrooms can be admistered raw, dried, or in pill/wafer or powder form.

For dogs, we recommend dried mushrooms or wafers or powders.

“A therapeutic dose of fresh mushrooms would be too large to consume in one sitting without suffering a gastric upset,” Basko states.

And, as always, if you’re going the pill/wafer or powder route, make sure the mushrooms were hot water extracted.

For more information, read the full article.

You can also get in touch with a brand that carries hot water extracted mushrooms. K9 Critical Care has a knowledgeable staff, reachable at 800-364-6299. They can recommend the right products for your dog’s diagnosis and will ship out items immediately. For humans, Mushroom Science can be reached at 1-888-283-6583.

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Jul 10

Shiitake Use in Boosting the Immune System

The American Cancer Society has a good page on the use of Shiitake mushrooms in fighting cancer.

Shiitakes (and other mushrooms) work to boost the immune system, which is what ultimately overcomes cancerous cells. A strong immune system is invaluable to dogs with cancer.

Shiitake Health Benefits

“Shiitake mushrooms are promoted to fight the development and progression of cancer and AIDS by boosting the body’s immune system,” the website states.

“These mushrooms are also said to help prevent heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels and to help treat infections such as hepatitis by producing interferon, a group of natural proteins that stops viruses from multiplying.”

The page also states that “some positive results regarding the antitumor, cholesterol-lowering, and virus-inhibiting effects of several active compounds in shiitake mushrooms” has been seen.

Where Should I Buy Mushroom Extracts?

Mushrooms are readily available in stores and on the internet, but care should be taken in what kind are bought. Full potency comes from hot water extracted mushrooms. For humans, we recommend mushroom extracts from Mushroom Science. Dogs would do well with K9 Critical Care’s supplements.

The American Cancer Society’s page says extracts are preferred for medicinal purposes, rather than eating the whole mushroom, and we agree.

“Medicinal use of shiitake mushrooms dates at least to 100 AD in China (see Chinese Herbal Medicine),” says ACS’s site. “The mushrooms have been widely consumed as a food for thousands of years in the East and more recently in the West. Today, shiitake mushrooms are very popular in the United States as well. Research into the anticancer properties of shiitake mushrooms has been going on since at least the 1960s.”

See the full article and additional resources at the American Cancer Society’s website.

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Jun 23

Mushroom Compound Offers Hope for Cancer in Dogs and Humans

Jeff Gillman and his German shepherd-husky mix dog Reuben have been together for 12 years, and now a deadly blood cancer threatens to separate them.

“I got him the summer after my freshman year in college and I was traveling on the West Coast bumming around hitchhiking,” said the now 31-year-old lawyer from Philadelphia. “He was given to me at a farmer’s market in Santa Cruz. This dog was just too much to pass up. He’s my oldest and best friend.”

So when Reuben was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma of the spleen, an aggressive and invasive cancer that arises from the blood cells and typically affects the spleen, Gillman was devastated.

“I love my dog so much because I just don’t think there are other living things in this world that give of themselves as much as dogs do,” he said. “That’s what they do. They exist to give. He is happy when he is doing for me. His love for his pack is so undying and strong, I can’t help but love him back.”

So Gillman enrolled Reuben in a clinical trial at Penn Vet, which is part of the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School and carries out groundbreaking cancer research. Read More »

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