Apr 30

Be Aware of These Cancer Warning Signs in Dogs

While it is very hard to catch cancer early in pets, there are a few things that you can always be looking out for.

Abnormal swellings that persist of continue to grow

This is the most obvious sign: a mass or lump that keeps growing under the skin. Don’t just watch the bump, have it removed and biopsied.

Sores that don’t heal

If there’s a skin wound that isn’t healing, even with an antibiotic or ointment, it may be a signal of cancer.

Weight loss

Unexplained weight loss – not coming from a change in diet or more exercise – may come from a tumor along the intestines.

Loss of appetite

Along the same lines as the previous symptom, an internal mass may be making your pet feel sick and not want to eat.

Difficulty eating or swallowing

One possible reason for this sign is a lump in the neck putting pressure on the esophagus.

Bleeding or discharge from any body opening

While nose bleeds don’t mean cancer outright, they are a common sign of nose cancer.

Bad odors

Cancerous masses may release pus, which smells due to bacteria.

Reluctance to exercise or loss of stamina

Tumors can cause bleeding and pressure on various organs including the heart or lungs.

Even if your dog has one of these symptoms, it may not be cancer, but it could signal another health issue your pet is facing.

When in doubt, get to the vet, even if you’ve recently taken your pet in for a regular six month checkup. Early detection is key in treating your dog.

And, even if unfortunately your pet is diagnosed with a form of cancer, it doesn’t always mean the end. Various conventional treatments combined with TCM have given many dogs years past their original expectancy and a great quality of life.

Check out K9 Critical Care’s reviews on their Critical Care product duo. You can read numerous positive outcomes pet owners have had with using medicinal mushrooms to boost the immune system. Canine cancer can be beat!

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Apr 23

Choosing a Veterinary Oncologist

If you think your dog has cancer or has already been diagnosed with cancer, you are certainly worried for your pet and concerned with finding the best veterinarians with the best treatment options.

Who should you go to? Some general vets are knowledgeable about canine oncology, but some are not. Some may have the latest treament options; others may stick to what they learned years ago only. And some may use only holistic or only conventional methods.

We believe the best veterinarians you can turn to for canine cancer use a mix of both holistic and conventional treatment methods, and, if you are close to an animal medical center that has the best in equipment, highly trained staff, and even clinical trials on experimental technology, you most likely will want to start there.

If you aren’t close to a veterinary medical center, get the opinion of at least one veterinary oncologist in addition to your regular vet. Some oncologists at the large medical centers will provide you with a consultation over the phone, though you may feel more comfortable speaking face to face with a vet, and that’s okay, too.

Make sure you have a veterinary oncologist you feel listens to you and is respectful of your concerns and wishes. You also want someone very compassionate and caring toward your pet, as this is a difficult and emotional time.

Below are a sampling of possible centers and hospitals:

United States Veterinary Medical Schools and
Colleges with Animal Medical Centers/Clinics

Auburn University (Alabama)
Colorado State University
Cornell University  (New York)
Iowa State University
Kansas State University
Louisiana State University
Michigan State University
Mississippi State University
North Carolina State University
Ohio State University
Oklahoma State University
Oregon State University
Purdue University (Indiana)
Texas A & M University
Tufts University (Massachusetts)
Tuskegee University (Alabama)
University of California-Davis
University of Florida
University of Georgia
University of Illinois-Urbana
University of Minnesota
University of Missouri
University of Pennsylvania
University of Tennessee
University of Wisconsin-Madison
VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine
Washington State University
Western University of Health Sciences  (California)

Veterinary Medical Centers with Online Links to
Clinical Trials
Animal Clinical Investigation (in MD)
Animal Medical Center of New York
Colorado State
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
North Carolina State
Purdue University:
University of Georgia
University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital
University of Missouri
University of Pennsylvania
University of Tennessee
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Other Animal Hospitals with Oncology Services
Angell Memorial Hospital (Massachusetts)
New England Veterinary Oncology Group
South Paws Veterinary Specialists and Emergency
Center (Virginia)
Portland Veterinary Oncology Center(Oregon)

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Apr 14

Best Medicinal Mushrooms 101: Hericium erinaceus

This is our last post in our series of the seven most potent medicinal mushrooms.

Hericium erinaceus is the most recent mushroom to excite natural-health enthusiasts. Other names it may be called by is Lion’s Mane, Monkey’s Head, White Beard and more, because of its white, shaggy appearance. The mushroom can be found throughout North America, East Asia and Europe.


This medicinal mushroom has been used in Traditional Chinese medicine for treating digestive tract issues. It has also bee used topically on cuts to stop bleeding.

Immune Properties

Recent studies involving the immune system have demonstrated Hericium erinaceus’ polysaccharides have immune-enhancing properties and early research has shown anticancer effects.

Neurological Properties

Hericium erinaceus may stimulate the production of NGF: Nerve Growth Facor. This protein is necessary for the growth of sensory neurons. H. erinceus promotes myelin sheath growth on brain cells, so it makes the mushroom potentially helpful against Alzheimer’s disease and other degenerative, neurological conditions, but at this point, further studies are needed to be absolutely certain the mushroom possesses this benefit.

Ailments Addressed by Hericium erinaceus (humans and pets)

Digestive tract ailments, including ulcers and stomach cancer. It also is believed to address cognitive functions.

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Mar 30

20% Off Mushroom Supplements & More

We saw K9 Critical Care is having a spring sale on supplements. If you ever wanted to try out some of the best in medicinal mushrooms, mobility products, and other supplements for your dog, there’s not a better time than now!

Details on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/k9criticalcare?fref=nf.

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Mar 28

Best Medicinal Mushrooms 101: Shiitake

Today’s mushroom we examine in depth is another well-known name: the shiitake, the world’s second-most common edible mushroom.

Shiitake mushrooms are indigenous to Japan, China, and other areas of Asia. It’s not found in the wild in the U.S., but it is cultivated for commercial use.

Shiitakes are used medicinally in two forms:

  1. Lentinan, a purified polysaccharide extracted from the cell wall of the shiitake fruiting body (the above-ground portion of a mushroom)
  2. Lentinula edodes mycelium extract (LEM)

Both have been shown to benefit patients when taken orally, but the first one, lentinan, has most of its published data from injectable/IV forms.

Adjuvant Cancer Therapy

Shiitakes have demonstrated their benefit when taken prior to or after cancer treatment. The mushroom improves specific immune markers – including natural killer cells, tumor necrosis factor, T-helper cells, and a variety of interleukins – and patient outcomes.


As extracts, shiitakes have shown a wide variety of activity against various microbes, including bacteria, parasites, and viruses.

Cardiovascular Benefits

Shiitakes have seemed to show good possibility in lowering cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Research is ongoing in this area.

Ailments Addressed by Shiitake (humans and pets)

Immune-suppressive diseases like HIV/AIDS, cancer, colds, flu, high cholesterol, and hepatitis.

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Mar 18

Best Medicinal Mushrooms 101: Reishi

Four (1, 2, 3, 4) of the top seven medicinal mushrooms down; three to go!

Reishi mushrooms have a documented history dating back 2,000 years, even to 100 B.C. It is one of the most highly regarded medicinal mushrooms and probably the best choice for a general health tonic to improved overall health and increase longevity. It’s also considered an adaptogen, a unique group of herbal ingredients used to improve the health of the adrenal system, which is in charge of managing the body’s hormonal response to stress.

The polysaccarides in the reishi mushrooms have shown immune-enhancing properties.

Cardiovascular Benefits

In some studies, reishi inhibited platelet aggregation and reduced blood pressure. It also appears to reduce cholesterol.

Immune Benefits

Researchers have found marked immune-modulating effects from reishi extracts taken by patients with advanced tumors. Reduced side effects due to chemo, radiation, or operation recovery were also reported.

Anti-Inflammartory Effects

Hot-water extracts of reishi mushrooms have anti-inflammatory effects, and comparable effects to hydrocortisone.

Liver Benefits

The liver can be protected with reishi mushrooms. After three months of reishi supplementation, all values of hepatitis B patients were within normal range.

Ailments Addressed by Reishi (humans and pets)

Daily tonic to improve and maintain good health, long-term immune support, hepatitis C, hypercholesterolemia, altitude sickness, and diabetes.

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Mar 11

Best Medicinal Mushrooms 101: Maitake

We’ve now gone over the specific benefits of three of the top seven medicinal mushrooms. Today we will discuss a fourth and one of the most studied: the maitake mushroom.

Maitake mushrooms were intensively studied in the 1980s by Dr. Hiroaki Nanba, a professor of microbiology and an expert mycologist at Kobe Pharmaceutical University. His research found maitakes have a unique molecular structure that makes them exhibit great antitumor activity. Specialized components, called maitake fractions, have the ability to both directly enhance the damaging activity of the immune system’s natural killer (NK) cells against cancer cells and to change NK precursor cells into activated NK cells.

Immune Support and Adjunct Treatment

In 1998, University of Massachusetts at Amherst researchers found a maitake extract had significant inhibitory activity against human cervical cancer and T4 leukemic cells.

The mushroom has also been found to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy, including hair loss, pain, nausea, as well as lessen the pain that comes with terminal stage cancer. It also appears to make chemo more effective. On its own, the maitake beta-glucan inhibits tumor growth more effectively (80 percent) than then chemo drug MMC alone (45 percent). But combined, the two had 98 percent inhibition.


In a study of cancer patients in stages II, III, and IV, patients taking maitake saw cancer regression or significant symptom improvement (11 of 16 breast cancer patients, 7 of 12 liver cancer patients, and 5 of 8 lung cancer patients). The mushroom appear to most effective against breast, prostate, and liver cancers.

Ailments Addressed by Maitake (humans and pets)

Adjunctive cancer treatment, fatigue, high blood pressure, liver disease, HIV, and an antioxidant.

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