Curcumin for pets with cancer

This morning I received a Google Alert that took me to a vet’s webpage discussing the possible benefits of administering curcumin to dogs with cancer. The vet’s name is Dr. Dressler, and he apparently is known as the “dog cancer vet.” Anyway, his post (see below link) and his readers’ comments were very interesting, but one of the comments really stuck out, the one about the 12-year-old dog diagnosed with multiple myeloma (=March 9 2010 comment), see: http://tinyurl.com/yzvqvkk

Now, have you ever heard of a dog or cat being diagnosed with multiple myeloma? No…I don’t think I have, either. Oh noooo, here it comes…another research topic…!!!

Okay, now back to being serious. Very serious. Ever since losing a beloved cat (the kitty I adopted at the Toronto Humane Society while I was doing my PhD at U of T) to some sort of horrible kidney disease or tumor, I have considered giving my cats some curcumin for preventive purposes. Well, after reading this web page, I think the time has come…I just have to figure out how to do it, and how much (not very much!) to give to them. Luckily, I have already written a post more or less on this topic, see: https://margaret.healthblogs.org/2007/10/11/curcumin-for-cats/ 

Stefano and I are both taking curcumin…now it’s our cats’ turn! Prevention…prevention…if only I had known years ago what I know now…

19 Comments

  1. Dear Margaret,

    Thank you for all the informations about curcumin.
    We had a cat named Léon. He felt a lot of pain and he became anorexic. He died of osteosarcoma last year. The vet told us that there was no treatment. He should have live only few weeks after the diagnostic but he survived almot one year. We read a lot of papers about cancer treatment and all the knowledge published in this blog. Then we treated him 3-5 times per day with home-made pills of curcumin mixed with ground pepper and omega-3 fish oil and lecithin (total around 300-400 mg curcumin/day). We also gave him honokiol which helped him to recover some appetite. One day, he stopped breathing normally. Then he stopped moving and we couldn’t feed him anymore or treat him with curcumin. He died by 10 days after that. It was my birthday! Our vet told us how surprised he was to see him so “healthy” a few weeks before dying. We also have 2 other cats. Now we give them curcumin as a preventive treatment.

    Prevention … Prevention … It’s the only way!

  2. A coworker’s dog lived approximately a year and 1/2 after being diagnosed with cancer thanks to taking curcumin and wheatgrass. His vet gave him 2 weeks to live, and his owner started giving him curcumin and wheatgrass. The vet was amazed.

  3. A blog reader gave me permission to share his own dog-curcumin story with you, as follows:
    “My Red Cloud Kelpie has a large lump on her side at the base of the rib cage. It’s been there for a while but began to become very evident last fall. So I took her to a vet…her second visit in 12 yrs. The lump or tumor is not of the fatty tumor category. She has a couple of these which are harmless, or so the vet tells us. The vet could not determine the tumor’s ‘variety’ without a needle biopsy, but I had already decided to try and treat it with curcumin before I went in for a confirmation that it was a tumor and not an injury.
    So my dog started on a ‘dietary supplement program’ before Christmas, which consists of curcumin, vitamin D and CO enzyme Q10. The curcumin @ 500 mg x 3 per day before meals and it is the C3 type from Doctor’s Best. I buy the 1000 mg tablets and ‘repackage’ the halves in soft butter…I do the same with the 2000 mg Vit. D and the 100 mg Q10.
    She also gets some olive oil once or twice a day.
    The tumor has significantly shrunk…”

  4. Can I ask another question: what article on this fantastic blog that refer to the best research Turmeric is valuable for MM patients (I have next week a visit to the oncologist and will discuss this with her. Last time I told her about Turmeric.).

  5. The poster re: the dog with MM was me :-). Maggie is my dog, and it is YOUR blog (along with Dr. Dressler’s info) that is what has likely caused her to recover so well from initial diagnosis and had the vets saying ‘wow, she is doing so much better than we expected’. With every blood test her M-spike goes down, down, down and the rest of her bloodwork shows a very healthy dog.

    I have actually been meaning to email you and thank you many times for sharing all that you have learned about myeloma. . . I have spent many many hours researching things I found here to check for their suitability for dogs on pred & melph and have added many supplements to her diet. (Thank doG for Pill Pockets. Seriously.)

    Myeloma in dogs is pretty rare — so rare, in fact, that I could find very little online. You get some general information but that’s about it. I had to turn to the human face of the disease to get any information. My vet had never heard of it in dogs before; we’ve talked to a canine oncologist who’s seen it but there are no such things as vets who specialize in myeloma for dogs. Pretty much I’ve felt like I’m on my own when it comes to keeping her healthy. So the information from Dr. Dressler was a great starting point, and through researching curcumin I found your blog . . . and I continue to research one possible supplement at a time to keep her healthy as long as possible. Everyone who has dogs has that one dog in their life that just steals their heart like no other, and Maggie is that dog for me.

    So THANK YOU for all you do to share your knowledge. Maggie thanks you too :).

    P.S. She doesn’t know she’s sick. Please don’t tell her! 😉

  6. I have a pet squirrel. She is 7 years old and has a large tumor on her abdomon. I feed her turnips and sweet potatoes to help. I’m interested in giving her curcumin. I could probably put it in something she likes, but do you have any advice on what exactly to mix and how much. Thanks for any imput.

  7. I think I must thank you too. My Airedale was noted to have elevated proteins on a pre dental exam and cleaning. Several months later we found a spleen full of plasmacytes and a low normal white cell count with no other abnormalities of blood or organ functioning. The good news is that my beauty is asymptomatic and since I have been giving her curcumin the oncologist vet says I can continue even when we start Melphalan. We can never know if Curcumin let her stay stable for 7 months. I was giving the Biomore prep with bromelain, 500mg with meals, but recently increased to 1000 mg incorporated into coconut oil 1 hr before meals. She is 50 lbs. Stools are yellowish but not as yellow as curcumin. She loves it, licks it off the spoon.
    Of course I read other articles but your experience convinced me to go this route until we had a firm diagnosis. Though the plasma cells are only extramedullary vet is pretty sure that it is in her marrow because of the unexplained and new lowered white cell count. L

  8. Hello everyone:
    My pug was diganosed with mast cell tumour cancer in October of 2011 and I was given the option of surgery. I declined with the assistance of my veterinarian to give my dog benadryl, pepcid and curcumin daily. she had a tumour that was just behind the right front leg. It grew large and burst about 3 months ago. I kept the area very clean, put tshirts on her with pads that kept the wound clean. I gave her antibiotics as well as the benadryl, pepcid and curcumin because she was not showing signs of discomfort but I did not want the wound to become infected.

    The wound has completely healed now, and my pug is behaving as usual, much like a pug would behave. As my vet mentioned, this does not necessarily mean that the condition has disappeared, but in a week she will have passed the year mark following diagnosis. I was concerned about surgery for my pug because of the brachycephalic characteristics as well as her age and current condition.

    I am very happy with the outcome so far regarding my pug’s condition, and although I realize that there are individual considerations for each dog that presents with cancer, this option has been very positive for my dog.

    1. I am very happy to hear your dog did so well with the curcumin and benadryl. I wanted to ask you for an update, if you dont mind. I am considering following your regimen.
      Thank you so much,
      Chantal

  9. This is about my Airedale with MM. She has been on Melphalan with curcumin and homemade diet. Initially had a great remission but just recently seen to have more splenic tumours and now high globulins again. She doesn’t know she is sick either. She just turned 1l. I was breaking the Biomore curcumin caps and mixing the powder, then started just putting the whole caps in coconut wafers (made in a chocolate mold). She eats anything but maybe the caps are preventing some absorption so will go back to the messy mix. Am thinking of adding Resveratol. Does anyone have experience with this mix for Melphalan resistant MM?

  10. My dog became blind only to find out it was caused by mm…
    After being on Melphalan and pred for 10 days her levels didnt go down much.. We are staying with same dose for another week.. She’s lethargic and seems depressed as well as I..course not bring able to see is depressing as is… I need help!!!!!! She still has life in her I can tell!!!
    I’ve been using the Budwigs diet flax with cottage cheese for the past few days.. What else should I try? I have turmeric in a jar, she’s very picky !
    I’m desperate for help!!!

  11. Hi Jami, I am so sorry to hear of your dog’s blindness due to MM. My oncologist has said that the abnormal globulins can hang in for a few weeks even if the cancer cells are responding to the chemo and not producing as many or as fast. I would stick with for a bit longer, my Airedalw tolerated the melphalan very well. I think that the curcumin I was giving helped, no way of knowing. Tumeric just doesn’t have enough curcumin to be of benefit, you do need to get the curcumin concentrated and combined with either black pepper extract or bromelain, the one I use has bromelain (from pineapples) and essential oils of the tumeric root. I gave it with mixed with coconut oil which my dog thinks is a treat. She has just started Cytoxan for relapse after about a year on Melphalan and curcumin likely reduces the effectiveness of the curcumin. When she goes to every two weeks the oncologist says I can add it back in day 4 to day 11. I have heard that a little Bragg’s seasoning is really effective for dogs who are picky eaters. I also give Omega 3 oil daily with her homecooked diet of meat and pureed veggies with cottage cheese, and additives that give her essential and trace minerals. She now has bone lesions so is on Pamidronate to help her keep her bone from breaking down and it helps bone pain which is really terrible. So perhaps your baby has some bone pain too. Did you get a skeletal survey done?

  12. Hi Jami, I am so sorry to hear of your dog’s blindness due to MM. My oncologist has said that the abnormal globulins can hang in for a few weeks even if the cancer cells are responding to the chemo and not producing as many or as fast. I would stick with for a bit longer, my Airedale tolerated the melphalan very well. I think that the curcumin I was giving helped, no way of knowing. Tumeric just doesn’t have enough curcumin to be of benefit, you do need to get the curcumin concentrated and combined with either black pepper extract or bromelain, the one I use has bromelain (from pineapples) and essential oils of the tumeric root. I gave it with mixed with coconut oil which my dog thinks is a treat. She has just started Cytoxan for relapse after about a year on Melphalan and curcumin likely reduces the effectiveness of the cytoxan. When she goes to every two weeks the oncologist says I can add it back in day 4 to day 11. I have heard that a little Bragg’s seasoning is really effective for dogs who are picky eaters. I also give Omega 3 oil daily with her homecooked diet of meat and pureed veggies with cottage cheese, and additives that give her essential trace minerals. She now has bone lesions so is on Pamidronate to help her keep her bone from breaking down and it helps bone pain which is really terrible I have heard. So perhaps your baby has some bone pain too. Did you get a skeletal survey done?

  13. I have not done a skeletal survey. i meet with the oncologist tomorrow after her second dose of Melp. From our last appt. a week ago,I got the impression that if her labs don’t go down much he may discontinue the Melph. He mentioned other chemos but with only a 15% chance. I am at my wits end, truely. The blindness is very hard to handle as she gets confused easily. My back is breaking when walking with her trying to hold her up with a rear harness and trying to steer her at the same time.. I got her a wheelchair which she doesnt quite get as of yet. She’s eating and drinking fine.. I’m feeding her chicken, liver, vegs, salmon oil and some high protein kibble. She’s on gabapentin, i’m not sure if thats doing any good. The oncologist said at our initial meeting that with treatment she can have a good quality of life.. I’m just not seeing that, and I’m getting discouraged. I keep asking myself how can I put her down if shes still eating and drinking and wagging her tail???? I am soo consumed by it all, I will take your advice and get some curcumin in a concentrated form. The coconut oil she did not like at all. Not sure how to administer. I give her flax oil in the cottage cheese with ground seeds as per the Budwig diet protocol. I got an invitation for tonights radio show http://www.theradiopetlady.com to talk to a cancer vet around 9:30 ET. So we shall see what they say..Thanks for replying…Jami

  14. To administer the curcumin, I open the Vitacost Tumeric Extract Curcumin C3 complex, 2 caps about a gram, and add a Quercetin with Bromelain capsule, Now brand, and a pinch of papain in some cod liver oil and coconut oil with a sardine, the ones in spring water. Our Maggie, a Bichon, hops up and down and licks her lips when I start to mix it. Careful about opening the caps; it stains everything it touches.

  15. My 10 year old dog, Simon Peter, has been recently diagnosed with multiple myeloma. I resisted chemotherapeutic drugs for about 6 months, until my veterinarian convinced me that his “sticky blood” would either kill him or cause serious problems if I failed to do something. He started with Leukeran (Chlorambucil), 4 mg/day, for four days; and 12.5 mg/day of prednisolone, and achieved remission, with excellent white blood cell readings and a decrease in his globulins (dropped from 11.9 to 4.0). He was then put on 2 mg/day of Leukeran, and 12.5 mg/day of prednisolone. After about a weak, his bone marrow showed evidence of suppression, and his globulins were beginning to creep back up, now at 4.9. Because of the bone marrow issues, Simon is now taking Leukeran, 2mg/every other day, and his prednisolone dose has also been reduced, now at 10mg/every other day. I will be bringing him for more blood work, probably weekly, until a therapeutic dose of medication can be established for him. I have done a considerable amount of research into curcumin therapy for this type of cancer, and will be working with his vet to determine a dose for him. I would be very interested in hearing from anyone who has used curcumin in their animals. What doses did you use, and what brands do you recommend? I am considering using Organic India Curcumin to treat him, as I have obtained positive results for myself using their other products. Thus far, Simon appears to be doing very well, having increased urination and a bit of fatigue (prior to the use of the pharmaceutical products) as his only multiple myeloma symptoms.

  16. My 10 year old dog, Simon Peter, has been recently diagnosed with multiple myeloma. I resisted chemotherapeutic drugs for about 6 months, until my veterinarian convinced me that his “sticky blood” would either kill him or cause serious problems if I failed to do something. He started with Leukeran (Chlorambucil), 4 mg/day, for four days; and 12.5 mg/day of prednisolone, and achieved remission, with excellent white blood cell readings and a decrease in his globulins (dropped from 11.9 to 4.0). He was then put on 2 mg/day of Leukeran, and 12.5 mg/day of prednisolone. After about a weak, his bone marrow showed evidence of suppression, and his globulins were beginning to creep back up, now at 4.9. Because of the bone marrow issues, Simon is now taking Leukeran, 2mg/every other day, and his prednisolone dose has also been reduced, now at 10mg/every other day. I will be bringing him for more blood work, probably weekly, until a therapeutic dose of medication can be established for him. I have done a considerable amount of research into curcumin therapy for this type of cancer, and will be working with his vet to determine a dose for him. I would be very interested in hearing from anyone who has used curcumin in their animals. What doses did you use, and what brands do you recommend? I am considering using Organic India Curcumin to treat him, as I have obtained positive results for myself using their other products. Thus far, Simon appears to be doing very well, having increased urination and a bit of fatigue (prior to the use of the pharmaceutical products) as his only multiple myeloma symptoms.

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