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How to help dogs with cancer

How to help dogs with cancer

Posted by Dr. D on Oct 8th 2022


Yunnan Baiyao, also known as Yunnan paiyao, can be used in some dog cancers.

Some canine cancers are associated with bleeding, like internal hemangiosarcomas. Hemangiosarcomas are tumors that occur in the linings of the blood vessels, so they can be pretty bloody.

But even other types of cancers can bleed. For example, sometimes chemotherapy drugs increase bleeding tendencies. Sometimes tumors rupture, and internal bleeding results.

Again, not every tumor is bloody. But when they are, finding a way to control that internal bleeding is a good idea.

Especially nice would be something that can be given in a capsule at home.

Yunnan baiyao is a blend of herbal ingredients, not one single plant. Here in the West, we’re used to thinking about individual treatments for individual problems. Supplements are usually made of only one ingredient.

That’s not the way TCM thinks about remedies or treatments. With their thousands of years of experience, they often make blends of several different components. Yunnan baiyao is no exception.

The precise recipe is a guarded secret in China, but the ingredients include various yam roots, ox gall bladder, pseudoginseng, and sweet geranium.

I wouldn’t recommend using yunnan baiyao without consulting with your veterinarian. It might not be necessary for your dog’s specific case. But if your dog is having internal bleeds, or if your dog has the bloody cancer called hemangiosarcoma, your veterinarian might want to use it to help control bleeding.

How much to give? The following dosing is a bit rough. These are general guidelines that you should check out with your veterinarian:

  • For dogs under 10 lbs, give 1 capsule by mouth one time a day.
  • For dogs from 10 to 30 lbs, give 1 capsule by mouth two times a day.
  • For dogs above 30 but less than 60 lbs, give 2 capsules two times a day.
  • For dogs above 60 lbs, give 2 capsules three times a day.

Do not give Yunnan baiyao on an ongoing basis. It is best to give it on alternating days, or for a 5-day on, 5-day off cycle that repeats. You should also be aware that there is some evidence that this medicine may elevate liver markers if given daily for prolonged periods of time.