Canine Health and Curcumin

Writer: Cheryl Myers

Not everyone sees their relationship with their animals in the same light. To some, animals are workers and nothing more, and to others, animals are cherished members of the family. I have had animal companions so dear to me that they were some of the most important relationships in my life. They brought me great joy, and their loss broke my heart into a million pieces.

Having an animal companion, be it dog, cat, horse, or something else entirely—is a tremendous responsibility. And loving an animal dearly deepens this sense further still. We often feel this responsibility most keenly when our pet is suffering.

Of course, the first step in seeking care for our animal companions is often to see a veterinarian, and this is important for proper diagnosis. We need to know what we are dealing with. Is our dog experiencing a little arthritis, or is it a tumor? Is her skin just dry, or does she have allergies? Is our horse suffering from muscle strain or a more serious connective tissue tear?

In almost every scenario, there is a crucial element that must be addressed: inflammation.

Inflammation causes pain. It interferes with tissue repair. It promotes cancer and blood vessel damage and even depression. A very important step in treating almost any of the common health concerns with dogs, cats, and horses is to dramatically reduce inflammation.

The most powerful, scientifically studied natural medicine to directly combat excessive levels of inflammation is curcumin. Curcumin is extracted from the spice turmeric, but they are not the same thing. Turmeric contains only 2 to 5% curcumin, and achieving medicinal levels would require unreasonable amounts. Therefore, both doctors and scientists use curcumin for a wide variety of animal health concerns because they can deliver a medicinal dose in far fewer capsules or pellets.

However, curcumin has a challenge as well, in that it is not well absorbed. Second generation curcumin products have utilized various methods to enhance absorption. Some of these methods are more natural and advantageous than others. The most clinically studied, enhanced absorption curcumin in the world uses turmeric essential oil in a patented process to boost absorption. In fact, you would need to give your pet 200 to 500 capsules of an equal dose to equal the amount of curcumin delivered to the bloodstream as a single capsule of curcumin with turmeric essential oils. This patented formulation has published studies in dogs, cats, and horses, demonstrating both safety and efficacy.

Curcumin also has studies in human health as well, including arthritis, autoimmune diseases, skin conditions, cancer, diabetes, and mood disorders. How many times have scientists used animal models in experiments to demonstrate benefits for human health? Here is an instance where we can learn from studies in human beings how this powerful natural medicine can benefit animal health.

In several studies, curcumin is able to equal or even outperform a class of drugs commonly used in both human and animal care, called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Some drugs in this class are aspirin and ibuprofen (used more in humans) and carprofen (some brand names are Novox or Rimadyl), ketoprofen, and others for dogs. The problems with these drugs is their side effects, which include vomiting, loss of appetite, depression, diarrhea, stomach or intestinal ulcers, liver failure, kidney failure, and even death. That is quite a list!

Curcumin has side benefits instead of serious side effects. Some side benefits of curcumin (to name only a few) are helping to prevent heart disease and diabetes.

Enhanced absorption, clinically studied curcumin with turmeric essential oils can make a real difference in your animal companion’s life. And your life as well.