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Featuring Demian Dressler, DVM and Sue Ettinger, DVM, Dip. ACVIM (Oncology), authors of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide

Spice of Life: Curcumin and Dog Cancer

Updated: August 5th, 2019

In researching topics for expanded treatments of dog cancer, I have discovered surprises aplenty.

Because of the desire for options beyond surgery, chemo and radiation for dog cancer, I chose to look in areas that I would have ignored just a few years back.

One of the hottest topics in cancer research right now is the dietary flavonoid group.  This is just a bunch of substances that are found in foods which have beneficial effects against cancer.

We all know that certain foods or dietary choices have influence on cancer development and overall health.  I came accross a statistic in human medicine that stated that about one third of cancers in people could have been prevented with lifestyle choices (this was excluding the effects of cigarette smoking).

One of the biggest lifestyle choices is the inclusion of certain foods that combat the effects of environmental carcinogens, genetic tendencies, trace water pharmaceuticals, viral DNA changes, dietary carcinogens, electrical field effects, and more.

Most of these naturally occuring flavanoids have very low toxicities.  One of the biggies is curcumin.

Curcumin is found in turmeric, which is the spice that is used in curries.  Curcumin is exceedingly interesting for dogs with cancer.  It is one of the core ingredients I use in cancer supplement programs for my patients and I have seen literal shrinkage of different dog lumps, like  hemangiosarcomas of the skin, fatty tumors (lipomas) , fibrosarcomas, and plasmacytomas.  I rely on it a lot.

This substance is being used as a model for tons of anticancer drugs  in development right now.  Here is some info. Over 40 different curcumin analogs (new drugs using curcumin as a template) are being researched at Ohio State University.

Why not just use the curcumin, instead of going through all the bother of making these new drugs?  There are two main reasons.

My grandfather left me these wise words: “When you want to find the reason for something, look for the dollar.”

So of course money has something to do with it.  You can’t patent a naturally occurring compound.  However, if you tweak its structure to produce a synthetic analog, get the lawyers together to protect the intellectual property, patent it, you are set for years. In this way big pharma protects profits.

Secondly, curcumin has some bioavailability problems. This means that the stuff doesn’t, to a large extent, get absorbed into the blood after it is taken by  mouth.  However, there are ways around this.

If you want to find out more about curcumin, please read the next post!!

Best to all,

Dr Dressler


Discover the Full Spectrum Approach to Dog Cancer

Leave a Comment

  1. Amber Drake on October 9, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    Hello, Patricia. You might ask your veterinarian about using Apocaps or Nutrocept (or the retail version, EverPup) with your dog. As Dr. Dressler points out in his original post, Curcumin may help change the appearance of fatty tumors (lipomas). Curcumin is one of the dietary apoptogens in Dr. Dressler’s nutraceuticals, and they have helped so many dogs. Your veterinarian can find out more information at the company’s veterinary information portal:

  2. patricia on September 28, 2017 at 12:21 am

    Hello..I have a 13 year old Boxer/Doberman mix…she is a wonderful rescue dog. a puppy she was a bait dog…she now has a pendulous mass on the side of her neck. It has been biopsied and shows no malignancy. Our Vets tried to remove it surgically a few weeks ago to no avail as she became unstable as they were giving her the anesthesia. They were going to give her Prednisone to see if it would shrink. It is about the size of a coconut. She still eats, is happy and will go for short walks. She does not appear to be in ain. She also does have a Grade 4 heart murmur. Her life seems to still be joyful We are so frustrated as our Vet now seems to want to just let her be. I am hoping that there may be something that we could do naturally to shrink this mass. I am afraid she will hit it or might it rupture…she is not a candidate for surgery again…they will not attempt it. Thoughts please…thank you Sophie’s Mom

  3. SharonW on July 1, 2017 at 7:41 am

    Hi, my boxer dog had a mast cell tumour. I gave him 800mg -1000mg of curcumin (95% curcuminoids) a day for three months and it literally disappeared. The vet didn’t know what to say! Brilliant – he is a healthy and happy dog. No reoccurances so far – but if there is – I know what I will use!!

  4. […] curcumin in turmeric has also been showing beneficial effects. According to veterinarian Dr. Dressler, curcumin is a supplement that he has been using for his cancer patients and he has witnessed […]

  5. Dog Golden Paste Recipe - Best Pet Home Remedies on March 21, 2017 at 10:41 am

    […] cancer, the curcumin in turmeric has been showing beneficial effects. According to veterinarian Dr. Dressler, curcumin is a supplement that he has been using for his cancer patients and he has witnessed […]

  6. North County Dog Training on November 2, 2016 at 8:07 am

    Wonder Dog Superfoods has powdered toppers that include Turmeric. You don’t have to measure, it is done for you.

  7. Rod on August 21, 2015 at 9:55 am

    Gave hallie cassie’s tea and 2 new tumors were benign and a growth on her head went from 8 cm to 4 cm in 4 months. Another lady’s dog had an eye tumor shrink so much, the vet couldn’t believe it. Wellness Ocean formula, halo dog food plus tumeric and all the vitamins u suggested.
    Sloan Kettering actually stated that everything in cassies tea has anti tumor properties. Hallie will be 11 in january.

    Look for the cancer nurse of canada. Our local health food store said it was worth a try. Keep praying for good results. Tks doc

  8. Susan Kazara Harper on December 11, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    Julie, Have you considered consulting with another vet? Has there been a biopsy and do you know the stage of the lymphoma? Even if the cancer is advanced, your dog is not a number, so although the prognosis is needed information, it is not set in stone. Get the best nutrition going ( and work every day to bring play and joy to him and your family. The stress and fear can impact him, and really cherishing every moment, without worrying about how many you have ahead of you, will give him a lift you won’t believe. I tell you this from experience. Attitude is everything. You have the right to consult with another vet. If you have decided to fight, then fight. Find a vet who will fight with you. Hang in there. If you haven’t yet, please check out the Dog Cancer Srvival Guide (, which has an entire chapter on lymphoma, and look at Apocaps ( to support him. Good luck!

  9. Julie on December 6, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    Our 8 year old boxer has been diagnosed with lymphoma. He’s been given a few weeks to 3 months max to live. We’ve started him on a steroid to help, but have been told there is nothing we can do to help him. Please, any recommendations on what we can give him and where to get it is greatly appreciated. He’s our baby. This is almost unbearable.

  10. Renee on November 12, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    Our 9 year old male rottie mix just was diagnosed with chondrosarcoma (bone cancer) on his shoulder. We saw no signs of this until last night when his front leg was limp and he would yelp trying to sit and laying down. Our vet suggested we don’t put him thru any cancer treatments and gave us 17 pain meds a day to see if this will comfort him . Does anyone have experience with this type off cancer and if so did you have any other suggestions to manage his pain? I would appreciate any advice.

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