Yunnan Baiyao for Dogs: Chinese Herb for Bleeding Dog Cancers
Updated: April 27th, 2023
Yunnan baiyao for dogs with cancer may sound weird because it’s used for bleeding problems. But in certain cases, it is really useful.
Today’s article is about an herb from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM): yunnan baiyao for dogs with cancer. Yes, the chinese herb, also spelled yunnan paiyao, can be used in some cancers.
This episode of our podcast Dog Cancer Answers addresses yunnan baiyao.
Bleeding Cancer Causes
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.
A Supplement That Stops Bleeding??
Conventional veterinary medicine teaches us that there is no such thing. But hey, let’s remember: there is more to healing than what we may have been exposed to here in the West. My alma mater is consistently ranked number one or two best veterinary school in the nation, but I didn’t learn about supplements until I started my own studies.
Yunnan baiyao is a good example. This is a well-known treatment in China. Its name means “The white medicine from Yunnan province.”
It’s well researched in China, and, perhaps more importantly, comes from a medical tradition that has been in existence for thousands of years. Our Western medical researchers are beginning to show interest, and so far, most studies here show that there are reasons to study it more.
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.
How Yunnan Baiyao Works (we think)
It seems that yunnan baiyao activates the platelets, the tiny blood cells that help form clots. Why is this important?
Well, because blood clots are the first step in a scab. When platelets are active, they form little plugs, or little corks. That’s the way they stop a hemorrhage.
Think of the last time you cut yourself. Remember how the blood flowed, and then slowed down, and a red oozy mass formed? That’s your platelets in action.
So we think when a dog takes yunnan baiyao, the herbal formula activates the platelets, which slow bleeding down and help stop it.
Keep in mind that this remedy is not fully understood, and there are some veterinarians who just don’t think using it is worth it. But there are plenty who disagree and feel that as long as it’s safe, using it in serious cases is warranted.
For more tools to help fight dog cancer that you may have not heard of, get a copy of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide.
When To Use Yunnan Baiyao
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.
Best to all,
Editor’s Note: Where to Buy Yunnan Baiyao
It is not as easy to get yunnan baiyao online as it once was. If your veterinarian doesn’t sell it (and most who recommend it do), the best bet is to check your local supplement store, particularly if they stock other TCM remedies. If they don’t stock it, you might ask your veterinarian to order it for you from Jin Tang http://tcvmherbal.com/. You can also try Pine Street Clinic: https://pinestreetclinic.com/products/yunnan-baiyao
Further Reading & References
Brennen McKenzie, MA, MSc, VMD, cVMA, Yunnan baiyao for patients with hemorrhage, neoplasia, Veterinary Practice News, December 11, 2017
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s discussion on Yunnan Baiyao
Institute of Traditional Medicine Discussion of Yunnan Baiyao
Tansey C, Wiebe ML, Hybki GC, Patlogar JE, Murphy LA, Bianco D, Nakamura RK. A prospective evaluation of oral Yunnan Baiyao therapy on thromboleastographic parameters in apparently healthy dogs. J Vet Emerg Crit Care (San Antonio). 2018 May;28(3):221-225. doi: 10.1111/vec.12712. PMID: 29727528
Morris BR, deLaforcade A, Lee J, Palmisano J, Meola D, Rozanski E. Effects of in vitro hemodilution with crystalloids, colloids, and plasma on canine whole blood coagulation as determined by kaolin-activated thromboelastography. J Vet Emerg Crit Care (San Antonio). 2016 Jan-Feb;26(1):58-63. doi: 10.1111/vec.12345. Epub 2015 Jul 28. PubMed PMID: 26220153.
Ness SL, Frye AH, Divers TJ, Rishniw M, Erb HN, Brooks MB. Randomized placebo-controlled study of the effects of Yunnan Baiyao on hemostasis in horses. Am J Vet Res. 2017 Aug;78(8):969-976. doi: 10.2460/ajvr.78.8.969. PubMed PMID: 28738008.
Lee A, Boysen SR, Sanderson J, Wagg CR, Chalhoub S. Effects of Yunnan Baiyao on blood coagulation parameters in beagles measured using kaolin activated thromboelastography and more traditional methods. Int J Vet Sci Med. 2017 Apr 12;5(1):53-56. doi: 10.1016/j.ijvsm.2017.01.004. eCollection 2017 Jun. PMID: 30255049
Wiinberg B, Jensen AL, Rojkjaer R, Johansson P, Kjelgaard-Hansen M, Kristensen AT. Validation of human recombinant tissue factor-activated thromboelastography on citrated whole blood from clinically healthy dogs. Vet Clin Pathol. 2005 Dec;34(4):389-93. PubMed PMID: 16270265.
Frederick J, Boysen S, Wagg C, Chalhoub S. The effects of oral administration of Yunnan Baiyao on blood coagulation in beagle dogs as measured by kaolin-activated thromboelastography and buccal mucosal bleeding times. Can J Vet Res. 2017;81(1):41-45.
How One Company Brought Traditional Chinese Medicine To The Modern World And Made Billions, Forbes, Michael Schuman
Yunnan Baiyao – What’s the Clinical Evidence? by L. Graham
Dr. Demian Dressler is internationally recognized as “the dog cancer vet” because of his innovations in the field of dog cancer management, and the popularity of his blog here at Dog Cancer Blog. The owner of South Shore Veterinary Care, a full-service veterinary hospital in Maui, Hawaii, Dr. Dressler studied Animal Physiology and received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California at Davis before earning his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University. After practicing at Killewald Animal Hospital in Amherst, New York, he returned to his home state, Hawaii, to practice at the East Honolulu Pet Hospital before heading home to Maui to open his own hospital. Dr. Dressler consults both dog lovers and veterinary professionals, and is sought after as a speaker on topics ranging from the links between lifestyle choices and disease, nutrition and cancer, and animal ethics. His television appearances include “Ask the Vet” segments on local news programs. He is the author of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide: Full Spectrum Treatments to Optimize Your Dog’s Life Quality and Longevity. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Hawaii Veterinary Medical Association, the American Association of Avian Veterinarians, the National Animal Supplement Council and CORE (Comparative Orthopedic Research Evaluation). He is also an advisory board member for Pacific Primate Sanctuary.
How long should yunnia be given ?
Hi Bill! Please ask your vet for specific advice about your dog’s case, but in general, yunnan baiyao should be given as long as there is a potential bleeding problem.
My 13 1/2 old female beagle was diagnosed with tumors on her spleen (most likely hemangiosarcoma) and a 1cm mass in her bladder (most likely TCC). I have been giving her Apocaps with a small amount of peanut butter for about a month now. She no longer will eat the peanut butter. So I started opening up the Apocaps and mixing it with about 1 tbsp. of plain tuna. Then I realized that might not be good due to the antioxidants in the tuna. Can you please advise at your earliest convenience.
Thank you ,
Thanks for writing 🙂 Any kind of food will work, as long as your dog will eat it– peanut butter, cheese, cream cheese, pill pockets, bone broth, or even the dog’s wet food 🙂
My German Shepherd had his spleen removed Monday and I received terrible news today than it was cancer he’s only 8 years old. They said he won’t live more than 2 months. Someone please help me
Thanks for writing. As we’re not veterinarians here, we can’t offer you medical advice. However, we can provide you with information based off Dr. Dressler’s writings
In the Dog Cancer Survival Guide, Dr. D highly recommends that you become your dog’s Primary Healthcare Advocate. You know yourself, and your boy the best. There are a number of factors that you have to take into consideration (finances, your dog’s personality, your personality, treatment options, age, etc) before making a decision, as each dog and their health situation is different.
There is no “one right fit” with cancer treatment. This is where Treatment Plan Analysis can be really beneficial. Here’s an article on how to end treatment plan analysis paralysis https://www.dogcancerblog.com/blog/make-decisions-dog-cancer-treatments/
You also have to factor in your guardian type. Do you want your boy to be as comfortable as possible? Are you okay with handling the side effects of particular treatments? How important is quality of life? Do you think he would be the same after surgery? Here’s a link to an article on guardian types that you may find helpful: https://www.dogcancerblog.com/blog/why-your-personality-is-so-important-to-your-dog-with-cancer/
As Dr. D writes in the Dog Cancer Survival Guide, there are a number of treatment options, besides chemo, surgery, and radiation, in the Full Spectrum Cancer Care that you could consider, under your vet’s supervision– Nutraceuticals, Diet, Brain Chemistry Modification, and Immune System Boosters and Anti-metastatics.
In addition, you do have to take into account your boy’s life expectancy, and gained life expectancy (How much time is gained with treatments). In addition to Chapter 20 of the Dog Cancer Survival Guide, and these articles on Life Expectancy, you may find this video on Life Expectancy to be helpful 🙂 Here’s the link: https://www.dogcancerblog.com/videos/life-expectancy-vs-gained-life-expectancy-in-dog-cancer-treatments/
We can’t tell you what the right choice is because we’re not vets, each dog and their situation is different, and we don’t know your boy. But you do. And once you figure out what is most important to you both, you can then make a more informed decision 🙂
You can buy it online many sites like Amazon but if you wish i would be happy to mail you 5 boxes. My dog has passed after hemangiosarcoma. No strings attached I would just like someone to have them who could use them. 5135784050 Gretchen
UPDATE : the above Yunnan Baiyao boxes are no longer available.
Loved the new add.
I was recommended to use Yunnan Baiyo by our trusted veterinarian here on Long Island, New York for a bleeding tumor in our 14 year old Shephard Collie, Milo.
It was effective in curbing the internal bleeding. I ordered it from California and the supplier was very accommodating.
Several veterinarians/surgeons suggested euthanizing our beloved dog as the tumor looked malignant and likely had a poor prognosis.
A needle biopsy didn’t show malignant cells but that was attributed to the needle ‘missing the spot.’
I refused their suggestion and found us rushing into surgery some weeks later when the tumor starting causing a major problem.
To my absolute joy and the surgeons shock the pathology was negative and we went on to have two more of the most wonderful years with Milo!
I will be eternally grateful to all the good people who dedicate themselves to caring for our pets who bring us so much joy.
Any suggestions on WHERE to get the yunan supplement??
Hey Cris! Dr. D recommends this site for TCM formulas, including yunnan baiyao: http://tcvmherbal.com/
We’ve purchased from this place…their customer service has been amazing: https://pinestreetclinic.com/products/yunnan-baiyao
Our golden was diagnosed with HSA beginning of April given only a month or so after splenectomy and large tumor removal surgery. After much research and lots of google searches found a support group on Facebook who had lots of experiences with the disease and lots of helpful information. I started YB, turkey tail mushroom and a immune mushroom mix. we went to home cooked natural foods ,veggies , fruits and bone broth. 4 months later she is healthy , blood count normal and back to her laid back lazy girl self. She is 9 1/2. WE enjoy every day we can get. It is a bit more work making her food but well worth it. I get Yunnan Baiyao from Walmart’s on line. The mushroom mix, turkey tail, and immune health I get from Chewy.com. they have many different kinds of holistic vitamins and supplements. Be sure if you give Turkey Tail , which comes very recommended, you give milk thistle for liver support and health. . I recommend you check out the Hemangioma support group on FB. They are a very helpful understanding what we are going through group.
My dog was recently diagnosed with a terminal tumor on her heart and high liver enzymes on 02/06. My vet prescribed Yunnan Baiyao capsules to take daily. Blood was drained from around her heart and she was given a steroid injection to reduce the size. Her prognosis was given for a few weeks. I have been giving her plain baked chicken or turkey to improve her appetite. Occasionally she has the desire for her dog food. After research, I just added reishi and turkey tail powdered mushroom capsules and milk thistle capsules for her liver. Her spirits are high, she’s playful and enjoys her food. Hypothetically, how long will it take to shrink the tumor, reverse the swelling and lower her liver enzymes. On average, what can I hope for a life expectancy? She is 12 years old, but appears much younger. I appreciate your time and look forward to your response. Thank you, Anita Adam
Thanks for writing! As we’re not veterinarians here in customer support, we can’t offer you medical advice. Those are really good questions that you should ask your veterinarian because they will be able to offer their medical opinions based on your girl and her current treatment plan 🙂 In the meantime, you may find some of these articles on Life Expectancy and Life Quality to be helpful!
As Dr. D writes in the Dog Cancer Survival Guide, there are a number of things that you can do for your dog with cancer. Conventional Treatments (Surgery, chemo, radiation), Nutraceuticals, Immune System Boosters and anti-metastatics, diet, and brain chemistry modifications. This is what Dr. D calls the Full Spectrum Approach 🙂
I am a proud owner of a 15 year old golden retreiver. In september he had a smalk amount of blood from his right nostril after a hike (he is in great condition). He has had no further issues until the last 2 weeks, with a nosebleed almost daily. He recently went ti see our vet and started him on an antibotic, which made him sick. He is now taking Yunnan Baiyao. My question is how long does it take for the medication to show results. Also curious if benadryl will help with his mucous discharge??
After a hike – are you sure he doesn’t have a leech up his nose?
Hey Dr. D (and everyone!),
We ended up trying this for our pup and discovered there are actually bunch of different versions of Yunnan Baiyao out there. After having some not-very-nice customer service experiences with some online stores trying to get it, we eventually found this place and have had a good experience (what they’re selling is authentic, they’re super nice, and it arrived the next day), so I thought I’d pass their info along:
Thanks for this great blog!
Thanks for that Jayme! There’s also this source Dr. Dressler recommends other veterinarians use for yunnan baiyao and other TCM formulas: http://tcvmherbal.com/