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

Colostrum for Energy in Dogs with Cancer

Updated: August 26th, 2021


Is colostrum snake oil? Or is it worth using for a dog with cancer? Dr. Nancy Reese explains why it can help your dog.

Debra’s dog has been diagnosed with a super aggressive cancer: hemangiosarcoma. Her veterinarian recommended colostrum, a supplement form of breast milk (usually from cows).

And her dog perked up!

Debra wants to know: how much should she give her dog?

Dr. Nancy Reese, DVM, MPVM, PhD joins us today on Dog Cancer Answers so we can delve into the why’s and hows of colostrum.

Colostrum is an interesting supplement. Dr. Nancy admits that she once thought it was a “snake oil” recommendation for dogs with cancer.

After all, vet school taught her that it was only useful to infants in the first hours of life…

… but research since has shown that it has many agents that are useful to dogs of all ages.

Colostrum is good for gut health, energy, and has “a hint of anti-cancer effects.” Yummy!

Not only that, but colostrum has what Dr. Nancy calls “a hint of anti-cancer effects” in studies.

And it gives dogs great energy.

Dr. Nancy concludes “I cannot think of a reason that you shouldn’t use [colostrum].”

As for Debra’s question about how much colostrum to give her dog, Dr. Nancy was less definitive.

She suggests you find a “good holistic vet that has a product that they stand behind.” Why?

Because not all supplements are created equal, and doses may vary depending upon the source, the weight of the dog, and the therapeutic goals your veterinarian has.

You can find a holistic veterinarian on their trade association website.

Is Colostrum Worth It for Dogs with Cancer?

Dr. Dressler agrees with Dr. Nancy about colostrum — he’s been recommending transfer factors (supplements that contain or are extracted from colostrum) since the beginning. You can read more about it in chapter 13 of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide.

So if you’re wondering if colostrum is worth considering … it is. It’s nice for energy, gut health, and may even have mild anti-cancer effects.

You can read the whole transcript on the episode page on the Dog Cancer Answers website.

Here’s the video version of the podcast:

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Warm Aloha,


PS: Feel free to share this article or the podcast itself with your veterinarian and their staff.

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