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Supplements for Dogs with Cancer

Supplements for Dogs with Cancer | Dr. Demian Dressler Deep Dive


Do a quick online search and you will see dozens of supplements supposed to be good for dogs with cancer. But are they? Dr. Dressler, author of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide, discusses the supplements worth considering and how they work.

Episode Notes

Today’s episode is a monster – a full hour with Dr. Demian Dressler, author of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide focused on supplements for dog cancer.

Dr. Dressler touches on the hallmarks of cancer, and then reviews supplements that counteract them. He talks about supporting normal and natural apoptosis (also known as cell suicide). He also talks about immune compromise, inflammation, the importance of gut health and the microbiome, and bone marrow suppression. He also makes recommendations specific to dogs undergoing chemotherapy, to protect from side effects. Also discussed: homeopathy, homotoxicology, antioxidants, and whole herb extracts.

Supplements discussed include:


Colostrum/transfer factor

Cordyceps mushroom



K9 Immunity

Modified citrus pectin

Probiotics and prebiotics


Milk thistle/silymarin

Transfer factor



Turkey tail mushroom

Wobenzym N

Links Mentioned in Today’s Show:

The Dog Cancer Survival Guide: Full Spectrum Treatments to Optimize Your Dog’s Life Quality and Longevity by Dr. Demian Dressler and Dr. Susan Ettinger.

Related Links: by Dr. Dressler and Dr. Ettinger by Dr. Dressler by Dr. Dressler

About Today’s Guest, Dr. Demian Dressler:

Dr. Demian Dressler, DVM is internationally recognized as “the dog cancer vet” because of his innovations in the field of dog cancer management. A dynamic educator and speaker, Dr. Dressler is the author of the best-selling animal health book The Dog Cancer Survival Guide: Full Spectrum Treatments to Optimize Your Dog’s Life Quality and Longevity.

Dr. Dressler is the owner of the accredited practice 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.

“Your dog does NOT have an expiration date, and there are things ALL cancers have in common that you can help fight. Imagine looking back at this time five years from now and not having a single regret.” - Dr. D

You can find hundreds of articles Dr. D wrote about dog cancer on his immensely popular website:

Other Links:

To join the private Facebook group for readers of Dr. Dressler’s book “The Dog Cancer Survival Guide,” go to

Dog Cancer Answers is a Maui Media production in association with Dog Podcast Network

This episode is sponsored by the best-selling animal health book The Dog Cancer Survival Guide: Full Spectrum Treatments to Optimize Your Dog’s Life Quality and Longevity by Dr. Demian Dressler and Dr. Susan Ettinger. Available everywhere fine books are sold.

Have a guest you think would be great for our show? Contact our producers at

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If you would like to ask a dog cancer related question for one of our expert veterinarians to answer on a future Q&A episode, call our Listener Line at 808-868-3200

Dog Cancer News is a free weekly newsletter that contains useful information designed to help your dog with cancer. To sign up, please visit:


[00:00:00] >> James Jacobson: Today’s show is brought to you by the bestselling book, The Dog Cancer Survival Guide: Full Spectrum Treatments to Optimize Your Dog’s Life Quality and Longevity. It’s available everywhere books are sold in both paperback and digital additions and on the publisher’s website at DogCancerBook.Com. Use coupon code PODCAST on that website to get 10% off The Dog Cancer Survival Guide today.

[00:00:30] >> Demian Dressler: You’ll see that a lot of those things I mark as low priority supplements. It’s not that they’re like evil and it’s not that they’re going to hurt your dog, it’s just that the weight of evidence is weak or that there’s merit in a test tube or a Petri dish, but we don’t have evidence yet in laboratory animals or in living bodies.

[00:00:53] >>Announcer: Welcome to Dog Cancer Answers where we help you help your dog with cancer. Here’s your host, James Jacobson.

[00:01:01] >> James Jacobson: Hello friend. Thanks for joining us today. Today’s episode is all about supplements that may help your dog fight cancer. It’s a long show, but it is packed with lots of information on both the good and the bad of the seemingly endless selection of supplements that you see in stores and online. And joining us once again is Dr. Demian Dressler, the veterinarian known as the Dog Cancer Vet. Dr. Dressler attended Cornell University, and he’s the author of the book, The Dog Cancer Survival Guide. It’s good to see you again, Dr. Dressler. Thank you for being with us.

[00:01:42] >> Demian Dressler: Thank you.

[00:01:43] >> James Jacobson: Let’s talk about the supplement hierarchy as it’s called in The Dog Cancer Survival Guide.

What are the supplements you recommend and why do you recommend them?

[00:01:53] >> Demian Dressler: Well, there’s going to be some variation and every dog is different. And the reason why is because you’ve got different mechanisms of cancer and you’ve got different responses in the body to that cancer. And so to be honest, a cookie cutter approach I would say would be a little bit inappropriate. But nonetheless, when there are certain parameters that are met, you can more or less create a cookie cutter approach. And how do you do that? You look at the common hallmarks of cancer. And so we say, well, okay, what do all cancer cells have in common? Or we’ll say like the vast majority, 90 something percent of all cancer cells have in common or cancer patients.

Well, for example, cancer cells all lack programmed cell suicide, called apoptosis. So that’s normal cell death. And I wrote about that a lot in The Dog Cancer Survival Guide and wrote about it a lot on the blog. Normal cells when it’s time for them to exit when they’re old, when they’re aged, when they’ve got oxidant inujury – they undergo a very quiet cell suicide process. And that process is called apoptosis. Now that’s a normal cell and the reason why you want that, because you want your old cells to go away. Because they’re creating a burden, an energetic burden on the body. They’re producing toxic metabolites. They’re just not good for you.

It’s like having a rotten material in your body, so you need to get rid of it. So, apoptosis is the process by which that occurs, and that paves the way for a recycling of the cell constituents. That means they’re all broken up into their little building blocks and the old cells are regenerated into new cells.

And that’s why apoptosis matters. And that’s a normal process and it happens in the body all over the place, many thousands of times a day. And we get to replenish our body in that way. Okay. Now, cancer cells on the other hand, do not experience apoptosis. They uniformly lack apoptosis. It’s one of the primary hallmarks of cancer.

So what happens when you are a cell that’s loaded with toxic free radicals, that’s dividing at uncontrollable rates, that has a whole variety of cell mutations in it that create the cell to behave aberrantly, abnormally, and the cell never dies. It keeps going and going and going. That’s called cancer. So a lack of normal cell death in a rapidly dividing cell is a cancerous cell.

So, how do we cope with this? Well, that was why I had developed Apocaps and Apocaps is a supplement that I will use in 99% of my own cancer patients. And the reason for that is because it helps to promote the normal, health giving process of apoptosis to help to encourage normal levels of apoptosis in the body.

And what does that mean? That means that we get benefit when there is an apoptosis problem. Since we’re supporting normal levels of apoptosis and bodies that lack normal levels of apoptosis are not doing well, we do good things. Now is this the same thing as doing a chemotherapy drug or something like that?

Is this a pharmaceutical that is labeled to work against cancer? No, it’s not a chemotherapy drug. But apoptosis can be used alongside chemotherapy drugs, and the main reason why I like to do that is because the constituents in Apocaps are chemosensitizers and chemosensitizers are things that sensitize cancer cells to the effects of chemotherapy.

So when I was first putting it together, the reason why I paid a lot of attention to that was because I needed the supplement to work in concert with the conventional care steps. So if somebody wanted to have chemotherapy treatment on their dog, well, Apocaps would be just fine to use alongside chemotherapy.

And as a matter of fact, we got a big grant to study that because there’s a lot of merit in that. And so if we’re using a chemosensitizer in a dog that’s getting chemotherapy, well, then that means that the chemotherapy will be potentiated or at least supported. It doesn’t happen every single time, but it’s a good thing to do.

And the same thing with radiation, there’s compatibility there. The constituents in Apocaps are also radiosensitizers. That means that they sort of soften up the cancer cells to the effects of therapeutic radiation. So again, consistency with common treatments with the conventional care types of approaches.

So that’s why I designed Apocaps, and I guess that’s why it’s kind of like first on my list and I have a lot to say about it.

[00:06:50] >> James Jacobson: So lack of apoptosis is something that is universal or almost universal in all cancers, and that is why you use Apocaps to address that.

[00:06:59] >> Demian Dressler: That’s right.

[00:07:00] >> James Jacobson: And you like Apocaps because it works with chemotherapy and traditional treatments, or if you aren’t using one of those standard-of-care treatments, it can also be used on its own, right?

[00:07:11] >> Demian Dressler: Yeah, it’s not that you absolutely need to be taking chemotherapy or having radiation or something like that. As a matter of fact, to be honest, the majority of my patients don’t have traditional chemotherapy, I would say. And there’s a lot of reasons for that. But anyway, so I use Apocaps in those patients alongside a lot of other things that we’ll get into here in a minute to help to support normal apoptosis levels because that’s one of the fundamental hallmarks of cancer is they lack normal apoptosis. There are some other fundamental hallmarks of cancer as well.

[00:07:40] >> James Jacobson: What is another hallmark of cancer? Apoptosis is one, but what’s another.

[00:07:45] >> Demian Dressler: One of them would be immune compromise. Well, the immune system is a big deal. Cancer cells, when there’s enough of them, will create immune suppression.

The mechanism is complicated, but the short story is the immune system doesn’t work as well. And so we get secondary infections, particularly in advanced cancer cases. You get pneumonias, you get dermatitis, you get infections, get bladder infections, all these different infections. And what’s odd about cancer is a lot of times it’s not the cancer cells themselves that create the death of the body, but it’s when the rest of the body is not working right.

And so you see this a lot of times in really old patients. So anyway, the immune system is a really common area that I’d like to support.

[00:08:21] >> James Jacobson: Because the immune system is compromised. So other problems come up that aren’t cancer.

[00:08:27] >> Demian Dressler: The other piece there with the immune compromise is we need a healthy immune system to help to combat the cancer cells.

Now cancer cells themselves tend to avoid immune surveillance, so it gets a little bit complicated. That’s actually cancer vaccines, which is a very interesting new subject, but how do we activate the immune system such that they identify the cancer cells without just sort of being elevated generally in terms of their overall activity.

But the bottom line is increasing our immune support is an important part of therapy and something very central. And I do that in a couple of different ways in my patients. I am a big fan of the beta glucans, which are the medicinal mushrooms, and those are going to be things like shiitake, and maitake, and turkey tail, and reishi, and cordyceps, and things like that.

And so these are usually Asian funguses and they have quite a cell wall in them, a part of the cell wall of the fungus that basically activates white blood cell activity. Which is a great thing to have. And, uh, I’ll usually combine it with transfer factor. Transfer factor are little itty-bitty proteins that are actually taken from colostrum, which is the first milk that a baby drinks. And so, what’s neat about that is when you’re a youngster and you drink that first milk, it’s very rich in antibodies and your GI tract will let it into your blood without digesting those antibody proteins. And so that’s how you get your first hit of protection is through claustrum. Anyway, claustrum has in it this stuff called transfer factor.

And what transfer factor does is it helps the beta glucans in the, in the medicinal mushrooms to stick to the white blood cells. So it’s sort of like a glue type of effect, and that will amplify the immune support effect. So I’ll usually combine those two things. Another good one that is also discussed in The Guide and that I’ll also use really frequently is modified citrus pectin.

[00:10:14] >> James Jacobson: And what’s that? Does it come from oranges or citrus?

[00:10:18] >> Demian Dressler: Well, it’s in a lot of things, but one of the richest sources is citrus rind actually. And it does a lot of the same things that – in a way – that the beta glucans do, but this is pectin.

We see it commonly in baked goods. Well they put sugar in it, so it’s usually clear and sweet, this jelly-like material on the top of fruit tarts that you may have seen. Anyway. So it’s an edible thing and it’s used as a thickening agent in baking. So you can modify it through heat in such a way that it gets brought into your bloodstream in a more intact fashion.

So that’s what modified means. And it’s neat because what it does is it, it allows a blockade of the outside of the cancer cells such that they can’t walk around in the body. [What] modified citrus pectin sticks to are these little sort of suction cups on the outside of cancer cells that allow the cancer cells to adhere to these filaments in the body that provide your matrix.

So this is sort of like, you could think of like a sea sponge or something. There’s a matrix in that, like a sponge is a matrix, or a loofah – anybody seen one of those loofah sponges before?

[00:11:30] >> James Jacobson: Sure.

[00:11:30] >> Demian Dressler: So a loofah is like from a big squash. So you see a big squash and it looks like a, an oblong, you know, as a squash, right? So a loofah is the internal skeleton of one of those squashes.

So bodies and organs have that. Like it doesn’t just have to be a loofah, like we all have that. We have bones, but then we have like this more spiderweb-y part of us, and dogs and everybody has it. That’s kind of like a little skeleton thing, but it’s flexible, and transparent, and it moves, so. But it does the same thing.

It’s a, it’s a structural support. It looks a little bit like spiderweb actually in three dimensions, or cobwebs, I guess you could say. So cancer cells walk up and down this stuff and that’s called local invasion. So cancer cells spread by two ways. One is local invasion, so, so they migrate along these sort of filaments. And then there’s metastasis, which is they take off and they jump through into the blood and then they set up shop elsewhere after they reattached downstream.

Anyway, so the attachment piece, why modified citrus pectin is so interesting, is that it helps to, to quench local invasion. And actually, interestingly, also distant metastasis. So it’s an anti-spreading type of a molecule, which is nice. But it also, because we brought this up under the heading of immune support, it’s also immune supportive as well.

So it has both of these effects. And that’s something that’s kind of weird. It’s like, when you look at natural compounds, they have all kinds of effects. It’s not just one thing. It’s not like, oh, antibiotic. It’s like one thing. Natural compounds are not like that. They have like three, four, five, six, seven, eight different things that they do.

It’s a way more complicated. And it’s really different from a lot of manmade types of drugs that, as it turns out, do have multiple effects, but in terms of desired effect, it’s usually just one or two or something like that.

[00:13:18] >> James Jacobson: So we use dietary apoptogens, Apocaps, to address one hallmark of cancer, which is the lack of a apoptosis.

And we address another hallmark of cancer, immune suppression, with supplements like beta glucans from medicinal mushrooms, and transfer factor, and modified citrus pectin. What else?

[00:13:41] >> Demian Dressler: So cancer cells also are pro-inflammatory. So what does that mean? So inflammation is a body state that when it’s at low levels is healthy. So when you get scraped, you fall and you scrape your knee, there’s an inflammatory response.

And so why is that good? Well, it brings in the white blood cells to clean up the bacteria and remove the debris. It gets red. Well, the redness is, hey, that’s new blood coming in, that’s new blood vessels coming in. So that provides healing. So inflammation in moderate amounts is good. That’s why it’s there.

But when we have excessive inflammation over particularly long periods of time – that’s bad. And that actually sets the stage for probably all of the so-called diseases of civilization, including cancer. You’re not supposed to have sustained inflammation. You’re supposed to have brief periods of inflammation.

So if you get cut, you can heal from your cut. If you get stung by a bee, your body can address that toxin. If you get injured in some way, scraped up, anyway you get the idea, you break your bone, it gets inflamed. Transient. Long-term inflammation – very bad, not good for the body at all. So cancer cells create inflammatory responses over prolonged periods of time.

That’s what makes it bad. One of the things that makes cancer bad. Why is that? Well, when you have long periods of inflammation, your body does poorly in a whole variety of different ways. It affects your, your mental state, we become more depressed. It affects our blood vessel health. It affects, again, our immune response.

It affects our neurotransmitters. It affects our metabolism, how we metabolize our fuels, and skews that into unhealthy directions. It does a lot of bad things and on top of it, what we get is inflammation accentuates cancer cell growth. So it’s a forward cycle. So you get cancers producing inflammation, the inflammation stimulates and supports cancer cell growth.

So we want to make longstanding inflammation reduced. We want that to go away. And how do you do it? Well, it just so happens that a lot of the constituents and Apocaps also are anti-inflammatories, which brings up a good point. And that is that if you’re using full strength anti-inflammatories in your dog, like full-strength prednisone as an example. Prednisone would be one which is a cortisone drug. Or the non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, which would be things like carprofen or Rimadyl, which would be Deramaxx – those are really common – which would be Meloxicam, which is what’s in Metacam. These are anti-inflammatory drugs.

So. The anti-inflammatory effect in Apocaps is beneficial when it comes to the hallmarks of cancer that we’re talking about in the supplement hierarchy, but as a veterinarian – and by the way, as a guardian – you ought to also be aware that since Apocaps has anti-inflammatory effects, we want to decrease the doses if we’re also using pharmaceutical anti-inflammatories. And that can be done by decreasing the dose of the pharmaceutical or by decreasing the dose of Apocaps. And there’s more about that on, and if your veterinarian isn’t aware of this type of thing, you should direct them to and there’s a veterinary portal in there, and we talk about this. Like, okay, well, what do you do? Well, it’s pretty basic. You just drop your dose by 50%. And that’s how you take care of it so that you don’t have the Apocaps anti-inflammatory effect plus the other anti-inflammatory effect. Cause basically though, sometimes it’s just too hard on the belly.

Some dogs just don’t do well. It’s like taking a bunch of aspirin and then you’re taking some Tylenol and then you’re taking some Aleve and before you know it, you’ve got a bad belly. So there are going to be some cases where, say, we’re using too much pharmaceutical anti-inflammatory, we’re using too much Apocaps or the dog’s getting problems with the liver and stuff like that.

And so we’re saying, okay, well, what else can we do that decreases inflammation? Well, as it turns out, you can. And how do you do that? You use homeopathy. Or homotoxicology, which is combination homeopathy. So homeopathics are very interesting and there’s merit to it. And by the way, there’s more research on this and people are just starting to get to know about this, which is that when you’re putting something in the body at a low dose, it can have certain effects that disappear when you increase the dose and those effects can be beneficial.

[00:18:07] >> James Jacobson: In case our listeners aren’t familiar with it, what exactly is homeopathy? Do you use it?

[00:18:12] >> Demian Dressler: So homeopathy is just using very, very, very, very small trace and micro amounts of a constituent in order to entrain the body’s response to the constituent in a desirable direction. So it’s almost kind of vaguely like a vaccine. And if we have time, actually, we’ll talk a little bit about low-dose naltrexone, which is something that I’ve been using more recently here which is very interesting and I’ve been seeing some success with it. But to make a long story short, all homeopathic strategy is similar to kind of a low strength vaccination in that we, what we try to do is we try to increase the body’s natural or inherent responses to an agent in the direction that is desirable to combat whatever we have in mind that we’re treating.

So we have combination homeopathics too, and that’s called homotoxicology. Now it’s kind of a newer thing, and I really like homotoxicology. One of the problems I have with homeopathics, many times when people call me, like they want to do a consult or something, people are out of options. So they call me and they’re like, all right, well, can you fix it because nothing else is working.

And it’s like, so by the time people come to me, it’s like late in the game, right. And I’m supposed to bail these dogs out and they’re, they just don’t have much time and it’s difficult. So if I were to use straight up homeopathy as an anti-inflammatory strategy or any other strategy, one of the downsides is you have to wait. You gotta wait three weeks, four, and it’s like, by then the dog might be gone, you know?

And so the reason why I like homotoxicology, which is combination homeopathics, multiple different homeopathic agents in a single treatment or a single remedy, is because the delay is much less. You’ll see effects usually within four or five days.

[00:19:53] >> James Jacobson: So is that basically combining different homeopathics together-

[00:19:56] >> Demian Dressler: Mhm, yeah.

[00:19:57] >> James Jacobson: …to increase the speed that you see results?

[00:19:59] >> Demian Dressler: Yeah. It’s a, and also the mechanistic coverage is more, so you do more. It’s a lot like – it’s interesting cause I’m, I hadn’t thought about this until just now – so Chinese therapies are just like that. So you look at a Chinese therapy and there’s like 10 or 15 different things and they’re all in a foreign language.

I’m totally out of my depth with it. But homotoxicology is the same basic thing using homeopathics. So back to the inflammation thing. So there used to be something called Traumeel, uh, which was, um, is Eastern European, and it was a very, very nice and potent homotoxicology inflammation treatment.

And that was really great, but the problem is the regulatory environment shifted, and so the original formulation of Traumeel became illegal for whatever reason. So there’s kind of a close approximation to Traumeel now, which is called T-Relief, and you can buy it online. And it has a lot of the similar effects to Traumeel. T, as in Tom, Relief. And it’s it’s a human supplement, so there’s usually like some red human body on it. Um, but you just follow the same dose as you would for a human being. And that’s another way that we can address inflammation in the body.

[00:21:14] >> James Jacobson: Let’s go back to that dosage thing for T-Relief to, so you said the same as for a body? I mean, obviously-

[00:21:19] >> Demian Dressler: You just follow the human body.

[00:21:20] >> James Jacobson: You follow regardless of the dog’s weight.

[00:21:22] >> Demian Dressler: No. So you would make an assumption. You say most humans are about 160 pounds and you can scale up or down, but what’s nice about it is you don’t have to be very exact.

[00:21:30] >> James Jacobson: Ok, so you, if you have a 16-pound dog, you would use a 10th of a dose in theory?

[00:21:36] >> Demian Dressler: Like you could use like a quarter, you could use a quarter or a half or something and you don’t have to be that exact, it doesn’t matter.

Well, they they’re super, super safe. Okay. Another way to, to address inflammation is with Wobenzym, which is an enzyme type of treatment. It has a lot of different enzymes in it, uh, pancreatic enzymes, enzymes from pineapples, things like that. That also is a European strategy. And that’s another way of doing it.

Wobenzym N, N as in Nancy. And I talk about this in the book in terms of doses, right?

[00:22:03] >> James Jacobson: And we’ll put the links to all of the supplements in the show notes for today’s episode. So if you don’t know how to spell Wobenzym N, you can find it in the show notes. Okay. So that’s a European supplement.

[00:22:14] >> Demian Dressler: Yep. Yep. It’s an enzymatic. Yup. And I actually, I like Wobenzym a lot when you have a solid tumor that has like a fibrous coat. So these are going to be like things like connective tissue tumors. So what are connective tissue tumors? Those would be, like sarcomas and carcinomas. And those are tumors that tend to have kind of a, a fibrous coat.

And it’s interesting, these enzymes, they break down tissue. So if you go crazy with your enzymes and you like take them on an empty stomach and use a whole bunch of them and you use it for three, four, or five months, you could get an erosion in the lining of your stomach. And why is that? Because they break down body tissues, they’re digestive enzymes.

That’s what they do. So however, if you take them with food and at the recommended doses, that effect goes away. But what’s interesting is what I think I see – and this is sort of, it’s speculative on my part, but I think it happens. There’s some mechanism when you’re taking Wobenzym for these connective tissue tumors where there’s some softening of the fibrous capsule that seems to happen as a consequence somehow of this enzymatic activity. And why does that matter? Well, when you’ve got, it’s almost like this leathery case around a tumor, which is what you see with sarcomas and carcinomas, you got poor blood flow there and it’s difficult to penetrate. So it’s hard to get things in it.

So when you can soften that up a little bit with some enzymatic therapy, you can get a higher delivery of whatever you’re using into the tumor. And do I know that this happens for a fact? I do not. I suspect it happens and I’ve used that hunch to guide my therapy at times.

[00:23:58] >> James Jacobson: That is fascinating. You know I do trust your instincts, Dr. Dressler. Um, my instincts say it’s time to pause for a quick break, so let’s do that. We’ll be right back.

And we are back with Dr. Dressler discussing supplements for dogs with cancer. What’s next?

[00:24:19] >> Demian Dressler: We’ll often look at microbiome support. So that’s probiotics. So probiotics is such a peculiar subject. You know, honestly. We all have a healthy – in dogs, people, everybody – w-we have a healthy gut bacteria. That means in our intestine, there’s always bacteria that are there and they help us to digest things and they help to manufacture certain vitamins, actually, that are beneficial for us.

That’s the very basic approach. And, and if you look at things like cows, you know, if they don’t have their microbiome, which is the word for the healthy bacteria, like, they will definitely die because they totally require a healthy microbiome for digesting things like grass. Now, people and dogs, which are pretty similar in a lot of ways – when the microbiome gets messed up, which happens many, many times when chemotherapy agents are being used, as an example, sometimes when anti-inflammatories are being used, pharmaceuticals generally, sometimes when there’s a sudden diet change, all of these things will impact the environment within the intestine and the environment in the intestine will change. The pH will change, the composition of the fluids inside the intestine will change, and it’ll favor the growth of unhealthy bacteria.

And so our bodies are covered in bacteria, and our stomach and our intestine are a surface in the same way that our skin is a surface, even though it’s inside of us. So the GI tract, which is the mouth, the esophagus, the stomach, the intestine, and then the rear end, that’s a tube. So it’s kind of like we have the skin and then it goes in and that’s a surface too, if that makes sense.

So what happens is that the surface of our bodies, because it has healthy bacteria and also a little bit of unhealthy bacteria there, which is a consequence of living on planet Earth – when the conditions are right, we will get a overgrowth of the unhealthy stuff. And when you get an overgrowth of unhealthy bacteria in your intestine, which is created by antibiotics, pharmaceuticals, sudden diet change, chemotherapy agents, whatever, radiation, the unhealthy bacteria will say, "Hey look, the pH has changed! The CO2 has changed! The trace minerals are changed! I’m happy! I’m going to start to grow." And the unhealthy bacteria start to colonize and then they grow. And then what do you get? Then you get this weird diarrhea that doesn’t go away. You’re like, well, all right, well, I’m done with this drug, or I, I didn’t feed the food anymore.

It’s four months and my dog still has diarrhea. What in the world… And that’s how you can get years of diarrhea because you gave your dog the wrong biscuit. That actually can happen because the microbiome changes and you get a permanent shift until you address it. So how do you do it?

[00:27:09] >> James Jacobson: I was going to say, well, how do you address it?

[00:27:11] >> Demian Dressler: Enter probiotics. So that’s one of the ways you can do it. So you need to provide the body, you need to, like you have a garden that’s full of weeds. What do you do – you need to take out the weeds and you need to put in the new healthy plants to view your fruits and vegetables and flowers. So that’s called probiotics.

You put back in the body, the healthy bacteria that it needs, and those healthy bacteria need to colonize. Now, here we have a problem because one of the things that people don’t realize many times is that the probiotics all by themselves usually only lasts four or 5, 6, 7 days or something like that all by themselves.

So you need to give them prebiotics, so they need to be given food. So if you were to put some seeds out on a, you know, a road that has a half an inch of dirt, those seeds will grow a little bit and then they will not grow. So you need to give soil and you need to give food, and sun, and water. So you need to fertilize your probiotics. And how do you do that? You give them probiotic food. That’s called prebiotics. And so in the products that have probiotics plus prebiotics are called synbiotics. So that means you’ve got your probiotics combined with your food for your probiotics. So that’s called a synbiotic.

[00:28:21] >> James Jacobson: S Y N?

[00:28:22] >> Demian Dressler: Right. S Y N biotic.

So I use like, you know, Proviable or Fortiflora or something like that. And um, those are nice because they have like these long chain carbohydrate molecules. They’re not digested by the animal, by the way. They’re not digested by the animal. We can’t digest them, but the bacteria can digest them.

[00:28:39] >> James Jacobson: It’s feeding the probiotics.

[00:28:41] >> Demian Dressler: Feeding the probiotics, yeah. So you do this for a while and then if you’ve got a bacterial overgrowth, you need to do some metronidozole or something that you get from the vet often to get rid of the bad bacteria. ‘Cause you gotta pull out the weeds. So you replant, but you gotta pull out the weeds.

[00:28:56] >> James Jacobson: And so you’re saying an antibiotic, like metronidozole, is what pulls out the weeds.

[00:29:02] >> Demian Dressler: Actually it’s a very particular type of antibiotic that does not promote bacterial overgrowth. And a lot of times we’ll actually use metronidozole. We’ll send it home with people who are starting a cancer therapy plan or program, because occasionally something will upset the tummy.

And that can happen with anything. Like some dogs, if you give them new dog food, they’ll develop diarrhea plus or minus blood, and then in rare cases those dogs will end up in the hospital. It’s like, I just changed my dog’s food. What in the world? How did this happen? And you can get hemorrhagic gastroenteritis as a consequence, and that in a little dog that can be life-threatening. You know, it’s, it’s crazy. It’s like, how did that happen? Well, it’s a bacterial overgrowth thing. That’s how it happens. It’s just crazy.

[00:29:46] >> James Jacobson: This is what I appreciate about you and how you combine supplements and pharmaceuticals together in your full spectrum approach. Let’s go back to the hierarchy. What else?

[00:29:56] >> Demian Dressler: So at this stage in the game, those are the core areas, and then so beyond that, there’s a whole bunch of other stuff that one could do, but it’s kind of like a case by case. So for example, a lot of times we will use a liver/kidney support. Simply because, like say say the dog’s going to be going in chemotherapy, as an example, or say there’s pharmaceuticals that have liver or kidney side effects.

Okay. So those dogs are going to get a milk thistle derivative. Now I put that in Apocaps also, like Apocaps has silymarin in it. One of the constituents in Apocaps is silymarin, which is from milk thistle. Um, but say we want more. Say the dog’s in danger. You know, or say we’re using a big gun, uh, therapeutic, well, then we’ll use Denamarin, as an example.

And Denamarin has in it really high doses of pharmaceutical grade milk thistle extract. And so that can help, that can help the liver. And as a matter of fact, it’s, it’s not very well known, but, silymarin, which is the constituent that we’re talking about from the milk thistle, also has mild anti-cancer effects.

People don’t know about that. And it also has kidney protective effects. People don’t know about that either. It’s pretty interesting. So I’ll use it. I use a lot of Denamarin as a matter of fact. So this bucket, I guess you could call it side effect mitigation. That’s a little check mark in my box. So if we’re using, okay, we’re using drugs that are going to be potentially harmful, how can we offset the side effects that are potentially harmful without interfering with the effects of the therapy?

See, that’s a big thing. Like you can do things to decrease toxicity and decrease therapeutic benefit. So you can, you squash the toxic effect and you squash the beneficial effect. You can do that.

[00:31:40] >> James Jacobson: Right? So it’s a balancing act.

[00:31:42] >> Demian Dressler: It’s a balance. You got to know what to pick, you know. So what’s another one that’s really big…

So bone marrow suppression, right. You see that really commonly with chemo drugs. And so how do I deal with that? Cordyceps mushroom. So cordyceps is one of the constituents in K9 Immunity, which is probably my go-to for my mushrooms, but I’ll use extra cordyceps. And cordyceps is called a caterpillar fungus, and what’s interesting about that one is that it protects the bone marrow against the toxic effects of chemotherapy drugs, as well as radiation, uh, in some cases. And it also has some kidney protective effects and, uh, lung, also, some lung effects and pulmonary effects. And so but if we’re using, again remember I said that these supplements do not have just one effect.

So if you’re using like the mushroom blend from Aloha Medicinals, and by the way, I have no vested interest actually in any of this stuff, like I’ve got no financial interest in anything.

[00:32:39] >> James Jacobson: Right. You formulated Apocaps and you were a co-founder in the company, but you don’t own the company anymore. So your recommendations are from your own experience.

[00:32:49] >> Demian Dressler: Yeah, this is just what I know from experience. So like the Aloha Medicinals product has a combination of different mushrooms in it, so you have a combination of effects. Each one of those mushrooms has multiple effects and there’s also some chemosensitizing effects also in those mushrooms, by the way.

So there’s a lot of overlap in this discussion, which makes me jump back and forth. But, when it comes to, um, to side effect mitigation, cordyceps, as well as some of the mushrooms that are in the K9 Immunity product that I bring up in the context of immunity, happen to mitigate side effects from chemotherapy and radiation as well, without interfering with the therapeutic benefit.

[00:33:31] >> James Jacobson: Okay, well, speaking of side effects, let’s take a short break and then let’s talk about supplements that can cause their own side effects. We’ll be right back.

And we are back with Dr. Demian Dressler. Let’s talk about some of the supplements that you exclude and specifically don’t use that other people use that are popular in the realm of dog cancer.

[00:33:59] >> Demian Dressler: Yeah, it’s, you know, gosh, there’s so much to think about over here. Like, when you think of all of the possible supplements that are out there, there’s a lot. And it changes over time too, kind of like what’s in Vogue – nobody talks about Noni Juice anymore, right?

[00:34:15] >> James Jacobson: That was popular. Our avocado toast is going away too. Yeah.

[00:34:19] >> Demian Dressler: It is, you know, but 10 years ago, Noni healed everything.

[00:34:22] >> James Jacobson: Right.

[00:34:23] >> Demian Dressler: But, well you notice over time it’s the things that tend to stick around are the things that tend to work better. And the things that don’t tend to stick around, more of the time, those are the things that tend to not work very well. At least that’s my experience.

[00:34:36] >> James Jacobson: Okay. So what are some things you don’t like?

[00:34:38] >> Demian Dressler: Right. Okay. So I think one of the most major misconceptions that’s going on, even today, and what’s interesting is over time, I’ve actually seen this getting less and less, and I think a lot of it has to do with the information that we’ve been putting out – the antioxidant discussion. So when we started this 15, 20 years ago, or whatever, people thought, okay, well, if I give antioxidant, that’s good for cancer. So I’m going to give a lot of antioxidants in my cancer patient. And what that has turned out to be is patently false.

Like that’s just false. The reason for that is because if you see benefit, it’s usually not the quite the antioxidant effect that’s creating the benefit. Not most of the time, and there are certain cases where if you give antioxidants that cancers actually worse. So as a cookiecutter kind of boilerplate recommendation across the board for all cancers, the use of antioxidants is problematic.

[00:35:32] >> James Jacobson: And then for someone who’s just sort of tuning in to this, an antioxidant, very commonly used, is something that, like, people want to take to support a normal body. So what are some examples of antioxidants that, like, you would not recommend for cancer dogs?

[00:35:48] >> Demian Dressler: Well like people will say like, oh I’ll give a bunch of vitamin C.

[00:35:51] >> James Jacobson: Okay.

[00:35:51] >> Demian Dressler: You know, so by mouth, and by the way, we’re talking about the levels that you would take in a pill, give by mouth. That’s very different from say extremely high doses given intravenously. That’s different because there’s different effects at different doses. And people are starting to catch onto this too, slowly.

You give vitamin C at different doses, the effects in the body are entirely different. As a matter of fact, if you go low dose vitamin C and then you go into high dose vitamin C intravenous, you go from antioxidant effects to pro-oxidant effects – the opposite.

[00:36:25] >> James Jacobson: So like a pro-oxidant destroys cells, right?

[00:36:28] >> Demian Dressler: Yeah. Yeah. So let’s look at-

[00:36:30] >> James Jacobson: What is oxidation of a cell. Yeah.

[00:36:32] >> Demian Dressler: Yeah. What does it actually mean? So oxidation is burning. That’s what it means. So when, uh, when you see a piece of wood and it’s on fire, it’s a reaction with oxygen and it’s releasing heat. And so our bodies work through oxidation. That’s why we’re, why we’re warm.

So that’s, you know, we’re warm like a fire – that’s oxidation. So that’s how we get our energy, is we take oxygen that we breathe in in the air and the oxygen reacts with, um, our stored fuel cells, like our fats and stuff like that. And our carbohydrates. And protein. And it will combust. So it’s internal combustion. So we actually ride on an internal combustion engine, oddly enough. It will be interesting if we start to run on solar, but that’s a different discussion. So-

[00:37:17] >> James Jacobson: A lot of vitamin D. That’s a whole different thing.

[00:37:20] >> Demian Dressler: That’s a different one. The process of oxidation in a fire, it creates smoke. Uh, in the body, it creates free radicals. And so that’s like the smoke. So if you inhale your campfire smoke, it’s makes you cough.

It’s not good. So in your body, the free radicals also are not good. Those are damaging. Free radicals are very reactive molecules. And so it’s, you know, it’s like why if you smoke cigarettes over long periods of time, you’ll get more cancer, and if you blow it in around your doggies, especially if they have long muzzles, those dogs will tend to get nasal cancers. It’s like from sidestream smoke or particulates or whatever.

But, so the oxidation thing is creating free radicals, free radicals are harmful, and they injure body tissues. They’re very reactive. By say-, when I say reactive, what I’m talking about is that you can imagine it a little bit like, this is extreme, but if you poured some acid on the top of a table, it reacts in that way.

That’s a reaction. And so the table will have, uh, a mark on it. So that’s called a reactive molecule. So free radicals do that microscopically. You don’t see it, but it’s very small amounts, but each one does a little bit and over time, the effect adds up. That’s damaging, right. Now there’s a lot of confusion because the thought was that if we do antioxidants, we will minimize the development of cancer.

And therefore, if we give more antioxidants, we will minimize the effects of cancer more. But it actually turns out that that’s not true, because if you increase the doses of these things, the effects on the body are completely different. Now, one of the problems that you see that people did not anticipate who are not like, in this space, one of the ways that the vast majority of chemo drugs work, and also radiation therapies, are through pro-oxidant mechanisms. And this gets confusing, but suffice it to say that we get a pro-oxidant effect, which means more of these free radicals accumulating in cancer cells than we do in normal body cells, and the cancer cells get very unhappy and they die.

That’s kind of the effect of radiation and chemotherapy, basically. So when we give antioxidants, where-

[00:39:42] >> James Jacobson: You’re negating what you’re doing.

[00:39:43] >> Demian Dressler: We’re negating it. Yeah really, really.

And then similarly, when you start to increase your dosing of your antioxidants, by the way, you’re flipping the mechanism in the body and the high dose antioxidants are actually pro-oxidant, which is why, like, you really don’t want to take really high doses of antioxidant vitamins unless you know what you’re doing, because you’re going to be shifting the effects to a pro oxidant state, meaning that you’ll be contributing to the free radical burden, the very thing that you’re trying to quench. So the whole antioxidant discussion, in spite of the fact that people would like it to be a lot more simple and easy, in real life, it’s not. And that’s actually a problem because like, when we’re dealing with, especially when we’re feeling anxiety, like when you do when you just got told your dog has cancer, the brain does not do well with complexity, at all, or nuance. It’s terrible. You can’t think, right? That’s physiologic.

‘Cause you’re in shock.

[00:40:49] >> James Jacobson: Right.

[00:40:49] >> Demian Dressler: That happens to everybody. And it’s, if this has happened to you, you know what I’m talking about.

[00:40:54] >> James Jacobson: I’m sure everyone who is listening to this has had it happening, including both of us.

[00:40:59] >> Demian Dressler: Yeah. So what the brain fog does is it puts the brain in something called heuristic thinking, which is the brain starts to think in very, very, very simple terms because we’ve reverted back into our brainstem.

And so we start to think like a snake or something, like an old brain.

[00:41:15] >> James Jacobson: The reptilian mind.

[00:41:16] >> Demian Dressler: Yeah, we do fight or we do flight or we go do sleep or something. So that’s how we go. And the problem is, when you’re dealing with cancer, and when you’re dealing with things like, "Should I use antioxidants?" The way the physiology of the brain is, is it craves simplicity because that’s old brain and that’s where we’re put when we’re facing stress.

So when we deal with things like these questions, the experience is hugely irritating because how the hell am I going to wrap my brain around this when my brain is having a hard time processing any damn thing. Like, I can barely find my way home when my brain is like this. So, so what do you do? Again, I’m going off on a tangent, but I think it’ll be, I think it’s gonna be helpful. You circle back, take your time, integrate this cancer thing. Then go back for your information gathering later. And we talk about this in the book, like you got to guard the guardian, like, what do you do? So there’s anxiety relieving practices, there’s things that you can do to try to just get yourself under control, to put your oxygen mask on. First, get yourself composed. Then come back later when there’s a little bit more clarity. Bring a pen and a pencil and get information. And then you start to work on the plan, because it’s not an immediate death sentence.

It’s not it. You have some time.

[00:42:39] >> James Jacobson: Yep.

[00:42:39] >> Demian Dressler: So that’s the side note, but I think that that’s worth mentioning in the context of complicated discussions like antioxidants. So, the short story is the blanket use of potent antioxidant therapies is a total mistake and many times will interfere with what is being done, and many times one can create the very thing that you are unwittingly attempting to alleviate.

[00:43:05] >> James Jacobson: Okay. Other than antioxidants, what are some other things that you exclude? Because there’s a glossary in the back of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide where you exclude certain supplements.

[00:43:15] >> Demian Dressler: Right. So one of the things I think that’s worth mentioning here is um, when you’re looking at supplements, we need to understand that there’s so much difference between a high priority supplement and one that’s lower priority.

So if you have a Dog Cancer Survival Guide, when you go back to, you go on page 413, and you see, oh, look, there is a excluded supplement list. You’ll see that a lot of those things I mark as low priority supplement. It’s not that they’re like evil and it’s not that they’re going to hurt your dog. It’s just that the weight of evidence is weak, or that there’s merit in a test tube or a Petri dish, but we don’t have evidence yet in laboratory animals or in living bodies. Or that, yeah, sure, there is an effect at a given dose that you use in a rat, but guess what, if you were to go try to give that dose to your dog, you would need to give the dog 15 pounds of this. Because a lot of studies are like that. And then what’s the result of this study?

Oh, Siberian ginseng will cure your prostate cancer. Wrong. It had effects at extremely high doses.

[00:44:36] >> James Jacobson: In an in vitro study usually.

[00:44:38] >> Demian Dressler: Well, it can be in vivo too, like in the rodents and primates.

[00:44:41] >> James Jacobson: Ok, but you’re giving it so much of-

[00:44:43] >> Demian Dressler: You’re giving so much, so much. And a lot of times they’ll inject it in the belly and stuff, you know, and they’re not even taking it by mouth.

And so in order to sort of unpack this you have to like go and you have to read the study, and you need to have a sense of like, well, what’s micromolar mean, you know, how many milligrams per kilogram and how does that translate, like into physiologic doses for a 60 pound dog? Like you need to have a background in that stuff, because if you don’t, when you’ll, you’ll just go look at the study and you’ll say, Hey, look, I got this paper over here that Siberian ginseng can cure prostate, and can you give me Siberian ginseng? And it’s just, you don’t get it. You didn’t understand it. So if you were to take 10 pounds of Siberia ginseng and inject it into your abdomen, like they did on that rat, every day, for a month, yeah, it will. So anyway, so it’s things like that. Those are the things that I paid attention to in this low priority supplement category. Doses, living bodies versus test tubes and Petri dishes, injections versus oral – ’cause how many people are going to go home and give their dog injections?

[00:45:51] >> James Jacobson: Not a lot.

[00:45:51] >> Demian Dressler: You can do it, but…

[00:45:53] >> James Jacobson: Right. And you focus so much about quality of life, and obviously giving your dog an injection at home on a regular basis does not increase the quality of life for either of you.

[00:46:03] >> Demian Dressler: If you’re using like a little, like, say diabetes as an example, like there’s an exception, like the needle is, oh you can’t see the picture, but the needle, it’s a half inch needle. Right? I mean, it’s, it’s so small, you know, and if you get good at the shots, like the dog isn’t going to really feel it at all.

Like, okay, so that’s an exception, but these are like ridiculous. This is a completely different subject. And the amounts that we’re talking about are not, you know, 0.06 CCs, like they’re way bigger. So this is where people get led astray, because you can find evidence and you can find the publications and all that, and unless you’re, you’re actually familiar with the terminology and the methodology and stuff, you can make inferences that are just wrong by being a headline reader on Pub Med.

So here’s an example. Say coenzyme Q10, right. So I’ll use coenzyme Q 10. I’ll use coenzyme Q 10 in dogs that have pre-existing cardiac disease that need to have doxorubicin treatment. And that’s the direction that this thing is going. I’ll use it. And why is that? Well, because it does protect the heart muscle from the toxic effects of doxorubicin somewhat.

And guess what? It also might decrease some of the effects of doxorubicin, but whatever. Well I don’t want to kill the dog. So all that’s a sacrifice that I’ll make, you know, and I’ll use it. But people will show up and they’ll say like, "I’m using coQ10 because it’s a good antioxidant." Well, wait a minute. Do you know what you’re doing?

And also by the way, there’s, another subject is bioavailability. Like, some of these things, particularly these low priority supplements, they’re not bioavailable. So what does bioavailable mean? Generally, it means if you take something by mouth in a pill, capsule, or a liquid, it gets into your blood and it gets to your target after that. It’s gotta get there. As it turns out, not everything will do that. Right? So if you, if you ever feed your dog like, some corners of carrots or something, you may notice that those come out the other end.

[00:47:54] >> James Jacobson: Not terribly bioavailable, you can see it in the poop.

[00:47:57] >> Demian Dressler: Right? Comes right out. It’s not bioavailable for the dog. And so the same thing is true with the supplements.

Why am I bringing this up? Cause co Q 10 all by itself, unless it’s been engineered and worked on has bioavailability issues. So you take it and it goes out in the poop, and you’ve got expensive poop.

[00:48:14] >> James Jacobson: Okay.

[00:48:15] >> Demian Dressler: Another thing that people need to pay attention to. And so that’s why coQ10 I put as a low priority supplement, as an example.

[00:48:21] >> James Jacobson: But then there’s some other supplements that you exclude that are popular, like green tea – EGCG. Right?

[00:48:26] >> Demian Dressler: Mhm. Yeah. So EGCG is the active anti-cancer fighting ingredient that you find in green tea. Epigallocatechin gallate is what it’s called, and it has anti-cancer effects, and I think those are mild, and I think they’re real. And there’s probably more work to be done with EGCG somewhere. There’s merit.

The problem with it is that the bioavailability is not good. That’s the first thing. So it’s hard to get it in the body. Now I was working with EGCG about 20 years ago, and I was tinkering with ways of getting it in the body. And there was this one dog where it got liver injury, because it was a pro-oxidant episode where I was combining ECGC with a couple of other things.

And it gave me the heebie-jeebies. So I just stopped, because the beneficial effects of EGCG can be achieved in using other bioflavonoids and I didn’t see the liver effect. So I just swapped horses when that happened. And the other thing about EGCG, particularly in the context of green tea supplements, is you’ve got methylxanthines, which is, you know, stimulants.

So green tea a lot of times will have stimulants in it. And that’s not something that I think you’re going to want to be using most of the time for most of these dogs, because when you load dogs up on stimulants, particularly if you’re giving something at night, it’s not healthy. It screws up their circadian rhythms and some dogs will get aggressive with stimulants.

So that’s something to be aware of with green tea supplements, by the way. So another one was like, here’s a traditional one, essiac. Essiac tea. If you look at the constituents of essiac, and you go do some research, there’s a constituent in there that actually stimulated the growth of breast cancer cells. Right.

So like, well, hmm. I don’t like that very much. So I don’t use that. I don’t use essiac for that reason. Um, am I saying that it causes breast cancer in every dog that’s been on essiac tea? No, but because I deal with large numbers of dogs, there are probably going to be examples of things that go south, even if they occur 1% of the time, and I get to deal with those things that go south. And for me, it’s a hundred percent. For that particular dog, it’s a hundred percent. For that particular guardian, it’s a hundred percent. It doesn’t matter that it happens one percent. So I need to try to minimize risk. I have to mitigate the risk.

[00:50:52] >> James Jacobson: Okay. Now there’s so many, like, popular blends that have developed over the years when you, like, Google "dog cancer supplements".

And there’s one that is like, it’s a liquid, has drops and it’s sort of a, a blend of astragalus root, and thistle aerial parts, and sheep sorrel, and things like that. What do you think of, well, of something like that?

[00:51:14] >> Demian Dressler: I think maybe if I could reframe the question a little bit…

[00:51:18] >> James Jacobson: Sure.

[00:51:18] >> Demian Dressler: I think maybe the question has to do with combination supplements that seem to have good things in them. Is that the idea?

[00:51:26] >> James Jacobson: Yes. Well, I mean, I think there’s some that are just really going and saying, "If your dog has cancer, this is what you need." And it’s just this $35 bottle of drops and you put it in, but it has supplements in it that you haven’t spoken about. Like astragalus and blessed thistle and sheep sorrel.

[00:51:46] >> Demian Dressler: Yeah. Yeah so those are, those are old.

When you’re dealing with whole herb extract, which is what you’re talking about, the reason why I don’t jump into that, and the reason why – there are cases when you use, like, whole herb extracts, but the majority of the time, because of the fact that those are going to be promoting antioxidant effects on the body, and because one of the biggest ways that we can clear cancer cells, currently, from the body is by increasing their pro oxidant effects in cancer cells to cause those cancer cells to commit suicide, that’s by far, at this moment in time, the clinical mechanism that almost everybody is now using to address cancer commonly. Now there’s all these different, you know, areas.

And the next most interesting area is going to be cancer vaccines for sure. And probably low dose naltrexone. But that’s the basic reason why I’m not jumping on these herbal extracts. For one, we have effects that can interfere with the effects of the other therapies that we’re doing, including things like Apocaps, by the way. Number two, it’s harder to control what you’re doing.

So here’s a great example. So my daughter had an allergic reaction to mango.

[00:53:02] >> James Jacobson: To mango.

[00:53:02] >> Demian Dressler: Yeah, mango. Her rear end got all these horrible blisters and her, and her lips, and her face after she ate a mango. I fed her a mango. I found a mango on a tree outside. I was like, oh great, look at this. So I gave her some mango and, didn’t work out well. But now subsequently she was fed mango.

Guess what? Nothing happened. Why?

[00:53:20] >> James Jacobson: I bet I know. It has to do with something in the sap, right?

[00:53:23] >> Demian Dressler: Yeah it’s the sap. Yeah. I mean, that’s a piece of it. The other thing is all mangoes are not created equal. Mangoes are different, you know, so you can be sensitive to one thing. It’s like nuts. It’s like, "I’m allergic to nuts!" Well, are you allergic to chestnuts?

So, they’re different. They’re different. And the language is different. You need to pay attention. Like, what are we talking about? So when we’re talking about like herbal extract, the problem is that if I take an extract of a given plant, it’s not the same as an extract of the exact same plant grown under different circumstances.

They are different. And you’re seeing this a lot, you know, in the cannabis industry right now. These plants are like basically reservoirs of the fertilizers and that’s how people are playing around with the effects. So fertilizers. And also, how are they grown? Are they grown hydroponically, or are they grown in soil and what’s the composition.

So plants are very much impacted by their conditions. Extremely so, it’s not trivial. It’s like real. And that’s how you can have like nutrient rich plants and nutrient poor, like fruits and vegetables. You can have an apple that’s very nutrient rich, and you can have an apple that’s very nutrient poor, and they’re both Red Delicious apples.

They do completely different things in the body. So you get to where I’m getting at with this herbal extract thing. It’s not the same. You don’t know. That’s the whole problem with it.

[00:54:51] >> James Jacobson: And that’s why you focused on constituent ingredients and extracting the phytochemicals.

[00:54:56] >> Demian Dressler: Yeah. I straddle a line between like being a, an herbologist and being a pharmacist, because if you’re trying to give something in a plant, you would need to know that it’s in there.

[00:55:07] >> James Jacobson: Yep.

[00:55:08] >> Demian Dressler: And it may not always be in there. It depends on what we’re talking about, but it may not always be there. So that’s one of the reasons why I don’t really subscribe to like, somebody who’s doing this hodgepodge of this and that, and they’re putting it together, and it sounds nice, and okay, you know, it might do some good, but I don’t trust it.

And in my position I have to be, I have to really trust what I’m doing, because the outcomes are so critical. And the timing of these things is so critical. I can’t play around. Like I don’t have a month to try out the tincture to see does the tincture have in it, what I needed, because I don’t know. And so every time it’s like an experiment, more or less.

[00:55:48] >> James Jacobson: Well, that’s what we rely on, and that’s really what The Dog Cancer Survival Guide does. It distills all this information in your very fascinating brain. Dr. Dressler, thank you so much for being with us. We’re definitely going to have to do a future episode on the low dose naltrexone. That sounds like something that you’re interested in.

We’ll do that. Dr. Dressler, thanks for being with us today.

[00:56:07] >> Demian Dressler: Thank you.

[00:56:10] >> James Jacobson: And thank you, listener, for being here today. Please check the show notes in your podcast app or on our website, DogCancerAnswers.Com for a list of the supplements discussed today, and please don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter, which is called Dog Cancer News.

You can find that at DogCancerNews.Com. If you have a dog with cancer or recently lost a dog to cancer, you might find comfort in our private Facebook support group, which you can find online at All the links again are in the show notes for today’s episode. That is it for today.

It’s a long one, but I thank you for getting to this place, hopefully this has been helpful. We are always available to talk with you. Just visit us on our website at From all of us here at Dog Podcast Network, I am James Jacobson. Thank you for listening today, and we wish you, and your dog, a very warm, Aloha.

[00:57:18] >>Announcer: Thank you for listening to Dog Cancer Answers. If you’d like to connect, please visit our website, at or call our Listener Line at (808) 868-3200. And here’s a friendly reminder that you probably already know: this podcast is provided for informational and educational purposes only.

It’s not meant to take the place of the advice you receive from your dog’s veterinarian. Only veterinarians who examine your dog can give you veterinary advice or diagnose your dog’s medical condition. Your reliance on the information you hear on this podcast is solely at your own risk. If your dog has a specific health problem, contact your veterinarian.

Also, please keep in mind that veterinary information can change rapidly. Therefore, some information may be out of date. Dog Cancer Answers is a presentation of Maui Media in association with Dog Podcast Network.

Dr. Demian Dressler


Maui, Hawaii, USA

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Dr. Demian Dressler, DVM, is internationally recognized as “the dog cancer vet” because of his innovations in the field of dog cancer management. A dynamic educator and speaker, Dr. Dressler is the author of the best-selling animal health book The Dog Cancer Survival Guide.