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Turmeric

(Also known as: Curcuma longa, Haldi, Zard Chobeh or Kurkuma)

Below is information about turmeric for human use. I would strongly urge all to read of the possible side effects BEFORE administering to your dog as it is best to have knowledge about any medication or herb prior to its use. After going to this site, use your backspace button to return to our site.

Side effects of turmeric - know your supplements!

Return to: Arthritis Drug Alternatives page

Turmeric (Curcumin or Kurkuma) should not be confused with “turmeric root,” a colloquial name for the plant commonly known as Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis), which is in the Ranunculaceae, or buttercup family and is a popular herbal remedy in its own right. Goldenseal can be toxic if overused, whereas few adverse effects have been recorded regarding the frequent consumption of turmeric.  

It is important to note that turmeric is a binding agent, one of the best remedies for diarrhea. It can cause constipation as well as dehydration so be sure your dog drinks plenty of water when using it.

Only one of our four dogs ever has an issue with constipation when  using turmeric so when I note that his tummy is hard and he seems to have trouble defecating, I offer him a bowl of milk , He loves milk and in no time at all he is out the door, taking care of business.

Your dog can be given yogurt as well to keep the flora of the intestine balanced while using turmeric.

Turmeric can be taken in powder or pill form. It is available in capsule form in most health food stores, usually in 250-500mg capsules.

The dosage is typically 15 to 20 mg per pound of body weight daily. 150-200 mg for cats, increasing appropriately for larger animals. Dr. Jon Rappaport -DVM

Since the suggested dosage is 15-20 mg per pound /.453 kg of body weight, a dog weighing 55lbs /25kg, would do well to take two 500 mg of turmeric per day for arthritis while making sure to drink plenty of water, so as not to become constipated. If constipation is an issue, please see:

http://www.k911.biz/Petsafety/DogWontPoo.htm

We do not recommend giving turmeric with other NSAIDS, including aspirin (aspirin is a NSAID). As with anything, prescription or natural, DO NOT OVERDOSE. Always monitor your dog for any unusual changes in eating, drinking or eliminating and discontinue use if these changes are persistent. It seems like this would be common sense but oftentimes if a dog has been injured, one does not know if it is the injury or the drug causing the unusual behaviour. See: Death by Previcox-Rowdy's Last Vacation

The turmeric we use comes in 500 mg capsules. Our dog Kohle (see story below) will sometimes not drink enough water when taking it, so I offer him milk, which he loves and that always puts him right. 

12 Good Reasons to Use Turmeric

  • Turmeric has a soothing effect on the digestive system.

  • It helps to reduce the risk of ulcers due to stress and drugs by increasing the mucous protective lining of the stomach.

  • It can also help to reduce elevated blood cholesterol levels and has a protective effect on the liver.

  •  Is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns.

  •  May prevent metastases from occurring in many different forms of cancer.

  •  Works as an anti-inflammatory agent for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis by lowering histamine levels.

  •  Is a natural painkiller and cox-2 inhibitor. In many instances, works as well as anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects and potential risks associated with NSAIDS.

  •  Used in treating depression. (Yes, dogs can suffer with depression)

  •  Has been shown to stop the growth of new blood vessels in tumors.

  •  Speeds up wound healing and assists in remodeling of damaged skin and other inflammatory skin conditions.

  • By enhancing liver function, turmeric helps to cleanse the blood of toxins and impurities.

  • Helps to regulate intestinal flora if taken during and after a course of antibiotics by dogs suffering with Candida (yeast infection).

(April 09) Our dog Kohle, sprained his back leg two months ago and we cannot keep him immobile enough to allow it to heal since he is always chasing our other three dogs about the yard. The vet said it was not broken or dislocated but will take time to heal. 

Without the turmeric, Kohle hopped along on three legs while playing with our other dogs and his sore leg never touched the ground. Given the turmeric, he now puts his leg down and runs. He is not fast but nonetheless, he is using that leg. We have been giving him the turmeric instead of aspirin and have noted no negative side effects.

We used to hide the powder in hamburger meat and he had no problem eating it. It was just messy trying to get it onto a teaspoon to measure. I bought some turmeric in capsule form made by Spring Valley at our local Walmart. It is 500mg and costs about 7.00 per bottle of 90 capsules at Walmart. Also, whatever brand you buy, you may want to check to make sure it does not contain any  Dicalcium Phosphate and/or Maltodextrin. Spring Valley does not have this in their turmeric. http://www.superglisodin.com/dcp.html

Since our Previcox experience, we determined not to give our dogs anything medicinally that we ourselves would not take. I have taken turmeric and forget that I am not hearing the usual popping noises or feeling the uncomfortable stiffness I normally feel in my joints.

Here is the really good news, turmeric does not have the effects of Previcox or any of the other NSAID's which require a prescription. Plus, it is found in many grocery stores and is inexpensive.

Update on Kohle (Dec 09): After using turmeric now for eight months, Kohle does not limp anymore and he runs as well as before which I never expected. I thought it might lessen his pain but am so pleased with the results. Although like people, all dogs are different but it may work well for yours. ~Mel

Other Benefits of Turmeric

Tumeric has long been used as natural antibiotic agent. Studies from around the world have confirmed that components of this multitalented spice can inhibit the growth of bacteria, yeast and viruses. In Avurvedic medicine (a system of traditional medicine native to India, and practiced in other parts of the world as a form of alternative medicine), tumeric is an important cleansing and detoxifying agent.

As with anything, natural or otherwise, it may or may not help your dog but you will never know until you have tried it. ~Mel

Turmeric Experiences

http://www.earthclinic.com/Pets/turmeric.html

10/03/2008: Deirdre from Atlanta, GA writes: "Just wanted to report that I am having great results on my 14+ year old german shephard mix who has arthritis (especially in the hips). I think that one of the most helpful and important things I'm doing is exercising him without fail every day. I take him on walks each day, usually about 3.5 miles total. Considering his age, he's in remarkably good shape and, except on steep hills, keeps up with our other 2 young dogs. We used to walk by a neighbor's golden retriever who was let outside in the front yard several times a day to do her thing. She hobbled around in obvious pain, barely able to walk. I never once saw the owners taking their sweet dog out for a walk. She was only about 10 years old when they put her to sleep. Just my opinion, but I think early deaths happen with some frequency to yard-only dogs. Exercise keeps those joints lubricated!

Supplements: I also recently started adding turmeric, msm and glucosamine to Max's food. Dosages: 1/4 teaspoon of powdered turmeric in his food in the morning, diluted with chicken broth. At night I crush a 1000 mg tablet of MSM and give him half of it (500 mg), plus a full capsule of glucosamine blend from Trader Joe's (glucosamine sulfate 750mg and glucosamine HCI 750 mg). My vet mentioned that she likes the combo of MSM and glucosamine for dogs with arthritis, which is why I started him on that a few weeks ago. The turmeric has helped heal up a benign cyst that had burst through the skin on his front paw. Very glad one of EC's readers reported a cure for dog cysts recently -- thanks! At any rate, Max seems to be doing better on the supplements -- walking faster, wrestling with the other dogs, less confusion at night when the lights go off. Yea, yea, yea."

Sep 22, 2009  Mel, Thank you so very much for that wonderful posting. Maidyn is doing excellent with the tumeric! I just can't thank you enough. I also get to donate more money for the upkeep of the strays and wildlife in my area considering I'm saving $90 a month (Previcox cost).

I give about a 1/4 teaspoon and she's 60-65 pounds. It does cause her to drink lots of water. Of course I couldn't care less how much water she's drinking, it's positively helping her. I'm glad I investigate everything and found your article-You are a blessing to dog lovers.

By the way, Maidyn has hip dysplasia and a bad spine with arthritis.

Best Regards, Vee

Paws across page

Aug 10, 2009  Hello, I have a Labrador that is 11 years old and started limping several weeks ago he could hardly walk. My vet sent me to a specialist to check for a tumor or spinal cerical problems. They put him on Previcox for 2 weeks. I asked about side effects and the vet said they were rare,  he gives it to his own dogs. We have noticed that since on the Previcox he does drink a lot and he seems to be stumbling a bit I ask about that and they said no. If he starts to limp badly again I am concerned about the Previcox but what else can you give your dog when they are in pain and limping?

Update: Aug 14, 2009 I have put my Lab on Turmeric. So far he has not gotten any worse. Thank you very much. How do I find a Holistic Vet?

Paws across page

September 3, 2005 You guys are going to laugh but I got a canine "drug" that has preserved my Lab for 12 years. Diagnosed with severe hip displasia at 18 months, Zeke was always in pain when he walked and if he ran faster than trot, he carried his left rear leg for 3 days until the swelling went down.

Over a 4 year period, I tried Rimadyl, Glucosamine and all that other expensive junk with little effect. Finally, I read in the newspaper that the Indian spice "Tumeric" had anti inflammation qualities. Not reallly believing it, I thought for 3.00 for a 3 oz bottle I would give it a shot. Holy Molly, after a week Zeke walked and climbed stairs without painful whinning and while he could trot but not run, he never carried his leg anymore.

That was 6 years ago, and since then I give him a teaspoon of the yellow spice "Tumeric" in his food and he walks just fine. I doubled the dose and took Zeke to Nebraska pheasant hunting and got 1 hour in the AM and 1 hour in the PM of hunting out of him for 8 days without pain.

He doesn't run faster that a trot but he is pain free. One time I had a hard time getting more tumeric and ran out of it and after about 4 days without tumeric added to the food he was back to whinning and crying when he climbed stairs and after he swam he carried that left rear leg for 3-4 days. I now buy tumeric 6 -3.oz bottles at a time for 3.59 per bottle and each bottle last about 6 weeks.

Laugh all you want, but I have owned more pointers, setters, Brittanys, and Tennesee Walking horses than 1000 people on this site and have accumulated over 100 field trial placements all over the country.

I know what works and I know what doesn't. Tumeric works for anti-inflmatation better than any drug I know of. If you don't believe it as I didn't, try a bottle for 3.59 for a displastic dog and see what happens. It will only cost you 3.59.