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Turkey Tail Mushroom For Dogs: Everything You Need To Know

Are turkey tail mushrooms ok for dogs? These mushrooms grow on dead trees, decomposing stumps, and conifers exposed to the weather. Concerned dog owners may believe that these wild mushrooms are poisonous and promptly remove them from their dog’s diet. Turkey tails, on the other hand, are good to dogs and perfectly safe to consume. Furthermore, this mushroom has natural compounds that might help them live healthy and happy lives.

For millennia, humans have ingested turkey tail mushrooms and profited significantly from them. It’s past time to extend these advantages to your canine buddy. But, before you start giving turkey tail mushrooms to your dog, there are a few things you should know about this traditional herbal medicine and if it’s appropriate for your pet.

What Are Turkey Tail Mushrooms?

Turkey tail is a fungus found on dead logs all around the world. Trametes versicolor or Coriolus versicolor is its Latin name. Versicolor is an abbreviation for “many colors.” Because turkey tail contains colorful rings that resemble the tail of a turkey. In Japan, turkey tail is known as kawaratake, which translates as “cloud mushroom.”

Trametes has several strains, but turkey tail is particularly interesting to scientists and herbalists. For millennia, Chinese medicine has employed turkey tail to decrease phlegm, eliminate dampness, promote vitality, and boost the immune system. It’s known as Yun Zhi in traditional Chinese medicine.

What Makes Turkey Tail Mushrooms Protective for Dogs?

The turkey tail mushroom includes a variety of beta-glucans. Beta-glucans are soluble fibers found in the cell walls of several plants and fungi. They have been widely researched for their ability to aid in the regulation of the immune system, cholesterol levels, inflammatory reactions, and blood sugar levels.

Each beta-glucan molecule in turkey tail differs differently from the next. This slew of identical but distinct beta-glucan molecules is what gives turkey tail its potent immune-boosting qualities.

Terpenes, including triterpenes and sesquiterpenes, are another source of immune-boosting chemicals in turkey tail mushrooms. Terpenes provide several health benefits, including antioxidant action. Triterpenes, like beta-glucans, are present in a range of molecular variants in the turkey tail mushroom. Each of these triterpenes has strong anti-infectious and anti-neoplastic effects.

The mixture of terpenes and beta-glucan molecules found in turkey tail gives the therapeutic profile of immunological efficacy for which it is recognized.

Turkey Tail Mushrooms for Dogs

How To Purchase Turkey Tail Mushrooms For Dogs

When purchasing a turkey tail mushroom supplement, check the label and see if it has at least 30% beta-glucans and contains direct turkey tail mushroom extract. Also, be on the lookout for the following terms.

  • Fruiting Body: Also known as the full spectrum, the fruiting body is the entire mushroom, dried and turned into powder form. It’s the purest and most concentrated form of turkey tail and contains the most beta-glucans.
  • MyceliumThis is a part of the mushroom’s root. It contains fewer beta-glucans, antioxidants, and phytonutrients than the fruiting body.
  • Hot Water Extract: Hot water extract is the mushroom cooked in hot water. It’s fully cooked and safe for your dog and contains 30 to 40% beta-glucans.

Turkey Tail Mushroom Benefits for Dogs

Turkey tail is more than just a pretty mushroom… It’s also beneficial to your dog. Cancer researchers are ecstatic about this therapeutic fungus… In fact, in certain countries, it is used as an anti-cancer medicine. However, there are a few more reasons to include turkey tail in your dog’s regular diet.

General Immune Support for Dogs

One reason turkey tail mushrooms encourage a robust immune system response is due to the presence of multiple “immune system-positive” chemicals. This is why this mushroom can help our dogs with infections, immunological deficits, and malignant cell development.

Several studies have looked at the benefits of turkey tail mushrooms for a number of health issues . Some have focused on the antioxidant and inflammation-balancing properties of the bioactive compounds found in this mushroom species. According to one animal research, the turkey tail mushroom can cause analgesia (moderate pain alleviation). This impact is attributable to turkey tail polysaccharides’ capacity to elevate IL-2, a cytokine that can decrease inflammation. As a result, minor pain and discomfort are reduced .

In animal tests, turkey tail mushroom was found to have a protective effect against alcohol-induced liver damage. This applies to dogs whose livers have been harmed by medications like steroids and chemotherapy treatments. This mushroom has also been shown in rat models to protect the heart from damage caused by diabetes. Turkey tail extracts have also been investigated for their antibacterial properties.

The turkey tail mushroom extract has a twofold impact in terms of its mode of action (MOA) for treating cancer. It mobilizes the immune system to activate innate immune system components in order to combat microbial infections. Turkey tail also has a direct cytotoxic impact on these pathogens.

Turkey Tail’s Possibility for Fighting Canine Cancer

Historically, turkey tail mushroom has been used in human cancer therapy methods. Two commercially viable products developed from turkey tail bio chemicals are available. Polysaccharopeptide (PSP) has been isolated by the Chinese, and polysaccharide-Krestin (PSK) has been isolated by the Japanese.

These items are created by isolating and concentrating certain chemicals in turkey tail mycelium. PSP and PSK have been authorized as medications in China and Japan, respectively. PSP and PSK are generated from mycelium, although they are not the same as the turkey tail myceliated grain often found in North American mushroom supplements.

For many decades, PSP and PSK have been used simultaneously with chemotherapy in Asia. These have shown advantages and safety in human patients with various cancer diagnoses.

Two Turkey Tail Studies for Dogs

In one pilot research published in 2012, a limited number of canines were given PSP. Dogs with spontaneously occurring splenic cancer (hemangiosarcoma) demonstrated increased survival periods in the group given the highest dose of PSP.

A bigger, prospective, randomized clinical trial examining the benefit of PSP in a greater number of dogs with hemangiosarcoma was recently published. The maximum dosage (100 mg/kg) utilized in the earlier pilot trial was employed in this more current investigation. This study investigated the effectiveness of PSP alone or in combination with doxorubicin treatment in dogs with naturally occurring hemangiosarcoma.

Results from the Pilot Study

The outcomes of the pilot experiment in 2012 were both surprising and positive. In this pilot trial, the extended median survival time (MST) for the dose level was 199 days! MST for dogs with hemangiosarcoma on doxorubicin treatment has historically ranged between 141 and 179 days. The MST reported in various studies for dogs with hemangiosarcoma who do not receive treatment ranges from 19 to 86 days. Fewer than 10% live for a year.

Results From the Follow-Up Study

There was a substantial difference in responsiveness to the PSP extract between male and female canines in the 2022 follow-up research. The first pilot research groups had male and female canines mixed together. The dogs’ responses were not graded depending on their gender. However, in the follow-up trial, female dogs performed worse than male dogs were given PSP alone or PSP + chemotherapy.

Interestingly, while the MST did not reach the 199-day mark reported in the pilot research, male dogs getting the PSP alone performed as well as male dogs receiving chemotherapy alone. There was no measurable advantage to using PSP in conjunction with chemotherapy in either males or females.

The immune-modulating activity of a single, isolated turkey tail molecule (PSP) was investigated in this work. However, the complete turkey tail mushroom extract may be more effective against cancer than the pharmaceutical mycelial isolates of PSP or PSK. This idea is based on the fact that the mushroom contains a wide range of bioactive chemicals. In comparison to single isolates of PSP or PSK, a complete turkey tail mushroom extract has a whole complement of chemicals that work synergistically to increase host immune function.

Key Takeaways From the Two Studies

Both the PSP and PSK isolates have shown objectively significant improvements in a variety of human cancer diagnoses. Since the 1970s and 1980s, when these extracts were created, several research have been published. Hemangiosarcoma cancer in dogs is a very aggressive, toxic illness that progresses swiftly in the majority of cases. It is highly promising because isolates of turkey tail mushrooms shown the promise they did in extending the lives of dogs with this aggressive malignancy.

Turkey Tail Can Boost Conventional Therapies for Better Outcomes

There are several scenarios in which adding turkey tail mushroom extracts to your pet’s regular supplement diet might be beneficial. This mushroom, in particular, can boost immune function and aid in the resolution of a range of issues.

Chronic infections, particularly those affecting the respiratory, cutaneous, or urinary systems, can be treated with the use of turkey tail extract. When used with antibiotics, turkey tail extract can help mobilize the immune system even further. As a result, certain illnesses may react better to antibiotics alone.

Cancerous illnesses are a difficult problem that need complex therapies that boost your pet’s immune system. Pets, like people, require interventions that assist them not only avoid the damaging consequences of cancer development, but also better tolerate the rigors of traditional cancer therapy. Humans have successfully employed turkey tail for this reason. As a result, animal application is the next line of investigation.

Turkey Tails’ Potential as a Vaccine Support for Dogs

A 2011 study investigated if turkey tail may assist stressed, immunocompromised shelter puppies with achieving protective antibody levels after rabies vaccines. The majority of the puppies in this research were unable to develop protective antibodies from rabies immunization alone.

Rabies is a zoonotic illness that kills animals. This implies that it can also infect and kill people. For a month, the researchers fed the puppies an oyster mushroom beta-glucan extract to train their immune systems.

The immune-restorative properties of mushroom beta-glucans assisted the puppies in achieving protection from their rabies re-vaccination. The beta-glucans found in turkey tail are a natural approach to boost immune system performance.

Dosing for Supporting Your Dog’s Immune System

In the previous trial, these puppies were given a daily dose of beta-glucans of roughly 4 mg/kg. You may give your dog a daily dosage of turkey tail extract to assist bolster his immune system with mushroom beta-glucans. This is simple to do with Real Mushrooms’ turkey tail mushroom extracts, which are as follows:

1. If you are using the turkey tail pet-labeled capsules, then, give 1 capsule for each 10 pounds of body weight daily. This will provide the same beta-glucan amount as used in the above study.

2. If you are using the turkey tail bulk powder labeled for human use, give ¼ teaspoon daily for each 10 pounds of body weight.

3. If you use our Mushroom Immune Soft Chews, give 1 soft chew daily for each 10 pounds of body weight to achieve immune benefits for your dog.

4. Our Mushroom Relax Soft Chews also contain substantial amounts of beta-glucans. Give 1 soft chew for each 10 pounds of body weight daily. (You can use this on an anxious puppy to both soothe its nervousness at being in a new place, and improve its immune system.).

Are Turkey Tail Mushrooms Safe for Dogs?

Turkey tail mushrooms (Trametes versicolor) have been utilized by humans for thousands of years with no indication of danger to those who have consumed them. Anecdotally, turkey tail mushrooms appear to be safe. As a result, objective safety and toxicity investigations for turkey tail and most other therapeutic mushrooms are uncommon in the world’s scientific literature.

In one research published in 2011, laboratory rats were given various dosages and types of turkey tail mushroom hot water extract. For 28 days, the researchers administered dosages of up to 5000 mg/kg every day. Rat mortality, behavioral effect, adverse events, and relative organ weights were examined, as well as histological, hematological, and biochemical tests.

No significant deleterious effects were seen in any of the rats given turkey tail at any of the dosing levels.
These findings validate what has been known for thousands of years: turkey tail extract did not create any aberrant findings in any rat at any dose level.

A safety study for turkey tail has yet to be undertaken, especially testing high doses of the fungus in dogs as the target species. A research of this kind is required to show that the high dose use of turkey tail mushrooms for dogs with major disorders including neoplasia and viral infections has been objectively proven safe in the canine.

Finding the Best Turkey Tail Supplement for Dogs

Since 2012, when a research revealed that turkey tail mycelial extract might enhance outcomes for dogs suffering from hemangiosarcoma better than chemotherapy, extracts of turkey tail mushrooms for dogs have become increasingly popular. The mycelial extract used in that study was cultivated in a specific liquid broth and then pharmaceutically extracted; the Chinese business that makes it sells it as a patented product. PSP (polysaccharopeptide) is the name given to this isolate.

The majority of turkey tail extracts sold in North America are mycelium cultivated on corn. These products, however, do not contain enough PSP isolate to have an impact. Furthermore, the mycelium cannot be separated from the grain, which is heavy in starch carbs. Cancer cells are known to get the majority of their nutrition for growth from carbs. As a result, most cancer diet plans recommend avoiding simple sugars and most carbs.

Turkey tail mushroom supplements are not all the same. It’s critical to know where the mushroom supplement you’re thinking about giving your dog originated from, and specifically what it was cultivated on. Many therapeutic mushrooms grow on dead and rotting wood in nature. Growing mushroom mycelium on grain is the next, not the final, stage in mushroom culture.

The Profile of High-Quality Turkey Tail Supplements

Based on the information provided above, you should first determine if the product you wish to purchase has grains and mycelium or the entire mushroom. If you feed your dog a grain-free diet, why would you give him a mushroom supplement that was 50% grain and didn’t even include any genuine mushrooms, only fungal mycelium?

To unleash the power of mushrooms for use in health supplements, they must be dried, ground finely, and then heated in near-boiling water for a length of time to burst the strong fungal cell walls. This mechanism is required for the bioactive chemicals located in the cell wall and inside the fungal cell to be released. Consuming only powdered dry mushrooms is unlikely to provide the same level of strength as mushrooms that have been hot-water extracted.

Real Mushrooms employs mushrooms that have been cultivated organically on their natural substrate: wood. These products include no grains or mycelium and are 100% produced from the mushroom (fruiting body) and third-party evaluated for potency and purity.

The dried mushrooms are picked at their peak strength, dried, and crushed into a powder before being extracted with hot water. The powerful chemicals trapped within the fungal cells and cell walls are released during the extraction procedure. It is dried and powdered before being examined to ensure that it has the defined quantity of beta-glucans.

This strong powder is packed into capsules, combined into soft chews, or sold as a pure powder. This meticulous quality control ensures your pet’s safety and potency consistency from administration to administration.

Turkey Tail Mushroom Administration Recommendation for Dogs – FAQs

How much turkey tail should I give my dogs?

If you are using Real Mushrooms turkey tail extract you can expect greater than 300 mg of beta-glucans per gram. Approximately ½ teaspoon of this powder weighs about 1 gram = 1000 mg;

Daily Dosage Guidelines by Specific Purpose

1. For Wellness, health maintenance and preventative applications, minor conditions, and topical applications:

2.5-5 mg of mushroom beta-glucans per kilogram of your dog’s body weight is a good place to start

1-2.5 mg of mushroom beta-glucans per pound of body weight of your dog’s body weight is a good place to start

2. When your pet’s condition is more medically serious, then increase the amount of mushroom beta-glucans and talk to your veterinarian about your pet’s condition. They are there to help. Here are general guidelines for administration of turkey tail extract under more medically serious conditions:

5-10 mg of mushroom beta-glucans per kilogram of your pet’s body weight

2.5-5 mg of mushroom beta-glucans per pound of your pet’s body weight.

3. Conditions that have the need for the highest amount of mushroom beta-glucans–the complex, difficult, serious, chronic, degenerative and potentially terminal conditions:

  • Autoimmune disease
  • Cancer and cancer therapies
  • Neurodegenerative diseases

For these kinds of conditions, begin with administering a daily dosage as follows:

10-30 mg/kg of mushroom beta-glucans

5-15 mg/pound of mushroom beta-glucans.

Can I give the Mushroom Extract with Food?

That question has an unequivocal yes! Mushrooms are edible. They are, in fact, functional superfoods. Turkey tail extracts function best when taken on a regular basis with a balanced diet over an extended period of time. The longer you offer medicinal mushrooms to your dog, the more intense their effects will be.

When it comes to immunological modulation, it is incorrect to assume mushrooms to have any form of instant drug-like effect. To improve immunological function, the immune system requires time and continual exposure to immune modifying beta-glucans and other compounds found in mushrooms. When utilizing mushrooms medicinally for your pet, the greatest formula for clinical success is consistency of treatment over long periods of time.

Will it Interfere with other Medication My Pet May Need?

Although there have been instances of mushroom-drug interactions, there have been few reports of turkey tail interactions. The possibility for interaction between these two is limited for most drugs and the relatively tiny doses of mushroom extract taken daily for health and wellness. Nonetheless, if your pet is taking another powerful medicine from your physician, you should ask that vet to check your dog’s blood levels to determine whether this mushroom is interfering with that drug level.

Should I Look out for Adverse Effects after I Give it?

Reactions to something fresh and never previously offered are always conceivable. Reactions are even conceivable with non-new and previously administered safe substances. This is why I believe it is best to start slowly with a minimal “dose” to be on the safe side. Most dogs appear to benefit from this throughout the changeover period.

There have been a few instances of allergic reactions. Even excellent edible mushrooms such as shiitake. These are rare instances, but they should be noted. Allergic responses usually happen fast, whereas poisoning might take hours.

If you suspect that a response is caused by mushroom intake, cease providing it and wait 24 hours to determine if the reaction has subsided. If it hasn’t, contact your veterinarian and bring your pet in for a check-up.

How Long Will Turkey Tail Mushroom Take to Work?

Mushrooms can have two distinct effects that you can feel. If you take them for their soothing and settling effects, which are most usually observed with large dosages of Reishi, Lion’s Mane, or Tremella, you will most certainly feel serene that day.

That first sensation will fade into familiarity with time, but the second effects of Reishi, Lion’s Mane, and Tremella will kick in after around 2-3 weeks, resulting in a calmer, more organized mental process. This not only helps your pups sleep, but it also helps them acclimatize to stress and change. Mushrooms are super-functional nutrients that act slowly and gradually, just like all other functional foods.

Should I Give it in Each Meal? Give it Daily? Or, Should I Pulse it?

Mushrooms work best when ingested regularly with meals. They can be ingested one or several times each day to get the daily dose required for maximum effects. They do not need to be administered more than once each day. You can give 5 days on and 2 days off after more than 6 months of regular administration, or every other day if it suits your schedule simpler. Once you’ve established a routine for training your dog’s immune system with mushroom extracts, you may start reducing the number of days per week you give him this supplement.

When Can I Quit Giving this Stuff to My Dog?

“Never” is the quick answer. Mushrooms should become a part of your dog’s daily routine if they are to play a significant role in your 4-legged family’s health maintenance program. This is also true if you and your four-legged family members opt to consume mushroom extracts to maintain your health.

Summary of Turkey Tail Benefits for Dogs

Some areas where turkey tail mushroom could help our canine friends are suggested by its well-studied properties. Therefore, extracts of this mushroom may be given to dogs for six general purposes:

  1. Immune enhancement
  2. As an adjunct to cancer therapies
  3. Antioxidant protection of cells
  4. Supporting a healthy inflammation response
  5. Boosting conventional therapies
  6. Vaccine support

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