When mammals are born, their mothers produce a special milk that contains colostrum. Colostrum jumpstarts the newborn’s immune system and provides vital nutrients …and this is why many dog owners are using colostrum for their dogs.
Researchers are finding that these immune-boosting properties are some of the greatest benefits of colostrum for your dog.
There are well over 1,000 clinical studies on the benefits of colostrum. It’s been shown to be safe and effective in treating many common disorders.
In fact, bovine (or cow) colostrum was commonly used to treat infections and other issues before sulfa drugs and antibiotics were discovered. And it can still be used today as a safe and effective antibiotic and probiotic.
But more recent research has focused on two of the more important components of colostrum – growth factors and immune-modulators – and how they can help fight common diseases.
The results of this research have been very encouraging. The benefits of colostrum for dogs are hard to ignore, so let's learn how colostrum can help your dog.
Top 5 Health Benefits Of Colostrum For Dogs
1. Support Your Dog's Allergy Symptoms
Colostrum contains a hormone called Proline-Rich-Polypeptide (PRP). This hormone can either stimulate an under-active immune system or, in the case of allergies, down-regulate an overactive immune system.
This down-regulation is important in autoimmune diseases, including arthritis and allergies. This is because the overly active immune system can either fail to recognize its own cells from foreign molecules.
And this means it can start attacking its own tissues (autoimmunity) or will show an exaggerated response to a normally harmless molecule.
According to Staroscik et al, 1983, PRP can regulate the activity of the immune system in the same way that hormones produced by the thymus gland do.
Researchers believe that PRP’s ability to reduce allergic symptoms comes from its ability to inhibit lymphocyte (white blood cell) and T-cell overproduction. These are the cells that overreact in an allergic reaction.
It’s also thought that PRP can help create special cells (helper T-cells and suppressor T-cells) that can suppress and switch off the immune responses that trigger allergies.
Other studies have shown that PRP is highly anti-inflammatory, which helps not just with allergies, but other inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.
Colostrum can also be effective in helping with one of the primary causes of allergy symptoms, leaky gut.
2. Colostrum And Leaky Gut
Most of the immune system function happens in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
One of the major benefits of colostrum is its ability to control the health of the GI tract. It can help seal the lining so undigested food can’t pass through and cause inflammation and allergy symptoms.
There are several recent studies that show colostrum can help reverse gut irritation and the chronic health issues it can cause including Candida albicans or yeast.
And because colostrum contains probiotics and has antibiotic activity, it can help restore a healthy gut flora, which is key to healing leaky gut.
3. Colostrum And Cancer
In 1985, “Quiet Strides in the War on Cancer” was published by Steven Rosenberg. It popularized the use of cytokines to treat cancer and this therapy is still successfully used today.
In fact, researchers are looking at the cytokines contained in colostrum (Interleukins, Interferon, and Lymphokines) and their role in treating cancer.
Interferons and Interleukins can enhance the body’s response to cancer by activating special white blood cells that can find and destroy cancer cells.
They’re also thought to inhibit the growth of cancer cells and even kill them (apoptosis). In fact, drug manufacturers are trying to genetically engineer and sell the interferon from colostrum at a much higher price.
Colostrum also contains a special protein called Lactalbumin. Researchers report that Colostrum Lactalbumin can cause apoptosis (death) of cancer cells while leaving the healthy cells to thrive.
And finally, many cancers are initiated or spread by viruses and colostrum can support the immune system and help fight viruses and infections.
Colostrum contains a large amount of Immunoglobin A, D, E, G and M. There are also called IgA, IgD, IgE, IgG and IgM. IgG fights against bacteria and toxin buildup, while IgM destroys bacteria and IgE and IgD fight viruses.
Colostrum also contains Lactoferrin. This is another substance that fights viruses and bacteria, is anti-inflammatory and has also been researched for its role in treating and preventing cancer.
And the antioxidant phytic acid that’s found in colostrum prevents iron from reaching and feeding cancer cells.
So colostrum can be an important supplement to prevent and treat cancer and the viruses that can cause it. Which leads us to the next point.
4. Colostrum And Canine Flu
A 2007 study showed that colostrum was three times more effective than the flu vaccine in preventing the flu.
The same immune-boosting properties that help prevent and treat cancer and allergies can also protect your dog from viruses such as bordetella (kennel cough), parvovirus, Leptospirosis, Lyme disease and more.
Colostrum is passed from the mother to her newborn to protect against viruses so the RPRs found in colostrum can ramp up the immune system and help fight viruses.
5. Colostrum And Wound Healing
Colostrum contains growth factors, which help the newborn grow and develop. These same growth factors can stimulate wound healing.
Studies show that when applied externally, colostrum can speed wound healing, skin growth, and cellular repair. And colostrum also contains antibacterial properties, which will prevent and heal infections.
Topically, colostrum can be used for:
- Dermatitis and skin infections
- Gingivitis and oral infections
- Ear infections
- Insect bites
- Surgical wounds
It’s easy to use colostrum for dogs topically. Mix it with distilled water until it forms a paste. Then you can apply it directly to the infected area.
Bonus Benefit: Colostrum For Lyme Disease
Researchers at the University of New Haven have found another benefit of colostrum. Lactoferrin is a milk protein in colostrum ... that can help treat Lyme disease. In fact, the study found it was 5% more effective than the antibiotic doxycycline, the conventional way to treat Lyme disease.
Previous studies have shown that B burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes Lyme disease, often appears in biofilm form. Biofilms are structured bacteria communities. They're surrounded by a polysaccharide layer that contains minerals ... like calcium, manganese, magnesium, or iron. Biofilm protects the bacteria from antibiotics ... and studies show biofilms can increase B burgdorferi antibiotic resistance up to 1000 times. That's why Lyme disease can be so difficult to treat.
The new UNH study shows that lactoferrin at concentrations of 80ug/ml reduced B burdorferi biofilm by 15%. The researchers believe lactoferrin works by absorbing minerals like iron and manganese. B Burgdorferi uses manganese in biofilm for biological processes, so they lose their essential nutrients.
Researchers have found the concentration of lactoferrin in colostrum ranges from 1.5 to 5 mg/mL. The effective concentration of 80ug/mL converts to 08mg/mL ... meaning colostrum has high concentrations of lactoferrin that can reduce biofilm.
If your dog has Lyme disease symptoms, colostrum is a safe, low cost supplement to help fight this persistent bacterial infection.
How Much Colostrum Should I Give My Dog?
You can buy colostrum in either capsule or powder forms. It’s best to feed it on an empty stomach.
Most pets don’t mind the taste of colostrum ... but you can give it with a small amount of yogurt or broth if your dog is fussy.
If you buy pre-made colostrum, follow the instructions on the label for feeding amounts.
If you re buying a human product you can use the general colostrum dosing for dogs below.
Powdered colostrum dosing for dogs:
- Dogs up to 10lbs - 1/16th tsp per day
- 11lbs to 25 lbs - 1/8th tsp per day
- 26 lbs to 99 lbs - 1/4 tsp per day
- 100 lbs and up- 1/2 tsp per day
- Small dogs less than 25lbs –1 capsule morning and night
- 25- 100 lb dogs- 2 capsules morning and night
- 100 lbs + - 3 capsules morning and night
It's often recommended to give colostrum for at least one full month. Then give colostrum as needed depending on your dog's needs.
So now you know the benefits of colostrum for dogs are many. And that research is showing its ability to prevent and treat everything from heart disease to leaky gut.
As a bonus, it's a safe and inexpensive supplement to have on hand. So keep it around to boost your dog’s immune system or to help treat any existing health issues.
And remember, even though researchers are just catching on to the benefits of colostrum for dogs, it’s been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years!
And it’s a staple for many holistic veterinarians. So I’ll leave you with a couple of quotes from two holistic veterinarians.
“Today the orthodoxy is in a losing battle with the infective organisms that have the capability of mutating, producing antibiotic-resistant strains, and growing at faster numbers than the drugs can kill.
It will always be so – this is the genetic code imprinted in the organisms that assure their survival. This is the beauty of Colostrum – the organisms have no time to reproduce. Colostrum’s healing effects are multifaceted.
I have become a believer and recommend it in all ill animals and people no matter what the cause, in arthritic, allergic and autoimmune conditions. I have found it has reduced my allergy expressions of migraines and psoriasis since I have been taking 2 capsules 3 xs daily.” ~ Gloria Dodd DVM
“My experience thus far, has shown that a pet’s need for any particular supplement they are on can be reduced or eliminated, once they have been on colostrum. This is probably due to the increase in efficiency in the absorption of substances from the gut, better efficiency of tissue repair from the growth factors, and a healthier immune system from the immunoglobulin and other immune factors provided by the colostrum.” ~ Stephen Blake DVM
Hopefully, now that you know the benefits of colostrum for dogs you can help your dog become his healthiest best!