Are Mushrooms Good for Dogs?
Dr. Patti Mayfield DVM, HABC, CVCH*
Dr. Mayfield is an experienced small-animal veterinarian who graduated from Oregon State University in 2000 with a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Sciences (crop and soil sciences), and in 2005 with a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine. She completed a rotating internship in 2006 and spent the next 15 years cultivating a career in emergency medicine and critical care.
In the last 3 years, Dr. Mayfield has expanded her skill set by obtaining a human animal bond certification (HABC), and will complete her certificate of Chinese veterinary herbalist (CVCH) in the spring of 2021. Additionally, Dr. Mayfield has completed the Sonographic Diagnostic Efficiency Protocol (SDEP). As the owner of Smiling Dog Veterinary Services, she offers integrative medicine, mobile veterinary diagnostic ultrasound, and hospice and palliative care for her patients.
Dr. Mayfield is passionate about animal welfare and promoting the human-animal bond. She is the Medical Director of Companion Animal Medical Project (CAMP), a nonprofit organization providing veterinary wellness services to the pets of people experiencing homelessness in her hometown of Bend, Oregon. Additionally, Dr. Mayfield has traveled to under-served areas to provide veterinary care; most recently to Malawi, Africa, where she organized a self-supported canine rabies clinic to help address the major public health issue of endemic rabies within the canine population.
Dr. Mayfield served on the Oregon Veterinary Medical Examining Board from 2013 until 2017. She is the Chair of the Advocacy Committee of the Veterinary Cannabis Society, is an active member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association, the North American Veterinary Community, the Canadian Association of Veterinary Cannabinoid Medicine, the International Association of Animal Hospice and Palliative Care, and the Society of Cannabis Clinicians.
In her spare time, she enjoys flying her paraglider with her partner Tim, and seeks adventure in the backcountry snowboarding or mountain biking.
Her fuzzy companions include “Pilot”, an adventurous husky mix, a darling muppet-like dog called Wheels, and her marvelous feline, Floof.
Other Media: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1VKnN4HXKyjbF0G_u-LWLVaAYnlPyasgq?usp=sharing
Welcome, welcome mushroom family to another episode of the mushroom revival podcast. We are so excited to have you tuning in and chiming in with us. We are a podcast bridging the gap between you are lovely, incredible, beautiful listeners and the wonderful, wacky world of fungi and mushrooms. We bring on guests and experts from all around the world to geek out with us and go on a mushroom journey. So thank you for tuning in.
And today we have an awesome guest, Dr. Patti Mayfield, who has her doctorate in veterinary science. And we're going to talk about mushrooms for your dog, which is a very requested topic. I'm so glad that we found the perfect contender to come on the show and speak to us about how mushrooms can be great for your dog. Patty, thanks for coming on.
Thank you so much for having me. Again. I'm delighted to be here. And as I said before, I'm I'm so flattered to be a member of the steamed guests that you interview. So glad to have this conversation.
And we were talking about before you have an interesting past with a bachelor's and agriculture science. Can you just give our listeners a quick background of your studies and how you got to where you are and why you want to focus on Veterinary Science and help our furry friends?
Yeah, absolutely. So kind of a brief summary. Yeah, I graduated with a bachelor's degree in agricultural science. And after a year decided that I wanted to pursue veterinary medicine. So graduated with a doctorate in veterinary medicine. My background was I was I was raised kind of in a rural community outside of Eugene, Oregon and Western Oregon, so up in the Pacific Northwest and had a background of kind of farming and ranching. So animals were always a part of my life all through childhood. So I had that kind of connection. And as I got older and gravitated towards the sciences, it was just kind of the next step towards wanting to help and support support the animals through medicine. Currently, I am still practicing in the emergency room. So I've been practicing for 15 years, kind of hard to believe that it's been that long already. But in the last kind of three years, I would say my interests have really kind oftranscended just the emergency room. And I'm starting to look at other kind of more holistic approaches and less invasive approaches, especially looking at pharmaceutical meds, and maybe some that are not quite so heavy in that side of medicine, looking more natural, plant based or fungal based medicines. So So really, my background has been primarily just in emergency room, but in the last several years, delving into training in traditional Chinese veterinary medicine, towards earning that certificate of being a certified herbalist, and then plus kind of embracing more holistic and palliative care.
What would you say is the hardest part of your work and I'm, I'm sure you've had days where maybe you've wanted to quit, andthings have gotten tough, especially, you know, in the emergency room, I can only imagine my grandma used to work, the night shift in, in the ER in, in a rough neighborhood in Chicago. And so she was dealt with a lot and I can only imagine, you know, with furry friends right in front of you. There's there's obviously been some rough patches and even, you know, outside the emergency room, what what would you say is kind of is currently the hardest or has been the hardest?
Yeah, so it's a it's a very interesting question right now because currently veterinary medicine as a field or an industry, if you want to call it that is going through a bit of an epidemic of mental health crisis, which is right on what you touched on is it's kind of connected to compassion, fatigue, emotional stressors and and burnout, career burnout. And a lot of that does have to do with the traumas that we do see, especially in the emergency room, that workload. Again, working nights is really challenging and it takes a significant toll on your body, the World Health Organization lists. At night shift work is a carcinogen. So it's it's really detrimental to people who've been in the emergency room and working those 12 to 14 hour shifts back to back to back for decades, it takes a significant toll on on your, you know, mental health. And currently, our field has one of the highest kind of risk factors for suicide. So we've surpassed other health care providers as far as veterinarians who are committing suicide. So it's really challenging. And I speak from a from personal experience, and that I did three years ago, kind of step away, I took a year long sabbatical because I was just having those classic symptoms of burnout, I had spent 12 years in the emergency room, and it's, it's really challenging, you spent a better part of a decade studying to become a veterinarian, it's really challenging to get in, you've put all of this emotional and financial and physical effort towards honing your craft. And then you get into it. And it's not always what you think it's going to be. And I think that's a common mis misperception of what veterinarians do is that we don't just play with puppies all day. That would be fantastic if that were the case. But we see a lot of trauma, a lot of illness. And we we do we manage euthanasia, and that's something that in that in the counterpart of human health care, you know, there's very few, you know, euthanasia about that is, is occurring. So and that's something else, that's another toll that we take. And there's a significant financial burden, where, you know, graduates coming out of that school now, you know, they're they're taking on $300,000 of student loan debt, just to become a practicing veterinarian. And it just, it just doesn't pay the return on investment. If you're looking at just the finances, it's you're never gonna make high end six figures, you know, as you would in human medicine. So there's so many facets to the struggles right now that many veterinarians are facing. Not to mention, just in the last year, our productivity has gone up 30 to 40%, just in how many clients we're seeing. So it and I don't know if that's COVID, related or not, but veterinarians are busier than ever. And so there's this kind of toll that's already, you know, we're already kind of feeling compassion, fatigue and burnout, and then you add in more work. And so it's just a, it's a real struggle to sometimes kind of focus on why you entered into this. And I have a lot of colleagues that are struggling right now. And like I say, personally, I struggled as well. And and the sabbatical, I took a year off, and it was the best thing I could have ever done, because it allowed me time to have really thoughtful introspection, and to realize why I wanted to still help on animals and why I still loved the medicine and what else I could be curious about and what else I could learn. So it's right now for me, the struggle is much easier than for some of some of my colleagues. But I've definitely been in the weeds, too. So I'm just grateful that I'm on the kind of right now the other side of it, and that I've found things to be curious about and to continue to learn. And I think that that is one of the key components of getting through burnout.
Thank you, that gives us a whole new insight to this world and respect for the people that have gone through it. Why what keeps you in the medicine? I mean, I know you took a sabbatical, and you did some introspective work, and you decided to stay in the game. Could you share with us why?
Yeah, well, I mean, fundamentally, it comes down to, I think, learning more about myself. And I realized that I do still love the medicine. And of course, I'll always love the animals always that that'll never go away. So I think that it was for me, it was finding this new avenue, being kind of an explorer, so to speak, or a traveler within veterinary medicine. And that doesn't have to just be one formulaic step, that you don't just become a doctor and stay there. You need to continue to keep learning. And I think that speaks to people in general. And that people who tend to be more satisfied with life in general, or the work that they're doing, find purpose in it. And the way to find purpose is to stay curious about it and just keep learning and, you know, always be a beginner, you know, you reach a certain level of expertise, but then, you know, you can kind of hit that ceiling, and then things become mundane. And so, you know, even though I'm in my early 40s, you know, and some people would say, oh, you're you know, you're already an expert stay there. Now I want to keep learning and doing doing other things. So I'm branching out into like I say, the traditional Chinese veterinary medicine into more herbal medicine.
Looking into offering in a mobile ultrasound and other avenues? So that's really what keeps me there, I think is the curiosity. And and knowing that I still have a place here,
are you able to practice this alternative approach in your institution.
So it's a it's a tricky balance, right. So I'm still in the emergency room, but I have now as opposed to being assigned on associate with one specific emergency room, I work as an independent contractor and multiple emergency rooms around the state. And so that allows me more flexibility in my schedule, which also allows me to offer additional services outside of that practice. So I kind of have two sets of practice where I can see clients on a mobile basis and do consultation and help them with herbal decoctions, or rapid recipes that are more along the lines of tcvm, which is the traditional Chinese veterinary medicine. And then I, when I'm in the emergency room, you know, it's it is still difficult to kind of navigate both of those branches of practice. But I find that I'm able to find have some overlap a little bit more than I would have before, just because I'm more aware of what's available. And, you know, I think it's fascinating On that note, that a lot of clinicians who are trained in western medicine, you know, we're reaching for drugs that are on the shelf that are derivatives of plant and fungal medicine, you know, so many, I mean, commonplace people know that penicillin comes from a fungus, but a majority of our antibiotics do, well, maybe not a majority, but a significant number of them, the cephalosporins, the penicillins, you know, it's not just the one plus you look at immunomodulating medications like cyclosporin, and myco, phenol eight, which we use for immune mediated diseases all the time. And those are derivatives from from fungi, we use as emergency emergency practitioners, we use eunan bio, which is a recipe from traditional Chinese medicine. And a lot of the veterinarians in western medicine, don't even really understand what is in that decoction, they, you know, your non bio is just you non describing the province where it was first isolated, and by all means white medicine. But if you ask them what the actual primary or the king herb is, a lot of them don't know. But it's just patterns. We use it for disorders of hemorrhage, but it's notoginseng. And that's the king principle of that decoction. But I think it's fascinating, because we just, we're kind of trained in a certain way, and we reach for certain things out of practice, and out of precedent. But oftentimes, we don't really understand the basis or kind of the origin of that. So. So in emergency, I am now reaching for more herbal remedies, but I do still align mostly with a western medicine aspect,
which came first. And at what point? I'm guessing that you are training in western medicine first, and then maybe you realized, Oh, you know, a lot of these medicines are derived from natural sources. And and with that natural curiosity decided to branch out more, or did you have a background in in herbal ism? And when you went to Western medicine, to that kind of interweave?
Yeah, so I started with traditional Western medicine first, it was at Oregon State University through the College of Veterinary Medicine. And so that is definitely an evidence based medicine protocol. That is, you know, it follows our human medicine very, you know, specifically. However, instead of just studying one species, of course, we're studying multiple, but it is definitely along those lines, and plant medicine is really not something that is, is taught, I think, not necessarily because there isn't some foundation of scientific evidence that it's functional, but more because there's just not enough time in four years to get through all of that. And Western medicine has a way of being more mechanistic. And I think and kind of controlling, breaking every organ system down into this is renal specific or kidney specific disorder, versus cardiovascular versus neurologic. And so, you know, that is just a branch where we've been able to look at cellular function and and try to map the rest of physiology and pathophysiology around it. Whereas traditional Chinese medicine is looking more at the energies and the harmony and the balance, and doesn't necessarily focus so much on pathophysiology or why this is a disorder. It's just whether or not the treatment is going to work. So it's, it's definitely I started with Western medicine because it's, you know, I'm a product of my environment and culture. But I think that there's a place for, for both and for integrative. So that's really where I'm kind of falling in right now is integrative medicine, how can we combine the best two components of each branch of medicine to improve the health of our patient?
I'm really glad that you brought up all you know, the drugs derived from natural resources. And we just watched a fascinating documentary, it was an episode of a whole series last night it was on curiosity stream. And I'm pretty sure the title was pain, pus and poison. Yep. And it was Episode Two, and it's really interesting title. But Episode Two is all about antibiotics, specifically penicillin. And how, you know, important it was it just a crazy turning point in history of how many lives that it really saved. And, you know, everyone working on it, apart from Alexander Fleming, and all the different trials and tribulations, how it, how it worked, how it didn't work, and how they scaled it up, there's a point where they actually gave a mission to the military to go around the world in World War Two, and, you know, collect soil samples and find moldy fruit all around the world to try to get a better strain to produce more penicillin. And it's just natural, it's crazy, the scale that this happened, and we're at the point, you know, with COVID, where we're, we're looking for other naturally occurring compounds that we can use to live longer and save more lives, human and otherwise. So I think the work that you're doing is incredible and, and given all the stress and all the emotional turmoil that comes with a job, you know, it comes back to doing something that has a huge purpose for the world. And this is why we're so that's why I'm so passionate about mushrooms. And we'll we'll loop it into there. That's a great segue is because it saves lives. And it has a potential to really radically shift consciousness and the the state of the world in many, many different industries, it can really radically change the course of history in a beneficial way. And so that's what, you know, with all this stress, it's, it keeps me passionate about working with mushrooms and fungi, is there insane potential for the world? And so that's a good segue to ask, how did you get into mushrooms? And at what point did you say, Hey, you know, we can give them to ducks.
Right, right. Well, on that note, I will support your statements, that I think mushrooms have the capacity and have been influencing the world for millennia, right? And how fortunate are we that we live in a time where we're able to harness these fungi to develop broad spectrum antibiotic therapy that has just catapulted our societies and our species in a way where we're living longer and healthier and better lives and the species around us? Now? Are we always using these antibiotics responsibly? Probably not, right? I mean, you look at the amount of antibiotics that it's going into animal feed, and that's going to create superbugs, and then we're going to need different antibiotics. So we're leaning harder on mushrooms, to try to find additional antibiotics that are more clever than the bacteria. So again, onto that note, I support that statement that mushrooms are fascinating. And really, to a certain extent, they might be in control of everything, like pulling all the strings. To go back to the question where how I came to mushrooms and how I kind of, you know, as I've heard, you both kind of refer to how you've gotten an inoculation, so to speak. is you know that time during my sabbatical, you know, I was really just kind of I was traveling a lot. I spent some time in Ecuador and small indigenous community of San Clemente, where I learned more about the native plants and did have some entheogen experiences that kind of, you know, were were really formative and special, and then just started looking more at, you know, the benefits of dietary mushrooms. And so, you know, it's one of those scenarios where in veterinary medicine, we do extrapolate a lot from other sources of research, because funding research is very challenging. Obtaining grants and the finances in order to fund clinical trials is just extremely sometimes it's cost prohibitive. And so there's not a lot of specific research, often for dogs or cats, or ferrets, you know, pick your species that you want to focus on. And it can be really challenging to find that literature to back up what's happening in that species. So we've been drawing from, you know, rats and mouse models we've been drawing from the human literature, and just trying to extrapolate where we can. And so that's really kind of where I've been able to kind of blend that into the integrative side of the practice. And along with, again, that traditional Chinese veterinary medicine education, you know, that there is definitely formulas that have been utilized since for 2000 years. So some of the oldest and most utilized historic texts, in tcvm, were written 2000 years ago, and they've been utilizing Reishi or linji, for that amount of time. So, so that's really where I was just noticing kind of more of a, I guess, it's it's more of a self driven purpose, I suppose. But I found the benefit for myself, where I take daily mushroom supplements, and, and that's been beneficial for me. And so if I have patients who have these idiopathic what we consider idiopathic, because we can't explain the etiology, they have these disorders that are chronic, you know, inflammatory immune mediated disorders, then then then we've got to do something to help them even if evidence based medicine says we'll throw their hands up and say, we don't know what to do with this, because it's chronic, and it's inflammatory, and there doesn't seem to be any curative treatment. Well, there's still a patient that is in distress, if they're if they're living with those clinical signs or those symptoms. And so at some point, I just have to reach for a little bit of anecdotal benefit as well and say, well, let's try one and see if it works. And if it's not working, then we can manipulate and modify and and just try walking the patient through, you know, a different path of treatments that might be beneficial.
Can you speak to the parallels that you see between TCM and traditional Chinese veterinary medicine? And then the follow up question is, is this veterinary medicine? Just all animals are mammals that aren't us? And do you think that that's a reliable perspective?
Yeah, so the parallels between TCM and tcvm are pretty significant. You know, and I'm not a historian by any means, but to my understanding, TCM, those acupuncture practitioners, and you know, the kind of the forefathers, so to speak of TCM, were establishing meridian and acupuncture points on horses and dogs and cats, at the same time that they were establishing them in humans. And so this has been an integrative you know, cross species practice for many years. And that also is relevant to Western medicine. Back in, you know, the 17th and 18th centuries, most physicians were also they acted as veterinarians, there was no separation between the species really, you had physicians who were treating horses and cattle and, you know, other livestock because it was it was necessary, they were just trained in medicine. So I think that there's there's definitely a lot of parallels and in tcvm, we focus on kind of the five basic principles of treatment, which are acupuncture tuina, which is body work, and then herbal remedies, nutritional therapy, and then of course, exercise. And so in humans, that's kind of more a Tai Chi. It's challenging to get your dog to do Tai Chi, but exercise is a huge component. And, you know, you pull up to the 10,000 foot view on that and it's just good wellness, you eat well, you exercise, you have body work, you know, alleviate stress and keep the chief flowing. And that's a well balanced, healthy life staying in harmony. So, so I think those parallels are pretty significant. Remind me the second part of that question.
The fact that veterinary medicine seems like an all encompassing term or practice for mammals as a whole and obviously we put ourselves aside from that. We're humans, and they're studied in a completely different curriculum and fashion. But when it comes to veterinary medicine, how applicable Do you think it actually is to group in horses and cats and dogs? Yeah, that's
such a great question. It is challenging, right. So I have a friend who tells everyone that I am a doctor of many species. And, and it is, it's tough. It's one of the challenges of getting through veterinary school is that we have four years, wherein we have to learn anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, treatments, surgical applications, all of these aspects of medicine. And we have to apply that to a range of species, which can have a lot of similarities, but can have very unique specific differences, they make all the difference in the world. And we are trained in, you know, when I went through school, we weren't allowed to do any tracking, which is to say that now there are some credentialed schools that will allow students to track into either small animal or large animal, so you can kind of dedicate more time to those specialties. But so I was trained in horses, and cattle and dogs, and cats, and chickens, and sheep, you know, in in pigs, so I had to learn all of those different applications. And at the same time, you know, I learned all of that, but I haven't been utilizing that for the last 15 years. So, you know, it's one of those things that the specifics tend to fall away. But there are a lot of veterinarians, specifically mixed animal practitioners, who are still, you know, kind of the James Herriot version of veterinarians, from all creatures great and small, who will treat anything and you know, they see cattle on one call, and then they'll see a cat on the next. But I do think there's a place for more specialization, because we're in this age of so much information, how can one person know all of it, you can either be a really great general practitioner, or you can be a specialized expert in just exotic animals where you're dealing with ferrets, and, you know, maybe avian species. And even within small animal, it has now really trended towards where human medicine is gone, where you have board certified residents and residency programs, where you have a specialty in either internal medicine, focused on oncology, cardiology, or you can be a dermatologist, a veterinary dermatologist or a veterinary surgeon, where all you do is surgery. So, it's, it's really fascinating that, you know, again, in veterinary medicine, there's a lot of aspects for where you can kind of land within clinical practice. And for better or worse, a little bit, I think it is trending more towards human medicine, where we're getting more specialty insight. It's great, but it also limits you. So, you know, as an emergency practitioner, I see ophthalmology cases, dermatological issues, endocrine disorders, trauma surgery, I'm doing all of that. And I think to the human health care providers, and I feel kind of sorry that you know, they're not, they're not doing maybe as much as a veterinarian would, you know, there's maybe not as much as surgery as a general practitioner gets to do, they're gonna refer you to see an ophthalmologist pretty quickly. Not to say that they're
not, you know, trained in those things as well. But veterinarians, there's just not as many specialists around and so we kind of have to figure it out, I would just like to second the relationship between traditional Chinese medicine and humans and animals. One of my favorite kind of rules of thumb from my TCM teacher, we were talking about disturb Shen. And it's like, you know, disturbed spirit, so to speak, and someone was like, Well, how do you know, when someone has to serve Shen? And always remember my teacher, he said, You always look at the dog in the room. And the dog will always, like, tilt their head like this, or just kind of, you know, whimper a little bit when they come into the room. And animals are so emotionally intelligent, and especially dogs. And they know even more than, than humans, a lot of times on that emotionally energetic level. And so I thought that was funny of, you know, looking at the dog in the room to to diagnose a human on on certain things. And, and another thing, you know, in in that same kind of docu series that we were Watching the sort of talking about smallpox. And if anyone doesn't know, smallpox has killed over 500 million people. And the statistics are all over the place because a lot of that is not recorded, and has toppled empires. I mean, it's one of the most gnarly things that has ever come on this planet. And successfully eradicated you know, it's in, it's in two labs and one in Russia, one in the US in sealed labs right now. But they found the cure from cows, and from cow pox, and which I think was crazy, you know, with Coronavirus, potentially coming from bats, is that a lot of people are worried about new diseases coming from animals, but I think animals have the potential to also have the cures, and to look outside of humans again, into the plant world, into the bacterial world into the fungal worlds. And outside of you know, humans and chemical compounds, we have a whole natural world around us that be a huge benefit. So we need veterinarians like yourself to also help with diagnosis and, and treatments of human related issues as well. And I think there's such an incredible correlation that we're only just beginning to uncover. So thank you for doing your work. I appreciate it. Oh, well,
thank you so much. I mean, I'm just in the trenches. You know, the, the researchers, of course, are the ones who deserve all the credit, and they're really kind of cracking the code. But it's interesting that, you know, you touch on COVID right. I mean, it's been such a tumultuous year and, and any any type of novel virus is going to be worrisome for so many reasons, because we don't know morbidity, mortality, we don't know, transmission. There's so much that we don't know about it yet. But when this whole thing shut down, you know, when obviously the United States was concerned about Corona hitting hitting our shores, you know, affected areas like well, you know, we see coronaviruses you know, it's, I think for lay people it's Coronavirus is just kind of the common cold and there's not a lot known, but we see coronaviruses and cats not infrequently feline, and Tara Coronavirus, can then mutate into feline infectious peritonitis virus, for which in the last 10 years, there's been a new drug that has been significantly beneficial for cats and for reducing their mortality. And that drug is remdesivir. So when this whole thing started, I said Why isn't anyone looking at remdesivir? Is that going to be beneficial for humans? And so it is FDA approved? Now, I think that people are still finding whether it's it's actually that beneficial in humans, it's questionable. You know, but the studies did show some promise. And so that is one of the FDA approved treatments for [unaudible]. Right now is remdesivir, which is a drug that we've been using for the last decade and cats. So, you know, on that note, yeah, I think that there is a lot of room, if we can just have the humility to look outside of our own field of expertise, and be collaborative, I think that we can learn so much. from one another. Obviously, veterinarians were used to pulling from human research, because that's the only resource that we might have for a specific condition. But I think that human medicine has also pulled from veterinary medicines specifically look at fecal medical transplants that are happening for people with severe colitis and Crohn's disease. Well, that's technically transformation, which we've been doing in veterinary medicine for 100 years. So it's just, it's just, you know, transplanting healthy bacteria from one healthy patient to the next. And we do that in cattle, you know, so there are fenestrated ports that are going directly into the, the, the cows side. So it's actually surgically implanted into the sidewall of the stomach, and you can untwist this little cork like tube, reach in and grab healthy microbiome from the cow's stomach and then insert it practically into the other cow. Right? So it's, yeah, it's wild, right? And so now they're looking in human medicine that is a kind of a quote unquote, new therapeutic technique. And so I do I think it's fascinating. It's also fascinating to see where kind of the plagues of history have led us, right. So you're talking about some pox and the absolute devastation. And it's not just smallpox, but look at measles. And and, you know, there's, I mean, there are there are cultures and religions that are based around these plagues and famines. And these things that modern day humans don't, we really haven't had to worry about him that much. And we have this pandemic that has been so life altering for so many people. But this was part of our history for millennia before. So there was always some bug that was going to come and wipe out half of your tribe. So it's interesting, because we've really elevated our place to with Western medicine, this place of control or perceived control, that we have an antibiotic for that we have a vaccine for that. But nature will always find a way to try to outsmart us. So we're manifesting more disease, but we also might be able to, you know, get the solution from set disease in the same way. It's just such an interesting paradigm.
And there's, there's so many, you know, similarities between humans and other animals or insects, or just life in general, we all come from the same place, we all at one philosophy are the same, and yet, we have inherent differences. And this episode, we're, you know, there's so many animals to touch on, we're gonna focus mainly on dogs. And one, you know, some people think giving dogs quote, unquote, human food is like the worst thing you could ever do. I'm terrible with it. And I give my, my, my parents dog snacks all the time. And there are certain things that you just hear, you should never give your dog like chocolate is one of them. Grapes, my parents dog, she's a beautiful, just so, so sweet. She's a golden retriever. And she's actually had acupuncture in the past, for her hip dysplasia, and she cannot have anything, chicken. I don't think anything with wings, anything, or else she'll have, you know, some explosions in a couple hours. And it's really bad. And other dogs, you know, I love chicken so much. So, are there certain foods that all dogs cannot have? and other things that only certain types? Is it per breed? What are kind of the do's and don'ts of dog care?
Right? So it's such a, such a broad topic and a really great question, because a lot of people ask it and and you're absolutely right. I think that we all like to share our food with dogs, because you know, they do that adorable little face where they cocked their head to the side and their ears go off. And they're the cutest versions of themselves, which is another kind of beautiful technique that they've employed through domestication. You know, they've just, they were selected because they were the cutest ones. So we fed them. They did that adorable head tilt, and they got fed and they were able to propagate. So we've we've kind of bred that into them. So of course, we should respond by giving them food. Right. So to go back to the question of, you know, what, can we feed what we can't we feed? I think it's, for me, I try to break things down into, you know, really common sense. Keep it simple stuff. So, you know, it depends on the human food that we're offering, right? Should we be feeding just potato chips and pizza? You know, it's not the healthiest diet, if you're going to share some cane wall and spinach, go for it. So long as the dog doesn't have a history of calcium oxalate, you know, bladder stones, you know, so so there's really a wide range of do's and don'ts. There are specific foods that we should avoid in all dogs no matter what, just because those dogs have either unknown potential toxic response, or it's just such a narrow window of therapeutic capability, that we wouldn't want to test those boundaries because dogs receptors might interact with that food or drug in a different way than human would. So to touch on, you know, a lot of people will feed just a diet that is restricted like you're saying here, your parents golden retriever that can't have any chicken it sounds like there's a food intolerance associated to chicken or anything weighing it. For which point there could be you know, colitis or diarrhea or a lot of dogs will develop dermatitis or you know, really itchy skin associated to food intolerance. So for those dogs, you know, we do if there's a problem we try to avoid those foods that can create that inflammatory response for other dogs that seem to tolerate chicken and beef and you know, what have you Really the best food for them is probably a home prepared diet that is technically human food. The same as people, if you're if you're eating out of a box, if you're eating processed foods every day, for your entire life, it's not really the healthiest diet. But people who want to home prepare, you've got to be very specific that you're not excluding certain amino acids or other essential nutrients that you might not be aware of when you're just making them chicken and rice every single day. Although I think chicken and rice that is home prepared is far better than a kibble based diet long term. You just need to make sure it's balanced. So the kind of non you know, the non answer to your question is, yes, you can feed them human few foods as long as it's reasonable, right. So if it seems like it's an unhealthy human food, I would avoid it. I would also avoid foods that are really high in fat for dogs specifically, because even though they're omnivores, there are a lot of dogs that tend to respond negatively to really high fat foods. They can develop pancreatitis or vomiting or diarrhea, just basic gastroenteritis. So I tried to avoid things, especially with like pork fat. But if you want to give them bone broth, mixed with keen Wah mixed with carrots mixed with chicken gizzards, that's a great food. And it's it's better than processed food, really, it just has to be balanced. And now to touch on the things that you should avoid. definitely avoid chocolate avoid grapes and raisins. Avoid large quantities of anything in the Allium group, so like garlic and onions, and then things that could be mechanically obstructive, you know, so if a dog gets into your trash, and there's barbecue skewers, you know, that can be very problematic as well. macadamia nuts are no, no. Also,
Can dogs eat most varieties of mushrooms in the grocery store?
Yeah, absolutely. I think at this point, again, it's, it's hard for me to say 100%, because the literature just isn't there to support it. There aren't specific studies in dogs. And there are rare reports of dogs that will eat certain mushrooms and then have a potential hypersensitivity type reaction or like an allergic reaction. But those are very rare. And so really, you know, anything that is generally recognized as safe for human consumption should be tolerated by dogs, right? So if you're out foraging and you find a morale, and you bring a bunch home, yes, the dog can have some Morales. But if you're out foraging, and the dog is just nibbling on every little mushroom it finds and potentially it's going to have some complications
I know dogs are having an easier time eating raw meat than humans, given their ancestry. Art, I'm guessing you should still cook your mushrooms. Is that correct?
Well, you know, when it comes to mushrooms, you can offer them raw, depending on the mushroom, right? So if you're if you're eating, like an garik s type of mushroom, the broth and the dog could eat that as well. But if you're going for the component, then extracting it, it would be beneficial. Yeah, so even just a cold bath extraction for 24 hours. And then using that extracted solution, mixing it with like a bone broth and adding that to their food that would be better than than the raw product itself. Although dogs will definitely eat raw mushrooms. Some of them won't, you know, I mean, the larger the breed, the more inclined they are, I think, to just eat kind of indiscriminately, sometimes to their own haphazard. The smaller breeds, they're just more finicky, typically, right? The little white fluffy things, you know, you can't, you can't get him to eat anything that isn't, you know, heated up to just the right temperature and you know, has the right texture. Sometimes they're more finicky than cats. But But yeah, extracting the component, if you're really looking for that benefit more than just a protein supplement, it would be best to do either a cold water or warm water extract and using that solution.
So I really want to get into sort of the Veterinary Science of what's happening inside a dog's physiology. So to help us understand, could you talk about why grapes or chocolate or garlic have a toxic effect in the dog's body? Is it a lack of digestive enzymes? Or do they have a whole set of receptors that we don't have and it gets fussy? I mean, what can you say about our differences in biomechanics?
Right? Well, that's a that's a huge question, which is a great question. Because fundamentally, it is the basis for understanding all of it, but it's, we could probably spend an hour just on you know, physiology of the digestive tract. I would say when it comes to the difference Differences between humans and dogs. Let's let's take chocolate, for example. It's not so much that dogs are lacking a receptor or have a different receptor or a different enzyme, but it's just that they have small variation in the receptors that respond to the caffeine, and a theobromine and the metals and things within chocolate that make them more susceptible to the adverse effects. And people are susceptible to the same effects. It just takes such a massive quantity, that you would just be sick from the sugar before you would be sick from any type of caffeine or methyl xanthine or theobromine related symptoms. So specifically for dogs, you know, it's not that they can't have chocolate. And disclaimer, don't feed your dog's chocolate. But they came in in just a certain amount of chocolate, it just depends on what are the doses of caffeine and theobromine and methyl xanthine within such chocolate. So white chocolate has far less of those constituents. And so it's really not that toxic, quote unquote, toxic, it takes a larger quantity for a dog to consume before they're going to see any adverse response. But when you come to our dark chocolates that are you know, cacau based 86% cacau, you know, that doesn't take very much for even a moderate sized dog say 50 pound dog. If they eat one brick of chocolate, that can be problematic just because they are more sensitive to those active ingredients. So that is specifically just a mild variation and how their receptors interact. The same with a person you take you drink 10 cups of coffee and you're gonna feel very jittery, potentially have gastritis, tacky arrhythmias, you know, you can overdose on caffeine. So people have those same receptors, they're just slightly they're just tuned in slightly differently when it comes to grapes. Oh, go ahead. Okay, okay. When it when it comes to grapes, unfortunately, grapes and raisins, we don't understand the specific interaction in dogs. So it's considered an idiosyncratic toxin, wherein we don't understand if it's something specific about the individual dog, or if it's something about the individual grape or raisin or some component of the grape or reason. There are some dogs that have been known to ingest massive quantities of grapes and never had a problem. And then there are other dogs who have eaten as little as a cup of grapes, and will develop acute kidney failure. So we're really uncertain about what that inciting principle toxic principle might be, or if it's something unique to that individual dog. So that one that one's still kind of up in the air.
My parents hop back and forth from New Hampshire and Austin, Texas. And in New Hampshire, there's Woods everywhere. And there's a time of the year where wild blueberries are everywhere. And it's it's awesome walking with her because she can sniff them out. And she'll run into the woods and go after the wild blueberries. But now, she hates going back to New Hampshire because there's not food everywhere in the walkways. You know, here in Austin, we have drunk people, you know, on Friday nights, they have their slice of pizza, and they'll drop it, you know, and and she gets all the leftovers in the morning. And I'm sure in your experience, you've come across many different poisonings, whether you know a dogs in the woods and eats the wrong berry or a wild mushroom, or, you know, a little kid or an owner feeds the dog the wrong thing or they get into the wrong package or XYZ. What percentage do you would you say is from foods they shouldn't eat versus an actual poisoning from like a wild plant or mushroom?
Well, where I'm practicing, you know, I'm in a fairly rural environment, there's access to a lot of public wild lands, you know, National Forest. Also being in the Pacific Northwest there, you know, there are definitely multiple seasons of mushroom. So I do see some ingestion of mushrooms that lead to secondary effects of like tremor. genic mycotoxins so severe tremors, that can progress to seizures, but it's not as common as I would say are the human related. ingestion, accidental ingestion, I see more of those, you know, quote unquote toxicities from dogs having access to what their people have. Yeah, I would say that the majority of accidental ingestion so potential Something toxic or noxious is because you know that the client or the owner is either distracted or just a little, maybe a little careless. Obviously not intentional, but dogs are, you know, they're they're led by their noses, they their olfactory senses are more acute than ours. And so if you know, we just had Halloween and so, you know, the seven year old comes in after trick or treating, and leaves the bag of candy on the floor and you know, the dog goes into the room and it's going to eat the entire bag of candy. So I see by far many more accidental toxic ingestions secondary to human negligence than I do dogs. You know, being curious out in the woods, even though both do happen to.
Do you have any anecdotes about dogs who have eaten magic mushrooms in the wild, I know that we saw a video of some dog inadvertently consumed them. And it was hard to tell how this dog was doing. He slightly seemed like he was enjoying himself and a bit confused. He definitely had some vertigo, but for the most party just seems on another planet. I don't know if you have any stories like this or anyone coming into your institution and their dog had consumed some sort of wild mushroom or antigen.
The owner actually of the video said the vet that they went to said she sees this all the time and the dogs actually will seek out the the entheogenic compound. And you know we see this a lot with a lot of different animals including humans. You know, you're describing your adventures in Ecuador and and many other people I'm sure our listeners have a higher percentage than than the average person is seeking out anthropogenic mushrooms. But, you know, we see other animals there's actually a dog in Australia that captures a Bufo Toad and licks its back and I think it's five Meo DMT, if I'm not mistaken, and they just lick the toad. Just enough not to die, but just enough to have a good time. And, and I don't know if and there's tons of other animals like monkeys, you know, biting centipedes, and water buffalo and Vietnam, in the Vietnam War, eating opium poppies, and tons of other animals, you know, monkey stealing alcoholic beverages on Caribbean islands. Elephants eating apples to get drunk in the savanna and so many other examples, even jaguars eating banisteriopsis coffee or or the other plant that actually contains DMT. You know, so how, how common is this? And do you think that dogs are actually seeking it out?
Well, I think it's such a fascinating question. Really it because it kind of I think it lends to a question about consciousness as well. Right? So the question are dogs or other animals, non human mammals seeking this and I think that, you know, if it's talking about consciousness, I mean, this is This isn't my area of expertise, right? I mean, there are neuroscientists and psycho analysts who are probably better to answer this. But I think that, you know, fundamentally, I believe that non human mammals do have consciousness, I believe that they're sentient beings. And I think that as we've touched on in the conversation, they're far more intelligent than humans give them credit. I think their emotional and intelligence quotients are pretty significant when you know, you've used a few examples that you look at orcas who have different cultures of hunting techniques, depending on where they, where they live on the planet, you look at the migration patterns of elephants and some of the habits that they will enact. When they're, when they're coming through, they'll stop and they'll grieve at a certain site where they may have lost a herd member several years before you look at the intelligence of corvids, ravens, and crows and other birds, where they've, they've harnessed the ability to utilize tools, and they have face recognition that they pass down through their generations, this wisdom. So I do believe that animals are sentient beings, and I can't prove that they have consciousness anymore than we can prove what our consciousness is. And I think again, the neuroscientists are still a little baffled about that, even though we have all this technology, some of which would say, Okay, this is just a function of structure and brain tissue and neurotransmitters and receptors. And that's what it is. But having had entheogenic experience, I also understand that there is a there's potentially much more to it than that. And so, you know, are other animals seeking this out? If they're conscious beings? Yes, maybe. And certainly, we have reports from the video that you saw, and many, many examples of animals that will consume these, either psychedelic or other mind altering type of substances, whether it be alcoholic beverages, or whether it be marijuana, there are definitely a lot of creatures that will seek these out. The question in my mind that I can't be 100% objective on is, does that animal that individual, correlate the response the mind altering response with the, you know, agent that they just ingested, like the dog that's licking the Bufo Toad? I haven't seen that video, but I should look it up. You know, is that dog repetitively doing it? And is it doing it because of the effects that it gets? And is it putting those two things together? Or is it just a dog that happens to live where there's a large population of Bufo toads, they're easy to catch, they're fun to catch. And it's just not mutilating them, it's just kind of licking them and then getting very altered. And not really remembering the event, not putting the two things together, not correlating the event, and then going back and doing again the next night because it's a dog and it's gonna chase toads. You know, so I think that's a fascinating and very provocative question. You know, and people like Jane Goodall you know, she's even described working with certain chimpanzees that show very natural signs of wanting to have mind alteration much in the way that human toddlers will, you know, they just spin and spin and spin and spin and that's the first kind of mind altering spin in circles and that will give you a you know, very subtle effects that can be similar right to to other entheogens. So,
Lera hates spinning I think she has a older brothers that maybe a splinter a little too much. Yeah,
I'm with you Amanda tea cups at the carnival or nausea inducing, I can go around it around I can do somersaults but you make me go around in circles and it's not ready. But But yeah, to the to that point, you know, there there are some dogs that I see so many dogs that consume marijuana, typically unintentionally, I think. Now whether or not they can they attribute what they're ingesting to the potential for a mind altering effect, I think less likely and and the dogs that I do see that ingest marijuana that come into my clinic. They do seem like they're having some hallucination. Sometimes they're very light and sound sensitive, you reach for them, and they'll jump back very startled. They don't necessarily appear to be having the best time. But they're also in a clinical setting, too. Yeah. So it's, I don't necessarily think that most of the animals that encounter these substances are actually seeking them out. But maybe there are some, I think higher order species, potentially the ones who have a little bit more cerebral or cognitive function might in fact do it. How would we ever know? Just not sure,
yeah, I, in my personal experience that the Katie the golden retriever was talking about before, I used to be an avid cannabis enthusiast. And was would, every time I would smoke him and the dog would be around, the dog would would come and running over at the first smell of the smoke. And I don't know what it was, but she would jump in the air and eat the smoke in the midair and get really high. I mean, you could tell 20 some minutes later, and she's so relaxed, and just really and would keep doing it. You know, and to your point. Who knows if she remembers that? I I think so, you know, if looking at Pavlov's dog and actually training a dog, they, you know, obviously remember and can, you know, they don't have a five second memory they, they know things for many, many years. And we have another friend who actually, they have some wild, psilocybin mushrooms that pop up in a spot in their yard just happens to grow there naturally. And there, they made this correlation that they're like, wow, you know, we noticed that the area has is like dug up a lot, and that the dog will go run over there every single day and check the area. And they didn't, you know, make the connection until about a month later or something like that. And they're like, because they saw them growing one day, and they're like, wow, like, do you think the dog is actually seeking this out? And do you think it's, it's microdosing in the way and looking for on a daily basis is like, Alright, I got it start my day with with this experience? Who knows? I you know, I think so I'm under the, you know, I think dogs are unbelievably intelligent, and even more so than humans. There's actually I can't remember what national park it was. But they were talking about bear resistant trash cans. And someone asked, well, you're still having these bears break into the trash cans. Like why don't you just make them a little bit more bear proof? Like how hard is that to make the trash cans a little more bear proof? And the person said, well, there's a there's an overlap between the smartest bears and our dumbest guests. And so we can only make the trash cans as complex. And, you know, there's certain breeds of dogs that are really kind of dumb. You know, I love him to death. But I think other dogs, you know, like Australian shepherds and Border Collies, they are so intelligent, and can learn, like what 1000 names of Beanie Babies are like these stuffed animals, and can do incredible things like you have a border collie dog that can open the fridge and get you a beer.
Can we tied her bandana to the refrigerator door? And we taught her it was a mini fridge. So it wasn't like that heavy of a door. And yeah, we taught her to open it up and grab a can, which was usually a beer. And she never learned to close the fridge. We didn't get there. So be left open. But she could still bring it to you.
Well, that's all that matters. She brought it to you. So yeah, no, I'm gonna get dogs are fascinating. Yeah, I mean, if you think about it, it completely makes sense. I mean, it's one of the earliest species that entered into domestication with us. And I think that, you know, there's newer research to show that, that it's, it's far earlier than what we initially thought back to 10,000 years. And so I think that, that that speaks to, you know, they adopt some of our habits. And vice versa, you know, there's a lot of cultures that are very, you know, dog friendly, and then there are others that, you know, never really had that same level of domestication as part of the they're developing culture, and you just don't see that same connection and some of those in some of those breeds of dogs. So yeah, it's fascinating. And, you know, again, I think that there are some that are probably seeking it out, you know, it's it's in to talk about Katy jumping for the smoke, you know, just to play devil's advocate, I would question well, would she respond the same way if you blew bubbles? Some dogs are just fascinated with things that they can try to, you know, ingest. And so, you know, again, I think the problem that I often run into in veterinary medicine is that I cannot communicate with my patient. And here is a great example for, wouldn't it be great if you know, we ask the question, hey, Katie, are you liking this because it's just fun, or you're liking this because You're gonna have fun eventually, but she just won't answer.
Right? Yeah. And I i anthropomorphize a lot of things. And, you know, it's, it's a habit that I think all humans do is they, you know, every owner of an animal is like, Oh, my, but my pet, you know, not beyond dogs. You know, my pet is so intelligent and just knows, and you'll ask any owner, hopefully, maybe I actually met owners that they're like, yeah, my pet is just out there. Just not not on this plane. But, but but a lot of times you say, you know, they just know. And maybe we are just overthinking it, and and anthropomorphizing and making beautiful stories that sound nice in our context, in our frame of reality, or maybe it is true. And maybe it's a part truth. Who knows? I think, you know, there are, there is some work with, you know, Elan Musk is was one of them, doing kind of neuro tracking. He's doing a neuro link. And we actually have a friend that that used to do that work with monkeys. She did no longer does that work, for ethical reasons. But yeah, I think we're advancing science enough to answer that question. And further bridge the gap between art our level of communication and the world around us. And I think that that speaks to our level of intelligence, not being able to communicate with the world around us and not other species.
Yeah. And it is, it's fascinating, a lot of that research, you know, you look at what's happening with dogs who are trained to hold motion less than functional MRI, and to extrapolate kind of their IQ and EQ, depending on which literature you look at, you know, it's, it's equivalent to a three to six year old human. So that's what our dogs are there, toddlers, they're, they're toddlers forever. And so I mean, I don't personally have human children, but all my friends who do you know, and they're just trying to survive that time period. Well, that's what dog ownership is. That's the beauty of it, you know, you get that curiosity and that playfulness. And so I agree, I think that there could be a combination of both of you know, are they seeking it out? Are they consciously knowing? Or maybe it's just accidental? Either way? I think it could be somewhere in the middle of that continuum. It could be one could be both. But we do, we are learning more and more about all these other species and their, their ability to communicate in ways that we just don't understand. So yeah, it's, it's fascinating. We just need that, that Pixar movie up, where there was that little dog collar that the dog could communicate. And he said, Andre, I hid under the porch, because I love you, you know, we just, we just need that color invented.
And maybe they can already talk. And maybe they're way smarter than we are. And they're just playing dumb. So they get free rent, free rubs, free food, and you know, Who's domesticating? Who? That's the question.
It's amazing to me to look at a wolf and and look at a Chihuahua. And think that that is they share the same lineage. I know, we all do it at some point. But it is just crazy what has happened to these dogs. And I think we really owe our attention to their well being because dogs have the most genetic disorders of any species. I think the I don't remember the number Exactly. And I tried to look it up before, but it was in the hundreds, possibly to hundreds and for context, wolves have seven genetic disorders. So through our breeding, we've really subjected them to this inevitable discomfort or dysfunction on a genetic level. And let's get into how mushrooms can help our dogs, whether it be something genetic related, or just helping their well being improving their immunity or however,
yeah, so it's a it's a great topic. And and I think you hit the nail right on the head, too, with looking at the genetic disorders and making that correlation with how humans have influenced that. I think that what's interesting to me is that humans, I think, and again, I can't be quoted on this as 100% accurate, but to my understanding, we actually have more genetic disorders than any other species recorded to date humans do. I think that may be a function of we're researching ourselves more than we care about us more. So that might be a component of it. But yeah, you know, dogs have, I believe it's around 400 to 600 different genetic, usually autosomal recessive traits that are disorders, congenital disorders. And again, you hit the nail on the head, it's that we've been meddling with their genetics for 10,000 years in a way that we haven't been with their wild ancestors from 10,000 plus years ago. So yeah, you look at the difference between an Irish Wolfhound, which is the tallest dog that we have to the teacup Chihuahua, which is smaller than the majority of cats. And that variation is so profound, it's and it's just fascinating. And it's also a little, it's sad, in some cases, and very irresponsible. You look at an English bulldog. And we've done them a huge disservice. I mean, I love the little meatball creatures, but you know, they can't breathe, they can hardly walk, they have terrible allergies. And they can't even reproduce without our intervention, because they have to have a C section. So we've done a lot of breeds a significant difference.
I didn't know that. Wow.
Yeah. Yeah. So same with French Bulldogs and Boston terriers, a lot of them, they have to have C sections. A lot of them have difficulties with even reproducing a lot of times you have to intervene and get artificial insemination, we are making these little monsters that then have brachiocephalic syndrome and all these other surgery surgical interventions that we have to do to just allow them to breathe. So it's sad where mushrooms could come in. You know, I don't know that there is a lot of specific mushroom therapy for genetic related disorders other than in the broad spectrum of how mushrooms can be beneficial and all of the literature that supports the immunomodulation. So So we know that the polysaccharides of mushrooms are one of the key elements of how they're beneficial. Do you
think that all owners should give their furry friends, functional mushrooms for health and well being and supporting immune function?
I mean, I think it's, again, that's very dependent on what the individual is going to pursue. Now if it's for a dog, I think you're gonna have a much easier time providing that functional mushroom. And I do think it's a good idea provided that dog doesn't seem to have any adverse effects, or any potential complicating factors. So, you know, it would be something where, if your dog is relatively healthy, young, without obvious disorders are on certain medications, I would say you could probably feel very safe about adding mushrooms into the diet. If you have a dog who has one or two different disorders, that is already on certain medications, for sad disorders, you might want to talk to your doctor to your veterinarian about that and just make sure there won't be any, you know, interactions or complications with that. But relatively speaking, yeah, in the way that humans can take functional mushrooms. Absolutely, you would want to make those same extrapolations towards your pet and that you want them to have the healthiest nutritional support that they
can get. Can you speak to the scientific consensus for where mushrooms come into play with dogs? I know that you mentioned veterinary science is commonly referencing science that's been done for humans. And there's a lot out there for mushrooms and multiple different human functions. But how much has actually been done specifically on canines? And what are some of the highlights that you've seen in your research?
So you know, there are a few studies that look at specific mushrooms to specific disorders. But the research that there is there is promising in the same fashion that it is promising in the human fields, and in vitro studies. So you know, I think that at this point, the the general consensus for Western medicine, unfortunately, is that it's really not used that much. If you're an integrative practitioner, or a more holistic practitioner, it is far more likely to be employing the use of mushrooms, for their patients. And I think that that's just that separation, that dichotomy between the two branches of medicine, unfortunately, so the general consensus is that they're not really reached for that often. But I do think that there's a place for them, I think it's just a lack of awareness of the the current, promising evidence that we have, and trying to match that into the evidence based medicine that we're looking for. And, you know, it's just something I think that we have to be patient and we have to be diligent, and we have to just keep pushing for more research in order for the entire industry to embrace it. But once it's accepted, and that's the thing about scientists that once you and doctors kind of in general, once you show them enough evidence, they're all on board, you know, they they they just it tends to take a little bit of time to get convince them because we're trained skeptics. And I think that's fair, we want to make sure that we don't just say, Oh, this is the miracle cure, and jump into that. So it's, it's wise to be skeptical. But we sometimes have to get out of our own way,
As well. One of the really cool, I say fields of research that has come on with cannabis is learning about our endocannabinoid system, and the receptors that we have in our body. And I read that dogs even have more receptors than humans. And cannabis, obviously, with that has a different effect on dogs and in cannabis has a different effect on humans as well. And, and all humans have different receptors in different parts of their brain. And so, with that being said, you know, we see we're seeing CBD dog treats all over the place and, and it's becoming really like a huge thing. And I'm starting to see functional mushrooms added into treats and alongside CBD and things like that. Would you say that functional mushrooms work in dogs differently than they do in humans?
At this point, I don't think there's enough science for me to say that specifically, I think if anything, there are going to be minor differences between the way functional mushrooms work in dogs as in the way they do in humans. You know, the the beauty of this is comparing humans to dogs is that there's a lot of similarities. We're both omnivores, we both have a pretty relatively similar digestive tract. You know, they're obvious major differences, like the acidity level of the stomach of the dog is far low acidity far higher, so the pH is much lower. Obviously, dogs eat bones and things like that somewhat regularly. And a human just we couldn't process a bone in the way that dogs can just simply because of the features of gastric acid levels, gastric emptying time, the the acidity levels within the small intestine and the small intestine transit time. So there's a lot of similarities there between digestive tract as well as receptors and the way that these receptors interact with, whether it's a plant or a fungus. To to note, as far as cannabis goes, with dogs, you know, again, another very fascinating realm, that is, you know, just there's so much information coming out. Very little, again, research has been dedicated to dogs. And what I would say is that there's not necessarily I don't think we proven that there are more cannabinoid receptors in dogs, it's just that there's a higher concentration of the CB one receptor in the cerebellum of dogs, we know that for sure. And so that's why they are more susceptible to the adverse effects or the psychotropic effects of THC, because CB one is where THC binds, and where the endogenous an and amide binds to see to CB one. So that's why we see dogs that have that higher susceptibility to the effects of marijuana, they come in with static ataxia. They're waiting side to side, they're hypersensitive to light and sound. They can have bradycardia, which is a reduced heart rate. They can be very sedate, they can have significant urinary incontinence, people will bring them into the emergency room thinking they're dying, thinking they're having strokes, it can be pretty profound. But you know, it's a really there's pathognomonic clinical signs that they have where you reach for them and they start off then you say, Ah, it's just pot, they'll be fine. So it's one of those things where I'm not worried about that as far as an ingestion because there are so few dogs that have had long term effects really reported almost zero, the ones that we have to be concerned with are the dogs that get into the cannabis dismissed with chocolate like we talked about before and the chocolates more so and then the cannabis and to to kind of expand on the comment about CBD related treats. Yeah, you know, the endocannabinoid system. We all have one if you're a mammal, you have one. Insects do not have it but all mammals have an endocannabinoid system. And there are is just so much information coming out about cannabis. And it's not just as simple as the you know, the the CB one and CB two receptor. There are other G protein coupled receptors scattered throughout the body. And in the same question that we have what, what role do mushrooms have in a myco biome? Like there are there are hypotheses that we have the microbiome, we also potentially have this microbiome that is integral to our immune system health.
And what role does the endocannabinoid system play in homeostasis because it's another homeostatic, you know, principle within our body. So some of these chronic idiopathic, you know, inflammatory diseases. Is that something where we just need more sleep? Digi or CBC or THC or a certain terpene profile? Should we you know, have some synergism with functional mushrooms, you know, so there's there's so much that we are learning. And then there's still so much that we don't know. But it is a fascinating, fascinating field. But our clinical trials are are very meager, we have a few done at University of Cornell, that medicine and a few done at Colorado State, but we just need more research. Definitely CBD treats have become very popular, I think because the market opened up, hemp became legal. And so there's a lot more product and kind of pulling from the promising research in humans, people want their, their furry friends to have the same benefit of what they're having. So it's it's one of those scenarios where if you're leading kind of a healthy lifestyle, and trying to, you know, supplement your nutrition or your daily regimen of, you know, of wellness, you know, CBD is non psychoactive and and we do know that it has benefits in humans, and there are three CBD related FDA approved drugs, we know that this is medicine. So people naturally want to give that same medicine to their pets who might be suffering from inflammatory conditions. So it makes sense that that market is there. But it's, it's also a little concerning, because it just you know, it exploded. There are CBD treats everywhere. And there's no regulation on the, you know, the marketing. So if unless you are confident that you have an ethical company, you don't know that what they've labeled on the back is actually in the bag. And there are some reports that as little as 30% of labeled products are actually anything more than hemp seed oil. And then you have to worry about are there pesticides and heavy metals and other components in that. So it's, it's worrisome as a practitioner who I use cannabis and pets, and I'm actually involved in the veterinary cannabis society. And I think that there's a place for this medicine in dogs and cats and other species. But I worry that the explosion of inappropriate products might deter people away because they're not going to have the experience that they're looking for could even be harmful. If there's heavy metal components that we have to worry about.
Are these so called fraudulent reports on the ingredients really common in the pet food industry, or were you referring to all CBD products on the market,
I'm referring to all CBD products on the market, unfortunately, because they're just not FDA approved. And the FDA has a separate branch specific for veterinary medicine. And so there's, you know, there's there's different requirements for FDA approval for pet products, and there are actually no nutraceuticals or pets, you know, pet supplements that the FDA evaluates. So, you know, I'm just talking about products that are on the market for human consumption that people are sharing with their pets, and then they you know, there are different companies that are marketing specifically for pets that haven't gone through any analysis. And so if you ask for Certificate of analysis on that, and then again, some of these studies, people have done evaluations, they'll pull 12 to 15 to 20 products, and they'll they'll analyze them and see, you know, are there any pesticides are there, you know, increased levels of heavy metals, are there any bacteria that we need to be worried about and, and they found that only 30 to 50% of the products were accurately labeled within 10% of the CBD content that was listed on the bag. And you can pay up to $70 for a small bag and be giving your pet basically, you know, peanut butter tree.
It's the same exact thing in the functional mushroom industry and a lot of industries. You know? Yeah, it's, it's the same. You know, and we've done tests in house with with just pulling products off the shelf, and it's and sent him away to multiple different labs. And we're getting these results back and it's barely even. It's like a point oh, 1% there and we're like, wow, your pet. You're charging 30 bucks for this little bottle. And it's it's like, that's not okay. You know, unfortunately, you know, because it's a dietary supplement. There are a lot of companies that can get away with being unregulated. This is something that we're really passionate about as a company in our next batch, which I'm not sure when this This episode will be released. Probably when this will be released. We will have our new products out with a barcode on the side where you can scan it you See the CFA their certificate of analysis, you can see our heavy metals you can see you know, a biological contaminants, you can see the levels of main compounds, things like that, I think should be an industry standard, which we started to see, you know, in the cannabis industry, it's like, if you don't have a certificate analysis from a reputable lab, you shouldn't buy it, and you could forge it, you know, and that was starting to go on. But it comes back to transparency. And I think it's super important as a consumer, if anyone's listening to do your research. And sometimes the companies just don't know. And it's an honest mistake, and maybe their suppliers lying to them, and they honestly think it is great, you know, Cannabis, or whatever, then you know, that their suppliers selling them hemp oil or something like a hemp seed oil. But as a consumer, as companies, if anyone listening is listening, that has their own company, you know, I think it comes back to transparency, and we're getting, we're getting there as a society as well, you know, letting all of our information get out there for the public. And I think that can be detrimental with our private information. But, you know, do your research as a consumer and make sure that if you're paying large amount of money for these functional ingredients, that they are legit, and they they won't carry any heavy metals or pesticides or anything like that for your doc, because they're probably way more sensitive than humans, for those pesticides and heavy metals. And we, if we're going to spend any money, we might as well get the most bang for our buck and the most benefit. So yeah, I think I think that's a super important point. And I thank you for bringing it up.
Yeah, absolutely. And I think with that, if you if you if you can't know your grower, right, it to belabor your point, do your research, and really try to look for ethical companies look for additional organic labels, or other seals that would indicate a safety profile. Yeah, because we don't want to just be using snake oil.
So we kind of have our star player mushrooms for people. We use 10 mushrooms in our products, and they're probably the go to 10 aside from agaricon and some polypore species. But do you have key players of mushrooms that you recommend to people who come to you asking for? What mushroom? Should I give my dog for a general well being? Are there any that really stick out to you?
Yeah, so I tend to you know, Reishi and Shiitake and maitake tend to be the ones that I reach for the most just for kind of general wellness. And so so really the mushrooms I reached for the most are our Reishi Shiitake, maitake, cordyceps and Turkey tail, intestinal issues I do reach for chaga. But it's kind of hard to find. And that is another challenge for clients is again back to that sourcing issue is that you know having a source that they can rely upon, that's not too expensive. That is cultivated and ethical matters. That is organic. And and and that is easily administered to dogs. Because sometimes dogs if they're sick and they don't have an appetite, it's difficult to get them to take medications or a big thick powder. A tincture is really challenging because it's got the alcohol component that we don't necessarily want to give to the dog. So there's a lot of factors that play into that.
And we get requests, probably multiple requests every day about getting you know our mushrooms to to people's dogs. We always advise against the tincture. You know, we had a powder up to right now we're recording this in the beginning of November. So I don't know when people in 2020. So I don't know when people are going to tune in. But we have a nother product in the pipeline that should you know we're starting official r&d right now with with our partner and so we wish we should release that early 2021. And I can't give any details other than it is the whole thing I'll call free and dog friendly and so that it's super easy, easy to give your dog so stay tuned for that and if you're already listening in early or Mid 2021, then you already know what we're talking about, and go get it for your furry friend. And with that we have so many more questions. I mean, we're just sticking with dogs here. But we didn't even talk about cats or horses, or cows or pigs or anything else. But we'll call it a wrap for today. And we have a question that we ask all of our guests that come on our show. And this question is another anthropomorphizing activity. But if mushrooms had the microphone and could say, one thing to the whole human race, what would you think they would say?
Well, as a listener, I've had some time to prepare for this. And so I thought long and hard. And I do appreciate so many of your other guests responses. They're always so articulate and profound, and sometimes simple and Goofy, and I love all of them. But I really think that if mushrooms which let's anthropomorphize I approve, if they could speak to us, I think they would tell us to slow down. Just really slow down and recognize that we are connected to this natural world. I feel like humans, we've really kind of catapulted ourselves to what we perceive as this elevated, and, and pretty disconnected view from the rest of the natural world. And there's so much wisdom, and so many lessons to be learned from the kingdom of fungi, that if we would just be patient and approach it with some humility. I think that there's a lot they could teach us more, we got to slow down.
I know, probably, we have some listeners in Oregon, and maybe some listeners that are in your neighborhood, in your neck of the woods. So if they're around you, and have a furry friend that happens to get sick, where can they find you? And also if you know, they're not anywhere near you, where can people follow what you're doing? I don't know if you have a website or any way people if they have a question, maybe contact you.
Yeah, yeah. So I tend to keep things pretty private, but you can find me on veterinary cannabis society org and smiling dog that services calm. You know, I don't I don't throw my professional life out there on the grounds or the Facebook's, or anything like that. So both those sites and I can provide those links to you.
Great walk have those in the show notes. And so you can click anything and go to it. With that being said, we want to thank everyone for tuning in and trimming in weather. If you're listening to this, we have a video portion. So head over to YouTube if you're already on the tube. Hello, and thank you for tuning in. And we would love to hear from you. And you know, we couldn't do this without everyone tuning in. So thank you for being part of the mushroom family. You're awesome. We're happy to answer any questions that you have. If you have any topics or guests that you want us to talk about, or guests that you want us to bring on a show, please reach out and let us know. and head over to mushroom revival calm. You can find a ton of blog posts a ton more podcasts, a whole line of functional mushroom products, with more being formulated on the daily. And if you could leave a review that would help us a lot you know. And also just word of mouth. Tell your friends about mushrooms. If it's not our podcast, just mushrooms in general, because they are so incredible. And you should spread the word. As always, much love and may the spores be with you.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai ** Subject to error