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Tag: colorado state university

Heal! Miracle cure, or herbal myth?

Researchers at Colorado State University are studying the effectiveness of herbal supplements for dogs — sales of which are taking off, despite there not being much proof of whether they really work.

“Research has indicated that herbal supplements may be beneficial to humans, but that really doesn’t tell us anything about dogs,” said Narda Robinson, the leader of the research team. “There are a lot of people making money without any proof these products work.” Robinson said.

Not only may the products not work, she said, there is a risk they could cause gastric ulcers, kidney and liver damage, and diarrhea.

The Denver Post reported on the study Saturday, focusing on Edward a 4-year-old golden retriever who has had a bad hip since he was 6 months old. He’s one of 36 dogs participating in the trial, with half getting the herbal dose and the rest a placebo. Once a week for five weeks, Edward has visited the CSU vet teaching hospital for tests.

In search of some relief, Edward’s owner, Krystal Reagan, enrolled the retriever in the clinical trial at Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biosciences, where dogs are receiving a supplement that includes juniper, goldenrod, dandelion, meadow sweet, willow bark and cranberry.

The herbal combination being tested is marketed by RZN Nutraceuticals Inc., which is paying for the $72,000 study — but researchers say that won’t influence the results.

“We have complete scientific independence, and whatever the findings, we are going to publish them,” Robinson said.

While the results won’t be in for a while, Edward, who has always struggled to get into the car, jumped into the back seat. “Now that was a surprise,” his owner said.