Dear Daisy Dog: Our 12-year-old mixed breed dog, Ernie, has been bleeding from one nostril because of nasal cancer. We decided against surgery and just want to keep Ernie comfortable for as long as possible.
One of the medications our veterinarian suggested is Yunnan baiyao, a traditional Chinese medicine said to help with nosebleeds. What can you tell us about this medication?
Daisy Responds: Yunnan baiyao translates to “white medicine from Yunnan,” a Chinese province. The main ingredient is pseudoginseng root, also called notoginseng. Additional ingredients are not standardized or even made public, because the manufacturers regard them as trade secrets.
Yunnan baiyao improves blood clotting, damages cancer cells, kills bacteria and has anti-inflammatory properties. It’s sometimes used in dogs to control the bleeding associated with nasal cancer and hemangiosarcoma, cancer of the blood vessels in the spleen, liver or heart.
Studies in humans indicate that Yunnan baiyao reduces bleeding during dental surgery, controls uterine bleeding and helps treat ulcerative colitis and skin ulcers.
However, little research has evaluated Yunnan baiyao’s safety and effectiveness in dogs with nasal bleeding, so caution is advised.
We wish you and Ernie the best.