If you have read my blog before, you may know we’ve always had a doberman in the house. With owning the breed, you are usually forced to deal with health issues as one point or another. These can include heart problems, wobblers, hip displaysia, Von Willebrand’s disease, as well as a number of other issues. Our Kramer is now nine years old and he’s been very healthy as far as major issues, but in the last couple of years he has suffered some minor issues. He has an injured shoulder – most likely a torn or partially torn muscle which never fully heals because it’s impossible to keep a 100 pound dog off his front legs. Can you just walk around on your back legs for 6 weeks, buddy? And with his age, he is starting to have issues with stairs. His legs just don’t work well like they once did and he struggles going up and down. Some days when we know he is really sore, we will confine him to the downstairs, but with this breed also comes the term “velcro dogs” because they want to be everywhere you are. You go upstairs, he wants to follow you and make sure it’s ok and to keep you company in case you get lonely up there. You go down to the basement to throw a load of laundry in, here comes Kramer behind you, nosing the door open and following you to make sure you come back. And at night, he will be all comfy and tucked in on the couch, but when we get up to go up to bed he of course wants to come upstairs to sleep by our bed, or in our bed if he gets the chance. So we limit his activity as much as possible, unfortunately no more throwing the ball or watching him run and play in the backyard, but the constant shoulder and leg use is unavoidable. He’s been on some anti inflammatory and pain meds, but I worry about the long term damage of those meds so we try to only use them when absolutely necessary.
Last year, I researched the benefits of tumeric in humans and in animals. Tumeric is a spice that comes from a plant similar to ginger. One of the ingredients in tumeric is curcumin. This is known for decreasing inflammation and helping with pain and arthritis. I came across a recipe and information for Golden Paste developed by veterinarian Dr. Doug English. Golden Paste is a recipe that uses Tumeric and I was immediately intrigued at all the stories of individuals feeling better with joint stiffness, arthritic pain, and all kinds of issues after taking Golden Paste. It can be used in humans and animals of all sizes. I’m not saying Tumeric is a miracle or cure for everything, but I think it definitely helps our Kramer. After a month or so on Golden Paste, this not so pretty mole that he had for a long time finally just fell off. Plus, I think he has a little bit more spring in his step and just seems to move a little easier when he’s on Golden Paste. It’s worth researching for yourself, making sure that you or your pet is cleared by a doctor to begin Golden Paste and seeing if it helps any of your issues. You have to be very careful to know if you or your pet has any issues with Von Willebrand’s disease or if you are on any anticoagulant or anti platelet drugs. Tumeric slows clotting and can cause issues with bleeding in these instances. There may be other drug interactions to take into account, so again check with your veterinarian and/or your doctor before starting any supplement.
Golden Paste is one way to incorporate tumeric, but some choose to cook with tumeric spice in their food. Tumeric has a very earthy taste that’s pretty strong, so be warned, a little goes a long way if you’re trying to sneak it into your favorite sauce. Some just take a spoonful of Golden Paste straight out of the jar. Some, mix it in warm water or in coffee or tea, or Golden Milk. I’ve tried Golden Paste straight out of the jar and just can’t do it. The only way I can tolerate the taste is by throwing a frozen blob in the back of my throat and following with some warm water to wash it all down. Some animals like the taste, some don’t. Kramer does not love it, but he knows there’s usually a treat of some sort associated with the icky yellow frozen blobs and takes his “pill” like a good boy. Tumeric should only be ingested or applied topically. It should never be injected. I recommend checking out Dr. English’s research and information on tumeric and golden paste if this is something you think you may want to try. Also, please check with your doctor and/or veterinarian as well before starting anything like tumeric. You want to be safe and make sure you or your animal can tolerate it, there are no side effects from any current medications, and if it’s a good plan for you or your pet.
Commercial Tumeric capsules are sold, but you have to be careful that they do not have a too high level of curcumin that can be dangerous for animals. You are much safer getting good tumeric powder and making golden paste. Some believe the combination of a fat and the tumeric along with fresh ground black pepper are absorbed into the body quicker and more efficiently than with commercial Tumeric capsules. You could even buy empty capsules, a filler and make your own if you really want it in pill form. Yes, you can get this stuff on good ole Amazon.
When you buy ingredients to make Golden Paste, you want to be sure you are getting good quality Tumeric powder with Curcumin in it. Some have had the curcumin removed so check the label. I buy the Frontier Organic Tumeric. The black pepper is necessary to help the tumeric be absorbed and metabolized better by the body. The coconut oil or olive oil need to be cold pressed and unrefined for better absorption by the body and less inflammation effects from refined fats.
Some people make the golden paste, keep it in a jar in the fridge and just take a spoonful or two every day. It will keep for a couple weeks in the fridge like this. I find that freezing the golden paste into little frozen blobs and storing them in the freezer works best for Kramer. I just pop a frozen blob down his throat, massage his throat to warm it a bit and so he swallows it and then follow up with some yummy lunch meat, coconut oil, or a bit of cheese and he doesn’t even realize he took a pill and goes about his day. When you first start golden paste on yourself or pet, you must start out with just a small bit and very slowly increase a little more. If you start out too strong out of the gate, you could have stomach distress and other issues. Since it’s not a medicine, there’s no weight chart as far as dosage. I give Kramer 1/2 teas per day and increase it to 1 teas if needed. I know he can tolerate it and if he seems to be a little extra sore and slow moving, I will give him that second dose. Tumeric is metabolized by the body fairly quickly, so you would want to take smaller doses more often, rather than one large dose. One of the side effects in dogs and horses can be a cat urine smell to their skin, and fur. This can be fixed if you add a little Ceylon cinnamon to your golden paste mixture. It has to be Ceylon Cinnamon, since other types of cinnamon contain highly toxic levels of Coumarin in them. Ceylon Cinnamon is safe for pets. I’ll be honest and tell you that Kramer is a little bit more gassy when he’s on his Golden Paste regularly. If it makes him feel better and in a little less pain, then I can live with it. That’s also why I keep his dose of Golden Paste to a regular amount of 1 teas maximum per day.
So here’s the basic recipe for Golden Paste
Golden Paste and Golden Paste Blobs
1/2 C tumeric powder (at least 2.5% Curcumin)
1 C water, plus another C in reserve.
1/3 C Raw unrefined cold pressed coconut oil, linseed (flaxseed)oil or Virgin or Extra Vigin Olive oil
(I use coconut oil)
2-3 teas freshly ground black pepper.
1 T ceylon cinnamon
Have all your ingredients measured out and ready.
Combine 1 C Water and 1/2 C Tumeric Powder to a boil on the stove.
Lower the heat to simmer and stir until it becomes a thick paste. Stir and add a bit more water as needed until the golden paste is the right consistency. It should be almost like the consistency of ketchup. Turn off heat after 5-7 minutes of simmering and let the Golden Paste cool a bit. Once it’s cooled a bit, add the oil (coconut, olive, or linseed). Then add in the freshly ground black pepper. If you are adding in ceylon cinnamon, that can be added now.
Once cooled, you can transfer to a jar and keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Take it by a measured spoonful, starting with 1/4 teas and slowly working your way up as needed and as tolerated.
Or you can freeze into little blobs as I do.
You want to have everything measured out, so grind that pepper and be ready.
Combine Tumeric and water and stir together over medium heat until it begins to thicken.
Keep stirring and the mixture will thicken and get kind of crumbly. Add a bit more water to make it more of a paste consistency.
Keep stirring and cooking for about 7 minutes. Remove from heat.
Add in the oil and stir to mix in until melted.
Add in the fresh ground black pepper, and cinnamon if using.
Let this cool down a bit and then transfer to a jar or to a gallon size bag if making blobs.
I transfer it to a gallon size bag and then stick it in the freezer to harden up for a few minutes so the blobs are less runny.
Once it’s chilled and kind of set like soft serve ice cream, it’s time to make the blobs. Snip off a corner of the bag to use to pipe the blobs.
You can put them on silicone baking sheets or use parchment or tin foil on a baking sheet.
I measure out 1/2 teas and then use that as a guide to help keep my blobs the right size. This is not exact. If you want something more exact, you can use any sort of silicone ice cube, chocolate, candy mold that has the right size holes for your paste.
Fill up the tray.
Transfer to the freezer until the blobs are frozen solid.
Transfer blobs to freezer bag or container and keep in the freezer.
You could thaw them out each day as needed, or just give them frozen. That’s what I do.
One word of advice – Tumeric stains. So I suggest you clean up any messes as quickly as possible, it will stain countertops, sinks, scrubby brushes, shirts, and fingers. You must start with a small dose and work your way up, because if you or your dog can’t handle it and it comes back up – your carpet will never be the same. I also hide my stash of cinnamon and tumeric from my kids. I’ve warned them not to touch it, but they are forgetful and think everything is fair game sometimes. “Oooh, that’s a cool color for slime!” And in a matter of seconds, my kitchen counter or floor will be stained a dark mustard yellow and my good (and not cheap) tumeric is all gone.