For our own purposes, ginkgo biloba is useful in terms of treating different types of vascular deficiency.  But ginkgo has also successfully been used to treat dementia and senility in dogs.

Due to its safety and amazingly useful elements, ginkgo is one of those wonder herbs.  For its value in improving circulation in small capillaries, it leads to countless applications that other drug treatments simply can’t manage.

There have been a lot of studies on the effectiveness of ginkgo, with as many as 400 of them in the mix pertaining to both human and animal usage. In Europe in particular, ginkgo is one of the most frequently prescribed drugs for a number of ailments.

Safe to Use…

There have been no significant clinical trials, but its relative safety to use and the corresponding human trials have been encouraging when it comes to determining if ginkgo’s a good option for dogs.

As always, take the precautions into account and follow any instructions before using.  If you’re uncertain, check with a holistic vet first.

Dosing Ginkgo Biloba for Dogs

THerbsmith Senior Dog Formula for dogs with dementiahe same dosage guideline that is used for people, is used for dogs. Base it on your dog’s size of course.

Here’s a helpful guide:

  • If using a powder or capsule of straight, 500 mg for dogs weighing 25-50 lbs every 8-12 hrs. 
  • If using an extract or tincture, use 5-10 drops for every 10 lbs every 8-12 hrs.

Senior Dog Wisdom formula above includes Ginkgo Biloba, but also includes other crucial fatty acids and antioxidants for your dog’s brain health. 

It far outweighs just using Ginkgo alone for dogs showing symptoms of dementia.

What Gingko Is Typically Used For

  • There are two groups of chemical constituents in ginkgo: flavone glycosides and terpene lactones. These constituents are believed to aid in improving blood flow in small capillaries, which subsequently may help to treat vascular difficulties in older dogs.
  • Ginkgo may also contribute to the moving of so-called “sticky blood” in smaller capillaries and help clear those areas particularly susceptible to blockage.
  • Ginkgo, on top of the aforementioned assistance to small capillaries, helps promote the elasticity and tone of blood vessels in dogs. This makes them stronger and less vulnerable to tricky things like degenerative diseases. Because of the importance of these small capillaries and their connection to tissues in the brain, ears and extremities, you can imagine how valuable ginkgo can be in terms of fighting conditions like stroke. Blood flow is very, very important.
  • Ginkgo has also been cited as useful in terms of fighting conditions like age-related depression and abnormal behaviors. Once again, this comes down to circulation. Because ginkgo gets in to those small capillaries and clears things out to promote proper flow, it ensures that the brain and other vital parts get the blood it needs. It also ensures that the body can heal itself more effectively because of the promotion of blood flow.
  • Some have also cited ginkgo’s use in a tonic for weak kidney function. Once again, one has to only take a look at its properties in terms of assisting blood flow to see the connection here. Because of the kidney’s dependence on blood flow, different herbal options have made big strides in terms of treating kidney issues.
  • Ginkgo tea has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese herbology using the seeds for respiratory issues and especially asthma.

ginkgo biloba therapyginkgo bilobaPreventative Measures

Ginkgo in all its applications, whether as a tonic or tincture or capsule form, is considered fairly safe.

  • If it’s used in conjunction with blood thinners or with animals with blood-clotting disorders, it may run the risk of thinning the blood too much and therefore having a problematic effect.
  • Pets with bleeding disorders should not be given ginkgo one week prior to surgery and one week after.
  • Do not use this herb if your dog is taking Coumadin (Warfarin), Heparin, Aspirin or any other nonsteroidal medicines.
  • There have also been some cases where ginkgo has led to restlessness, diarrhea and nausea in some dogs. It should be avoided during pregnancy and lactation, but is otherwise considered relatively safe to use.

About Ginkgo Biloba

The ginkgo tree, known as ginkgo biloba is actually one of the oldest species of trees in the world, with signs of it appearing in the fossil record some 250 million years ago. It has evolved rather slowly in the genus through time and all other connected species have been wiped out, with ginkgo biloba the only survivor.

It’s believed there were one several hundred varieties of ginkgo biloba, in fact, spanning the globe for around two million years before their eventual extinction.

The ginkgo tree is only found in the wild in China, but it has been cultivated throughout the world. It grows best in well-watered and drained environments and is noted for its fan-shaped leaves, with healthy trees living as long as a thousand years.

The tree is deciduous, which means it loses its leaves seasonally. It blooms in the early spring and the fruits develop and ripen by the middle of summer.

In terms of usage, the ginkgo is derived from the harvested leaves. Nuts from the ginkgo biloba tree were harvested for thousands of years, but most modern herbalists are more interested in producing tinctures, teas and even capsules from the leaves.

Conclusion

Ginkgo biloba is a safe, effective herbal remedy that all pet owners should consider using for their beloved four-legged friend.

References: Herbs for Pets by M.L. Wulff-Tilford and G.L. Tilford, Natural Remedies for Dogs and Cats by CJ Puotinen

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Showing 17 comments
  • Eve
    Reply

    What about taking with thyroid meds? My boy is on Solexine

    • janie knetzer
      Reply

      Hi Eve:
      During my research, I didn’t see any issues regarding contradictions with thyroid meds or dogs with auto immune issues period Eve.

      Janie

  • Vicki
    Reply

    You wrote not to take the ginko with aspirin. My senior is taking low dose aspirin for arthritis pain. Can you recommend a safe pain reliever to use with the ginko? Thank you so much!

    • janie knetzer
      Reply

      Hi Vicki:
      I’ll be doing an article soon on the product that I’m going to recommend to you. I recently started taking this very same product which is what prompted me to investigate Ligaplex II. This product helps to repair tissue and is excellent for torn ligaments, etc. However, many people say it works wonders for knee, hip and joint problems. Some say it works fast, others say it takes time. You can read the reviews here if you’re interested. Many people use it for their dog’s pain. The product contains manganese which is the main ingredient (mineral) and manganese requirements for dogs (according to pet education.com) is 2.3 milligram daily for every lb of dog food they eat. But, I think this is based on dry matter and dry dog food. Personally, I would try it. Check out the reviews and see what you think.

      Janie

  • Naomi Teeter
    Reply

    This is great knowledge! I have 2 aging chihuahuas and I would have never thought to treat then with ginkgo!

  • Lisa O shea
    Reply

    I’m wondering how long it takes before u notice a change in the dog, my dog is 11, 60lbs and she either has cushings or diabetes. I’ve been giving her 120 mg to start just a week now.

    • yourolddog
      Reply

      Hi Lisa:

      Sorry for the delay. It really just depends on the dog and quality of the ginkgo you’re feeding. Are you treating her for Cushings or Diabetes?

      Janie

      • Lisa O shea
        Reply

        Not sure, haven’t been to the vet yet. ?

  • Edie
    Reply

    I have an aging chihuahua prone to seizures. She’s showing signs of unilateral neglect probably caused by trauma, seizure, or from the inability to handle on going conventional medication which I have winged her off. Her behavior is also quite demented though it’s from this brain injury from the suggested reasons above. Though her behavior is peculiar she still knows her name. She walks in circles on her own and can’t seem to perceive or possibly see left, so only makes right turns. But is capable of walking straight and making left turns on a leash. Has problems sitting or lying down awake so she’s either moving or sleeping. Would ginkgo be recommended for her recovery?

    She was actually much worse; at one point she had ataxia and wasn’t sleeping enough. She’s been improving with holistic treatment and physical therapy I’ve been providing at home.

    • yourolddog
      Reply

      Hi Edie:

      I’m sorry to hear about your little girl’s troubles.

      Ginkgo may help if it’s related to dementia. However, I highly recommend our Senior Dog Formula vs just Ginkgo. It contains a host of ingredients all designed for dogs with cognitive issues. I truly can’t recommend it enough. I also hope that you are NOT using any chemical flea and tick products or vaccinating her? Diet (no kibble) also plays a big role in seizures.

      Janie

  • Jo Anne Roberts
    Reply

    Hi,
    My dog has been diagnosed with Cushings, specifically a right adrenal gland tumor. We are deciding the treatment, looking around for something naturally….how would ginko help him. He is a nine year old black lab.
    thanks,
    JoAnne

    • yourolddog
      Reply

      Hi Jo Anne:

      I’m sorry to hear about your semi-senior boy. 🙂

      The adrenal glands naturally produce the hormone “cortisol” and Ginkgo is believed to slow the release of cortisol and help manage the disease. However, I HIGHLY recommend that you find a holistic vet or pet acupuncturist who can administer acupuncture which can also help tremendously, especially when combined with some sort of Adrenal Gland Herbal Support.

      I would avoid all chemical flea and tick products as well as vaccinations and feed a high protein diet avoiding kibble.

      Hope this helps.

      Janie

    • Lisa
      Reply

      I must say I’ve been giving mine 1000mg of him no for about three months now and her symptoms have improved somewhat, although I self diagnosed, the pantingn and the excessive thirst has subsided but she is still hungry it seems, but she had a ligament injury recently so I’ve had to keep her immobile so she has some weight on so not feeding her excessively

  • patricia miller
    Reply

    My dog is an australian kelpie and terrier. She is 15 good health. Had blood panel run on her everything is in normal range when i had her teeth cleaned. But she sometimes jumps quickley like something has startled her and wants to be close to me more. Something going on right? She eats good and goes for walks 2 times a day and loves it. Pottys outside listens real good. I think ginkoba my help her if she is getting dementia. Vet doesnt seem to concerned but i am. I love this dog she is my friend I am a widow. Just needed to talk about this. Today she is staring a lot. Going to try ginkoba she weights about 40 lbs is 500mg to much for her? thanks for reading this Pat Miller

    • janie
      Reply

      Hi Pat:

      It sounds like you’re doing a great job with your old girl. No, 500mg isn’t too much for her at all!

      I hope this helps.

      Janie

  • Danielle Capicchioni
    Reply

    I am having a dog who was diagnosed with Vestibular disease today she was put on a non steroid drug for her allergies is that ok with this product

    danielle

    • janie
      Reply

      Hi Danielle:

      No, you should wait until your dog is finished with the non steroid drug before including Gingko Biloba. Ginkgo combined with NSAIDS increases the risk of bleeding Danielle.

      I would wait until your dog is completely finished with the drug. I would ALSO look into more natural ways of treating your dog’s allergies and there are many. Using NSAIDS for allergies is a short term solution that will most likely cause your dog bigger problems down the road.

      I hope this helps.

      Janie

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