Astragalus Root (Astragalus membranaceus) is a medicinal herb often used to boost the immune system to fight infections, or treat chronic illnesses in dogs, cats, fish, and horses. It is uniquely capable of stimulating some immune functions while depressing others. It has antibacterial, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties. Astragalus also improves kidney circulation, normalizes heart function, stimulates T-cell activity, strengthens digestion, increases metabolic activity, and enhances DNA synthesis in the liver of pets.

Specific Pet Conditions Treated with Astragalus Root

Astragalus Root for Dogs, Cats, Horses or Aquarium Fish
Astragalus membranaceus plant.
Photo: Stanislav Doronenko, Wikimedia Commons.
  • Hyperthyroidism in cats
  • Suppressed immune function in horses suffering from Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis (EPM)
  • Suppressed immune function from cancer treatments
  • Recovery from long-term steroid therapy
  • Kidney disease
  • Kennel Cough (Bordetella bronchiseptica) and other respiratory conditions
  • Heart condition
  • Bladder infection
  • Lupus

The anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties offered by Astragalus membranaceus make it useful for the treatment and prevention of countless pet infections, including distemper, West Nile Virus, Influenza A viruses, etc. It’s a broad-spectrum treatment that is also useful in treating known and unknown bacterial and viral infections in aquarium fish.

The best results from Astragalus Root for pets are obtained from daily use. The Astragalus membranaceus herb is available in dry or extract forms. Most experts recommend extracts for animals as it’s easier to get them to ingest it. The most commonly recommended dosage is up to one drop of extract per pound weight of the animal, twice each day. However, we recommend consulting with a veterinary professional before administering Astragalus to avoid drug interactions or issues with existing conditions (such as autoimmune diseases).

Only Astragalus membranaceus should be used, as many other Astragalus species are toxic.  Purchase from a reputable supplier (we like Starwest Botanicals) to ensure you are getting the right species.

??? Have you used Astragalus Root for your pet?  Please share your experience in the comments below.

Zhang, N. D. et al. Effects of Astragalus saponin 1 on cAMP and cGMP level in plasma and DNA synthesis in regenerating rat liver. 1984.
Messonnier, Shawn DVM. Natural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats: Your A-Z Guide to Over 200 Conditions, Herbs, Vitamins, and Supplements. 2001.
Tilford, Gregory. Wulff, Mary. Herbs for Pets: The Natural Way to Enhance Your Pet’s Life. 2009.
Balch, Phyllis A. Prescription for Herbal Healing. 2012.

✔ You may also be interested in reading:
Natural Treatment and Support of Autoimmune Diseases in Pets
Natural Treatment and Prevention of Chronic Bladder Infections in Pets
Natural Treatment and Prevention of Kennel Cough


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6 thoughts on “Astragalus Root for Dogs, Cats, Horses or Aquarium Fish

  1. Thanks for posting this article especially for listing the Specific Pet Conditions Treated with Astragalus Root.This is true as the herb is said to offer multiple health benefits for multiple conditions, including heart benefits.There is, though, little research to suggest that astragalus can help protect the heart in humans too.

  2. everyone else goes on about the same old info. thanks for reporting the latest pet news and research. trying astragalus on my girls asap.

  3. I’ve heard Astragalus membranaceous, the species of commerce, may grow as tall as six feet, which gives it an appearance that is similar to licorice, which is yet another member of the pea family. Thanks for sharing this article.

  4. I’m afraid to try anything too weird for my fish so it’s good to have someone around who tried it.

  5. +1 for astragalus for horses. Mine loves it so we planted some in the field for him. In the winter we use dried mixed in his feed.

  6. It’s absolutely a wonder herb for pets and their people! I’ve been baking treats with it for a couple of years. Mine two dogs won’t eat it alone but they will in treats. Great for them!

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