Deer Antler Velvet has been used in the practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. In recent years, there have been numerous studies affirming its healing properties and as a result, it’s use has gained mainstream popularity. Our pets (cats, dogs, horses, etc.) as well as humans can benefit from its use.
What is Deer Antler Velvet (DAV)?
“Deer Antler Velvet” (DAV) or “Deer Velvet Antler” is full of rich nutrients. These minerals, natural chemicals and proteins form the building blocks of bone, joints, and connective tissue. The components of DAV include:
- Antler polypeptides promote the production of bone marrow stem cells, thereby promoting bone growth and regeneration. Polypeptides also increase the surface area of joint cartilage.
- Monoacetyldiglycerides are small compounds that promote the production of blood cells via bone marrow stem cells.
- Methanol extracts (MEs) have been shown to help lower oxidative stress.
- IGF-1 (Insulin-like Growth Factor 1) – This component of DAV has been demonstrated to influence cartilage growth and promote muscle growth, tissue growth and organ health.
- Amino acids are precursors for all protein production. As such, they aid tissue growth, muscle recovery and repair.
- Glucosamine Sulfate is an anti-inflammatory agent that helps to build, maintain and repair joint structures including bone, cartilage, ligaments, joint fluids and tendons.
- Chondroitin Sulfate is also anti-inflammatory. It helps protect and rebuild degenerating cartilage, giving it elasticity.
- Collagen is a structural protein present in bone, tendons, ligaments, and other connective tissues.
- Hyaluronic acid is a substance that binds cartilage cells together and lubricates joints.
Best Source for Deer Antler Velvet
New Zealand is the largest producer of Deer Antler Velvet in the world, and it is also the safest for the following two reasons:
- New Zealand DAV is free from Chronic Wasting Disease, which affects deer and elk in North America, Europe, and other parts of the world. This disease can be fatal in animals and cause Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) in humans. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is a rapidly progressive, fatal neurodegenerative disorder believed to be caused by an abnormal form of protein known as the prion protein.
- New Zealand DAV is ethically farmed. The National Velveting Standards Body (NVSB) governs the antler velvet industry in New Zealand. This means a trained and licensed NVSB veterinarian oversees and monitors antler processing.
How is Deer Antler Velvet Harvested and Processed?
Harvesting is humanely performed under local anesthesia. A typical harvesting involves a veterinarian administering a lidocaine ring block, and the removal of the antler takes about 30 seconds, after which the deer resume normal activity. The antlers are harvested before they calcify and harden. At the time of harvest, the antlers are mainly composed of cartilage and fine hair (the velvet stage). The entire antler is used, not just the velvet coating on the antler. The substance is then frozen to prevent decomposition and distributed for manufacture into a tablet or extract.
Benefits of Deer Antler Velvet:
Most animal studies conducted on the benefits of DAV are focused on dogs. None of the studies have identified side effects with its use and it is considered non-toxic. Additional benefits include:
- Osteoarthritis and degenerative joint diseases: Dogs given deer velvet supplements showed improvement in gait, activity level, and vitality during a 60-day double-blind study. Anecdotal evidence also shows that DAV can improve hip and knee dysplasia and IVDD (Intervertebral Disc Disease). DAV provides anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects (pain relief) as well as the building blocks useful for the health and healing of joints, muscle, and connective tissue.
- Increased athletic performance and boosted energy: Another benefit of deer antler velvet for dogs is that it can increase their athletic performance. Non-athletic dogs can benefit from DAV’s anti-fatigue properties. For example, DAV can help an overweight pup play and exercise for longer periods.
- Improved recovery time following injury or surgery: Improved recovery time after injuries and surgeries is a lesser-known benefit that deer antler velvet has in both dogs and humans. Thanks to IGF-1, humans and animals taking DAV can improve and accelerate their natural healing ability.
- Immune system enhancement: Studies performed in the last decade show that DAV can enhance the immune system by way of its anti-bacterial, anti-viral and antioxidant (anti-cancer) properties.
- Blood cell production: DAV can optimize red blood cell production, including stem cells in bone marrow. Red blood cells play a critical role of delivering oxygen to our tissues. By continually delivering necessary oxygen, red blood cells help keep all bodily systems in working order. This is especially important as our pets age.
As studies on deer antler velvet continue, this list of benefits will continue to grow. In addition to the benefits listed above, DAV is an excellent supplement to use for the overall health and well-being of you and your pet. It can be added to a wellness regimen with no concern for side effects. Be sure to check out the deer antler velvet products in our store.