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By Keith Weingardt, DVM, CVA

Immugen by ThorneVet has long been used by veterinarians and pet owners to provide comprehensive support to the immune system in the dog and cat. ThorneVet has recently made some important changes to the Immugen formula such that it now offers a more potent and balanced approach to address many of the current stressors faced by our pets. Whether the dog or cat is suffering from a tendency toward chronic infection, undergoing chemotherapy for cancer, or faced with the challenges of an aberrant immune reaction as seen with allergies or auto-immune diseases, ThorneVet’s new, improved version of Immugen provides a foundation for helping these patients.

Immugen now has multiple mushroom species, which significantly broadens the array of therapeutic constituents in the formula and offers synergistic immune system support. In addition to the Reishi that was present in Immugen, the formula now also includes Maitake and Cordyceps. The combination of these three mushrooms helps modulate the immune response, as well as beneficially down-regulating the cancer cell cycle in treating and even preventing cancer in our pets.

The new formula’s immune-modulating effects helps to strengthen deficient portions of the immune response, while helping to tamp down excessive immune reaction seen in auto-immune and allergy cases. All of the medicinal mushrooms in Immugen go through hot-water extraction, which ensures optimal amounts of beta-glucans and polysaccharides are present for the most beneficial therapeutic effect.

Immugen also now includes a comprehensive blend of adaptogenic herbs for supporting the animal’s response to stress. Veterinary patients suffering from chronic disease often have profound adrenal fatigue, as well as significant thyroid deficiency from the chronic stress on their neuroendocrine system. Adaptogens help bring these systems back into regulation. Immugen builds on the incorporation of Astragalus in the original formula by now adding Eleutherococcus senticosus (Siberian Ginseng), Ashawaganda, and Licorice root. The design of the revised formula boosts stamina, supports adrenal gland function, and harmonizes the interaction of the thyroid gland and other components of the endocrine system. These botanical extracts can also be protective for animals undergoing chemotherapy, radiation, or recovering from chronic illness.

In addition to the potent immune effects of the medicinal mushrooms and adaptogens, Immugen incorporates a synergistic combination of antioxidants and nutrients that provide the building blocks for a healthy functioning immune system. Immugen incorporates several antioxidants, including Vitamin C, N-acetylcysteine, Vitamin E, Coenzyme Q10, and Selenium to protect against free radical damage, support DNA repair and synthesis, and provide cellular support for both the innate and adaptive immune response.

It is particularly noteworthy that ThorneVet includes tissue-ready forms of multiple nutrients, like the B vitamins, which play a crucial role in a healthy balanced immune system. For example, Immugen contains L-5-Methyltetrahydrofolic acid (5-MTHF), a tissue-ready form of Folate that efficiently supports the production of SAMe to facilitate the subsequent formation of glutathione. Similarly, Immugen contains Methylcobalamin, a bioavailable form of vitamin B12 that is often deficient in patients with digestive issues or liver imbalances.

Finally, Vitamin A and Beta Carotene act as potent antioxidants to support skin, brain, lung, and eye health. Numerous studies have shown the importance of adequate Zinc in an animal’s diet and how supplementation to a deficient patient helps restore normal immune activity.

By combining potent medicinal mushroom extracts, a blend of adaptogenic herbs, and many important nutrients and antioxidants, the new and improved version of Immugen offers a holistic approach to immune system support. This ThorneVet formula can be incorporated into any treatment plan when the patient needs immune system support. Whether it is the cancer patient who is undergoing chemotherapy, the geriatric pet who is suffering from a chronic disease, any patient who is prone to chronic infections, or as a general tonic for a high performing athlete, Immugen has all of the pieces of the puzzle to provide the foundation for a healthy immune system.


Dr. Keith Weingardt owned and operated holistic veterinary practices in San Diego, California and Portland, Oregon.  He currently practices in Portland, Oregon. Dr. Weingardt has spent almost two decades studying a wide array of modalities to support his patients. He is a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist and has received extensive training and certification in Chinese Medicine – Herbology. Dr. Weingardt blends a foundation of nutrition with both Chinese and Western herbal medicine and appropriate nutritional supplement support to achieve optimal health for his veterinary patients.

Dr. Weingardt has a consulting relationship with ThorneVet.