If you are a dog owner like us, then you probably treat your dog as part of the family. This includes making sure that they receive all of their vaccinations on time, get plenty of exercise, and are eating a healthy, well-rounded diet. Maintaining a healthy liver is particularly important and milk thistle for dogs has been shown to protect and treat against liver related problems. In this article we’ll cover the advantages of canine milk thistle so that you can decide if it’s right for your dog.
Background of Milk Thistle
Milk thistle is a flowering plant that’s been used as a medicine for thousands of years. The active ingredient in milk thistle is known as Silybum Marianum. Silybum contains powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that have been shown to reduce symptoms of liver diseases in humans and some animals, including:
- Gall bladder infections
- Many others
Whenever dogs are forced to take certain medications there can be a negative effects on the liver. In order to counter-act these negative effects, milk thistle use may be helpful. One of the primary purposes of the active ingredient in milk thistle is used to detoxify the liver and promote healthy tissue growth.
Research studies have recently shown that the active ingredient in milk thistle, Silybum, acts as an antioxidant that strengthens cell walls. This helps to prevent harmful toxins from ever entering the cells. Additionally, the studies found that Silybum stimulates the enzymes that cause destructive toxins to be less harmful to your dog’s body, and that it blocks free radicals from attacking cells.
Every dog needs to get regular vaccination injections and some studies have shown that canine milk thistle use may promote faster recovery from vaccinations and Parvo-virus treatments. You should always be sure to check with your veterinarian about whether to give a milk thistle treatment to your dog after they have any vaccinations or get treated for an infection.
For use with Heartworms
The USDA recommends treatment for heartworms with preventative medications such as Heartgard and Interceptor. These medicines may impact your dog’s liver negatively, so you can use milk thistle for dogs to help protect their health.
For Use With Pancreatitis and Cholestasis and Bowel Disorders
Cholestasis is as an obstruction of the bile ducts; it prevents the normal waste flow from the liver to the small intestine. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of milk thistle help stimulate the flow of waste.
Both Pancreatitis and Cholestasis are common with many breeds. If your dog is predisposed to one of these illnesses then you should discuss with a vet about canine milk thistle use for preventing them.
For Use With Cancer
Milk thistle has been used as an adjunct medicine in cancer cases. Canine milk thistle use may help reduce the side effects of cancer treatments and it may also lead to the reduction of chemically induced tumor growths. In some studies, it has also been shown to help block the growth of bladder cancer cells, colon cancer cells, prostate cancer cells, and more. .
For Use With Hepatitis and Cirrhosis
Canine milk thistle use has been shown to reduce toxins in the liver and promotes the re-growth of damaged tissue. It also removes toxins at a cellular level, improving the regeneration of liver cells damaged by Hepatitis and Cirrhosis.
Milk Thistle Side Effects
The side effects of milk thistle use are generally very minimal; however, it may cause diarrhea and an upset stomach in dogs. Milk thistle may also change the normal function of your dog’s liver, so be sure to consult with your veterinarian regarding the proper dosage for your dog.
Where to Buy Canine Milk Thistle
There is great news if you are wondering where to buy canine milk thistle. Basically, you can get it all over from places like:
- Health food stores
- Pet shops
- Online retailers
- Many other places
Some companies even make specifically designed milk thistle formulas for dogs. Make sure to consult your veterinarian before beginning any health treatment for your dog.