Milk thistle has been used by people for hundreds of centuries. In fact, it’s health benefits were noted during the Roman empire. However, milk thistle was largely ignored by modern medicine until the last few decades when it’s health effects were scientifically studied. Now there are many recently noted positive milk thistle dog effects and it has been shown to be very popular and effective in a variety of aliments that dogs and other pets have. In this article we cover the many milk thistle benefits as well as important background information.
History of Milk Thistle
Silybum marianum, more commonly referred to as milk thistle or blessed thistle, is a plant of the asteraceae family. This puts it in familial company with sunflowers, daises and aster. The plant is believed to have originated in England but spread out in every direction, and today can be found in many diverse and distant countries throughout the world including:
- United States
- United Kingdom
- New Zealand
- Many others
Milk thistle, typically considered a weed, has variegated leaves with milky white veins running down them. When it opens, it displays a gorgeous purple flower, made of thistles, but almost appearing rounded sphere like when viewed from a distance. It sits atop a succulent looking bulb much narrower that the flower which it supports. The bulb sprouts leaves that can envelop it, which makes it a beautiful plant to look at.
Milk thistle Dog Advantages
There are many milk thistle dog benefits as it does so much to support the liver function, boost immune system and detoxify the body. Milk thistle for dogs is a great supplement that can be used for a wide variety of different health conditions. There have been numerous reports of milk thistle dog advantages, especially relating to improved liver function. At the same time, milk thistle dogs usage has been shown to treat certain ailments in dogs like inflammatory bowel disease.
There have been many positive reports of positive milk thistle dog effects, including the following:
- Bacterial infection leptospirosis
- Combat the negative effects of poisonous mushrooms
- Speeding up the healing process after drug therapy, infections, vaccinations and sometimes during or after cancer treatment.
When to Give Milk Thistle
Milk thistle shouldn’t necessarily be given to a healthy dog if it doesn’t have any specific health issues or ailments. There are some reports that suggest milk thistle may hurt liver function in the long run if used too often or for too long. This is why it’s important to discuss milk thistle with your veterinarian to make sure that the milk thistle dog benefits outweigh any negatives for your pet.
Milk thistle comes in a variety of forms, including liquids, tablets, powders and capsules. Some companies have even developed special milk thistle for dogs formulas. It is important to note that while there are many good things about milk thistle, you should always consult your vet to discuss whether it’s right for your dog as some formulas may not be appropriate for canine use.