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Old 10-28-2008, 05:11 PM   #1
Jr_K9_Expert
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Post Milk Thistle for Dogs

Hey you guys I was reading something about Milk Thistle being really good for dogs. I've been trying to look up some information and share it with you guys. I learned a lot from it, hope you do too. Btw do any of you use it for your dogs or yourselves?

Articles:

"Among all the vital organs, the liver is sort of the nightclub bouncer: Its job is to eject troublemakers from the bloodstream keeping the body in balance and out of danger of being overwhelmed by gate-crashing toxins.

And every once in a while, it needs a break.

'The liver needs support because of, well, life' says holistic veterinarian Allen Schoen [...], pointing out that living creatures are bombarded by chemicals every day, in the food they eat, the water they drink and the air they breathe.

Also many medication can stress the liver, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). as well as anesthesia administered during surgeries.

As a result, 'regular detoxifications is important for everyone these days,' Schoen says, noting the herb milk thistle has been documented as boosting liver functions in dogs.[...]

Milk Thistle seeds contain a powerful compound called Silymarin, which protects the liver during toxin exposer and has actually been found to help regenerate liver cells.

Even healthy dogs, Schoen recommends a periodic detoxification to give the liver a breather of sorts. Every three months, for about a month, you can put your dog on milk thistle, a safe and gentle herb with no known side effects. 'While there are no documented studies on that, I think its good preventative,' he says, based on the herb's long-standing traditions as a liver tonic.'

Some does might warrant milk thistle supplementations on an ongoing basis. 'Lets say your dogs has seizures and is put on anti-convulsants,' Schoen says. Supplementing with milk thistle-under your vet's guidance of course- not only helps prevent liver damage, but it can improve the drug's effects,' and sometimes allow for lower dose of medication,' Schoen says.

In addition to using milk thistle as an adjunct for a medication that ha potential for liver toxicity, you might want to use it for a month after anesthesia, again to help clear toxins from the liver.[...]"

(Denise Flaim, Dog Fancy)

Another:

"Milk thistle is often the herb of choice among holistic veterinaraians because it is a powerful antioxidant.

Milk thistle as a healing agent

milkthistleSilybum marianum (milk thistle) is one of the most important herbal liver tonics and restoratives for your pet. Scientific analysis shows that milk thistle contains silymarin - a powerful antioxidant which can block the entry of toxins into the liver and remove them at cellular level, resulting in regeneration of liver cells and improved liver function.

More potent as an antioxidant than Vitamin E, silymarin acts as a scavenger on free radicals (molecules that cause cell damage), as well as increasing levels of glutathione (a prime antioxidant that protects major organs) and inhibiting the formation of damaging leukotrienes (an inflammatory agent). Silymarin also stimulates the production of new liver cells to repair damage caused by disease.

In addition to milk thistle (silymarin), there are several other nutrients which are beneficial to the liver:

# Burdock - Used for centuries as a blood purifier and cleanser.
# Natrium Phosphate - A tissue salt that helps to assimilate fats and promote the flow of bile from the gall bladder.
# Natrium Sulphate - A tissue salt often recommended to detoxify the liver.
# Dimethyglycine (DMG) – An amino acid that helps rebuild liver cells and encourages the elimination of toxins in the body.
# Pyridoxal 5'Phospate – The active form of B6, an essential vitamin that is not easily broken down in pets with compromised livers.
# Vitamin B12 – An important vitamin needed for proper digestion and absorption of food.
# Choline Citrate – A chemical used by the liver to move fats in and out of the cells, which is crucial to liver health.
# Methionine – An amino acid needed for proper detoxification of the liver.
# N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine – An amino acid that is aids in the removal of toxins from the liver.
# Turmeric Extract – A potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
# Alpha Lipoic Acid – A powerful antioxidant that enhances the antioxidient effects of Vitamins C and E.
# Coenzyme Q10 – Also known as Vitamin Q, this nutrient is essential for healthy liver function.
# Antioxidants - Chemicals that capture damaging free radicals in the body and encourage healthy liver cells."

http://www.holisticpetinfo.com/Conditions/liver.htm

Others:

http://www.peteducation.com/article....+1448&aid=2698

http://www.doggienews.com/lib/health...r-your-pet.htm
-Steven



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Old 10-28-2008, 06:48 PM   #2
Shells_k
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Milk Thistle is a very common herbalistic treatment for liver disease in humans and dogs.
I know a little bit about milk thistle, as it comes up fairly often in my Canine Addisons Disease group. Since liver enzymes tend to be elevated when a dog is diagnosed with Addisons Disease new people are always questioning whether its a valid treatment or not for "regular maintenance" after a dog is stabilized and liver enzymes are back to normal.
There are a lot of herbalists and vets who have contributed in the past to these discussions. They have said that it can actually slow the metabolic funtions of a healthy liver and should only be used as a dietary supplement to heal when liver enzymes are elevated. However, othershave also said there is no harm in using it as a preventative either.
Dr Jean Dodds DVM is a well respected recognized authority on thyroid issues and blood disease (she also created Hemopet), who is a big supporter for milk thistle upon liver damage. I am very familiar with her as a good majority of Addisons dogs tend to have thyroid issues as well, and we usually recomment the thyroid testing gets done through Hemopet.
Me personally, I am the sort that will not give my animals medication (holistic or otherwise) unless there is a proven need for it.

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Old 10-29-2008, 01:44 AM   #3
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I would never give things to my dogs that are untested and unproven.
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Old 10-29-2008, 06:23 AM   #4
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It's been used for medicinal purposes for over 2000 years. It is derived from a common plant that grows all over eastern Europe and the United States. It's probably much safer to use than many of the medications approved by the FDA.
Uses include:stimulating milk production, jaundice, liver obstruction, acute gall bladder attacks, and a food plant.

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Old 10-29-2008, 01:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Labman View Post
I would never give things to my dogs that are untested and unproven.
The testimonials and the vets quotes seem to speak for themselves, besides there have been some things that have been tested and yet fail some way or other later on as it is re-tested

Shells & Ann thanks for the extra pieces of information, Shells it seems you're acquainted with the subject already, huh? Really shows
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Old 10-29-2008, 01:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jr_K9_Expert View Post
Shells & Ann thanks for the extra pieces of information, Shells it seems you're acquainted with the subject already, huh? Really shows
When you have a dog with an autoimmune disease, you make it your business to know as much as you can about anything that can affect it, good or bad

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Old 10-29-2008, 02:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shells_k View Post
When you have a dog with an autoimmune disease, you make it your business to know as much as you can about anything that can affect it, good or bad
I agree 100%
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Old 01-19-2009, 10:03 PM   #8
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Sunny was diagnosed with liver failure over a year ago and they put her on Denamarin which contains milk thistle and something else and it healed her liver. Shocked the vet. I have done a lot of research on it and now take it myself. I am on medications that can compromise the liver and so far it checks out fine. I believe it is because of the milk thistle.
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Old 01-20-2009, 02:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speaksam View Post
Sunny was diagnosed with liver failure over a year ago and they put her on Denamarin which contains milk thistle and something else and it healed her liver. Shocked the vet. I have done a lot of research on it and now take it myself. I am on medications that can compromise the liver and so far it checks out fine. I believe it is because of the milk thistle.
Its good to hear from someone that has used it, good to know that its working for you
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Old 01-20-2009, 04:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Labman View Post
I would never give things to my dogs that are untested and unproven.
Just a basic search and you will find that milk thistle & Sam-E have been used for years for both humans and pets alike. My rescue group is bringing in a 5yr old girl with elevated liver enzymes. She is coming to me as I have experience with dealing with these issues (I have an epileptic dog that takes phenobarbital so we have to monitor his liver closely). THe first thing we will do is start her on milk thistle & Sam-E, do a bile acid test and a full CBC to check thyroid & for cushings. There are a multitude of reasons why liver enzymes can be elevated, but thankfully the liver is one organ that can regenerate. Detoxing & maintaining a strict diet with herbal supplements is key!
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