Today our lives as well as the lives of our cherished 4-legged canine companions are subject to exposure to a variety of toxins, pesticides and other environmental hazards all of which must be metabolized and cleared by the liver. These toxins act as free radicals and damage your dog’s liver. Since this is a tremendous daily burden for your dog’s liver, it only makes sense to provide natural nutrients to help protect, maintain and support your dog’s liver function. In addition, preventative canine liver support helps to minimize this free radical damage, thereby reducing the risk of developing canine liver disease.
Dog liver disease is called Canine Hepatitis. Initially, Canine Hepatitis starts with minimal to no warning signs at all; consequently traditional veterinary medicine has little to offer with respect to therapy. Once your dog’s liver disease has progressed, signs of canine liver disease become apparent. Dogs with advanced liver disease usually develop a yellowish tint to their gums, eyes, mucous membranes and eventually even their skin turns yellow.
Veterinarians refer to this as Jaundice. As always, prevention is best!
Natural organic canine liver nutrients are readily available that are safe and effective. Veterinarians call these nutrients, Hepato-Protectants.
Hepato-protectants are extremely beneficial for your dog’s liver and because normal liver function is vital to life, they also promote your dog’s overall health and wellness.
The following list offers pet owners natural canine home liver remedies.
Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) is a complex bioflavonoid and acts as an antioxidant protecting liver cells from free radical damage and their toxic consequences. In addition, it helps to stabilize liver cell membranes by preventing fat or lipid peroxidation. It also supports liver cell or hepatocyte regeneration. It is important to understand that it is the Silymarin portion of the Milk Thistle which is called Silybum that is liver protective.
Milk Thistle supplements should be standardized to contain 80% Silybum. Effective canine dosages range depending on your dog’s liver status. Therefore always check with your vet as to the correct dose for your dog. Milk Thistle also helps to reduces insulin resistance and therefore is helpful in diabetic dogs as well.
S-Adenosyl Methionine is abbreviated as SAMe. SAMe is another natural liver therapy often recommended for canine liver patients that is effective. SAMe is available over the counter in health food stores. Denamarin is a product available through veterinarians as a prescription that contains SAMe along with Silybum at a higher cost.
Supplementation with the branched chain amino acids valine, leucine and isoleucine enhance protein synthesis in your dog’s liver and muscle cells. Brigg’s Amino Acids, available over the counter are natural, organic and an excellent source.
B-Complex Vitamins, especially Vitamin B6, B12 and Folic Acid, are very important to maintain normal dog liver health and should be provided daily. Giving your dog a natural balanced comprehensive antioxidant-vitamin-mineral supplement each day that contains these beneficial B-Vitamins is well worth consideration and in many cases is more effective and much easier than trying to piece meal each nutrient individually.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine: given in two daily dosages of 250-500mg.
Two 300 mg doses of N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) along with three 150mg dosages of a standardized artichoke extract, that contains a minimum of 3% caffenylquinie acid, help to promote and restore dog liver health.
Zinc supplementation is helpful in dogs with end stage or terminal liver disease dosed at approximately 3mg a day.
There are several natural therapies available effective to prevent and treat canine liver disease.
Integrating traditional veterinary treatments with natural alternative therapies is a critical step the veterinary and medical industries must both accomplish to truly promote and maintain our health. Updating America’s medical industry focus and funding, from disease and prescription drugs to health and wellness is paramount to aging successfully for us all, man and dog. Veterinarians trained and formally educated in both Traditional and Holistic veterinary medicine are called Integrative Veterinarians.
Learning how to effectively combine traditional medications with natural, holistic nutrients requires further education, training and time for veterinary and human practitioners alike. This author and practicing veterinarian can confirm that this additional education is well worth the extra effort.
Don’t settle when it comes to your health or the health of your pet. Do your homework, ask for referrals and remember the proof of your therapeutic success or failure is always right in front of you on those four legs!
About Dr. Carol
Dr. Carol is a pet health researcher, a Board Certified Anti-Aging Health Diplomat, a published author and a practicing, integrative veterinarian in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. She welcomes new canine and feline patients.
Dr. Carol also offers pet health consultations and answers pet health questions and creates homemade pet diets by phone and e-mail for her online pet loving community.
Pet owners may contact Dr. Carol directly at her veterinary office toll free at 1-866-372-2765 to make an appointment for their dog(s) and/or cat(s) today.
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