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 the 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 dog liver disease.
Dog liver disease is called canine hepatitis. Initially, Canine Hepatitis begins with minimal to no warning signs at all; consequently, traditional veterinary medicine has little to offer as far as treatment. 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 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 the 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 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 reduce 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 are 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.
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. Reducing our dependence on disease and prescription drugs and changing our focus to health and wellness is paramount to aging successfully for us all, man and dog.
Learning how to effectively combine traditional medications with natural, holistic nutrients requires further education, training and time for veterinary and human practitioners alike.
Certainly, 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!