How to Choose Home Remedies for Dog Liver Disease

Ask Dr. Carol, Dogs, Liver Disease Add comments


Today pet life unfortunately involves daily exposure to many substances toxic to your dog’s body which imposes a heavy load to carry for the liver. It is therefore logical to mention the fact that pets can benefit from various types of preventative liver support to help minimize free radical damage and consequent canine liver disease development.

Dog liver disease is called hepatitis. Canine Hepatitis in its earliest stages rarely causes visible signs and conventional veterinary medicine has little to offer in the treatment of dog liver disorders. Consequently prevention, when possible, is the best cure. Natural canine liver remedies are safe and effective and do not carry significant adverse side effects.

Liver protection is also referred to as Hepatoprotection by veterinarians. This is beneficial not only for your dog’s liver but also for your canines overall health and wellness.

Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) is a complex bioflavonoid and acts as an antioxidant protecting liver cells (hepatocytes) from toxic insults. In addition, it helps to stabilize liver cell membranes by preventing lipid peroxidation. It also supports liver cell or hepatocyte regeneration. Silymarin (150-450mg per day) is appropriate for canine liver disease patients. It also reduces insulin resistance and therefore is useful in dogs with diabetes.

The most active flavonoid in Silymarin is Silybum. Certain Silymarin products are standardized to provide a high concentration of Silybum. This offers far greater efficacy in canine liver function support when compared to typical milk thistle extracts sold for example, as Silymarin. Standardization to 80% is recommended for maximum hepatic or liver efficacy in dogs.


Silybum in dogs has no contraindications nor have any potential drug interactions been reported. Adverse effects rarely reported in dogs include gastrointestinal effects such as diarrhea and/or nausea. Should either occur, they are both rare and transient.

Polyunsaturated phosphatidylcholine has been shown to increase liver cell membrane fluidity, enhance transport activity and stimulate collagenase activity. Ultimately this acts to help prevent the development of liver fibrosis and hepatic cirrhosis in addition to combating free radical liver damage.

Supplementation with the branched chain amino acids valine, leucine and isoleucine enhance protein synthesis in your dog’s liver and muscle cells. This therapeutic option is appropriate for adult dogs and canine athletes.

S-Adenyl Methionine is abbreviated as SAMe. SAMe is another natural liver therapy commonly prescribed for canine liver patients with very effective properties. An alternative to SAMe supplementation in dogs is Trimethylglycine (TMG). Both nutrients should be given to dogs, after meals.

Vitamin B-Complex (B1, B2, B5, B6, Folic Acid), is very important for canine liver health. Daily supplementation is recommended. Note that Niacin, also referred to as Vitamin B3, should be avoided in canine patients with end stage liver cirrhosis.


Other Useful Canine Liver Nutrients Include:

Acetyl-L-Carnitine: given in two daily dosages of 250-500mg.

Two 300 mg doses of N-Acetyl Cysteine along with three 150mg dosages of a standardized artichoke extract, that contains a minimum of 3% caffenylquinie acid.

Zinc supplementation is indicated for end stage dog liver failure at a dose of approximately 3mg daily.

In summary, there are several useful natural therapies can be very beneficial both for prevention and treatment of canine liver disease. Pet owners should always consult with their veterinarian before beginning any liver therapy protocol for their dog.

About Dr. Carol

Dr. Carol is a pet health researcher, a Board Certified Anti-Aging Pet Health Diplomat, a published author and a practicing, holistic 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 makes 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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