Need some help

This is the place for general questions about drugs, long-term treatment concerns, possible influences of other drugs (such as antibiotics, heartworm preventatives, or anesthetics) for epileptic dogs, and other concerns. Please note that we cannot make specific recommendations for individual dogs - for this, please consult your veterinarian.

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richmauer
Posts: 252
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 5:21 am
Location: Morristown, NJ

Need some help

Post by richmauer » Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:14 am

My non-epi Casey needs to take milk thisle. I'd like to have some input on dosage (please include weight of dog and times/day). I have been giving Casey some and he seems to be having some stomach problems. Do any of you have the same problems with the milk thisle?

Thanks
Rich
Precious Peanut in doggie heaven 6/25/10 - 10 years old
English Cocker female 10 y/o "Sundae"
Shiatzu Male 10 y/o "Casey"

Gentle Jacob's mom
Posts: 925
Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:52 am

Re: Need some help

Post by Gentle Jacob's mom » Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:38 am

Hi Rich,
Jake weighs 65 lbs and he takes 225 mgs of Milk Thistle a day broken into 2 doses. He gets 150 in the morning and 75 mgs in the evening. If I remember right we started at 75 mgs 2x a day in the beginnging. We had to ease him into this dosage because he also had stomach issues with it, which he used to have with just about everything we did. we supplemented Primadophilus when he needed it for grumbly stomach.
I hope this helps.

Lynne

seebr5640
Posts: 222
Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2010 10:34 am

Re: Need some help

Post by seebr5640 » Thu Aug 04, 2011 5:59 pm

Could be having a reaction to the milk thistle. Not all dogs can take it. I give Sampson Denamarin. Denamarin is a supplement for dogs and cats containing S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe) and silybin. You can buy it cheaper on line than at the vets.

Here's the dosage recommendations for milk thistle. It looks like it is based on the human liquid form.

Dog's size Dose as % of adult human dose
5 lbs 10%
5-10 lbs 15%
11-20 lbs 20%
21-40 lbs 30%
41-70 lbs 50%
71-100 lbs 75%
100 lbs 100%


Barb & epi-Sampson

OrngTby
Posts: 45
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 3:05 am
Location: Virginia

Re: Need some help

Post by OrngTby » Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:18 pm

Hey Rich, I have quite a lot of information for you here, but if you don't mind me asking - why are you using milk thistle for Casey? Depending on your reason for using it, I may have an answer for you, but for now here is the information I promised.

First let me start with the basics - much of it I am copying from another part of the forum where I posted this information.

"Milk thistle (silymarin) is a bioflavonoid that has antioxidant properties. It is often used in management of liver disease in people and some benefit has been shown in refereed journal articles. A study in dogs fed hepatotoxic mushrooms showed a protective effect against clinical and pathologic changes when high doses of milk thistle were given at 5 and 12 hours post exposure. Veterinarians have used milk thistle for dogs with chronic liver disease and to ameliorate hepatic effects of anticonvulsants. Doses vary from 50-200 mg given every 12 to 24 hours. Many products are available over the counter, and potency varies." (from VIN)

Per the Herbalist: "Most of milk thistle’s usefulness can be attributed to its silymarin constituent. Dozens of studies have confirmed that silymarin and its related compounds support and protect the liver during crisis, by accelerating the rate of protein synthesis and stimulating production of new cells to replace those which have been damaged. These compounds work as powerful antioxidants and strengthen liver cell resistance to toxic compounds, while at the same time stimulating cellular reproduction. Much of what we know about these activities stems from the discovery that silymarin can be used to antidote Amanita (“death cap”)mushroom poisoning. When intravenous silymarin is administered within 24 to 48 hours of ingestion, toxic compounds that would normally destroy liver cells are prevented from penetrating the cell walls, and liver damage is greatly minimized. Scientific research has also confirmed that milk thistle protects the liver from the harmful effects of various other (non-mushroom) toxins.

Specifically, milk thistle is useful for protecting your animal’s liver during a toxicity-related crisis (such as exposure to toxic chemicals or potentially harmful drug therapies), or to help your animal through a liver damage or disease crisis. It can be used in dogs, cats, horses, goats, ferrets, and rodents, and is useful for liver or kidney damage, hepatitis, jaundice, leptospirosis, and parvovirus recovery. Milk thistle may prove helpful for treating liver tumors, cancer, and skin problems that are secondary to liver disease. Animals that have been on allopathic drugs, heartworm medication, dewormers, vaccinations, anticonvulsive drugs, or chemotherapy might benefit from this herb as well. Milk thistle can also help block the potential liver-damaging effects of anesthesia and is often used both pre- and post surgery in Germany. Medical and biological studies support its use in lessening the toxic effect of heavy metals, if taken soon enough.

Despite much of the hype that has been generated about this wonder herb, milk thistle should not be used as a daily food supplement. Milk thistle is a medicine that is best reserved for situations where the liver is already under abnormal stress. Many herbalists believe that it can actually slow the metabolic functions of a healthy liver— when used in absence of pre-existing stress, milk thistle probably won’t do any harm, but on the other hand it might cause digestive disorders or it might impair other body-cleansing functions of the liver. In any case, milk thistle is unnecessary in absence of a real and present need, and its use as a dietary supplement constitutes waste." (The Animal Herbalist)


Now that we have covered milk thistle, what it is and what it can do, I want to talk a bit about product. Barb mentioned Denamarin. Denamarin is a combination product of the company's (Nutramax Laboratories) other two products: Denosyl (SAM-e) and Marin (silybin - the active part of an extract from milk thistle, known as silymarin - which I believe has been covered above).

"SAMe (S-adenosyl-L-methionine) is an antioxidant and antiinflammatory nutraceutical. Derived from the amino acid methionine and ATP, SAMe initiates three major biochemical pathways: transmethylation, transsulfuration, and aminopropylation. It has particular importance in hepatocytes that conduct or influence the bulk of intermediary metabolism. SAMe has modulating influence on inflammation, promotes cell replication and protein synthesis, has cytoprotective effects, and is important in promoting sulfation and methylation. It is a precursor of essential intracellular oxidants.

The liver, which can be likened to a large lymph node situated in the center of the body, undergoes great exposure to injurious products including free radicals, oxidants, and endotoxins. The liver has enormous cytoprotective capabilities, conjugation pathways, and antioxidants. Membrane damage by free radicals and oxidation is a basic mechanism of cell pathology in nearly all liver and biliary tree diseases. In the normal state, the liver is an important source of SAMe for itself and for the body. However, reduced hepatic mass, impaired function, or nutritional deficiencies may directly impair production of SAMe. The effects of this may include methionine intolerance and increased production and accumulation of oxidants derived from primary systemic or hepatobiliary disease, thereby leading to worsening liver damage.

SAMe deficiency appears to be an enabling factor in liver disease pathogenesis.

The accumulation of membranocytolytic bile acids perpetuates liver damage. Sulfation of membranocytolytic bile acids reduces their toxicity, which allows them to be eliminated. Taurine conjugation also reduces bile acid toxicity. In SAMe deficiency, both sulfation and taurine conjugation may become impaired, which enhances bile acid toxicity. Studies have shown that in vitro addition of SAMe to cell cultures reduced toxicity to hydrophobic bile salts. Clinical benefit has been demonstrated in humans with different forms of cholestasis. Recent work has also shown that SAMe provides an adjunctive therapeutic effect when used with ursodeoxycholic acid.

SAMe helps restore hepatocyte function by simultaneously stimulating cell repair, attenuating free radical production and accumulation, suppressing inflammation, and improving conjugation, membrane function, and toxin neutralization and elimination. SAMe may improve hepatocellular handling of organic ions (e.g., bile acids), attenuate alkaline phosphatase induction, and beneficially alter glutathione stores and metabolism in dogs given chronic high dose glucocorticoid therapy.

Oral administration on an empty stomach optimizes bioavailability. The recommended dose is 10 mg/lb/day. Conditions for which SAMe use should be considered include feline hepatic lipidosis, feline cholangitis and cholangiohepatitis, and in dogs with marked vacuolar hepatopathy from either glucocorticoid administration or idiopathic vacuolar hepatopathy, and in chronic active hepatitis. No significant side effects or changes in routine clinicopathologic parametersdevelop in healthy or ill humans. There are no known side effects in animals. Several products are available over the counter but have widely varying potency." (VIN)

I personally have been very hesitant to start using milk thistle, but recently decided to see how Gauge did on it. Since he is on Zonisamide and Keppra, I am not running the huge risks with liver problems that Phenobarbital patients do, but I thought I would give it a try. However, I am always happier when I can do more than just one thing. I elected to use Sundown Naturals Milk Thistle Xtra - it is 240 mg Milk thistle extract that is standardized to contain 192 mg Silymarin, plus a combination blend of Dandelion root, Fennel seed, and Licorice root (together, 560 mg) all per single capsule that can be sprinkled over food. I chose this product because of the added herbals.

DANDELION ROOT: "While dandelion’s leaves are very nutritive and diuretic, the root possesses its own usefulness as a safe, reliable liver tonic. The liver is the primary filtering organ of the body; responsible for removing toxins and excesses from the blood for elimination via the kidneys. The liver also plays critical roles in digestion through its production of bile, bilirubin, and various enzymes. If bile ducts in the liver or gall bladder become congested, blocked, or otherwise diseased to the point of dysfunction, the body will invariably suffer one or more toxicity related imbalances. Such imbalances may be characterized by symptoms such as jaundice, rheumatoid conditions, eczema, dandruff, or chronic constipation. And while dandelion leaf tea or tincture may do much toward relieving the symptoms of such conditions through a nutritive/diuretic action, the root will work closer to the underlying causes.

Dandelion root has a well validated ability to stimulate bile production and circulation throughout the liver. In one study involving dogs (and please bear in mind that we strongly oppose animal testing), researchers observed a three to four times increase in bile production after administration of dandelion root. The gallbladder, which stores bile from the liver, is also stimulated; causing this small, hollow organ to contract and release bile into the digestive tract, thus aiding in digestion and acting as a gentle laxative to promote the elimination of solid waste.

One of the best things about dandelion root as a liver and gallbladder stimulant is its gentle nature. Unlike many cholagogue herbs, dandelion does not further irritate an already inflammed condition. In fact, in clinical studies using an over-the-counter preparation of the root, dandelion was shown to be effective in treating inflammatory diseases of the liver and gallbladder (including gallstones)." (The Animal Herbalist)

FENNEL SEEDS: "Fennel seed is among the first herbs to reach for in cases of flatulence or colic. Its activity in the digestive tract is very similar to that of catnip. However, fennel tastes very different from any mint, and it’s flavor is often favored by dogs and cats who are turned off by “minty” herbs. About 20% of cats won’t go near a flake of catnip, making fennel the herb of choice for gastric upset and irritability. In chronic cases, it serves as a gentle anti-gas and antispasmodic agent that can be added directly to the animal’s food, to bring symptomatic relief while the care taker investigates for the deeper cause of the problem. In acute cases, such as when the horse finds an open bag of molasses and oats that you forgot to put away (or when he grazes on too much fresh alfalfa because you left a gate open), fennel may help to reduce the subsequent bloating caused by intestinal gas build up. For flatulence or colic, horses can be free-fed fresh fennel greens— as much as they want— until they find relief. For dogs and cats, fennel seed works to relieve gastric discomfort from the “no-nos” which are inevitably consumed as a result of human weakness at the Thanksgiving dinner table— or from the dishes that “can wait until morning.”" (The Animal Herbalist)

LICORICE ROOT: "In addition to its powerful anti-inflammatory actions, licorice root is also useful in the treatment and prevention of many forms of liver disease. Over the past two decades, medical researchers in China and Japan have found (through animal studies) that extracts of licorice root are useful in the treatment of chronic and chemically induced hepatitis, and that the herb has liver-protectant qualities which are no less significant than those offered by the popular liver herb, milk thistle (Silybum marianum). However, the mechanisms by which licorice root works in the liver are quite different from those of milk thistle— While milk thistle has been shown to resist liver cell destruction largely through protection of the cell walls and by antioxidant actions, licorice works through a broader diversity of effects. In addition to a protectant action that glycyrrhizin has upon the liver cells5, licorice also enhances interferon and T-cell production; two natural actions which are critical to liver repair and general resistance to disease. In Chinese medicine, licorice is commonly used as a “liver detoxifier” in the treatment of obstructive jaundice. And in several studies licorice has been shown to benefit animals which are suffering from liver damage due to absorbed or ingested toxins, such as carbon tetrachloride....

Licorice is also an excellent, demulcent, anti-inflammatory, and expectorant remedy for the gastrointestinal and upper respiratory tracts. It is especially useful for healing ulceration of the stomach and reducing the gastric acid secretions which often contribute to the severity of ulcers. For bronchitis, licorice works well at reducing inflammation while adding antiviral, antibacterial, and soothing demulcent actions to any variety of other respiratory herbs which are employed (such as mullein, coltsfoot, grindelia, etc.)." (The Animal Herbalist)

So I personally chose to go with a supplement that had a bit more in it. The true test of any product is in an animal with liver disease and measuring its effect on the blood chemistry liver values - but since I am using it more as a hepatoprotective with some GI antiinflammatory, soothing properties as well as a diuretic to increase flow throught the kidneys to keep up clearance, I feel I am getting more out of the product. Gauge is 44 lbs and he gets a capsule twice a day, although I may back that down now that I have looked at dosing - I will have to consult with my Holistic Vet about this dosing.

So there are a lot of supplements for the liver - but it all depends on what you need to do. Some of them are easier on the GI tract, so perhaps an alternate formulary via mixture or alternate herbal entirely may be in line for Casey. The Animal Herbalist (theanimalherbalist.com) has a Botanical Materia Medica that is an amazing source of information about practically every herbal, proper use of each source, some dose information, discussion of tinctures vs. teas vs. herbals etc. It can be an amazing resource for you - the author of the site also has an excellent resource book out "Herbs for Pets".
Melynda, LVT
Gauge
Possible 1st seizure: 12/24/2010 ?
Last known seizure: 8/27/2011
150 mg Zonisamide BID
375 mg Keppra QID

Gentle Jacob's mom
Posts: 925
Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:52 am

Re: Need some help

Post by Gentle Jacob's mom » Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:38 pm

One of the leading homeopaths in this country recommended Milk Thistle, and Vetri DMG for Jake. He's been on Pb for 4 years, and his last liver test came back in perfect range. Each dog reacts differently. You have to choose what works for your dog.
Lynne

Gentle Jacob's mom
Posts: 925
Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:52 am

Re: Need some help

Post by Gentle Jacob's mom » Fri Aug 05, 2011 5:59 am

Hi Rich,
I'm sorry but I posted the wrong doseage. We give Jake 75 mgs 2x a day, and started him at 50mgs.

Lynne

Apache
Posts: 256
Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:50 pm

Re: Need some help

Post by Apache » Fri Aug 05, 2011 3:25 pm

Hi, Rich,

Well, Apache tops the scale at 130 pounds and we give him 600 mg's twice a day. One at breakfast and one at supper. Apparently from what we've been told, we're actually on the conservative side for his weight. But, judging from the responses thus far, I'm beginning to question his dosage now.

Brian

Gentle Jacob's mom
Posts: 925
Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:52 am

Re: Need some help

Post by Gentle Jacob's mom » Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:30 pm

I don't know that this will help, but I studied under herbalist Matthew Wood several years ago and he has information on Milk Thistle. Hopefully I'm not adding to the confusion.

Lynne

richmauer
Posts: 252
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 5:21 am
Location: Morristown, NJ

Re: Need some help

Post by richmauer » Sat Aug 06, 2011 11:12 am

Thanks everyone. As always, this forum knows everything. I took Casey off the milk thistle for now because we think it bothered his stomach, or it could be the tetracycline for the suspected Lyme, but since the Lyme is more of an issue, I stopped the thistle. Melynda, thanks for all the info and the website. Casey is getting old (12) and his bloodtest came back with some possible liver issues, but nothing serious, so the vet suggested the thistle.
Precious Peanut in doggie heaven 6/25/10 - 10 years old
English Cocker female 10 y/o "Sundae"
Shiatzu Male 10 y/o "Casey"

Carolyn
Posts: 440
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2006 12:08 pm
Location: Long Island, NY

Re: Need some help

Post by Carolyn » Wed Aug 10, 2011 2:10 pm

I have been giving Kiya 1000 mg Milk Thistle (silymanrin) for a long time (about 4 yrs). She just had blood work done, liver values are creeping up so I increased to twice a day.
I never had a problem but I know it can interfere with meds.
Carolyn
Kiya 11yr Shiloh Shepherd
PB 60mg am 90mg pm, 1teas kbr 1200mg, turmeric paste
1000mg milkthistle bid
First seizure 11/27/05
Last seizure 5/21/15

Gentle Jacob's mom
Posts: 925
Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:52 am

Re: Need some help

Post by Gentle Jacob's mom » Fri Oct 09, 2015 5:55 am

David,
I don't know what happened in your situation to make you say something like that, but that couldn't be further from the truth. I've learned everything that has helped Jake from the people here, and when I've needed support I've never felt alone, mainly because of them.
I'm sorry if you went through a tough time, but that's no reason to try and deter anyone from coming here for support and answers.
Lynne

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