Canine Addison's Disease FAQ

Q. How Often Can I / Should I use Milk Thistle?

A.This falls under the category of herbs are wonderful and potent and can cause problems if not used correctly. The following is taken from "Herbs for Pets" by Mary and Gregory Tilford.

"Despite much of the publicity 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. When used in absence of preexisting stress, milk thistle probably won't do any harm, but on the other hand it might cause digest disorders or it might impair other body-cleansing function of the liver. Many herbalists believe that it can actually slow the metabolic functions of a healthy liver. In any case, milk thistle is unnecessary unless there is a real and present need, and its use as a dietary supplement constitutes waste."

In other words, if your dog is not showing signs of elevated liver enzymes on blood work, don't use this herb as a preventative, it can actually elevate normal liver numbers.

(courtesy Deborah S)

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