Did you know that the liver is the largest gland in a dog’s body and certainly one of the most important organs? What a liver does is carry out essential chemical processing for the dog including handling of nutrients from digestion and the elimination of toxic substances. When this organ goes bad, the dog can suffer many different ways.
Diagnosing liver disease in dogs
The common signs of liver disease in dogs include tiring easily, vomiting, irritability, decreased appetite, jaundice and a swollen abdomen. However, you really need a diagnosis to determine the problem’s exact nature.
One veterinarian feels strongly that your any liver conditions such as chronic liver disease, hepatitis or inflammation of the bile ducts should be treated with herb milk thistle, which is available in most health food stores. It could be added to any treatment program and he believes it’s the only thing that will help. Veterinarians don’t know of any drug that will regenerate the liver but milk thistle will definitely do it. The effectiveness of this herb has even been validated by studies. It will work proactively and repair the liver from exposure to poisons. If the dog is on any medication that puts a burden on its liver, you should give it milk thistle daily. For example, heartworm medication is very hard on the liver. If your dog is being treated for heartworms, you should start it on milk thistle before the medication for heartworms as added protection against the chemicals that actually kill the heartworms.
For a 40-pound dog, the dosage is 1/4 or 1/2 of the human dose. You should start at a lower dose to avoid upsetting the dog’s stomach then work up to a higher level.
Ayurveda herbs for liver disease in dogs
Another veterinarian reported good success in treating dogs with liver disease using an Ayurveda herbal combination called Livit-2. It’s available from Ayush Herbs in liquid form for small dogs and in tablet form for larger ones. This supplement contains multiple herbs including kutli, which research has shown can detoxify the liver, eliminate inferior and excess bile and purify the blood. It also contains amla, which is said to help rejuvenate the dog’s immune system and increase its red blood cell count. Amla is the richest possible source of vitamin C and also contains phytochemicals that have anti-oxidant properties.
Give 10 drops of Livit-2 twice daily to small dogs if 10 pounds or under of body weight. For dogs up to 30 pounds, one tablet daily. The dosage for dogs up to 60 pounds would be two tablets three times daily. You should use the formula for at least three months or until liver enzymes have normalized.
Miscellaneous approaches to liver disease in dogs
Another approach to treating liver disease in dogs is with a combination of glutamine and milk thistle. It’s a simple two-part program that can significantly enhance any treatment that your veterinarian has prescribed for your dog. The dosage of the milk thistle would be 250 to 500 mg twice a day and 500 mg of Glutamine twice a day.
Several homeopathic and Chinese remedies have also proven to be effective to help a dog heal from liver failure. One of these is Theratox a combination that will detoxify the liver and is available through Holistic Veterinary Services. The second possibility is Liv-C, which is a Chinese herbal combination. Third is Liver Liquescence a homeopathic combination that’s available from Professional Healthcare products. Dosage of the Theratox is 10 to 15 drops daily, while Liv-C should be given to the dog daily with its meals for one to three months. Dogs weighing up to 15 pounds should get one capsule a day, while dogs up to 40 pounds the dosage it one capsule twice daily and dogs up to 80 pounds should get 2 capsules twice daily. Liver Liquescence should be given twice daily before meals. The dosage is 1/4 of a teaspoon for smaller dogs each time and ½ teaspoon for larger dogs.