Natural supplements for liver compromised dogs

What is SamE?
Current research indicates SAM-e (S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine) may be beneficial for liver problems. SAMe is normally produced in the liver from the amino acidmethionine. It is a by product of the metabolism of the amino acid methionine. SAMe is best given on an empty stomach, at least one hour before or two hours or more after eating.

When giving SAM-e, it is best to also give a B-vitamin supplement, which is good for the liver as well.

SamE is available in health food stores. It is also marketed under the following brand names and available from your veterinarian or neurologist.

  • Zentonil
  • Denosyl

How does it work?
SAM-e is used by the liver in many biochemical pathways. It helps in strengthening cell membranes, improving liver cell function, suppressing inflammation, detoxifying destructive metabolic by-products and providing the building blocks for antioxidants used by the liver.

SamE will in many cases help reduce the evidence of liver damage. It helps prevent the build up of free radicals in the liver by boosting glutathione levels in dogs and cats, protects liver cells from toxins and death and helps repair and heal already damaged liver cells.

How much SamE is required?
Recommended dosage is 10 mg per pound of body weight daily. SamE is available is 200 mg and 400 mg tablets.

13 lbs - 35 lbs: 200 mg tablet daily
36 lbs - 85 lbs: 400 mg tablet daily
86 lbs - 110 lbs: 800 mg daily


What are the benefits of Milk Thistle?
Other names: Silymarin, Marian Thistle, Mediterranean Thistle, Mary Thistle, Holy Thistle, Silybum Marianum

It is the seeds of milk thistle that herbalists have used for 2000 years to treat chronic liver disease and protect the liver against toxins. Milk Thistle has a long history of, use in European medicine. Milk thistle is believed to have a liver protective effect, meaning simply that it protects the liver from damage.
•Repairs and regenerates damaged liver cells
•Combats toxic side effects of medications
•Excellent restorative any time your dog is sick
•No side effects: safe for long-term use

Milk Thistle Dosage:
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%

Milk Thistle is available in health food stores. It is also marketed under the brand Hepato Support and available from your veterinarian or neurologist. Available online from

Hepato Support ingredients:
Milk Thistle Extract (providing 80% of the active flavonoid Silymarin) 100 mg
Vitamin B-1 (thiamine) 5 mg
Vitamin B-2 (riboflavin) 5 mg
Vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine) 5 mg
Pantothenic Acid (calcium pantothenate) 10 mg
Inositol 20 mg
Choline (bitartrate) 20 mg
DL-Methionine(pharmaceutical grade) 20 mgs

What other vitamin supplements are important to me dogs health?
A canine liver disease diet should include vitamin supplements that act as antioxidants. Liver diseases cause greater generation of free radicals and oxidant stress. Supplementation with antioxidants helps to reduce liver injury.

The primary vitamins are normally identified as vitamin A, D, E, K, C, and B complex. Of these, A, D, E, and K are the fat soluble vitamins. Vitamins C and B complex are water soluble. The fat soluble vitamins are commonly stored in special fat storage cells called lipocytes, whereas, the water soluble vitamins are not stored within the body except in small amounts. It is for this reason that the fat soluble vitamins pose the biggest threat if over supplemented. They are stored and build up within the body.

B Vitamins: Vitamin B complex consists of a multitude of B vitamins. Thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, folic acid, B12, and biotin. All are B vitamins and together form the water soluble vitamin B complex.
Thiamin: is required for the normal function of muscles and nerves because it converts glucose to energy.
Niacin: plays a role mainly in helping enzymes to function properly. Enzymes are special proteins produced by cells which cause chemical changes in other substances, but which are not themselves changed in the process.
Riboflavin: has been proven to be essential to normal growth, muscle development, and hair coat.
Pantothenic acid: enables the body to create usable energy from carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
Pyridoxine: is used by the body in the utilization of amino acids. It is absolutely essential for life.
Folic acid and vitamin B12: are two closely related B complex vitamins and are usually discussed together. They are necessary for the bone marrow to produce red blood cells.
Biotin: maintaining healthy skin and hair. It does much more than this, as it is necessary for growth, digestion, and muscle function.

C Vitamins: (use sodium ascorbate NOT ascorbic acid ) Vitamin C is a antioxidant and should be part of a dog's diet with liver disease. In pets, it has been thought to prevent hip dysplasia, relieve joint pain and urinary tract infections. Ester-C, which can be purchased in health food stores. The vitamin in Ester-C is molecularly locked to calcium, so it doesn't cause the acidity problems normally associated with ascorbic acid (the common form of Vitamin C)

Vitamin E: (dl-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate) may prevent canine liver disease from getting worse by reducing free radical or oxidant injury. A water-soluble form of Vitamin E is preferred, since the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins may be decreased in some forms of liver disease. Naturally supports a healthy heart and boosts the immune system. It is an essential antioxidant nutrient that helps maintain red blood cells and muscle tissue.

Vitamin A: is a fat soluble vitamin. It is absorbed into the fat unlike water soluble B, C. Because of this give your dog natural foods with vitamin A. Examples: Liver, sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, egg yolks

Vitamin K: helps with blood clotting and is recommended in cases of chronic liver disease. The liver produces clotting factors, and it does not produce or store vitamin K as well when it is diseased. Vitamin K is found in leafy vegetable and liver.

Zinc: A canine liver disease diet should also be supplemented with zinc since it is an anti-oxidant. It also reduces the risk of abnormal brain function caused by passage of toxic substances from the liver to the blood (called hepatic encephalopathy). Zinc reduces the accumulation of copper in the liver.

Digestive Enzymes: Digestive enzymes are produced in the pancreas and salivary glands and help to break down the protein, carbohydrate, and fat components of food for use by the body. As animals age, the production of these enzymes often slows down. Typical signs of deficiencies are voluminous stool, often with undigested fat clearly visible; animals who eat their own feces; and animals who are overtly underweight despite big appetites. Digestive Enzymes can be found in your local Pet Store or online. Available in a powder or pill form.


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Liver Disease
What does the liver do
What causes liver disease
Signs of liver disease
How is liver disease treated
Why is blood work done
What should I feed my dog
What is a Hepatic support diet
Liver cleansing recipe
Canine Life diet
Commercial food
Wheat free treats
Natural remedies
What is SamE?
How does SamE work?
How much SamE is given?
The benefits of Milk Thistle?
Other important vitamins
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