How To Help Your Animal With Milk Thistle
What Is Milk Thistle?
Milk thistle is a herb that originates from mediterranean countries. It's related to the daisy. As herbal medicine, milk thistle is often used to help improve liver health. But the active ingredient silymarin is also an anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory. This means it's believed to have other health benefits too.
Milk thistle's used by humans for a variety of reasons. Including cancer, diabetes and kidney disease. Because of this, animals can also take it for these too.
Why Does My Horse or Pets Liver Need Help?
Horses and dogs (and other animals) can get liver ailments as they get older. This can be through an accumulation of damage caused over the years. The liver is an organ used to filter toxins. For instance, the plant ragwort can have a long lasting impact on the liver. Even if a horse, pony or donkey ate ragwort many years ago. It's effects on the liver can manifest years later. Although the liver can repair itself well. Sometimes it cannot do that any more. And the liver needs support to stabilise and prevent deterioration.
Does Milk Thistle Really Work For Horse or Pet Health?
As with any herb, supplement or food/drink. Your animal needs to have the correct amount! So ensure your animal has the right amount for his/her size.
Research has taken place to test milk thistle's effectiveness for liver health. This includes:
- Milk Thistle and Its Derivative Compounds: A Review of Opportunities for Treatment of Liver Disease (Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine)
- Guo Y, Wang S, Wang Y, Zhu T. Silymarin improved diet-induced liver damage and insulin resistance by decreasing inflammation in mice. Pharm Biol. 2016;54(12):2995‐3000. doi:10.1080/13880209.2016.1199042
Is Milk Thistle Safe For My Animal?
It's generally considered to be safe. Although it's not recommended for pregnant females. As with any herbal remedy, do use only with the advice of your veterinary surgeon. Particularly if your horse or dog (or other animal) is already taking other medication. Or has a specific health condition. If your animal is healthy, then there'd be no need to take it! Only use herbal (or other) medicine when they're needed for the best effect.
Where to Get Milk Thistle for My Horse or Pet?
Many "conventional" veterinary surgeon's do prescribe supplements containing milk thistle. So if your horse or dog (or other animal) has a liver or other health ailment. They may suggest using a milk thistle based supplement. And they can supply it to you (my vet does!).
You can also buy milk thistle tincture's and seeds for your horse or dog. Hilton Herbs is a company I recommend for providing high quality herbal supplements. They supply a variety of milk thistle products. Their website is www.hiltonherbs.com
No complementary therapy treatment can replace medical advice from a qualified veterinary surgeon/physician. So get advice first, before trying any herbal remedy. And professional advice should always be sought if you (or your animal) are at all unwell before using any product/supplements. Delaying professional diagnosis can lead to serious complications!
You can get more information on many complementary therapies for animals here at Taranet. Take a look at the sitemap here for a list.