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March 2012

Green Herbs for Health: Milk Thistle

March 17, is celebrated around the world at St. Patrick's Day - a day filled with greenery! Everyone dons their favorite outfits in varying shades of green and lets their Irish side come out to play! Most often, adults will flock to their local bar for a 'green beer' to celebrate this Irish holiday. Sadly, some people will drink a wee bit too much and may cause damage to their liver.

But liver damage can also be found in cats and dogs too! Although cats and dogs do not (and should NEVER) drink alcohol, their liver can become diseased by one or more of the following factors:

Hepatitis, which is inflammation of your pet's liver.
Hepatic Lipidosis
Cushing's Disease
Heartworms can lead to liver failure by blocking the flow of blood to your pet's liver.

Drugs - Some veterinary prescribed medications prescribed to treat other ailments may also lead to liver disease in pets that are sensitive; and in those that have been exposed to the drugs for long periods of time. For example, Labrador Retrievers are often prescribed Rimadyl for their arthritis; other common medications that can lead to liver disease include Ketaconazole which is an anti-fungal medication, heartworm treatments, de-worming medications, glucocorticoids, Phenobarbital, and even Tylenol. If your cat or dog has been prescribed any of these medicines, then you should request your vet to conduct timely routine tests to watch out for liver disease.
Milk Thistle Aid

Milk Thistle is a plant that comes from the Daisy family and is so named because of the sap that lies inside its leaves. However, it is actually the seeds of this green plant that is helpful for the liver. An extract is then made using the seeds and is safe for both humans and animals to consume.

This extract can help to repair damaged cells, while simultaneously preventing and protecting healthy cells from being damaged. This makes Milk Thistle great for cats that do have healthy livers by protecting their livers from any future damage from other medicines, like aspirin, which can be very bad for a cat's liver.

However, Milk Thistle supplements that are manufactured for human consumption are not necessarily safe for pets to consume. If you want to give your dog or cat Milk Thistle then you should purchase one that is created especially for pets.

Milk Thistle can be found in tincture form that is very easy to administer to your cat or dog. Milk Thistle works extremely well because it comprises an assortment of active ingredients that are actually referred to simply as Silymarin. These unique elements work in partnership to help maintain the overall wellbeing of your cat or dog's liver. This is done by hunting for all of the destructive free radicals and then eliminating them before they even have had a chance to wreak havoc on your pet's liver. Milk Thistle maintains the strength of your pet's liver's membranes, while also protecting their liver from harmful toxins.

Symptoms of Liver Disease

Some of the more common symptoms of liver disease in dogs and cats are:
Weight Loss
Decreased Appetite
Increased Water Consumption
Increased Urination
Pain in their Stomach
Swollen Stomach
Swollen Liver
Changes In Behavior
Light Colored Stool

If your cat or dog is showing any of these symptoms, you should immediately bring him or her to the vet. Likewise, your pet should receive a regular checkup every 6 months to a year, to check for liver disease, even if they are not showing any symptoms.

Related Products:
Milk Thistle for Dog Liver Disease and Cat Liver Disease