Tuesday, September 22, 2020

What is the appropriate dosage of milk thistle and SAM-e?

Q.I have a 7-1/2-year-old smooth fox terrier, Beau, who has recently had elevated liver values and a slightly elevated cholesterol. Aside from a couple of fatty tumors, itching skin (better on EFAs), and slight obesity, he eats well, plays and has no problems with stool, digestion or anything else that I can tell. We have now had a second series of blood tests and now the doctor if he should do an ultrasound. Is this really a good idea? I would like to start Beau on milk thistle, she did say SAM-e was good too. Is it possible to get SAM-e from a health food store? What is the appropriate dosage?


A.Ultrasound is a good idea. This non-invasive procedure is the first thing I would do for Beau. A good ultrasonographer can tell a lot from an ultrasound. Do make sure that your dog wasn’t recently vaccinated or on medication, particularly cortisone, because both of these will elevate liver enzymes. I would recommend milk thistle (there are veterinary products available with dosage recommendations by weight). If you’re using a human product, one “rule of thumb” for a dog is to use one-third to one-half the human dosage, depending upon patient weight. SAM-e is available from health food stores (Nutramax puts out a veterinary formula) and although it’s not necessarily the first product we turn to in our clinic, you may have success with it.

Liver disease responds dramatically to intravenous vitamin C and ozone and injectible homeopathic liver extracts so if this is a severe case, you could consider these therapies as well.