Pet Education
Pet Education Pet Education Pet Education

Learn about Vetco
Dog Food Cat Food New Brands - Healthy Choices Just Added! Free Shipping on orders over $49
The Use of Milk Thistle in Dogs and Cats
Drs. Foster & Smith Veterinary Services Department
Katharine Hillestad, DVM
Herbs, Supplements, and Vitamins
Print Article | Email Article
Bookmark and Share
Click here for a pdf version of this article. 

Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is a member of the sunflower family. It is well-known for its use in liver disease. The seeds of the milk thistle contain a compound called 'silymarin,' which is an antioxidant and is thought to help in protecting and regenerating the liver. Milk thistle has been used in humans, and has been recommended as part of the therapy for a number of liver conditions in dogs and cats, including toxicity (poisoning) from insecticides, pesticides, mushrooms, and some drugs.

Milk thistle seems to be a very safe supplement with no known toxicity, although long-term studies in cats and dogs have not been performed. Very large doses may cause loose stools. Milk thistle has not been shown to be a preventive for any specific condition, and is usually recommended by veterinarians as a daily supplement during times when the liver is actually under stress.

References and Further Reading

Messonnier, S. Milk thistle. Veterinary Forum. 2002;15:36-37.

Schwartz, C. Four Paws Five Directions: A Guide to Chinese Medicine for Cats and Dogs. Berkeley, CA; Celestial Arts Publishing. 1996:261,390-91.

Wynn, S. Emerging Therapies: Using Herbs and Nutraceutical Supplements for Small Animals. Lakewood, CO; AAHA Press. 1999:2,102.

Wulff-Tilford, M; Tilford, G. All You Ever Wanted to Know About Herbs for Pets. Irvine, CA; BowTie Press. 1999:177-180.

Click here for a pdf version of this article. 
Print Article | Email Article
Hickory-Smoked Bones & Knuckles Dog Treats
Hickory-Smoked Bones & Knuckles Dog Treats
As low as $2.99
Large Cow Ears Dog Chews
Large Cow Ears Dog Chews
As low as $6.99
As low as $3.99
Premium Pig Ears Dog Chews
Premium Pig Ears Dog Chews
As low as $10.39

Facebook YouTube Blog Connect with us

Subscribe to email newsletters:
featuring helpful articles, tips and online only product specials from Drs. Foster & Smith. Learn more here !

About Us Article Reprints Awards & Memberships Request a FREE Catalog Tell a Friend
Meet Our Staff Terms & Use Site Map Free Newsletters Links to Us
Visit our other websites: Doctors Foster and Smith Pet Supplies - Quality Aquatic Life Direct to Your Door
For product information, call 1-800-826-7206

Copyright © 1997-2016, Petco Wellness, LLC. All rights reserved.
2253 Air Park Road, P.O. Box 100, Rhinelander, Wisconsin, 54501.
Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Your CA Privacy Rights | Copyright Claims | Pet Medical Records Policy