Milk Thistle and Long Term Use
Answered by: Kerry Hackett
Question from: Meshawn Owens
Posted on: March 13, 2007

I give my dog Milk Thistle for his liver. He takes Phenobarbital for seizures (only has about 2 per year). I read on an herbal site for horses that Milk Thistle should not be given for prolonged periods of time. I have asked other people that deal in herbs for humans and they have not heard of this. Have you heard this about Milk Thistle?

As far as I know, Milk Thistle (Carduus marianus) may be given long term if there is chronic stress to the liver. In addition, there have been no studies showing toxicity in animals consuming this plant. However, it will have an effect on liver metabolism and may thus affect the dosage of the phenylbarbitol. It is important that your vet regularly monitor the amount of this drug in your dog’s bloodstream. Please see the posting on this website (www, entitled, "Collie and Seizures". In addition, you may find that the occurence of seizures decreases if your dog is on a good, homemade diet. Please see the work of Richard Pitcairn, "Natural Health for Dogs and Cats", "The Complete Herbal Handbook for the Dog and Cat" by Juliette de Bairacli Levy and "The Barf Diet" by Ian Billinghurst for further information and recipes.

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