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Milk Thistle or SAMe?

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Milk Thistle or SAMe?
  •  Aesop is currently on meds for his ouchy elbow. On his premed bloodwork his AST and GGT were slightly elevated. (AST barely so and GGT a little higher, but not at all horrible or alarming) The vet gave me a small bottle of Adenosyl to give and we'll retest in another few weeks.

    There weren't very many pills in the bottle so we're getting low. I don't want to buy a huge bottle at work if his levels end up being fine in another few weeks. So, is the SAMe at the store the same thing? Or is milk thistle alone ok?  I've never had a dog with elevated levels, so I'm not up on what the heck I'm supposed to give

  • If he's taking NSAIDs on a long-term basis he really oughta be on milk thistel ALL the time (day after day ) -- no bas side effects and it will *prevent* the out of whack liver values. 

    Milk thistle's "highest and best" use is as a protectant.  It **does** also lower the toxicity that can arise.  But then you have to use quite a bit of it (or move into the realm of milk thistle tinctures -- which is stronger cos it's decocted in alcohol).  HerbPharm is the best you can buy.

    SAM-e **is** the detox. If you've got  high liver values already the  SAM-e is simply gonna work **faster** to bring those levels down -- and combining milk thistle *and* SAME-e really helps.  (Like I said -- as long as he's on any drug that is hard on the liver just plain continue some pretty stiff doses of milk thistle -- it will actually help the liver function BETTER and often you can reduce the nsaid, believe it or not).

      However -- the biggest problem with the OTC stuff is that most of it is in caplets (gelcaps) which tend to be enteric.  That's great for a human, but it doesn't dissolve well in dog bodies.

    The solution that I've found that truly **rocks** is to use Cell Food SAM-e.   Try their website

    There's a locator on the left.  Their SAM-e is a little squeeze bottle - you just put drops on their food twice a day.  That little bottle is pricey BUT it also lasts a WHOLE lot longer than the human gelcaps.  But it works in the stomach!!! 

    You can use somewhere between 9 - 13 drops (Aesop is bigger -- I'd do the 13 drops probably). 

    This *does* have the Cell Food basic product in it which is, in stelf, a sort of general good supplement and detox. 

     I've used this on me, on Billy AND on Tink -- both of them had a really stubborn problem last year that was probably the result of some toxins after our roof caved in (tar, mold mildew -- it was just lovely *sigh*) and wow -- resolved it FAST. 

    That one tiny bottle will last you weeks.  It's darned good stuff.

    Now -- as to milk thistle.  If you try to buy the capsules they also are pricey.  BUT -- ordering milk thistle in bulk is an EZ thing -- I like Leaves and Roots - their one pound bag of milk thistle herb is $12.95 -- That is equivalent to about 10 bottles of capsules (AND the dog doesn't have to digest the cellulose capsule).

    Milk thistle is pretty benign tasting -- mine actually LIKE it (and will go out of their way to lick up spillage off the floor).  Generally I give a big heaping teaspoon twice a day.  I just stir it into their food

    The one downside to Leaves and Roots is you have to make a minimum $20 order -- but I can get totally lost in their essential oils (high quality -- good stuff).  But can I suggest getting Aesop some peppermint oil or wintergreen oil??

    Part the coat and pust just a couple of drops on the sore joints and massage in.  You'll find again you can decrease any nsaid you give -- I've had major rheumatoid arthritis all my life since I was about 12 ... and I only take 400 mg of ibuprophen a day -- that is ALL the pain med I take, because mostly I use essential oils to reduce inflammation.  This isn't food flavoring -- this is the real essential oil -- but gosh it works well.  You'll need a dropper for the oil -- but hope this helps.

  •  Thanks :)  He'll be on the NSAIDs for a bit. We're seeing if his bone chip moves on its own (it's very small..we had to zoom in on the xray quite a bit to see it). If not, he'll have it cleaned out surgically.  He's limping less, so we can give it once a day rather than twice, but an NSAID is an NSAIDSmile


    I'll look into the milk thistle...he doesn't like anything foodwise, except for cheese, so we may have to experiment there. I had to give up on the Knox joint supplement quite some time ago for him, because he just wouldn't eat anything with the powder in it. (doesn't like yogurt, doesn't like cottage cheese..doesn't like canned food, and wouldn't eat it sprinkled on his dry food.  My dog is weird)

  • Willow would take it mixed in whipped cream cheese or meat baby food. 

  • Obviously you CAN buy milk thistle in capsules -- it's just more expensive.

    One of my favorite go to's is tahini (sesame butter) -- it's *better* for them than peanut butter and Far more digestible.  Ethinic aisle in the grocery store (near the Jewish stuff like Halavah and Manichewitz soup mixes) -- you have to stir it in the can (it's like old timey peanut butter - it separates) but most dogs find it QUITE yummy

    Pill pockets if you have to do the capsules.  Ricotta cheese was always a big favorite too -- because it's low fat but still slippery - yogurt is usually too thin -- especially if they aren't spoon-trained like mine (lol)

    Another surprising one is butter (NOT margerine -- the veg oil just isn't digestible) --

    Dunno if you've ever seen my suggestions on how to get them to take a pill -- it really IS a training thing once you discover what is attractive enough to make it do-able.

    I usually DON'T combine meds with food with a skittish dog -- because you can get them OFF their food easily.  Usually I do meds just prior to a meal -- put the meds in whatever will work (and don't forget liverwurst -- it's slippery and it is LIVER and most dogs absolutely find it irresistible.)

     But divorcing the meds from a meal - but doing it PRIOR you can get hunger to work in your favoor *and* they won't mistrust their food that way.

    Seriously try the tahini and/or the liverwurst.  Both work for pills -- AND both also have strong enough flavors to mix stuff into it.  Liverwust you can actulaly mash it with a fork into a paste if you need to try to add a powder to it -- or just cut wedges of it and push a pill into it.  Just don't fib and try to "hide" it -- it ain't gonna work.  *shaking head* -- dogs are far too scent driven.  I always just fess up and TELL them "This is liverwurst plain .... ok, like it??? ok -- this is the one iwth your pill in it so just swallow!" And then I have a 3rd piece in my other hand to get them to swallow so they get the other piece.

  • I know this is an old post, but just wanted to thank Callie for putting it up here.  Mayday has had a bad night and spent the morning at the emergency vet regarding her neck problems.  Unfortunately, related or not, she has elevated liver enzymes.  Testing for IMHA confirm it's not that (thank god), but May turns 11yrs old tomorrow and spent Friday at the vet's because of vomitting.  Had an x-ray that included her liver and it's not enlarged, but all of this is freaking out May's owner who is online and calling me and her daughter for support.

    Thanks to this post I could speak somewhat intelligently (or read aloud this post) so her owner knows what could be most useful right now.  Like choosing which brands to administer the milk thistle the best way - found a store that sells the HerbPharm, but they're closed today, so seeking out other places that sell it.

    Thanks Callie.

  • I've been giving my guys milk thistle and SAM-e according to vet's instruction and what I've read in the forum, till I consulted Mordanna, she says since I'm giving SAM-e, which protects the liver, milk thistle is unnecessary. They do not have elevated liver enzymes, but SAM-e was prescribed due to their age. Last thing I wanna do is suppress their liver functions. Which instruction do I follow?
  • This is where I tend to come to a parting of the ways with Mordanna -- it's milk thistle that *protects* the liver.  The SAM-e is mostly a detox for the liver (plus it's benefits for arthritis).  Milk thistle is far more varied than SAM-e as far as what it does -- it's milk thistle that aids liver function. 
  • That's great! I'll continue giving them that :) thanks!!
  • I don't give probiotics long long term -- it IS, after all, bacteria.  But I give it now and then, and particularly during/after antibiotics (me, too) and any time the situation seems to warrant it.

     Can you get ProZyme there??  That's one I've often used -- it's a bit of a probiotic, but it's also digestive enzymes.  Can be really helpful at times.

  • Vet told me to give probiotics everyday, Mordanna as well. Once they have firm stools I'll do it every other day. I've ordered prozymes before, wanted to give it, but was adviced against it since they are on homecooked. I was told to give papaya for the enzymes instead. It's really frustrating for the stools to be mushy for so long. And intermittently it gets better, firmer. If I use prozymes I'm gonna have to stop probiotics and pro-kolin right? I'll finish pro-kolin and see what happens if I need to use prozymes or even forti-flora
  • I know this is a late reply, but I've been doing research for sam-e and milk thistle, giving it to my dog to hopefully decrease liver enzyme that's quite high. I wanted to add - you said to give it twice a day with food, everything I've been reading says it works best when NOT given with food. And I did buy the Cell Food sam-e that you referenced above, but my vet said to give 225mg/day...according to the label there's only 72mg in 20 drops, so to get 225mg, I'd have to get over 60 drops/day! I bought this one and a liquid Milk Thistle from the Vitamin Shoppe, figure I'll try that for now and maybe next time get a different one.  Thanks!

  • Hi Did Sam e product capsule cause your pet stomach discomfort? How about the liquid format CellFood Sam e?  It really bothers Toby my 9 1/2 cocker spaniel.  Please respond as soon as you can as it is very important.  Thanks

  • The CellFood SAM-e is dosed differently (totally differently) than capsules or tablets.  You don't need 'more' .  in the Spring, 2015 CellFood took the sweetener out of CellFood SAM-e so it is very sour.  Usually I tell people to put it in something sweet and also put it in FOOD.  Don't try to give it on an empty stomach - that's not necessary.  My email is callieatcritturs@yahoo.com -- feel free to email me if you want to talk about doses.  There are several things you can do.