How much SAMe and Milk Thistle? - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-20-2012, 09:54 AM Thread Starter
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How much SAMe and Milk Thistle?

Hi everyone!

We have four Goldens and a Beagle. Oliver (our Beagle Boy) has elevated liver values and is hypothyroid (he's on Soloxine.)

Dr. Dodds recommended putting him on SAMe and Milk Thistle, which I did back in November 2011. Since then, his liver values have gone down ever so slightly, but not significantly. (His last blood draw was on March 1st, which was sent to Dr. Dodds/Hemopet.)

Question: does anyone know how much a 39 lb. dog should get of SAMe and Milk Thistle per day? Our vet (and Dr. Dodds) feel that you cannot overdose on these supplements, but I've read conflicting advice on that and don't want to o.d. him. (He's currently on 200 mg. of SAMe -- one tablet -- and 450 mg. -- one capsule -- of Silymarin per day.)

Thanks!

Shawn: Iím so sorry about this; my assistant makes all my reservations but sheís been under heavy medication. She was recently diagnosed with parvo.

Hotel Clerk: Isnít that a dogís disease?

Shawn: Yes, yes it is. My assistant is a Golden Retriever, adorable but dim. Her whole keyboard is just three big buttons. She has very large paws. I should have fired her years ago but sheís a rescue and I didnít have the heart.

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post #2 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-20-2012, 11:59 AM
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We just put Toby on Denamarin to protect his liver while he is on a long term course of Rimadyl for his eye inflammation issues. His acupuncture vet and the ophthalmologist both recommended it. The acupuncture vet said she recommends it for all her geriatric/senior patients. Denamarin is a veterinary formulation of milk thistle and Sam E and I just saved the product insert to my computer this weekend. Denamarin Package Insert.pdf

What I suggest is opening this, and you can see the amounts of each component in each tablet, then going further down the insert, seeing how many tablets they recommend for the dog's weight, and either using the Denamarin or getting the two ingredients at a human pharmacy (OTC). If you supplement with the two separate ingredients, just make sure the formulation doesn't have something else in it. One bottle I picked up had licorice in it as well as dandelion and fennel. Dandelion might be OK, but I couldn't find anything about giving dogs fennel and the licorice increases blood pressure. Since my dog is on hypertension medication that wouldn't work well. I went back and got a pure milk-thistle bottle of about 150 mgs per tablet. His ophthalmologist said that should be fine for a dog weighing about 60 lbs (he's about 55-57 now). I'm using the Denamarin until we run out then will go with separate supplements. The Sam E is also a powerful anti-inflammatory. Toby threw up after starting the full dose and we stepped back and halved the Denamarin until he built up a tolerance for it--his vet said Sam E tends to upset dogs and we should build it into his system slowly. We took a week to do that.

We did a blood draw two weeks after starting the Rimadyl and Denamarin and his liver enzymes look fabulous! I'm so relieved!

Good luck--I hope an increased dosage works well for your pup.
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post #3 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-20-2012, 05:56 PM
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The nutritionist that put together my dog's diet said that she has had very good luck with Country Life's Liver Support Factors, in case those supplements don't bring those values down.

Some dogs might not do well on the Sam-e, and some dogs might actually be allergic to milk thistle (it's a weed!), so I would start slow and watch for a reaction as you up the dose.
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post #4 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-20-2012, 06:40 PM
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Milk Thistle : from 50 to 250 mg/kg twice a day
For a 39 lb dog, if the lower dosage is used, this translates into 886 mg twice a day. At the highest dosage, it becomes 4431 mg twice a day.

Sam-e : 10 mg/kg/day
For a 39 lb dog, this translates into 335 mg/day

Source : The District of Columbia Academy of Veterinary Medicine (Go toward the end of the article to : "A review of traditional and not so traditional therapies for liver disease" by David C. Twedt DVM, DACVIM)

The same section also mentions giving Vitamin E (preferably water solubilized) at a rate of 50 to 400 IU/ day.

Humans who takes SAM-e are advised to also take a vitamin B complex (B12 & B6) to increase absorption and reduce the possibility of build up of homocysteine which can have a negative impact on the heart. Sources : S-adenosylmethionine ; SAM-e / SAMe (S-Adenosyl Methionine) - On Sale - WholeHealth.com . I do not know if it is the same for dogs but check with your vet. Higher doses of SAM-e are also associated with nausea and vomiting so I would increase Oliver's dose gradually. For the milk thistle, I think you might want to just give him one 450 mg cap with his morning meal and one with his evening meal; that would put you a bit above the lower dosage mentionned in the article cited above.

I hope Oliver's liver levels come down soon.

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post #5 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-20-2012, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much guys! I had Ollie on the Denamarin initially, but had trouble finding it, so I decided to go the two seperate supplements route.

Ollie gets his liver values re-checked in April, so fingers -- and paws -- crossed that they go down. I will keep you posted.

He's such a great little guy. Puts up being the only boy -- not to mention the only Beagle -- in a house full of Golden Girls!

Shawn: Iím so sorry about this; my assistant makes all my reservations but sheís been under heavy medication. She was recently diagnosed with parvo.

Hotel Clerk: Isnít that a dogís disease?

Shawn: Yes, yes it is. My assistant is a Golden Retriever, adorable but dim. Her whole keyboard is just three big buttons. She has very large paws. I should have fired her years ago but sheís a rescue and I didnít have the heart.

-psych - "Extradition British Columbia" - 2009
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post #6 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-21-2012, 05:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by w00f View Post
The nutritionist that put together my dog's diet said that she has had very good luck with Country Life's Liver Support Factors, in case those supplements don't bring those values down.

Some dogs might not do well on the Sam-e, and some dogs might actually be allergic to milk thistle (it's a weed!), so I would start slow and watch for a reaction as you up the dose.
Just a word of warning--if a dog is hypertensive, the Country Life Liver Support Factors may not be the best option due to the addition of licorice to the formulation. Licorice raises blood pressures.
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post #7 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-21-2012, 07:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by w00f View Post
The nutritionist that put together my dog's diet said that she has had very good luck with Country Life's Liver Support Factors, in case those supplements don't bring those values down.

Some dogs might not do well on the Sam-e, and some dogs might actually be allergic to milk thistle (it's a weed!), so I would start slow and watch for a reaction as you up the dose.
I second the Country Life's Liver Support Factors-I have had excellent results and so have a lot of people on the Tick-L list. Of course, these dogs are on it due to being on high dose doxy for a long period of time, to treat Lyme disease or other tick borne disease.

Linda
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Last edited by Tahnee GR; 03-21-2012 at 10:39 AM.
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post #8 of 28 (permalink) Old 03-21-2012, 08:34 AM
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I also give individually to Lucy for the past year for liver issue.
Milk Thistle - 200mg silymarin
400mg - SAMe

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post #9 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-11-2012, 02:08 PM
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I'm curious. My golden girl has pretty bad arthritis in both her knees, basically cartilage is no longer there or something (she whines badly after walks). While my boy is generally healthy, except for low thyroid, not low enough for medication but just supplements. My holistic vet cum acupuncturist prescribed SAM-e 400mg for both of them once a day, and told me to give milk thistle (never mentioned the dosage)..
I thought some sites say milk thistle must not be taken long term and they both have no elevated liver enzymes or liver issues, which could lead to health problems later and be counter productive. Is this safe? And must SAM-e and milk thistle be taken together? anyone?


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post #10 of 28 (permalink) Old 08-12-2012, 10:12 AM
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Vets prescribe Denamarin, which contains SAMe and milk thistle, all the time. Never heard from any of them, that it would be harmful long term.
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