Dog Supplements for Canine Liver Support

Because the liver play such an important role in your dog's body, liver support for dogs suffering from liver disease is crucial to a healthy, comfortable life. Liver disease can't be cured, but there are supplements available that can strengthen liver functions in an impaired dog.

Liver Disease

The liver plays a role in almost every biochemical process that our body requires to survive. It's important for digestion, nutrient supply and detoxification. However, liver disease is very common, especially in older dogs. Causes vary but can include trauma, other illnesses or chemicals found in our dogs' food and medication.

Symptoms may be hard to recognize but can include:

Diagnosis often involves blood tests and urinalysis, both of which looks for levels of basic liver enzymes.

Traditional Treatment

There is no cure for liver disease, so traditional treatment largely involves treating symptoms caused by liver disease rather than treating the liver disease itself. Thus, if the dog suffers from nausea, that will be treated, but there's nothing that can be done to restore liver cells. Other illnesses that commonly accompany liver disease include certain types of cancer and anemia, which can also be treated to improve your dog's health.

Veterinarians often recommend a diet change to a natural food that has no preservatives, dyes or other additives that would cause the liver to work harder. Avoid potassium, sodium and copper in your dog's diet and reduce use of pesticides, such as flea treatment, in your dog's medications.

Liver Supplements

One option to improving your dog's health if he is suffering from liver disease is to add vitamin and herbal supplements to his diet that can help strengthen liver function.

Antioxidant vitamin E is one of the top recommendations because it removes free radicals, thus reducing further liver damage. Vitamins B and C are also antioxidants that can improve body function, thus reducing the necessity of the liver in purification. Zinc is another recommended antioxidant. Vitamin K can be useful in treating blood disorders, which may accompany liver disease if the liver loses its clotting ability.

Many holistic veterinarians also recommend milk thistle, which acts as an antioxidant while regenerating damaged liver cells and reducing some toxins that may cause further damage. Burdock and greater celandine can also improve health by assisting with blood purification, liver protection and stimulation of digestive enzymes.

Additional holistic supplements include:

  • natrium phospate, which promotes the flow of bile from the gall bladder, an organ that works in conjunction with the liver
  • natrium sulphate, which detoxifies the liver
  • dimethyglycine, which rebuilds liver cells and improves detoxification properties
  • choline citrate, a chemical in the liver which moves fats in and out of the cells
  • methionine, an amino acid necessary for proper liver detoxification
  • turmeric extract, an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory
  • alpha lipoic acid, which enhances the properties of vitamins C and E
  • CoQ10, which is crucial for healthy liver function.

Liver disease can be a difficult diagnosis to receive since there is no cure, but the quality of your dog's life can be greatly improved with supplements that can improve liver function.