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News and Information about Dogs, Cats, and Pet Products

Does your dog frequent dog parks?

Do you use an over-the-counter flea and tick preventative or on a medication that might cause liver damage?

Does your dog have digestive issues?

If you said YES to any of these, you might want to give Milk Thistle a try!

Milk thistle is a plant native to the Mediterranean and has been used for thousands of years as an herbal remedy. In the first century it was documented to be used as a remedy for poisonous snake bites. Now, it is commonly used as an ailment for liver, kidney and gallbladder problems. The seeds in milk thistle contain a flavonoid called silymarin, which protects the liver from toxins. It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that may help the liver repair itself and block the entry of toxins resulting in regeneration of liver cells and improved liver function.

Here are some ways that milk thistle works:

  • Reduces fibriotic activity
  • Strengthens the membranes of liver cells to prevent damage from toxins
  • reduces the action of liver enzymes responsible for causing inflammation of the liver
  • Enhances protein synthesis by increasing RNA activity, and stops absorption of toxins in the liver

Here are some circumstances that Milk Thistle would be beneficial:

  1. Digestive benefits – It prepares the digestive tract to start producing a hormone called gastrin. Gastrin starts the production of gastric acids and bile, which help in digestion and the breaking down of fats in the small intestine. Milk thistle has a mild laxative quality to it that helps to lubricate the stools and prevent both constipation and diarrhea.
  2. Dogs that take Phenobarbital or another medicine to help control seizures caused by canine epilepsy – One side effect of Phenobarbital is possible liver damage. Drugs such as Phenobarbital, when processed through the liver, can cause inflammation and scarring of liver tissue.
  3. Dogs that frequent dog parks – For dogs that spend time at the parks you are probably using something more than just a topical flea and tick medication. Over-the-counter flea and tick treatments, such as Frontline and K9 Advantix are pesticides and for it to kill and prevent fleas and ticks, the chemicals must enter the blood stream through the liver. Permethrin that is used; for example, can slow down the nervous system. Milk Thistle will help flush the chemicals from the liver and rebuilds those cells that may have been damaged by the pesticide.

We carry Milk Thistle by Herbsmith at all stores. It comes in a 75-gram powder form bottle, and we can order larger bottles upon request. Come in and talk to us anytime if you want to learn more or have other questions!

 

You may have seen or even heard someone at Two Bostons talk about Milk Thistle, you may have wondered what it is, or thought that sounds like a weird plant or something (I know that is what I thought the first time I heard it).  Let me know tell you about it and why your dog might be a good candidate to try it out today!

Milk thistle is a plant native to the Mediterranean.  It has been used for thousands of years as an herbal remedy.  Its first documented use ithn the first century was as a remedy for poisonous snake bites.  Now, it is commonly used as an ailment for liver, kidney and gallbladder problems.  The seeds in milk thistle contain a flavonoid called silymarin, which protects the liver from toxins.  It also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.  This may help the liver repair itself by stimulating the production of new liver cells.  It can also block the entry of toxins into the liver and remove them at cellular level, resulting in regeneration of liver cells and improved liver function.

Here are a few ways in which milk thistle works:

  • Strengthens the membranes of liver cells to prevent damage from toxins
  • Enhances protein synthesis by increasing RNA activity, and stops absorption of toxins in the liver
  • Reduces fibriotic activity
  • Reduces the action of liver enzymes responsible for causing inflammation of the liver

Here are a couple of circumstances that you might use Milk Thistle.

#1.  Maybe your dog is on Phenobarbital or another medicine to help control seizures caused by canine epilepsy.  One side effect of Phenobarbital is possible liver damage.  The liver’s function is to filter all absorbed toxins introduced to the body before allowing it to pass through the blood stream.  Drugs such as Phenobarbital, when processed through the liver, can cause inflammation and scarring of liver tissue.  Milk thistle should be administered to every dog taking liver taxing medications, and especially if the liver is damaged or diseased.

102107675-dog-park-bullies-632x475#2.  Do you have a young dog that frequents the local dog parks? For dogs that spend a lot of time at the parks, you probably use something more than a topical flea and tick medication. Over-the-counter flea and tick killing treatments, such as Frontline and K9 Advantix are pesticides.  In order to kill and prevent fleas and ticks, the chemicals must enter the blood stream through the liver. Permethrin; that is used in K9 Advantix for example; can slow down the nervous system by binding to sodium channels. That is where milk thistle comes in.  This powder helps flush the chemicals from the liver and rebuilds those cells that may have been damaged by the pesticide.  We would heavily suggest this product for every dog on a medicated flea and tick preventative.

Milk Thistle has digestive benefits as well!  It prepares the digestive tract to start producing a hormone called gastrin.  Gastrin starts the production of gastric acids and bile, which aid in digestion and the breaking down of fats in the small intestine.  Milk thistle may have a mild laxative quality to it.  This helps to lubricate the stools, and prevent both constipation and diarrhea.

We  have Herbsmith’s Milk Thistle at all stores.  We carry the powder form in a 75 gram bottle, but we can order larger bottles upon request.  Please come in and talk to us about any other questions or concerns you may have.

Hi everyone. Heather here. I have some sad news to share today. My little puppy girl, Lilu, has torn her CCL (same as the ACL in humans) on Saturday evening at the dog park. My poor girl is such a trooper, though, and it seems the future is very optimistic.

From this injury, I have learned so much about CCL tears that I wanted to share this information with you. Here’s the story of my pup and her path to a full and complete recovery.

We decided to go to the dog park last Saturday to get some energy out of both Ahsoka and Lilu. It was probably one of the most beautiful days out of the year which means my girls have even more energy to burn off! They love when it’s that perfect 75 degrees with the sun shining down just as much as I love it! They were having a great time running through the brush together and I just kept up my steady pace. I got about 30 feet ahead of them and they always race each other to catch back up to me! I turned around to watch my beautiful pups sprint towards me then all the sudden, Lilu cries out in the middle of her sprint and slows down to a stop! I ran up to her and saw she was holding her back left leg up off the ground and looked up at me with her ears back and of course I completely loose it. I scooped her up and started walking to my car. I carried my 40 pound dog about ¾ of a mile to my car and got her in there while juggling my other leash that was connected to my rambunctious border collie. Definitely glad I had my sturdy Mimi Greens leashes on that day.

I took her to the emergency vet at VCA in Aurora as it was after hours and they got me in right away just to find out that she tore her CCL in her left leg and will need surgery. They sent me home with codeine and rimadyl (equivalent to aspirin) to subside her pain until I was able to get her into her normal vet. Immediately, I began to think about what I needed to do to offset the negative effect the pain medicine can have on her. At Two Bostons, we are all for natural remedies for your dog. However, we all do understand and support the medicines our vets prescribed for our dogs and our customers dogs when necessary. Lilu was in an immense amount of pain and there’s absolutely no way I wouldn’t have her on pain killers.

After we got home from the vet and I got her first dose of pain killers in her system, I set up her Icrate and made a comfy little area in there for her. I put her down for a nap and headed to Two Bostons to pick up Herbsmith’s Milk Thistle. I’m now adding Milk Thistle to every meal that she has to help clear out her liver from the medicine she is taking. Milk Thistle contains silymarin which has shown to have a regenerative quality, it helps protect from alcohol and toxins, helps reduce inflammation and is also a great anti-oxidant. With all the medicine that poor Lilu is going to be on for the next 8-10 weeks of her life, the milk thistle is going to really help her little liver clean everything out as there could be lasting damage done from the prescription medicine.

So far, so good. Lilu is still in pain, but 1 week later, she is still being my little trooper and she has even begun to get her energy back. Her surgery is scheduled for the 25th and I hope to be able to keep you all updated on her progress. Look for my next post about what exactly the CCL is and the different options you have when it gets torn.

Hi again, Kate here with some more information for you.  I recently purchased not one, but two bottles of Milk Thistle by Herbsmith.  One is for Sara, my parents’ epileptic husky, and the other for Remington, who receives K9 Advantix for his flea and tick prevention.  I will further explain both scenarios, but first let me give you some background information on milk thistle.

Milk thistle is a plant native to the Mediterranean.  It has been used for thousands of years as an herbal remedy.  Its first documented use in the first century was as a remedy for poisonous snake bites.  Now, it is commonly used as an ailment for liver, kidney and gallbladder problems.  The seeds in milk thistle contain a flavonoid called silymarin, which protects the liver from toxins.  It also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.  This may help the liver repair itself by stimulating the production of new liver cells.  It can also block the entry of toxins into the liver and remove them at cellular level, resulting in regeneration of liver cells and improved liver function.

Here are a few key ways in which milk thistle works:

  • Strengthens the membranes of liver cells to prevent damage from toxins
  • Enhances protein synthesis by increasing RNA activity, and stops absorption of toxins in the liver
  • Reduces fibriotic activity
  • Reduces the action of liver enzymes responsible for causing inflammation of the liver

#1. Sara is currently on Phenobarbital to help control the seizures caused by canine epilepsy.  While rather effective and inexpensive, one side effect of Phenobarbital is possible liver damage.  The liver’s function is to filter all absorbed toxins introduced to the body before allowing it to pass through the blood stream.  Drugs such as Phenobarbital, when processed through the liver, can cause inflammation and scarring of liver tissue.  Milk thistle should be administered to every dog taking liver taxing medications, and especially if the liver is damaged or diseased.

#2.  Remington is a healthy, young dog who frequents the dog parks.  For dogs who do not spend much time in parks, you may want to consider a safer alternative to topical flea and tick medications.  Check out Meg’s blog on these options.  Because Remington is often in the parks and sniffing his way through tall grasses, I chose not to go that route.  However, I do not want to harm his liver in the process.  Over-the-counter flea and tick killing treatments, such as Frontline and K9 Advantix are pesticides.  In order to kill and prevent fleas and ticks, the chemicals must enter the blood stream through the liver.

Frontline’s active ingredients, for example, are Fipronil and methoprene, which are both carcinogens and neurotoxins.  K9 Advantix uses imidacloprid and permethrin, both of which are neurotoxins as well.  Permethrin can slow down the nervous system by binding to sodium channels.  That is where milk thistle comes in.  This powder helps flush the chemicals from Remington’s liver and rebuilds those cells that may have been damaged by the pesticide.  I would heavily suggest this product for every dog on a medicated flea and tick preventative.

Milk thistle has digestive benefits as well.  It prepares the digestive tract to start producing a hormone called gastrin.  Gastrin starts the production of gastric acids and bile, which aid in digestion and the breaking down of fats in the small intestine.  Milk thistle may have a mild laxative quality to it.  This helps to lubricate the stools, and prevent both constipation and diarrhea.

 We have Herbsmith’s Milk Thistle at both store locations.   We carry the powder form in a 75gram bottle for $24.99, but we can order larger bottles upon request.  Please come in and talk to us about any other questions or concerns you may have.