Our pets are exposed to an increasing number of toxins everyday. These include pesticides, lawn chemicals, preservatives in food, medications, and environmental pollution. Since our pets are small and close to the ground, their exposure to some of these things can be very high.
If your pet has been exposed and poisoned, through ingestion or contact of a known poison, call your veterinarian or Animal Poison Control immediately for treatment. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center website has lots of helpful information about what to do and when to call. Signs of poison exposure can include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, fever, drooling or salivating, pacing, and panting. Call your veterinarian or poison control immediately if your pet is showing these symptoms.
Now after the immediate threat is gone, what do you do next? Many toxins are dealt with by the liver, these include poisons and also the toxins that your pet is exposed to everyday on lawns, in food, and in the environment. There are two things that you can do at home to help your pet after a poisoning, or to use on your pet a couple of times a year to treat chronic low grade toxin exposure.
The first is milk thistle or silybum marianum. It is an herb that has been used for thousands of years to treat liver and gall bladder problems. One of the active substances silymarin, not only protects the liver from further damage, but has antioxidant and antiinflammatory properties, and can actually heal the liver.
One product I really like is an alcohol free liquid from Milk Thistle AF from Nature’s Answer. You can give a cat or small dog 5-10 drops twice a day in the food, or directly in the mouth. Medium dog 1/2 ml (28 drops or one dropperful) twice a day. Large dog 1 ml twice a day. You can do this for 2-4 weeks following the exposure.
For larger dogs, or if you prefer giving a capsule, I like Milk Thistle Capsules. For medium dogs, give one capsule daily. For a large dog, give 1 capsule twice a day. You can also continue this for 2-4 weeks.
For more information on toxins affecting pets, there is a really good article at www.vetinfo.com/dtoxin.html.