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Denamarin for Dogs and Cats: Managing Liver Disease

Help Your Pet Repair Damage to Their Liver

By Sam Bourne. December 11, 2013 | See Comments

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Liver failure in dogs and cats can be quite serious, but with proper treatment, it can be overcome. Denamarin is a supplement that can help your pet’s liver get back on the mend.

Liver disease in dogs and cats is a potentially life threatening condition, but if caught in time it can be treated. One helpful way to support liver health is by adding the supplement Denamarin to your dog or cat’s diet. This chewable tablet contains two different liver-supporting components that work hard to keep your pet’s liver running smoothly.

What Is Liver Disease?

When your pet’s liver stops functioning properly, bad things happen. This organ plays an important role in the digestive process, acting like the body’s checkpoint by scanning nearly every mineral that passes through, weeding out the good from the bad. The liver also helps to make proteins.

When a pet has liver disease, the liver fails to do its job, allowing toxins to pass through, or blocking the passage of nutrients. Symptoms can be vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drinking and urination, swelling of the liver, and cell death. Once the cells in the liver start dying off, they are replaced with hard scar tissue. This process is known as cirrhosis, and there is no cure for it. Luckily, cirrhosis is the last stage, and up until that point, the damage done to the liver is reversible.

How Can I Tell If My Pet Has Liver Damage?

A few symptoms of liver damage include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive drinking and urination
  • Swelling of the liver
  • Jaundice (yellowing of skin and eyes)
  • Hepatic encephalopathy (brain disorder caused by excessive amounts of ammonia)
  • Spontaneous internal bleeding
  • Ascites (fluid buildup in the abdomen)

Treating Liver Disease with Denamarin

For pets in the early to middle stages of liver disease, Denamarin can help them turn back the clock on the damage done to their liver. Containing S-adenosylmethionine, a compound proven to stimulate glutathione production, along with silybin, a biologically active component shown to help proper liver function, this supplement is proven to help pets suffering from liver disease. It is not, however, a replacement for prescription liver medications, like Ursodiol for dogs and cats.

How Does Denamarin Work?

The main ingredient in Denamarin (and the sole ingredient in Denosyl) is the S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe), which causes a rise in hepatic (or liver related) glutathione levels, which are essential for proper liver function. SAMe has also been proven to help protect liver cells from cell death, reducing the risk of cirrhosis, as well as bolster liver cell regeneration. Beyond that, SAMe has also been shown to enhance bile flow in cats.

The secondary ingredient is silybin, which is an antioxidant proven to help liver function by preventing the oxidation of various cell types, and improve protein synthesis, both of which help with cell regeneration.

When Is It Safe To Give My Pet Denamarin?

Just because Denamarin is over the counter, doesn’t mean it should be given without consulting your vet. Before you give your pet any sort of supplement, contact your vet. Aside from getting professional medical advice, a few rules of thumb for giving your pet Denamarin are:

  • Do not give it to pets under 6 weeks of age
  • Pets without liver disease do not need to be given Denamarin
  • Pets taking Denamarin should be given water along with the tablets to ensure that the pills are swallowed
  • Depending on the weight of your pet, give them anywhere from one to three tablets per dose
  • There are no known side effects of taking Denamarin, nor are there any contraindications (i.e., medications it should not be taken with)
  • Make sure to store your Denamarin in a cool, dry place to ensure the tablets stay fresh
More on Pet Liver Health

All About Liver Disease in Dogs and Cats
Food for Liver Disease in Dogs and Cats
Supplements and Vitamins for Cats and Dogs

This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian with respect to your pet. It has, however, been verified by a licensed veterinarian for accuracy.

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