Med. Weter. 76 (12), 700-708, 2020

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Dietary supplements containing silymarin as a supportive factor in the treatment of canine hepatopathies
We review canine dietary supplements, in particular silymarin and its hepatoprotective properties. Dietary supplements should be considered complements to conventional drug treatments, helping to prevent health issues, such as nutritional deficiencies and organ dysfunctions. The market for veterinary supplements is growing rapidly. Pet owners are increasingly eager to provide their animals with the best care available. The rapidly growing market of supplements is an opportunity for both the industry and veterinarians, who can introduce new treatment protocols supported by dedicated dietary supplements. The liver is one organ that can be nutritionally supported in case of dysfunction. In dogs, hepatopathies may be primary or may be secondary to an underlying problem. Toxins, drugs, and neoplasia are reported among the causes of liver dysfunctions. There are several substances with proven liver-beneficial properties. One of these is silybin, a hepatoprotector extracted from Silybum marianum. Dietary supplementation with silybin seems a reasonable tool to support a core treatment for liver disease. Laboratory tests have additionally shown that silybin supplementation helps reduce liver damage. The literature indicates that silybin acts not only as an antioxidant, but also as an antifibrotic agent and a stimulator of cell regeneration. Due to its multidirectional action, it can effectively reduce liver damage, or help prevent it. Independent of the reason for its administration (prevention or therapy), it has been reported effective in laboratory animals, dogs, and humans. This was confirmed by an observational study performed at the University Center for Veterinary Medicine at Poznań University of Life Sciences. A total of 15 dogs with diagnosed liver conditions were supplemented with silybin for 30 days. Significant improvements were reported in the liver blood markers after the supplementation period. All things considered, silybin dietary supplementation is a noteworthy strategy in prevention and treatment of liver diseases in dogs.
Keywords: dietary supplements, canine hepatopathies, silymarin, silybin