We notice that many horse owners perform a detox on horses with liver problems. With good intentions, of course, but not really that wise. They want to support the horse and the liver so that it is back in order as soon as possible. But a detox is not suitable for that, we are happy to explain it to you!
A detox stimulates the liver
Any form of detox (herb combination or, for example, pure milk thistle) has the function of putting extra work on the liver and stimulating it to cleanse the body. It is a semi-annual cleaning for horses that are healthy and feel good about themselves. Firstly, a detox should never be applied to a horse with reduced health, because a detox is intense and can also cause problems. We therefore always advise you to contact us or a therapist before applying a detox to your horse. And secondly, the liver can become so extremely activated/stimulated that it becomes overloaded and exhausted. A horse with liver problems has a liver with a “burn-out”, if you push it even more, the liver will switch itself off for protection. Fortunately, the liver is very capable of renewing and repairing itself, but that takes time. And during the period when the liver switches itself off, its function is not taken over. So you want to prevent at all costs that the liver becomes completely exhausted and stops working.
We therefore strongly advise against giving a detox to horses with liver problems or elevated liver values! Also no cure milk thistle, no herbs that stimulate the liver extra. You want to relieve the liver!
Relieving the liver is most important!
As indicated, there is a chance that the liver will “switch off” itself for a while if it is overloaded. It is therefore important to relieve the liver in horses with liver problems. Do not trigger the function, do not stimulate it extra, but relieve it!
A liver has various functions, including the production of vitamin C. An easy way to relieve the liver is by giving your horse extra vitamin C. The liver then does not have to take on this function and has time for other functions. You can give extra vitamin C in the form of rosehip (tincture) or, for example, human vitamin C (always in deacidified form!). Do not give a horse with liver problems a high-fat ration either. Bile is needed for the digestion of fat, but a horse does not have a gallbladder and produces bile in the liver. If you do not give extra oil, the liver does not have to produce extra bile and you relieve the liver. The liver is also involved in the production of proteins, a very important building material for horses. You can support the liver by providing an extensive protein/amino acid complex to the horse. The liver then has to produce less itself.
A cure with nettle tincture is also very healthy for horses with liver problems. This is blood purifying, but does not trigger the liver and is good for the horse’s overall resistance.
In short, in a horse with liver problems:
- Never give you a detox or milk thistle
- Give you extra vitamin C
- Limit your oil/fats in the ration
- If necessary, provide extra proteins
- Provide you with stinging nettle tincture