S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe) for Liver Disease Average Cost

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What is S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe) for Liver Disease?

Liver disease in dogs can be caused by a number of diseases, disorders, and toxins. Early stages of liver disease may not be obvious, however as the liver begins to fail the symptoms become more conspicuous. One of the coenzymes that the liver produces is S-Adenosylmethionine, often shortened to SAMe, and it supports the function and structure of the liver itself. When the liver is unable to produce adequate quantities of SAMe to protect the liver, dietary supplements with this compound may be able to help repair the damage that has already occurred as well as prevent further harm.

S-Adenosylmethionine is a naturally occurring coenzyme produced by the liver to protect its structure and functioning. When the liver is damaged it is unable to generate enough SAMe and supplementation may become advantageous.


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Symptoms of S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe) for Liver Disease in Dogs

Signs of liver disease in dogs can include any of the following:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Abnormal stools
  • Bleeding abnormalities
  • Bloated appearance
  • Blood in urine, feces, or vomit
  • Chronic vomiting 
  • Dehydration
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Enlarged liver
  • Increased need to urinate
  • Increased thirst
  • Jaundice 
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Orange urine
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Unhealthy coat
  • Weakness


S-adenosylmethionine is not the only supplement that is available to help support liver health. Some other supplements that are helpful in supporting the liver function include:

  • Vitamin E - Vitamin E seems to be especially useful when dealing with problems due to obesity-related liver issues
  • Milk thistle (silymarin) - Milk thistle contains the active ingredient silymarin, which has been studied extensively and has shown an ability to function as an anti-oxidant and interferes with the metabolism of some toxins through the liver, giving it a protective quality; milk thistle also has the possibility to interfere with the metabolism of prescription medications, rendering them ineffective 
  • Zinc - Zinc is an essential trace element required for cell growth and development and supplementation with this element can reverse the symptoms of zinc deficiency for those with liver damage 
  • Ursodiol - A naturally occurring acid in the body, ursodiol is a biliary substance that is produced in the liver and protects it from damage from bile; if the liver is not producing this in adequate amounts, supplementation with synthetic formulations designed for humans may be recommended to provide this protection

Causes of S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe) for Liver Disease in Dogs

SAMe is an important, naturally occurring substance that is produced by the liver from the essential amino acid methionine. It is involved not only with the structure and function of the liver, but it is also involved in many other essential chemical reactions in the body. It is commonly used to both protect and heal a damaged liver and to relieve the symptoms of depression.

Diagnosis of S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe) for Liver Disease in Dogs

Several tests can be done to check the efficiency and overall health of the liver. These can include: 

Coagulation assay

This can help to uncover disorders and deficiencies such as early Vitamin K deficiency, hemophilia, and other liver related diseases.

Complete blood count and serum biochemistry profile

These general tests will help the examining veterinarian to assess the circulating levels of liver enzymes such as alanine transaminase and aspartate transaminase as substantial increases in these enzymes can indicate that the liver is not functioning properly. 

Serum bile acid concentration test

This test is done by taking a blood test after the dog has been fasting for 12 hours. Then the dog is fed a high fat diet and retested 2 hours later. Both of the samples are then tested for the levels of bile acids present. Elevated serum bile acid levels may suggest that significant liver disease is present. 


The examining veterinarian will be looking for the presence of bilirubin or ammonium borate crystals in the urine. 

A biopsy of liver tissues may also be required for a definitive diagnosis.

Treatment of S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe) for Liver Disease in Dogs

S-Adenosylmethionine is usually given as an oral tablet, although it is occasionally administered intravenously or as an injection. There are some important points to remember when giving your pet SAMe supplements.

Store the tablets out of reach at room temperature. They are susceptible to high moisture levels and should be kept in a dry area of the home. Do not give with food as the digestion of the food will interfere with the absorption of the S-Adenosylmethionine into the bloodstream, reducing its effectiveness. 

Use the veterinary form of SAMe as human varieties may not have the same form of SAMe and over-the-counter varieties may have poor quality control or ingredients that are not pet-safe. Do not break the tablets unless specifically directed to by a veterinary professional as this can compromise the coating on the pill that is designed to keep the medication from dissolving too quickly. Some animals have difficulty swallowing this medication, and small amounts of water or milk may help prevent irritation to the throat and esophagus.

Recovery of S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe) for Liver Disease in Dogs

Because SAMe interacts with so many vital chemicals in the body, supplementation may have some minor risks as well as a few interactions with a few other kinds of medication. SAMe interactions have been noted with antidepressant medications, particularly MAOI medications as well as with supplements used to boost mood, like St. John’s Wort. It may also interact with some types of pain medication, certain cough remedies, and diabetes medications. It is imperative to discuss any sort of medicines or supplements with your veterinarian before administering them to your animal.

S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe) for Liver Disease Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

14 Days
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

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Monthly seizure

My 14 yr old terrier has elevated liver enzymes Alt 382 u/l.!Alkp 291. AST 30 u/l last year his Alt was 79. ALKP 54. He was given Nexgard, n . Never had this before. Had a flea from dog park. Will Sam e help? Or anything with #'s like those? He looks healthy n hungry often, has tape worms, treating with coconut

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3320 Recommendations
Liver support is important and SAMe and silybin (they are combined in use in Denamarin) can help with that along with keeping good hydration; Nexgard shouldn’t be used again and an alternative medication (like a spot on preparation) should be used in the future which has a different mechanism of action; you should also get a more effective treatment for the tapeworms than coconut oil. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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