Doctors Checking Radiographs

Doctors Checking Radiographs

Should my dog take enzymes when having surgery?

If you’ve been researching digestive enzymes for osteosarcoma in dogs, taking them personally for their anti-aging benefits or giving them to your dog to help fight his or her bone cancer, and are anticipating surgery, perhaps your dog is looking at a limb-saving procedure or amputation, you may have heard and/or read various positions regarding digestive enzymes and surgery. A manufacturer’s site may even tell you to stop taking enzymes before surgery while a health professional may tell you something to the contrary.

Digestive enzymes, as a whole, are not an issue. Concerns, however, may lie with protease (proteolytic) enzymes. Examples would be: serrapeptase (a powerful proteolytic enzyme derived from the silkworm) and nattokinase (from the Japanese food nattō made from fermented soybeans), taken as a systemic enzyme between meals to clean out arteries, reduce inflammation, ease arthritic and joint pain, etc., or a high digestive enzyme therapy program where proteases are taken in large quantities.

In cleaning out the bloodstream to aid in the detoxification process, proteolytic enzymes can thin the blood. This is why people on blood thinners, or dogs and people with blood clotting issues are told to avoid proteolytic enzymes overall.

So the warning not to take digestive enzymes before surgery is basically advising against taking large amounts of proteases before surgery since during surgery you do not want excessive bleeding.

Most enzyme manufacturers, especially those whose products contain a good amount of proteases, offer a general warning as protection against liability.

The bottom line is to consult with your surgeon (veterinarian) who would know the condition of your (your dog’s) blood and clotting time prior to surgery and would also be evaluating this with relative the surgical procedure being undertaken. For amputation or limb-sparing surgery, chances are you would be stopping the proteases. For minor surgery that doesn’t involve a great deal of bleeding, your doctor will most likely say that digestive enzymes needn’t be stopped prior to surgery.

If you are told to stop, usually avoiding proteases or high doses of digestive enzymes a couple of days before surgery will do the trick. But always check with your physician.

Post surgery is another story. You will want more blood flow to the site. Protease enzymes have been clinically shown to significantly speed up recovery, drastically reduce pain and side effects, and support overall health. So taking proteolytic enzymes can be very beneficial for dogs with osteosarcoma overall.

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Filed under: Enzyme Therapy

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