Bromelain use in dogs, like may other supplements, has become quite popular. Bromelain is an enzyme that comes from the pineapple plant. This enzyme functions as an anti-inflammatory, and as such has begun to be used in dogs for all manor of injuries and maladies which result in inflammation. Today, we’re going to talk about bromelain use in dogs, its benefits, and the possible side effects.
Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, bromelain has seen a rise in popularity among dog owners for a variety of maladies including:
- Muscle Damage
- Morning Stiffness and Swelling due to Arthritis
- Allergy symptoms
Bromelain works by helping to break down kinin and fibrin, the two main contributors to inflammation. The enzymatic action of bromelain is what breaks down these two offenders and helps to manage inflammation due to injury or chronic illness. In addition, bromelain is a natural antihistamine, which helps to control the allergic response in dog that suffer from seasonal allergies or that have an allergic reaction to things like bug bites.
Bromelain is usually used in conjunction with other enzymatic supplements to help control the discomfort associated with minor injuries and chronic illness, and appears to be generally safe. A major caveat to bromelain use is reaction with other medications. Some vets will advise against bromelain usage if your dog is on antibiotics, anti-cancer drugs, blood thinners, and other medications. On the other hand, if your dog is on Quercetin, your vet might actually recommend supplementing with bromelain to help increase absorption. Again, check with your vet first.
Bromelain Side Effects
As with any medication or supplement – even the all-natural ones – there can be side effects associated with the use of bromelain. These side effects range from minor annoyances to slightly more serious. Side effects associate with bromelain include:
- Stomach Problems
- Tachycardia (Increased Heart Rate)
- Mucus Membrane Irritation
While most side effects are pretty minor and often ease up once your dog gets used to bromelain, it’s still a good idea to talk to your vet if you notice any of them. If your dog has severe vomiting and diarrhea, or just isn’t acting quite “right,” call your vet immediately. You may need to take your pooch to an emergency after-hours vet. As with anything you give your dog, allergic reactions can occur. It’s better to err on the side of caution.
Be Cautious When With Bromelain Use in Dogs
As always, I caution the use of bromelain or any supplement without the express direction of your vet or at least your vet’s input. Bromelain uses may seem highly beneficial, and in many cases they may be, but you should never give your dog any supplement until you’ve had an in-depth discussion with your vet about the risks versus rewards and possible side effects that could come with its use or with its interaction with other drugs.
Remember, your vet is your first and best option in determining what will be most helpful to your dog. So if you’re intrigued about bromelain use, make an appointment with your vet and speak with him or her about this supplement, how it could help your dog, and if there is anything you should be concerned about.
Do you use bromelain with your dog? Share your thoughts and experiences below.