Milk Thistle Case Study – Topical Application, Golden Retriever
Milk Thistle Case Study – Topical Application, Golden Retriever

Milk Thistle Case Study – Topical Application, Golden Retriever

This is a milk thistle case study I conducted. It discusses the topical application of milk thistle, for a 7-year-old female golden retriever.

Why did I choose to try milk thistle in this case?

Milk thistle is well known, well researched and well documented in cases involving liver health, cancer, skin and more, while side effects and toxicity appear to be rare or limited. I discuss some highlights in my previous recent articles. Due to this reason, I had relatively high confidence in using it without too much concern about negative effects.

Further, I recall speaking with an animal herbalist many years ago, and she related a story about using milk thistle on her own dog. Her dog had developed a cancerous growth, and rather than going the route of surgery, chemo or drugs, she opted to apply milk thistle to the dog’s skin. This discussion took place around 2002, and I don’t recall all details regarding how long she applied it. But I do remember her results were positive, and the growth disappeared after her repeated topical application of milk thistle.

So, with these sets of information, I decided to use milk thistle in this case.

Case: 7-year-old golden retriever with visible subcutaneous ‘bump’ of unknown origin.

I first noticed this growth in late November, 2023. It did not subside, but got slightly larger with time. I was growing concerned and was considering a trip to the veterinarian. Photo of the spot, circled:

This picture was taken on December 27, 2023.

I began milk thistle application on December 29, 2023.

Application procedure

I had milk thistle capsules in the house, as I use it myself as well. I broke open a capsule and created a paste with a small amount of water mixed with the powder. I demonstrate this in a short video clip which you can watch in my Milk Thistle for Skin Health article.

I began applying a small amount twice per day. I simply took a bit of the powder on my fingertip and gently rubbed the paste into the spot.


Within 24 hours, I saw clear visible difference in this area. The bump was markedly smaller and felt much less raised. I was cautious, however, and did not stop at that point. I continued topical application twice per day for one week, even though the spot felt and looked normal at that point. Here is a photo of the spot after my application procedure:

Conclusion and recommendations

This is an important demonstration of milk thistle’s possible usefulness for at least some topical (skin) problems. I do not know the origin of this particular problem, and I can’t draw a clear conclusion between the condition and solution. But I can continue to feel a growing confidence in milk thistle’s uses for numerous problems, in a gentle, natural way with very few documented safety issues.

Further information and milk thistle sources for you

I now have two supplement stores available to you. I opened these in response to numerous requests from people, asking for direction and guidance towards quality supplements. This is a very important issue, as there are counterfeit products on the market. Those will do your dog (or you) no good whatsoever, and may cause harm. You can read more in the Supplement Info section of my website.

And as always, please visit my Services page for ways I can assist you and your dog.

Thank you,


Founder, Golden Retriever Diet & Dog Food Coach

PS – Do you have a golden retriever? Visit my other website,