What You Need to Know about Heart Disease in Dogs

What You Need to Know about Heart Disease in Dogs
February 11, 2014 by Dr Loridawn Gordon

Heart disease is a serious condition that affects dogs. Recognizing the symptoms early can increase the chances your vet will be able to prescribe the right remedies in time.

Common symptoms associated with cardiovascular problems in dogs include:

• Wheezing
• Panting after minimal exertion
• Shortness of breath
• Lack of appetite and energy
• Increase in depressed behavior or fatigue
• Bluish gray tongue, lips, and gums
• Coughing that occurs usually overnight or upon waking
• Swollen limbs or potbelly
• Dragging of the hind legs
• Fainting
• Weakness
• Stumbling

Prevention

Heart troubles aren't only seen in older dogs. Younger canine friends are just as susceptible. Genetic defects, poor nutrition, a stressed or weak immune system, and viral or bacterial infections are just a few of the causes of heart disease. Exposure to unnecessary vaccinations and to pollutants can also contribute to heart problems.

Conventional Treatments

Several different medications are prescribed to treat heart conditions. When it comes to heart problems, you don't want to ignore the conventional treatments available that can extend the life of your pet, but you also don't want to ignore the natural supportive therapies that can make conventional medications more effective. Therefore, a combination of both conventional and alternative therapies is a great way to go.

Good Nutrition as the Foundation to a Healthy Heart

Deficiencies can lead to cardiovascular issues, so providing your dog with a high quality, grain-free diet is the first step in helping your pet remain healthy. Switching to a natural diet filled with the nutrients the body needs to sustain itself should definitely be a part of the therapy you provide to restore health and detoxify.

Natural Remedies

Supplementing the diet with CoQ10 is highly recommended for dogs with cardiovascular issues. This fat-soluble vitamin provides energy to the heart so that it doesn't struggle to get blood and nutrients throughout the body. Any type of heart condition can benefit from CoQ10, which won't interfere with any medications.

L-Carnitine is an amino acid that can be added to food to help dogs lose weight and strengthen the heart.

Vitamin E improves cardiac output and circulation. It also protects the body on the cellular level.

Flaxseed oil provides healthy fats that promote cardiovascular health and reduce inflammation.

Hawthorne is a herbal remedy that improves heart function because it contains phytochemicals that encourage the flow of blood to the extremities and to the heart while promoting the pumping of the heart muscle itself. This herb can strengthen the heart and normalize the heartbeat.  

Final Thoughts

Never ignore the signs of cardiovascular disease in your dog. It is a serious problem that needs to be addressed promptly in order to reduce symptoms and extend the life of your beloved companion.

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