AN INTEGRATIVE APPROACH TO PET HEART DISEASE
Pet heart disease can be congenital, like some heart murmurs, or it can be an acquired problem in older pets. Perhaps the most common heart problem in older small dogs is damage to a heart valve, which then creates a heart murmur and eventual congestive heart failure. Diseases of the heart muscle, or cardiomyopathy, can occur at any age.
It is not rocket science to recognize the link between obesity (in both human and veterinary patients) and heart disease. IT IS FAIR TO SAY THAT EVERY CARDIAC PATIENT WILL BENEFIT FROM MINIMIZING THEIR WEIGHT!!
However, we are only now learning of the direct link between other inflammatory conditions like dental/periodontal health, chronic allergies and arthritis, and heart disease. In humans, this is the reason for the C-Reactive Protein blood test, which measures the amount of inflammation present in one’s body… and it is no less true in our pets.
The heart, a muscle that is continuously contracting without periods of rest, has very specific metabolic needs. Your pet’s heart contracts over 120,000 times per year– think about that. Proper function depends upon a steady supply of nutrients for the heart muscle, as well as blood flow adequate to remove metabolic wastes.
TRADITIONAL THERAPY FOR THE PET WITH HEART DISEASE is directed at
a) correcting any underlying causes,
b) improving heart function, and
c) treating the consequences of heart disease, which involve both inadequate blood flow to vital organs and excessive fluid accumulation. The first line of defense typically includes….
-ACE inhibitors like enalapril to improve heart contractility, decrease blood pressure, and improve renal function
–Furosemide (Lasix) to help minimize fluid accumulation and congestion,
–A low sodium diet to reduce hypertension and fluid accumulation
As cardiac disease progresses, additional therapy like adrenergic-, beta-, or calcium channel blockers are typically required.
NUTRITIONAL THERAPY FOR THE CARDIAC PATIENT
–CoEnzymeQ10: Numerous studies support its role in providing energy for muscle cells within the heart, thus minimizing the progression of disease. Human research has shown that CoQ10 is beneficial in controlling cardiac arrhthmias, congestive heart disease, and cardiomyopathy. Dose is 2.5 mg per lb
body weight, and the ubiquinol form is preferred over the ubiquinone form.
–Taurine: Deficiencies have been linked to cardiac disease in pets. All cats with heart disease should be
placed on taurine supplementation.
-L-Carnitine has been shown to improve cardiac function by allowing heart muscle to use lower levels of
oxygen more efficiently. Supplementation also has been proven to slow the rate of cardiac disease
progression. Dose is 25 mg per lb body weight, given twice a day.
–NOTE THAT WE HAVE A TASTY CHEWABLE SUPPLEMENT THAT CONTAINS ALL OF THESE INGREDIENTS…
ANTIOXIDANT THERAPY: The heart is the poster child for the negative effects of chronic inflammation. Free radical formation has been shown in multiple studies to damage the heart muscle and valves.
a) Vitamin E also helps to improve cardiac output and directly inhibits platelet aggregation.
Dose is 8 IU per lb body weight, once a day.
b) Fish Oil improves cardiac output, contractility, and oxygen utilization. Dose is 500 mg of Omega-3 fatty acids per 25 lb body weight, given once a day.
HERBAL THERAPY FOR THE CARDIAC PATIENT
The following herbs are thought beneficial for patients with heart disease
-Alisma: decreases blood pressure, and has a diuretic effect
-Astragalus–shown to improve cardiac output and blood flow to the heart muscle
-Atractyoldes: may help pulmonary edema; has diuretic effect
-Cnidium: improves bloodflow to the heart muscle, and dilates the vessels of the lungs.
-Codonopsis: improves cardiac output and circulation
-Cordyceps: decreases heart rate, blood pressure, and heart muscle oxygen needs.
-Lepidium: increases cardiac output, slows the heart rate, and has diuretic effects
-Peach kernel; reduces vascular resistance
-Red Peony: decreases blood pressure and dilates heart blood vessels.
-Salvia: increases bloodflow to the heart muscle
-Scrophularia: slows heart rate, and lowers blood pressure
-White Peony:: reduces vascular resistance
—This list is a little intimidating, until you learn about the one supplement that contains all these ingredients in one pill. Let us know if you’d like us to order it for you.