Canine Congestive Heart Failure Treatment

Sep 03, 2016

Congestive Heart Failure Treatments in Dogs

In both human beings and animals, the heart sends blood throughout the body and back in a process known as circulation, providing oxygen and nutrients to body tissues and organs so they can function properly. Congestive heart failure in dogs is a weakened heart's inability to pump blood effectively to meet the demands of your dog's body.

Causes of canine congestive heart failure can be hereditary, heartworm – parasites that lodge in the heart and cause massive interference, chronic valvular disease – which causes the heart valves to contact poorly and may even “flap” and affect cardiac function, and dilated cardiomyopathy- which is an enlargement of the heart ventricles and a thinning of the heart walls.

Because blood is no longer circulating properly or efficiently, blood becomes backed up around organs and increases the pressure on veins and arteries. The heart is divided into two halves, left and right, each with two sections, atrium and ventricle. Depending on which part of the heart is weakened can affect the symptoms. Fluid can leak into the lungs and cause coughing, or pulmonary edema which involves coughing up bubbly red fluid; and is symptomatic of left ventricle failure. Failure of the right ventricle will cause fluid to leak into the abdomen, sometimes the legs and chest, giving a swollen belly appearance. Because all organs of the body are affected, symptoms of congestive heart failure are usually lethargy, weakness, difficulty breathing or shallow breaths, heart murmur, rapid irregular pulse, and fainting may occur from stress or exhaustion.

Congestive Heart Failure Treatment

Treatment for canine congestive heart failure typically involves low-salt diets and keeping your dog stress free. On this page you can discuss and read what strategies and home cures people are using to help heal their dogs' hearts naturally. Let us know what you try for your dog's heart.

Additional Pages of Interest:
Heart Murmur Remedies



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Posted by Deborah (Chino Valley, Az) on 01/23/2012
5 out of 5 stars

My 12 lb. Pekingnese recently went through some very frightening and life-threatening health issues related to his heart. He is doing terrific now, however I want to share a bit about what symptoms were manifesting and how we've managed to stop them.

In September of 2011, our sweet dog Mocha began having something akin to night screams/seizures. In the middle of the night, normally between 1 - 3am, he would wake from sleep with a horrific scream, then go immediately into a seizure. In all of our years with him he had never shown anything like this. His seizure would then last 7 -8 minutes. It was a terrible scene to witness and watch him endure. It happened again a month later, and as we began the process of veterinary visits, tests, etc. and were coming up with no answers. The veterinarian said these were not epileptic seizures, but he did not know what they were or where they were coming from. From his model of medicine he only had Phenobarbital to offer as a means to get control of the seizures. Although we took the advice at the time, my family and I all felt this was still an undiagnosed condition and the Pheno would at best offer us some time to get things figured out. We had to bring these episodes to a halt as soon as possible as each episode seemed to erode his overall health. We were watching our beloved pup drift away from us with each episode.

As we began our research, I started online with researching 'dog screams'. Although the veterinarian said perhaps this was a dream, or anxiety, he didn't feel the dog was in pain at the time of his episodes. We wholeheartedly disagreed. Although Mocha may not have felt pain during the actual seizure, the scream occurred just before and was absolutely horrifying. It was CLEAR that he was in wrenching pain before falling into a seizure. I was amazed to find online assorted threads of pet owner conversations on the topic of dog screams... Most of which indeed were followed by seizure activity, involuntary defecation, etc. In almost each case, the dogs in question were small dog breeds, just like Mocha. Also in each case, the owner knew the dog had a diagnosed heart murmur, as we did with Mocha.

Following this thread, I started to research heart remedies for dogs. Some were specific to murmurs, others were more generalized and in each small dog case, there was also an issue with keeping blood sugar balanced. We began putting together a small grouping of supplements to put Mocha on based on the information we were finding online.

At the same time that we were doing this research, we were giving Mocha the Phenobarbital. He had a terrible time adapting to it. Aside from being basically unconscious 90 minutes after the dose for approximately 9 hours, he was starting to urinate excessively and also to pant exactly 90 minutes after each dose. Sometimes the panting was excessive and frightening. We brought all of these topics up to the veterinarian who said that small dogs tend to adapt the least to this medication, and that whatever adaptation was going to happen would happen within the first two weeks. We were a month into it at this point and becoming very concerned. In addition, it was not stopping entirely his concerning episodes. We had his blood tested to see if he was at 'therapeutic levels' of the Phenobarbital and he was not. The veterinarian wanted us to go up in dose, but our instincts told us 'no'. This dog was losing quality of life on the dose he was already on, and we felt certain that increasing his dose would decrease his life expectancy and quality of remaining life. We decided at that point to trust our instincts and begin tending specifically to his heart.

I am happy to report that since we began adding in his natural heart and blood sugar supports, there have been no screaming/seizure episodes (6 weeks now). This is SIGNIFICANT, as Mocha had gotten to the point where he was screaming/seizing several times per day before beginning his holistic treatment. We have also decreased his Phenobarbital very slowly and safely and this, also, has improved his overall health and vitality. At this point we know we are substantially below 'therapeutic levels' and that the medication is doing next to nothing for him. We are taking him off slowly simply to be safe and gentle with is system. He should be off it entirely over the next week.

I am sharing this information because I know there are others out there who may have dogs with heart murmurs, small dogs, screaming/seizure dogs and the like. I was amazed at how frequent this problem presents based on what I found online, and yet could find NONE of this information via veterinarians or veterinary sites. It all came from pet owners who have had to research and address the issues themselves based on what others were doing. Thank goodness for sites like this one... I truly have no idea what Mocha's future would have been without them.

As for what supplements we have found which address his issues:

Hearty Heart (liquid drops) from Pet Wellbeing: Dosage is determined by pet's weight. This product has been developed by holistic veterinarians and veterinary herbalists. It is absolutely fantastic and useful for dogs and cats. Our 14 year-old cat has Cardiomyopathy and this has helped him so very much as well. Can't recommend it highly enough.

L-Carnitine (liquid) from Pet's Choice Pharmaceuticals: An essential amino acid designed to assist both the heart and blood sugar levels. Very helpful in healing the heart after functional disturbances and preventing future problems. Especially recommended for small breeds. Dosage determined by pet's weight.

FortiFlora (powder) from Purina Veterinary Diets: Probiotic supplement with beneficial strains of good bacteria designed to balance the digestive system and strengthen immunity. Excellent for blood sugar issues, allergies, skin and coat issues, etc. Mocha has been on this for years, as he has a long history of highly reactive/allergic skin, itching, blood sugar issues, etc. As a 12 lb dog, we give Mocha half a packet twice per day with his meals.

Magnesium mixed with Vitamin C: Both of these nutrients are excellent for the heart and safe for dogs. We buy tablets and then powder them together in our mortar and pestle. This allows us to sprinkle them onto his food. Again because Mocha is small, he only get 2 pinches of this mixture once per day. The ratio of his Magnesium to Vitamin C is 2:1. The dose, ratio, form of the nutrient may be specific dog to dog but there is helpful information online about dosing them.

Ubiqinone (CoQ10): An important antioxidant which helps with energy and heart function. It is potent so again, read up on dosage for your pet or consult with a holistic veterinarian. For Mocha, he only takes 1 drop from a 30mg capsule. Any more than that is too much, but we notice a difference when he doesn't have it at all.

D-Ribose: This is a metabolic sugar which is found within the body, but can also be supplemented. It is excellent for the heart, for recovery of the heart and for energy production... Of of which Mocha needed. Because of his small size he only takes 200 - 300 mg day. This product can be found in most healthfood stores.

So there you are. I hope you find this information helpful if you are searching for help for your dog. Most important lessons we have learned from the experince are 1) trust your instincts and 2) do your homework. If something doesn't sound right to you in terms of diagnosis, treatment, etc. , or if you simply feel you have not gotten sufficient answers, trust your instincts. There is an abundance of information available on the web today and tho, yes, sometimes that can be misleading, when you read over and over from owners about what works/doesn't work, TRUST it. In our case we were not able to get any answers from the veterinary community (in person or online) and ALL of Mocha's help came from dog owners like you. And, do your homework... Research what is going on with your pet, what others are doing for the same issues, safe dosage amounts, etc. Take charge of what is going on, have confidence in yourself and your instincts and take one step at a time. Don't wait passively for answers and don't continue with anything that just feels wrong or is causing clear harm... Even if that information comes from the medical community. They, like us, are all still learning but sometimes the life of a patient (human or animal) can't wait and you must strike out on your own. Work closely with professionals when and how you can, but don't linger with anyone who isn't providing help or cooperating with your desire to work holistically. Put your pet and his/her life first.

Good luck to you and I hope some little puppy dog and his family out there can be helped just like we have been. We are tremendously grateful to have been steered by others to the help Mocha needed and are enjoying seeing our sweet pup return to us in every way.

Blessings,

Deborah, Mocha and family....

Replied by Timh Donate

Louisville, Ky, Usa
01/24/2012

Deborah, thanks for this detailed and informative post; and congrats on Mocha's recovery. If I might add the importance of omega 3 fatty acids like Flax and Fish oils for health of every cell in prevention and recovery of illness.

Replied by Deborah
Chino Valley, Az
01/27/2012

Thanks Tim, indeed. We did have Mocha on fish oil at different time periods... Sometimes he did well with it, other times not so much. We switched his diet to a more fish-rich diet (fresh cooked fish) and that seemed to do the trick. Flax oil makes him itch terribly so we avoid that in his case. But excellent advice to others who may be researching for their own pets.

Replied by Ros
Tewantin, Qld, australia
02/03/2012

Hi Deb, My 15 yr old chihuahua is now on the journey of heart murmur. Thank you so much for your in depth sharing of what you did. It was so informative and I am inspired. Thanks!

Replied by Deborah
Chino Valley, Az
02/09/2012

My pleasure, Ros... Best wishes to you and your pup!

Replied by Kickdiver
Wilmington, Nc
02/23/2012

Thank you for the detailed info. I have a 12 year old Great Dane on various heart meds due to near Heart Failure and enlarged heart with atrial fib/dilated cardio myopathy. He's on Vetmed, Diltiazem, Benazepril and Digoxin, since our emergency visit at the Cardiology Clinic, where his heart beat was measured 250 bpm.... He is stabilized now, and I also give him Omega 3 fish oils, CQ10, and looking into carnitine and taurine, and I did come across the site for Hearty Heart, but it says NOT to give this natural remedy WHILE on heart meds.

But... How can I stop the heart meds, when they just now kicked in after 2 days of horrible heart racing and my poor dog being miserable? Can I trust the reviews on line? They all seem great , but... One never knows if they are just bloggers paid by the company... Anyhow.. I'm willing to give it a try, yet, I cannot take him off the heart meds right now... I'd rather give him half a dose of the Hearty Heart along WITH the meds and then slowly go down with the dosage..

Worst of all, I am supposed to move to the Middle East with my 3 beloved K9s in April, how in the world am I going to get my boy there in this condition? I cannot leave this companion behind, he's my kiddo! I know his heart situation is a serious thing, but apart from that he has NO health issues, all blood work was good and all organs perfectly intact, as a matter of fact, the Vets at the clinic told me that he was the healthiest and oldest Dane they have seen!!! (thanks to Raw Diet and NO vaccines, I guess... ) I do have a professional pet handling company hired, still... My holistic vet said St John's Word could help him as well. I have a few more weeks to see how he develops, in the interim, any input helps.. I'd love to give Hearty Heart a try, but.. There is NO way I can stop the meds right now... What to do??

Replied by Deborah
Chino Valley, Az
02/23/2012

Hi Kickdiver, thank you for your post. How great that your Great Dane is so healthy at the age of 12! You've obviously done so much to get him there.

I totally understand your concern about mixing the HH supplement with the heart meds. This is indeed a conundrum and I don't know the answer for you. This has to be an individual decision. I personally would not mix them as the HH is developed by holistic veterinarians and they so strongly advise against it.

I know in our situation, we had to make the difficult choice between medications vs. Supplements. It's so much easier when one can blend both and not make such a difficult and scary decision, but sometimes this is just not safe. So what we did was begin with supplements that did not have contraindications with the medication we used at the time. The HH came in toward the end of that supplement list, as we did everything else first to stabilize him supplement-wise. As Mocha grew more and more stable on the supplements, we gradually began moving him down on his medication dose AND began putting the HH in separate feedings from his medication. So breakfast/dinner had medication, lunch snack and evening snack (9pm) had HH. This worked for him but we were ever so careful. The medication he was on could not safely be stopped abruptly, so we had to wean him down on it while slowly adding in the supplements where we could. This took time, patience, faith and much care to get right but like for you, he is our 'kiddo' and we just wanted him better. However he was not on heart meds, he was on Phenobarbital and that is a big difference between your picture and mine. Had Mocha been on heart meds, I'm not sure if we would have gone forward with the HH in this way. Like you, we would have had to sit with the different choices in front of us and find the safest, best long-term plan for our pup.

So for now, since your pup is newly on all of these meds and just coming out of an acute situation you may want to continue as you are doing. Simply add safe supplements with no contraindications. If I were you, I would add the L-Carn as that has profoundly good impact on heart function and in general is very safe. Not sure the Taurine is a fit or a priority in your pup's case.

As for the HH, I recommended it because I use it for my pup and it works brilliantly. It is also safe for cats, and we gave it to our 14-year old cat who was having wobbly, at times screeching, seizures and who had previously been diagnosed with Cardiomyopathy. Since starting him on the HH, no wobbling, no screaming, no seizures. I don't work for the company, am not a paid blogger, etc. I'm a user and this product is the real deal in my experience. Is it the best fit for your sweet Dane? I don't know. But it was the fit for our Pekingese and tabby.

Seems the safest short-term approach would be to find the combination of supplements (and possibly meds) that work for your Dane and then move in whatever direction you can from there for a long-term plan. Most important is to a) stabilize acute symptoms and then b) find long-term solutions which often need to be at least partially natural so as to 'do no harm'. If some meds need to be part of that picture for your Dane going forward, so be it. Most important is to keep him healthy, happy and strong for the longest amount of time you can. We HAD to move our pup off of meds because they were doing more harm then good, far more so. With that, we still had to do it gradually to keep him safe. If the meds had been significantly helping with no serious side effects, I may have considered keeping him on them along with supplements but that was not what was happening.

So, you have a bit of a process in front of you but I know you will find the right solutions for him. Just please don't mix HH with meds if you have been outright cautioned against doing so by the product maker. Better to be safe than sorry when it comes to our sweet animal friends' lives, I know you agree.

Replied by Marilyn
Pembroke Pines, Fl
06/11/2012

Yogi, is 1/2 st bernard 1/2 golden retriever, 9 yrs old. As a result of elective surgery gone bad he developed seizures which he is taking phenabarbital. 30 mg. 1 1/2 in pm. Helping. From onset of seizures causing anxiety vet told me he has enlarged heart. Beats so fast his chest beating with it. Dr. not familar with heart. Not taking meds for that. Afraid he will have heart attack!!! Comes to us when this starts to happen, drooling all over himself. Please help. Been to so many drs. Can't afford anymore.

Replied by Nh Gardener
Sanbornton, Nh, Usa
06/18/2012

For Marilyn from Pembroke Pines, FL for dog Yogi--Please give him food grade diatomaceous earth (DE) in his food dampened with raw apple cider vinegar, starting with 1 tsp. DE once a day, increasing gradually to heaping tsp. 2 X/day. Also add gently melted coconut oil to his food, starting with 1 tsp. Once a day, increasing gradually to 2 or 3 tsps. 2 X/day. I've seen testimonials that seizures have decreased or disappeared with both these supplements. His heart racing may normalize with the ACV. Also give him 1 kelp tablet, crushed, in his food, said to strengthen heart. One site that sells DE has esp. Good human and pet testimonials. Check Coconut Research Center.org for seizure info. Bach Flower Remedies may help racing heart also. All good wishes for dear Yogi.

Replied by Suji
Cochin, Kerala, India
10/01/2012

Katie from Newport, is there anyway to communicate with you directly by phone?

My dog has been diagnosed with weak heart beat and fluid retention. When we tried lasilactone he got too exhausted. I started him on homeopathy, he already gets magnesium, I have bought the l-carnitine from NOW and ubiquinol, scared to start and scared to not start, please I need your help and advise. He is 9 years old, spitz, has been on magnesium and enalapril 2.5 1/2 tab twice a day for over a year now. Please help.

Replied by Suji
Kochi, India
10/04/2012

Katie from Northport, please can you email me. I would like to get in touch with you to discuss my dog's supplements. Why did you stop the first set of supplements? Did you not get the desired results. Please help.

Replied by Katie
Northport, Ny
10/27/2012

Suji, I just noticed your post today. You placed your post under someone else's post, not mine, which is why I didn't see it. The reason I stopped the magnesium, carnitine, ribose and CoQ-10 was because I started to worry that it might have stopped working for my dog. I kept my dog on these supplements for a year and my dog was examined by 2 cardiologists in that time and they both confirmed that he had no murmur. However on the last visit, the third cardiologist told me he had a grade 1 murmur. This really concerned me --- so I started to research more and found out that taking "isolated" supplements such as the above can cause imbalances in the body. I found out that calcium is equally necessary to the heart (along with magnesium and many other nutrients, including omega 3s), but that they must be in balance with each other and in a form that the body can utilize. Too much calcium can cause a magnesium imbalance and too much magnesium can cause a calcium imbalance, etc. These minerals and vitamins must also come along with all their cofactors, enzymes and other things that appear naturally in nature in order to really work.

I also noticed that my dog appeared to start having some bone issues. I wondered if I was creating a calcium deficiency in him, by giving him the magnesium. Now the bone issues may be completely unrelated and just purely coincidental..... I just don't know. But, that was enough for me... I felt that I needed to look into this a little further and that's when I started him on the phytonutrients.

You mentioned homeopathy and I'd like to tell you my experience with it with my now deceased dog. I consulted with a vet who I believed was also knowledgeable homeopath and she recommended remedies for him, which I gave to him (away from meds) but they did not work. I now know the reason they did not work -- and a true homeopath will tell you this --- is because the drugs are so strong that they will cancel out the effects of the homeopathy.

Unfortunately, I realized this too late because I trusted this doctor. I have since found out that this vet was not an accredited classical homeopath and did not have the in-depth training and knowledge and experience with homeopathy - rather, I believe she only took a weekend course and claimed to be one.

Thankfully I have found a "real" classical homeopath who is wonderful and I use him for many things (mostly short term illnesses and other problems) --- but I WILL NOT use him for my dog's heart problem. I have learned that you MUST address the underlying nutritional problems in any longstanding chronic condition first. If you don't, I believe you will not get the results you are looking for. This is why he is on the phytonutrients.

You asked if there is a way that we can speak directly but that would require that we would have to post our email addresses here -- and I'm not sure that I am comfortable with that.

Replied by Sara
Newbury Park, Ca
05/03/2013

Hi Katie! I have just read all of your posts on supplements and feel that the Universe brought me to this site after hours of crying and pleading! I have three Chihuahuas (my babies) since they were pups and are now 6 years old. Candy (the brightest and most inquisitive) was diagnosed with a grade 2 heart murmur 2 years ago. The vet put her on 1/4 pill of Enalapril twice a day and she had been doing fine. A couple of weeks ago I noticed that her heart was beating unusually hard (I could hear it from a few feet away) and sometimes feels sluggish in the mornings with a lack of appetite. No other symptoms yet thank God. I took her back to the vet today and she says that the murmur has escalated to a grade 5. She recommended a cardiologist. We have an appointment next Tuesday. I switched my dogs' diet to raw a couple of years ago and have been giving them Dr. Becker's supplements (digestive enzymes, probiotics, Krill oil, Spirulina, Ubiquinol) as well as bone meal, glands powder and coconut oil.

I am devastated about my baby's prognosis, as the vet says her condition will get worse, her heart is working very hard and there is no surgery or cure. She is 6, beautiful, smart, funny and a great loving doggy! I refuse to think that there is nothing that I can do for her. I am so sad and helpless. Candy is only 5 pounds and I don't know if some of the supplements will benefit her or what dosage I should use. I beg you to please help me come up with a good alternative option for her. I don't care if I have to go to the end of the world and back, if it means a long, happy and healthy life for her. Thank you so much!!!

Replied by Katie
Northport, Ny
05/04/2013

Sara, Do not give up hope on your dog. I would start your dog on the Cardio-Plus and the Canine Whole Body Support immediately. I would give these supplements away from the Enalapril. (Note: Do not stop the Enalapril immediately - your dog will need to be slowly weaned off of it once her heart starts to get stronger. Stopping this drug immediately can cause a setback. ) I would recommend that you stop all of the other supplements though- and I don't even think that the ubiquinol is necessary as the Cardio-Plus contains about 25 mg. of natural CoQ10 per tab.

The Cardio-Plus and the Canine Whole Body Support are the only supplements that my dog is currently on. And, as you will see from my previous posts, my dog's heart is strong now and is pumping at 100% - and his heart shrunk back to the size of a what a normal, healthy Cavalier should be. The reason why my dog still has a murmur right now is only because his valves are still a little leaky, but my vet feels that they will also improve, if not heal themselves too, in the near future. I am planning another echo at the end of the summer.

As far as dosages go, I would probably recommend 2 to 4 tabs a day of the Cardio-Plus, at least initially (because of the severity of your dog's heart issue). If possible, I would try to give the Cardio-Plus throughout the day (away from the Enalapril, though) in order to keep the nutrition consistently in his system. Then, as the heart improves, I would probably cut back to 2 tabs a day. The Canine Whole Body Support is dosed by weight, so for a 10 lb. dog the dosage would be 1/8 tsp once a day.

I would also recommend that you find a good holistic vet who can help work with you and monitor your dog and his progress and then help you get him safely off the Enalapril as her heart starts to improve.

Replied by Sara
Newbury Park, California
05/04/2013

Thank you Katie for your concerned and quick response. You are definitely an angel from Heaven! I will order these supplements today and start her on them. When you say "away from the Enalapril", do you mean I should administer them at a different time of day? I give her the Enalapril with each meal (am/pm) so as to not upset her stomach. Is it ok to give her the Standard Process supplements on an empty stomach?

During our visit to the Cardiologist next Tuesday, I am sure that he will want to put her on additional meds (some I have heard from your followers are Vetmedin, Benazeprill and Furosemide). Shoud I refuse?

Katie, you have no idea how much we appreciate your kindness, support and knowledge. It is people like you that makes me not give up on "two-legged animals."!!!!!

Replied by Katie
Northport, Ny
05/04/2013

Hi Sara, Yes, give the Cardio-Plus and the Canine Whole Body Support at a different time from your dog's meds so they don't compete. I would continue giving the Enalapril with his meals, and would give the Cardio-Plus and the Canine Whole Body Support at any other point during the day but, I would want to space them out. If you choose to give closer to mealtime, I would allow at 1 or 2 hours before a meal or 2 to 3 hours after a meal. Also, these phytonutrients don't need to be given with food.

Most likely, your vet is going to want to put your dog on additional meds (as they did with my dog). In my experience, I found that every time they added another drug, his heart issue became more dire and his heart continued to weaken further and faster. These drugs created all types of terrible problems with my dog. And, it ultimately became more and more complicated to try to wean my dog off of his meds after being on so many of them (he was on 6 or 7 meds in the end). So, my advice would be to try to keep him off the additional meds, if possible, and give these supplements a chance to start working. However, if it's unavoidable, try to get her off of them ASAP, once the heart strengthens.

By the way, you might also want to keep some magnesium on hand (only in the beginning though). Once, when my dog was very sick, his heart was beating out of his chest and I was rushing him to the cardiologist. Before I left the house I gave him a small spoonful of the liquid magnesium, and in less than 5 minutes his heartbeat returned to normal again. Now, I wouldn't recommend the magnesium long term (or as a regular supplement anymore) because it is an "isolated" supplement --- but you might want to keep some on hand just in case of an emergency.

Replied by Sara
Newbury Park, Ca
05/06/2013

Got it! Thanks Katie! I will post an update as soon as Candy and I visit the cardiologist tomorrow. Please everyone, keep her in your prayers!

Replied by Sara
Newbury Park, California
05/07/2013

Hi Katie. Candy and I are back from the Cardiologist. $1000 later, she has been diagnosed with Myxomatous Mitral and Triscuspid Valve Degeneration. Left atrial and ventricular dialation. Mild left-sided congestive heart failure. She said the condition is moderate and that the prognosis is 1 to 2 years. They performed an echo, electro and blood panel and prescribed Lasix and Vetmedin (which I bought). She wants to see her again in a week to determine if her body is accepting the meds with more lab work and another electro.

Katie, I am so confused! Candy seems to be doing better and only coughing a little bit at night. Her heart beat is still elevated and very loud but other than that her appetite is good and so is her energy level.

Should I start her on the meds (I know you hate Vetmedin and I did read about it) or should I not? I have order the supplements (the isolated as well as the Standard Process ones) but have not received them yet. So far I have spent over $1500. When the supplements arrive and I get her on them, how will I know if she gets better that it was the supplements and not the meds or the other way around?And if I don't start her on the meds, what if she gets worse? I very much want to do what is best for Candy and I don't know what that is. I am heartbroken, nervous and very confused.

I would really appreciate your input! Please help me!!!!!

Replied by Katie
Northport, Ny
05/07/2013

Hi Sara, Did the cardiologist mention if Candy's heart is enlarged (cardiomegaly), and if so, did he mention if is it mild, moderate or severe? Or if she had any fluid in her lungs? Or, if she has any pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the lungs)? Also, do you know what her heart rate is? Did he mention what grade her murmur was -- or anything about her mitral regurgitation? (Murmurs are graded from 1-6 and regurgitation is graded from is 0-4. ) Also, what were the recommended dosages of each of her meds?

Also, when do you expect to receive the SP supplements?

Replied by Sara
Newbury Park, California
05/08/2013

Hi Katie, I feel like I did not ask the right questions. She did say that her heart was enlarged but only the left side and moderately. She did have fluid in her lungs (thus the Lasix) but she did not mention heart rate or pulmonary hypertension. She explained that the top part of her left valve is not closing properly any more. The murmur is a grade 5 but do not know the regurgitation grade. I am expecting the supplements around the 14th. I just measured her heart rate myself and counted 67 beats per minute (very loud beating). What do you think?

Her medications are: Enalapril 2. 5 mg. - 1/4 tablet twice a day. Lasix 12. 5 mg. 1/2 tablet twice a day and Vetmedin 1. 25 mg. 1/2 tablet twice a day. She has been taking the Enalapril for two years now.

Replied by Deborah
Chino Valley, Az
05/23/2013

Hi all, Just wanted to send an update our our Mocha. I had originally posted about him in January of 2012; we were in the process of bringing him back from a very difficult experience of heart-related 'seizure-like' episodes and I wrote at that time to share what we found to be working for him in terms of supplements.

Mocha is still with us (yay!) and doing well. As with any healing, it has been a journey. He did really well on the previous supplement schedule for some time, however he is in his later years and like any body - animal or human - it has its ups and downs. But dramatic decrease in the episodes we were so afraid would take his life. And after having so many of them, we were afraid he would not come all the way back.

He has recovered so well, and we continue to 'tweak' his supplements as Katie from Northport mentioned doing herself over time and with research. We also were blessed to have a wonderful holistic veterinarian move to our area so that we didn't have to figure so much out on our own.

Mocha is currently on:

1. Canine Cardiac Support by Standard Process. Great product, can't say enough about it.

2. CoQ10 for pets by Rx Vitamins - this is created exclusively for pets

3. Forti Flora by Purina - A probiotic supplement for dogs, and I believe they have a version for cats.

4. A Chinese herbal formula called Ding Xian Wan by Jing Tang to balance the liver, which in Chinese Medicine is responsible in part for keeping the heart balanced. This was very interesting to me, as Mocha had a long history of liver imbalance before his heart symptoms ever showed up.

5. CAS Options by Resources - this is an immune and antioxidant support.

All supplements were provided by our holistic vet, who also determined doses for our 9 lb boy.

We also give him 1 tsp of organic sweet potato baby food (great for easing constipation - also associated with the liver) and 1 tsp of fresh wheatgrass per meal which has really improved him overall. A bit of 'live food' in his baked chicken or white fish has made a lovely difference.

In his case, he did not do well on raw foods but as we've learned, there is no 'one size fits all' for people or for pets. This combination has been working beautifully for him and we are deeply grateful that he is here with us and has quality of life. He was, unfortunately, a 'puppy mill' puppy - something we weren't aware of until years later and with that, did not come from a healthy background. Health issues have surfaced throughout his life despite us giving the best care we could at the time, and in this way, his little body has been a great teacher to us.

Hope a bit of what we all have learned and shared here with one another continues to help other dear pets out there.

Best wishes, Deborah

Replied by Brenda
Las Vegas
07/29/2013

Hi Katie, I bought the angstrom magnesium. It says on the bottle derived from magnesium chloride when I recieved it in the mail today. Mag chloride from my research is in ice melt products and I dont think is safe for dogs? Is this the same product you are using for your dog? please let me know. I dont want to give the angstrom mag if it will hurt my dog.

Replied by Phillip
Olympia, Wa
08/17/2013

I have a 9 year old Jack Russell that has a level 3 murmer and I need help on what supplements may work. I wanted to know how your dog has done on Dr. West protocal? Can you share any insight? Thank you. Phillip

Replied by Katie
Northport, NY
08/18/2013

Brenda, I just noticed your question regarding the angstrom magnesium today. The angstrom magnesium I purchased was from angstrom-mineral.com and I just checked the label but it doesn't mention anything about it being made by magnesium chloride, so I'm wondering if you have the same product as me? FYI, I did give the angstrom magnesium safely to my dog for close to a year, before I switched him over to a whole food supplement protocol.

This is just a general FYI for any readers considering using magnesium therapy. Magnesium therapy should not be used if your animal has kidney failure. With kidney failure there is an inability to clear magnesium from the kidneys.

Replied by Phillip
Olympia
08/18/2013

What is the whole food supplement protocol? Please help. Any link to what you bought?

Replied by Shannon
Houston
08/19/2013

I found the ingredients for the two products mentioned in the blogs. I was trying to understand the difference between Cardio-Plus and Canine Cardiac Support. Both appear to have a lot of the same ingredients with a few differences:

Canine Cardiac Support:

Ingredients

L-carnitine, bovine liver, bovine heart PMGTM extract, rice bran, bovine kidney, bovine and ovine spleen, bovine orchic extract, beet root, defatted wheat germ, buckwheat leaf juice and seed, high selenium yeast, ribonucleic acid, wheat germ oil, bovine pancreas CytosolTM extract, veal bone PMGTM extract, alfalfa juice, mushroom, calcium lactate, Crataegus oxyacantha, nutritional yeast, carrot, pea vine juice, Tillandsia usneoides, para-aminobenzoate, chlorophyll extract, inositol, choline bitartrate, oat flour, and porcine brain.

Cardio-Plus:

Proprietary Blend: 650 mg Bovine heart PMGTM extract, bovine liver, choline bitartrate, calcium lactate, porcine stomach, bovine orchic extract, Tillandsia usneoides, defatted wheat (germ), para-aminobenzoate, nutritional yeast, allantoin, inositol, bovine spleen, ovine spleen, porcine brain, oat flour, and bovine adrenal CytosolTM extract.

Replied by Shannon
Houston
08/19/2013

I need some clarification on something. The blogs mention Canine Cardiac Support by Standard Process and Cardio-Plus (also by Standard Process?) What is the difference between these two products? I have the Canine Cardiac Support which is a powder which I put in my dog's food. The Cardio-Plus are tablets. What is the difference between the two?

Replied by Katie
Northport, Ny
08/21/2013

Shannon: I don't know the difference between the two supplements, sorry. I know a lot of the ingredients look the same but it could be in the formulation or the amounts used that make the difference in the product. I do know that Cardio-Plus is a combination of four SP products – Cardiotrophin PMG, Cataplex G, Cataplex C and Cataplex E2 and that it was formulated by the founder of Standard Process about 50 years ago so it has a long track record. It's also one of the main supplements that Dr. West uses with his human heart patients, so I stick with it for that reason. Also, my vet seems to prefer it, but he usually gives it in combination with other supplements based on a patient's need.

I noticed on the Standard Process website that they recommend that Canine Cardiac Support be given along with Cardiotrophin PMG and Canine Whole Body Support as part of a balanced protocol for animals with heart conditions.

Replied by Brenda
Las Vegas
10/05/2013

Ok, I bought mine from angstrom as well. Its the only magnesium supplement I believe on their website so I thought I got the right one? Under the information label their is a small asteric and it says derived from magnesium chloride.

Replied by Katie
Northport, Ny
10/06/2013

When I was first started looking into the use of magnesium for my dog, I turned to Dr. Carolyn Dean's books for direction on this subject. She is both a medical doctor, a naturopath, a homeopath and a clinical nutritionist. She is also a bit of an expert on this subject and well versed in its use for various health conditions and for overall general health.

I do (and did) trust the recommendations made by this doctor. As mentioned, I did give the Angstrom magnesium to my dog safely for over a year. If Angstrom magnesium is made from magnesium chloride, it obviously had no detrimental effect on my dog – and I have no concern with it. In Dr. Dean's book she mentions the use of magnesium chloride supplements as one form of magnesium which is used for various health concerns. Her preference however is for angstrom-sized magnesium which are much more absorbable, such as angstrom magnesium. I believe these angstrom-sized minerals are able to bypass the digestive system and be absorbed immediately by the cells. Thus, you will not have the laxative effects you might see with other forms of magnesium.

I did a quick google search and have attached an article by Dr. Dean in which she discusses magnesium with a reader. You'll see that the reader himself is using magnesium chloride supplements. She also mentions at the end of the article her preference for Angstrom magnesium. http://www.naturalnews.com/z031387_magnesium_cures.html

Hope this helps.

Replied by Lisac107
Port St. Lucie, Usa, Usa
10/18/2013

Hello, I have a 14 1/2 year old Pekingnese that has a 5-6 grade murmur. I have not taken him to a cardiologist due to not being able to afford it but I have taken him to the vet who does some holistic.

I gave him the Canine Cardio Support and Bio Cardio, both in small amounts at different times and each time, it made him cough where he wasn't normally coughing. I stopped the supplements and now, am wondering what I can give him to support his heart and help him feel better.

He faints at times, the last day, after feeding him 1/3 of a hot dog which I don't usually do, he has been coughing and fainted a few times. His diet is usually an organic chicken that I boil and give him that with the broth and Wysong dog food.

I think he may have some fluid retention but it seems like when I give him anything, he doesn't do well. I don't want to just do nothing, does anyone have any suggestions as to why the cardio supplements would make him worse or what I could with food maybe?

I am trying to figure this out and I only want him to feel better.

Thank you in advance,

Lisa

Replied by Katie
Northport
10/19/2013

Lisa,

It is difficult to know what might be causing the coughing and fainting spells your dog is experiencing without having a full cardiac exam. It's possible that he may have an enlarged heart, like my own dog did, which is pressing on his trachea and causing the cough. I don't know why the food or supplements would bring on a cough though.

My (deceased) dog also started experiencing fainting spells when the cardiologist increased his meds. He would start having what appeared to be seizures with loss of awareness and stiffened limbs. I was told this is called “syncope”. Once the the new “offending” med(s) was removed, howevdr, the episodes stopped.

Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn
10/19/2013

Hey Lisa!

I have limited experience with grade 5/6 heart murmurs but I hope this is helpful.

I agree with Katie; without knowing more- *why* the heart murmur is present - makes recommending any treatment option difficult.

That said, nutritional support is important and must consist of a low sodium diet to help lessen fluid retention. Some heart conditions can be attributed to vitamin deficiencies, such as L-carnitine, Taurine, Coenzyme Q, and Omega-3 fatty acids. Your veterinarian may be able to guide you in what supplement may apply to your dog, and assist in recommending a low sodium diet.

I have lost all my dogs at 9 or 10 or 12; to have a 14-1/2 year old senior is amazing, and a testament to your good care.

Replied by Sasho
Bg
10/21/2013

Katie,

I have a dog with enlarged heart, doctors said his hearts Is beating with very high rate. They said that dog has dilated cardiomyopathy and prescribed Furosemide (Furantril), Enalapril and Vetmedin (Pimobendan)

I don't want to give chemical products.

would you please recommend alternative treatment? Can you please contact me at sashonk at yahoo dot com. Regards

Replied by Lisac107
Port St. Lucie, Usa
10/21/2013

Hello Katie and Theresa,

Thank you for your replies. I took him to the vet, he said there was a small amount of fluid on the right side and gave me Lasix to give him. I will give him a small amount mainly because he said there wasn't much change since the last time he saw him in July.

My dog is sensitive to most things, I have been giving him CQ10 the last two days, about 30 mg in two divided doses of 15 each, he weighs about 14 lbs.

I know without the cardio visit it is difficult to suggest anything, I just don't know why he seems to get worse with the supplements that are designed to help.

The vet was the one that suggested Cardio Support and then Bio Cardio, both made him cough when he hadn't been.

He still isn't back to where he was before I gave him the hot dog, I am afraid to give him the Lasix and anything at this point.

I'll keep him on the CQ10 if he is okay on it, I would like to give him one of the other supplements for the heart support, just don't want him to get worse.

Other than organic boiled chicken, broth, carrots and Wysong, which is a dry food but if he doesn't eat it, his stools aren't formed well. Is there any other foods I can give him that would be of benefit?

Thank you again for your suggestions.

Sincerely, Lisa

Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn
10/22/2013

Hey Lisa!

Did the vet grade your peke's murmur? How bad was it?

In a grade 1-2, no sweat; you have time to poke around and see what works best in both western and alternative approaches.

In a grade 5-6, you likely are dealing with less than 6 months of time - perhaps with the right drugs up to 1 year. Very honestly in this situation the long term effects of diuretic drugs like Lasix won't be an issue.

The Lasix is a diuretic and its effective. It *should* help with the cough your boy is experiencing.

The loose stools could be diet, could be parasites, could be ?? - it would not hurt to read up on the Activated Charcoal in the discussions below. You can buy it most anywhere, and put it in your coffee grinder to get it to a powder form, and add one half teaspoon to your dog's food/roll it up in a ball of cheese, etc; this will help with any enteritis type viruses that may be present in his GI tract. Dose the AC a couple hours inbetween any other meds.

If this were my boy I would keep feeding a home diet of whatever he wants to eat, skipping the salt. If you boil the chicken at home, you can make your own low sodium broth. Fried egg sandwiches were always a big hit with my senior pit bulls, but at that age anything on my plate was theirs - ya know?

Replied by Shannon
Tx, Usa
10/22/2013

Could someone summarize what regime to put a dog on with a low number heart murmur? It seems that the suggestions are scattered throughout the various posts. I'm seeing magnesium, ribose, Canine Cardiac Support, Cardio-Plus, CoQ10, etc. Could someone put together a list and how much of each per 10 lb weight of the dog. I think that would be extremely helpful for those coming to this thread.

Replied by Lisac107
Port St. Lucie, Usa, Usa
10/22/2013

Hi Theresa,

I have been giving him CQ10 which seems to make him breath harder. I have not given him the Lasix, I would like to find a natural diuretic, I've read about a few homeopathic ones here as well.

After reading this page, the Lasix depletes the body of minerals just like it does in people, those minerals are essential for the body/heart. Pottassium being the one it depletes the most, I will be looking to get a natural one, adding spinach and sweet potatos to his diet and finding the best, "natural" CQ10 out there.

I appreciate your reply.

Sincerely,

Lisa

Replied by Sasho
Bg
10/23/2013

My dog has enlarged heart, high beating rate, problems with breathing. It Is diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy and prescribed Vetmedin, Enalapril and Furosemide I look for a natural herbs which can support heart and do the job Instead of the above pharmaceutical chemicals. Anyone experienced with caninehearthealth.com and their healing programs?

Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn
10/23/2013

Hey Lisa!

Please do share if you find successful natural diuretics. I've poked around for Sasho and the most promising homeopathic remedy appeared to be hawthorne - but I did not have time to delve in to all the potential remedies in the materia medica I linked in the reply to Sasho. The herbs that were suggested required brewing up teas and drinking large quantities, however herbal dandelion comes in capsule form and may prove helpful as a natural diuretic.

My experience with lasix and CHF is by proxy; my friend just lost a dog to this, and like many such cases the time from diagosis to loss of life was just under 4 months; there was no time for any side effects :-( There appears to be a great desire to use alternative diuretics to the lasix for canine congestive heart failure; one online vet when posed with the concern over side effects from lasix responded:

" Side effects of Lasix are minuscule compared to drowning in one's own fluids. Lasix is effective and well tolerated when dosed properly."

Gah. He did go on to say "Current trends for management of pulmonary edema due to CHF include reduced Lasix doses and using Spironolactone to give additional diuretic effect, while minimizing potassium loss."

I will continue to search for effective, natural diuretics and if you find something effective please share.

Thanks!

Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn
10/23/2013

Hey Sasho!

I took a peek at the website you linked - it looks like they have produced an effective product, going by the user reviews. I then saw an asterisk at the bottom and lost some of my enthusiasm for the product; the asterisk indicated that "*Testimonial results not typical; your results may vary." - and wouldn't you know it ALL the testimonies had asterisks by them.

I looked at the ingredients in the formulas; you can piecemeal your own formulas but you might end up spending just as much money putting together your own formula as their dearly priced preparations.

One single ingredient that appears promising and may prove helpful is homeopathic Crataegus oxyacantha. It is available in the pill form or a liquid tincture and must be used for a while for good results.

You might check out this online Materia Medica and see if there are remedies that resonate with you: http://www.homeoint.org/books/boericmm/

Check out these pages to read up more on dilated cardiomyopathy:

http://www.2ndchance.info/conghtfaildog.htm

http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/5_4/features/5443-1.html

[Read to bottom to see possible remedies]

Replied by Katie
Northport, Ny
10/23/2013

An excellent resource for learning more about homeopathic remedies that are helpful for heart disease is a book called "Dogs Homoeopathic Remedies", written by veterinary surgeon George MacLeod, DVM. There is a section in the book on treating cardiovascular diseases with remedies such as crataegus, adonis ver, among others and the indications for their use. There is also information on treating congestive heart failure and ascites (which is the accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity) and another section on treating pulmonary edema (which is the accumulation of fluid in the lungs). Note that the reason these fluids accumulate in the body is because the heart is weak and is unable to pump properly. However, once the heart is strengthened, it will start to pump properly and the accumulated fluids will then disburse and will no longer be a problem.

If it were me, and my dog was faced with a serious heart condition such as congestive heart failure or mild congestive heart failure (such as fluid in the lungs, a racing heart, or fluids in the abdomen), I would probably do the following:

(1) Nutrition. Give my dog the Standard Process protocol which I outlined previously so I could get the correct nutrition into him. This will help to strengthen and rebuild his heart. Once the heart gets the right nutrition, it will shrink back to its normal size.

(2) Edema. If my dog was suffering from any kind of edema, I would do what it takes to get rid of the fluid so that he could breathe easy and lay down comfortably. I would either consult with a homeopath for remedies to clear the fluids and ask for further guidance on remedies which will further help his heart's function. There are many remedies indicated for this purpose such as Crataegus Q, Lycopus, Adonis Ver and a number of others, but they really should be prescribed by a professional homeopath to be truly effective.

(3) Or, if my dog had bad edema I might just give the Lasix to him temporarily or for the short term until I could find another safer long-term alternative that works for him - or until my phytonutrients and homeopathy kick in and my dog's heart gets stronger. Note that if you're giving Lasix long term there is a huge loss of magnesium and potassium, among other nutrients. So, if you have to keep your dog on this for a while you might want to think about giving extra magnesium to offset the loss from the body. The long term use of Lasix also puts a terrible strain on the kidneys and will affect them negatively in the long term too. And if you choose not to do the Standard Process protocol (which is what I currently give to my dog), I would suggest that you research the heart protocol that Dr. Stephen Sinatra recommends to his heart patients. Not only does he recommend magnesium, ubiquinol, carnitine and ribose to his patients, but he says that they need to be taken with other vitamins to "round out" his protocol. He also recommends a good multi-vitamin.

(3) Ubiquinol. I would definately give additional ubiquinol to my dog if he had a serious heart problem. However, I would not use regular coQ10 or ubiquinone. Patients with end-stage heart failure do not absorb these standard types of CoQ10, but they do absorb the ubiquinol formulation.

(4) Ribose. I would also give my dog ribose, because it is indicated for severe heart conditions and congestive heart failure.

(5) Magnesium. I think I would also probably give with magnesium to see if it is helpful to my dog's condition.

(6) Hawthorne. If my homeopath didn't recommend the Crataegus homeopathic remedy for my dog (which is made from the hawthorne berry), I would give my dog Hawthorne (the herb) as a supplement. This is supposedly a very effective cardiac herb. You should know, however, that if you're taking digitalis and hawthorne, that your vet will likely need to lower the amount of digitalis. The reason being that the hawthorne does the work of digitalis so effectively that less digitalis is needed. If the vet isn't aware that the patient is taking hawthorne along with the digitalis, the patient might actually be overmedicated.

(6) Once the serious heart condition improves, I would slowly wean my dog off any drugs he might be on with the help of my vet. I would then take him off any of the isolated supplements mentioned above once he's ready, with the exception of any prescribed homeopathic remedies, ubiquinol, hawthorne and (of course) the SP products.

Replied by Sasho
Bulgaria
10/24/2013

Thank you Teresa for reply

I will see information you provided

unfortunately I started to give Hawthorn and Dandelion by Amber Tech http://ambertech.com/store/#! /~/product/category=1964585&id=8417024 and the next day dog condition worsense - there are difficult breathing almost all the time, gain at chest and abdomen

so I stop that supplement and started Furantril (Furosemide) and Enalapril

that was yesterday but today condition Is not better

so I have ordered Vetmedin (Pimobendan)

the above pharmaceutical drugs were prescribed month ago and I didn't supply them - dog condition was like Class 2 CHF and now Is like Class 3 - 4

I will need your help to start an additinal healing In combination with pharmaceutical drugs

BTW month and half ago dog undergo aa hirurgical treatment and was put on a Lidocayne - I guess that Is main reason to worsen heart

there Is another hope treating DCM - It Is oxygen therapy - you can read dr Terry Wood treatment at the beginning http://www.greatdanelady.com/articles/feed_program_for_heart_support.htm

also I have found that when curing human DCM It can be used MSM (don't know what Is) and chromium http://cardiomyopathy-heart-failure.pilliewillie.nl/treatment-heart-failure/treatment.cardiomyopathy.heart.failure.21.php

anyone experienced with either treatments

regards

Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn
10/24/2013

Hey Sasho!

I'm sorry to hear the upgrade to CHF 3-4.

This info is relevant:

"With failure of the right ventricle, fluid leaks into the abdomen, giving the belly a characteristic swelling or potbellied appearance (called ascites). This may be accompanied by swelling of the legs (dependent edema). An accumulation of fluid in the chest cavity (pleural effusion) also occurs with right-sided heart failure.

In the late stages of congestive heart failure the dog sits with his elbows spread and his head extended. Breathing is labored. The pulse is rapid, thready, and often irregular. The mucous membranes of the gums and tongue are bluish-gray and cool. A thrill may be felt over the chest. Fainting can occur with stress or exertion."

All drugs and remedies need *time* to work. The prescription meds you just started need time to work; if they do begin to work it may buy you more time to try the alternative therapies you are researching.

Bach Flower Rescue Energy may prove helpful here, and Rescue Remedy wouldn't be amiss for the BOTH of you during this stressful time.

Replied by Sasho
Bulgaria
10/25/2013

Katie and Theresa thank you for replys

that CHF classification Is based only on mine own perception

since 2 days on Renetec (Enalapril malaete) and Furantril (Furosemide) dog Is now better then what was before 2 days. The effect of diuretic Is that dog started to pee much much more - so I hope that gain at abdomen will be fixed somehow. I am waiting for Vetmedin to receive and will add It like doctors prescribed

Does anyone here got a Vetmedin experience

I also give Cardiovet - polish product to support heart http://www.vetexpert.pl/bg/pets-bg/pets-products-bg/cardiovet

I also give Bomazeal Sinior - a great natural supplyment - I can recommend It - I use It from more than year because of a neurological deficiency

One big concern Is that dog lost apethite when I started drugs - I need to know how I can feed dog as I know that theese drugs are dangerous for kidney and liver at least

What would you advise to add to the above mentioned to compensate vital minerals extraction caused by diuretic

I am thinking also about some kind of Vitamine B complex - natural form Is best but do not know which product

Later I plan to start buying Standard Process products recommended by Katie and used from dr West http://www.healthalert.com/default.aspx

anyone subscribed for his newsletter

Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn
10/25/2013

Hey Sasho!

I think with the cocktail of drugs and supplements you are giving your dog, you really need a veterinarian's imput - particularly so with the side effects of loss of appetite and the concern over liver and kidney damage.

That said....

Feed your dog whatever he wants to eat. Keeping a low sodium requirement, many canned products for seniors may fit the bill but do read labels on all prepared diets for sodium levels. Check these out for help on low sodium kibbles and treats:

http://www.vermontveterinarycardiology.com/index.php/for-clients/feeding-the-cardiac-patient

http://vet.tufts.edu/heartsmart/resources/reduced_sodium_diet_for_dogs.pdf

http://vet.tufts.edu/heartsmart/resources/treats_for_dogs_with_heart_disease.pdf

A few of mine have loved fried egg sandwiches with runny yolks; sometimes we just skipped the bread and they had eggs over easy. Another loved canned cat food; given that her remaining time was very limited she got all the cheap, sugar laden, crappy canned cat food she wanted. I don't know the age of your dog, but feeding mine 'junk food' in the form of cheap cat food certainly wasn't going to kill her before her medical conditions took her out and at least she was eating and feeling comfortable; with end stage disease sometimes all you can do is make them comfortable. Home made diets have always been a big hit with mine also; if you go home made consider supplementing with the supplements Katie has outlined in related posts to Lisa. Also consider tempting him with raw, ground sirloin or hamburger or raw ground chicken; for some of mine it was all they would eat in the end. So find out what your dog will eat, and feed it.

If you are concerned over water intake try making a low sodium broth, or a sweet water with a few drops of honey; if your dog isn't willing to drink then use a syringe and tip his head back and slowly ease the liquid into his mouth. Start a diary and keep track of water intake and food consumption so you know for certain just how much he is eating and drinking.

I am glad to hear the pharmaceuticals are working; fingers crossed that you can gain enough ground to wean him onto the more wholistic and natural approaches to treatment that you desire!

Replied by Sasho
Bulgaria
10/27/2013

Thank you very much for reply Teresa. You have provided great resources

I appreciate very much your support I tried once again to give a dose of Amber Tech Hawthorne and Dandelion and result once more was very fast breathing for few hours.

I am very curious Is anyone have an experience with mentioned product?

Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn
10/27/2013

Hey Sasho!

Homeopathic hawthorn is 'Crataegus Oxyacantha'; homeopathic dandelion is 'Taraxacum officinale': please read up on these remedies here: http://www.homeoint.org/books/boericmm/index.htm

While you are using a tinc rather than the homeopathic sugar pills I think the homeopathic indications still apply. From what I have read in both reviewing your boy's symptoms [right side affected] and the crataegus [applicable for left side] it doesn't appear to be the correct remedy. Same for the dandelion/taraxacum. As Katie advised, its best to use a trained homeopath- and in an ideal world we all would. But sometimes the 'cook book' approach to homeopathy - pairing general symptoms to general remedies - does provide a direct hit, and when homeopathy works, it tends to be evident rather quickly. [And that said the materia medica info indicated the hawthorn must be used for some time for results - and it would seem you do not have the luxury of time at present.]

So, it sounds like the Ambertech product is a miss - a shame, because they do make great products.

Are you continuing with the pharmaceuticals? If so what results are you seeing?

How old is your boy? Have you been back to the vet since the first diagnosis 6 weeks or so ago?

Thanks!

Replied by Sasho
Bulgaria
10/28/2013

Hi Theresa,

dog Is 10 yr - 2 months

The main problem Is enlarged heart which can not pump effectively

month ago - the last time I have been to vet for a relatively light surgery of other disease the pulse was very high - doctors said 220 - one of the reasons Is that he Is very emotional

that was where heart disease were finded - but because surgery dog was under local anasthesia when cardio examine was done - don't know If that might change something

from all of the prescribed pharmaceutical drugs - Enalapril, Furosemide, Vetmedin I am giving only light doses from Enalapril and Furosemide and I had to started because of the worsened condition after giving Hawthorne and Dandelion by Amber Tech

I am very scared to start with Vetmedin - If I do that I am scared that there Is no way of turning back

prior to that I have not given any meds because dog condition was relatevely good and stable

At Hawthorne and Dandelion brochure Is writed that there might be breathing problems because It containes Ethyle Alcohole

I have read description from http://www.homeoint.org/books/boericmm/index.htm and I think that Hawthorne - Crataegus Oxyacantha Is one of the supplements I need because It lower blood pressure and lower pulse - Enalapril equivalent

Dandelion must have diuretical function from what I know - Furosemide equivalent

I have noticed that when I supply a fresh air at room or when outside dog condition Is bettered

I have to find a way to supply an oxygen to his body, one of the options Is OTT Therapy http://www.firstchoicenaturals.com/Index/showroom.php?pid=122 but I am scared If I can mix two components or that there might be side effects

I am searching now trying to find other suppliments - like Vitamine B complex and etc which might energized heart and higher oxygen flow

I plan also to add D ribose, Magnesium, Calcium, Vitamine D and Calamari - fish oil.

Replied by Sasho
Bulgaria
10/28/2013

Look here about Hawthorn http://www.zhion.com/hawthorn.html

It has all the effects I look for - that Is why I bought Amber Tech suppliment

may be I have to find other brand which contains other than powder - to exclude Ethyle Alcohole

Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn
10/28/2013

Hey Sasho!

I think you need to go with your gut; if you feel the hawthorn is indicated, then you should pursue it.

I think you are on the right track with the nutritional supplements.

I am worried over your 'light' use of the pharmaceuticals; dabbling in dosing without the supervision and feedback of your veterinarian just raises red flags all over the place for me. But I again encourage you to go with your gut; you see your dog in real time, and I am only reading your interpretations of his condition on my screen and sometimes the written word fails to describe exactly what is going on: a picture paints a thousand words, yes? So again, you need to do what you feel is right.

The OTT offered by First Choice Naturals looks promising; rather than worry and speculate on side effects for mixing treatments, why don't you give FCN a call? They offer telephone consulting: Nutritional Consultations - 1-877-343-0724

Please keep us updated on your boy!

Replied by Sasho
Bulgaria
10/28/2013

Hi Theresa,

Cratageus is included In Canine Cardio Support by Standard Process also. Too bad they do not ship outside US

Replied by Katie
Northport, Ny
10/28/2013

Thought I would post the following info here. This was taken from the cavalierhealth.org website. Note their recommendation that these supplements only be prescribed by a holistically trained vet.

--- natural alternative diuretics

Natural diuretics include urea (AC Carbamide) by Standard Process, and Wu Ling San by Mayway and Alisma by Seven Forests, both traditional Chinese herbal medicines (TCM). Other Chinese herbal alternatives include Salvia Shou Wu, a Seven Forests patented supplement which consists of Salvia extract, and several other herbs and flowers. Holistic supplements should be taken only if prescribed by a licensed veterinarian who also is holistically trained in TCM. A search webpage for finding holistic veterinarians in the United States is located here.

-- natural alternatives to ACE-inhibitors

A natural supplement as an alternative to ACE-inhibitors is a combination of active fish petides, including LKPNM, from the bonito fish (Sarda orientalis), such as Vasotensin, manufactured by Metagenics, Inc., and PeptACE by Natural Factors. Holistic supplements should be taken only if prescribed by a licensed veterinarian who also is holistically trained in TCM. A search webpage for finding holistic veterinarians in the United States is located here.

Other Chinese herbal alternatives include Salvia Shou Wu, a Seven Forests patented supplement which consists of Salvia extract, and several other herbs and flowers. Salvia Shou Wu encourages blood circulation.

--- natural alternatives

In addition to the natural alternatives to diuretics and ACE inhibitors and arteriolardilators described above, natural supplements which may help to strengthen and energize the heart of a dog with severe MVD include D-Ribose (Corvalen Ribose or Pure Encapsulations Ribose), also known as alpha-D-ribofuranoside, which reportedly improves ventilatory efficiency in patients with congestive heart failure (CHF). See this 2004 report and this 2009 report. It also reportedly boosts the energy level of heart muscle cells, improving cardiovascular function and the flow of blood. Holistic supplements should be taken only if prescribed by a licensed veterinarian who also is holistically trained in TCM. A search webpage for finding holistic veterinarians in the United States is located here.

A good general health supplement for older dogs in congestive heart failure is N, N-Dimethylglycine (DMG). Vetri-DMG is a pure DMG product offered by Vetri-Science Laboratories of Vermont (www.vetriscience.com). DMG is said to support the immune system, promote oxygen utilization, improve cardiovascular function, support liver function, and support ocular health.

Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn
10/29/2013

Hey Sasho! Standard Process products are only available through veterinarians and doctors. Have you tried your vet? Perhaps your veterinarian can obtain the cardiac support for you.

Replied by Sasho
Bulgaria
10/30/2013

Thank you for reply Theresa.

I live outside US and Its difficult to get Standard Process products

Replied by Sasho
Bulgaria
11/01/2013

Anybody know what Is normal dog blood pressure and heart beat rate and how can I measure both?

Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn
11/01/2013

Hey Sasho!

The easiest way to check the blood pressure of your dog would be to see your vet - simply because they are trained and will have all the necessary equipment. That said...

You will need a stethoscope and a blood pressure cuff; in the US these can be obtained local drug stores starting under $20.00.

The average or 'normal' blood pressure varies by breed:

Breed

Systolic Pressure (mmHg)

Diastolic Pressure (mmHg)

Pulse Rate

Labrador Retriever

118?17

66 ? 13

99 ? 19

Golden Retriever

122 ?14

70 ?11

95 ? 15

Great Pyrenees

120 ? 16

66 ? 6

95 ? 15

Yorkshire Terrier

121 ? 12

69 ? 13

120 ? 14

West Highland

126 ? 6

83 ? 7

112 ? 13

Border Collie

131 ? 14

75 ? 12

101 ? 21

King Charles Spaniel

131 ? 16

72 ?14

124 ? 24

German Shepherd

132 ? 13

75 ?10

108 ? 23

Terrier

136 ? 16

76 ?12

104 ? 16

Bullterrier

134 ? 12

77 ?17

122 ? 6

Chihuahua

134 ? 9

84 ? 12

109 ? 12

Miniature Breeds

136 ? 13

74 ? 17

117 ? 13

Pomeranian

136 ? 12

76 ? 13

131 ? 14

Beagle

140 ? 15

79 ? 13

104 ? 16

Dachshund

142 ? 10

85 ? 15

98 ? 17

Saluki

143 + 16

88 ? 10

98 ? 22

Greyhound

149 ?20

87 ? 16

114 ? 28

Pointer

145 ? 17

83 ? 15

102 ? 14

The normal values for dogs are breed-specific. Those for Golden Retrievers, Labradors and giant breeds tend to be lower than the overall average, and those for greyhounds and in general racing hounds tend to be higher. The “average” varies by the source – some indicate normal dog values are about 112 systolic and about 75 diastolic and others indicate the average canine blood pressure is 133/75. So use the chart and look up the breed [or perhaps size] of your dog and do some figuring.

Blood pressure is often measured in pets in the same manner as in humans. An inflatable cuff will be placed on the dog's paw or tail, and standard blood pressure measuring instruments will check the pressure. It is important to keep the dog still long enough to get an accurate reading.

The standards for dog blood pressure are:

  • 150/95 – at this reading or below, there is minimal risk and treatment is not recommended
  • 150/99 to 159/95 -- intervention is rotuinely not recommended at these readings
  • 160/119 to 179/100 -- treatment should be sought to limit the risk of organ damage
  • 180/120 -- immediate treatment should be sought to limit the degree of other more severe complications

Five to seven measurements are generally taken. The first measurement will be discarded, and the dog's excitement level during the procedure will be taken in account. If the results are in dispute, the procedure will need to be repeated.

For the procedure or “how to” it's easier for you to view the link than for me to post the entire article here.

Procedure: http://www.petplace.com/dogs/blood-pressure-in-dogs/page1.aspx

Replied by Lisac107
Port St. Lucie, Usa, Usa
11/01/2013

Hello,

I started giving my dog Ubiquinol, about 15 mg, he is 14 lbs, is that the right dose?

I have been very busy with family issues, my Mom went in the hospital, I am driving back tomorrow, 18 hours straight and taking my dog with me. I want to get him on the right supplements and doses but don't have a vet to work with. The one I took him to says he is holistic but just gave me the Lasix which I am giving him 1/2 a pill either once or twice a day which helps but, I don't want it to deplete his minerals.

There is an "isolated mineral" supplement that is mentioned but not the manufacturer, could someone tell me which one to get, please?

I make him organic chicken broth and chicken, I add spinach and carrots to the broth, tried to feed him sweet potato but that didn't go over well.

I will try giving him the Cardio Support again but I stopped last time because two days into giving it to him, he was coughing bad when he hadn't before. I know they say a supplement shouldn't do that but if he is allergice to one thing in it, I don't know.

Also, what brand of Ubiquinol is best? I saw one from Swanson's that is water soluable.

I will be checking this board even when I am back in Ohio for a week.

Thank you in advance! Sincerely, Lisa

Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn
11/01/2013

Hey Lisa!

The dosage for Ubiquinol on the site sourced below is as follows:

"According to Karen Becker DVM, a good heart healthy maintenance dose is:

About 10 mg per day per 10 lbs of body weight
(for small dogs and cats you can cut the capsule, put a drop or two in food and take the balance of the capsule yourself so you don't waste it)"

Interestingly enough, if you follow the link to her article on a test for canine heart disease she states the dosage as follows:

"CoQ10 supplements come in two forms: Ubiquinone and Ubiqunol. Ubiquinol is a reduced form of CoQ10 and is the supplement I recommend for my dog and cat patients. A good heart-healthy maintenance dose is:

  • 50 mg per day for cats and small dogs"

Source: http://gratefulpet.com/ubiquinol-30capsules.aspx

I cannot make a recommendation as to which is the best brand; there appear to be many good choices out there.

I find your comment about your holistic vet prescribing Lasix curious: why ever would your vet NOT prescribe Lasix? Any good vet, holistic or 'western' [as my holistic vet calls it] uses the full range of available therapies to heal and support an animal, and Lasix is the "go-to" treatment drug of choice. Remember, all diuretics by their very nature - naturally derived or not - risk depleting potassium levels in the body.

I really like this site for how well it covers topics; this is their page for Lasix:

http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_furosemide.html

They recommend compensating for the possible depletion of minerals by giving your pet a mineral supplement. It might just be that easy, to offer your pet the "go-to" drug of choice [Lasix] and avoid mineral depletion by upping the nutrition in the diet you feed. And I am sorry if it appears I am trying to push you into using this drug. Its just that your boy is 14.5 years of age, in a breed where the median lifespan is 11.4; his long life is a testament to your very good care! But I would hate to see him fail to live out his life to the fullest in comfort and breathing with ease, for fear that the conventional treatment will cut his lifespan.

I do think you should give your holistic vet another chance when you get back to town. Bring up your concerns over using Lasix, and that you are have modified the prescribed dosage; discuss the most effective schedule for dosing based on what you have seen in your pet. Check out the heart murmur to see if it has changed from 5-6; has it improved under your current therapy? Ask for his opinion on dosage for Ubiquinol. Scan through the pages here and list out all the supplements and their dosages provided by Katie and other posters, and show this list to your vet and ask if he would recommend additional nutritional supplements for your boy.

Sending prayers for you, your mom and your boy~

Replied by Lisac107
Port St. Lucie, Usa, Usa
11/03/2013

Hi Theresa,

I appreciate your reply and suggestions, thank you!

My comment about the vet and holistic was based on him not even offering something natural to go along with it if nothing else. Nothing about the potassium loss, etc. Agreed that sometimes you need to use meds but there are usually other more holistic ways that either compliment or do the job.

I am giving him 1/2 Lasix in the morning and the other half at night. Also giving him the organic chicken broth cooked with spinach, carrots and potatoes to help replenish the potassium.

Reading a comment about homeopathy on this page, it was said that it didn't work because of the meds out-doing the benefit. Now I'm not sure if finding a homeopathic vet will be of benefit or not.

I am overwhelmed with all that is going on. Thank you again for your reply.

Sincerely, Lisa

Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn
11/04/2013

Hey Lisa!

I can't fault your vet for prescribing the Lasix; 14 year old geriatric senior dog with severe heart murmur = Lasix in *any* vet's book. The herbal diuretics can take weeks to show their effects and their efficacy is far out shadowed by the Lasix.

That said, you paid good money for a visit, and you should provide your vet the feedback; dosing Standard Process Cardio per his advice and the dog is coughing - the vet needs to hear that and offer his take on it.

Its true that other remedies can negate a homeopathic remedy; you may be able to work around this by dosing the homeopathic remedy 4 hours before or after the other remedies or medications.

I know funds are limited, but it might be worth your while to consult with a different vet. I do think you should provide feedback to the first vet and allow them an opportunity to remedy your disappointment in their treatment plan. But its certainly possible you got a bum [quacks are found in all fields of medicine, yes?] so consider calling and interviewing these holistic vets in this search of your area:

http://localbusiness.heraldtribune.com/port-saint-lucie+fl/veterinarians+holistic.zq.html

I did search the site of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association http://www.ahvma.org/

There is one vet in Miramar - almost 2 hours from you - that does have a mobile practice. It might not hurt to call this vet as well for an opinion: Jeanette Basto 305-467-4185.

And, if your boy has an appetite, then the laundry list of nutritional support Katie has posted is in order. Read all the posts and jot down all the nutritional remedies and the doses. See what you can include in your boy's diet to help support his heart.

Keep us posted on your boy please!

Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn
11/04/2013

Incorrect title for this post. Should be: Re: Supplements for Dog's Heart Murmur

Thanks!

Replied by Lisac107
Port St. Lucie, Usa, Usa
11/12/2013

Hi Theresa,

I appreciate your suggestions and research, thank you kindly.

I have been giving him the Lasix, 1/2 and 1/2 but in quarters if I can. I make the organic chicken broth, add organic spinach, carrots and celery and let it cook for 4-6 hours. I give him some of that broth every day which should have some minerals in it but for the replacement of the potassium and magnesium, I can't find how much to give. Anything I've read, for dogs, is in micrograms.

I ordered a homeopathic supplement that is a diuretic, also got Apis Mel 6c to try but have to wait a bit before I give it him since I gave him the Lasix less than four hours ago.

I really want to try him on the Cardio Support again but the last time I tried, it made him cough hard when he hadn't been coughing. Maybe it wasn't the supplement but he did the same thing when I gave him Bio Cardio instead.

Does anyone know how much potassium and magnesium I can give him or is the broth enough? As I mentioned, I tried the sweet potatoes, not going to happen, he did not like them at all. I could add more potatoes to the broth when I cook it, did the the other week.

Thank you in advance for any input and/or suggestions.

Sincerely, Lisa

Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn
11/13/2013

Hey Lisa!

You have probably already seen this, but in case not, here are some home made diet ideas - scroll down for the one for cardiac issues:

http://www.2ndchance.info/homemadediets.htm

When supplementing potassium for dogs with CHF, the form used is potassium gluconate; this is available as an OTC supplement.

If you feel you are observing the side effects of low potassium - hypokalemia - in a pinch you can give him banana.

I cannot stress enough the need to work closely with your vet on this; blood levels should be monitored regularly -its possible that at this point no potassium or mineral supplementation is needed.

Another thought is to ask your vet about using spironolactone instead of lasix - spironolactone is a potassium sparing diuretic.

This is the dosage for supplementing potassium for dogs I found searching online:

The typical dose would be 468 mg per 10 lbs of body weight - adjust as needed.

Question: when you dose the Standard Process Cardio Support or Bio Support, how much do you give - the whole table in one go, or do you break it down?

Thanks!

Replied by Sasho
Bulgaria
12/10/2013

I am looking for best substitute of Standard Process Cardio Plus and Cataplex B. What do you think about Garden Of Life Vitamin Code Raw B Complex or NOW B 50. I will appreciate help to buy Standard Process outside USA

Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn
12/11/2013

Hey Sasho!

I am not the best one to comment on the products you wish to compare, so I will leave that to those with more experience.

I did find this link that compares SP products and equivalents that you may find helpful:

http://www.doctorsresearch.com/standardprocess.html

Replied by Sasho
Bulgaria
12/12/2013

Thank you for reply. Among Ingredients content of certain product practical experience Is Important. Can I try to substitute all Ingredients of mentioned products with other relative and also vegetables and fruits. Is wallnut food that dog eat?

Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn
12/12/2013

Hey Sasho!

Please take a peek at the link I researched for you. It appears to offer the equivalent of the SP products that you are seeking. Click this link:

http://www.doctorsresearch.com/index.html

Look on the left hand side and scroll down - its kind of hidden but it has a link for purchasing these products. Unless you are super skilled at mixing and balacing herbs and vitamins to recreate the SP products you seek, it might just be far easier and safer to try the equivalents.

I did a quick google peek for you; it appears walnuts may be problematic for dogs.

Replied by Susanl
Port St Lucie, Fl
01/22/2014
5 out of 5 stars

Hi Lisa, I also have a 14 yr. old, 45lb. Standard Poodle, I was told by vet that he has a #4 Heart Murmur. Thank God he is doing very well but he is now starting to cough. I have him on a Raw Food Diet, Olive Oil, Probiotics, Ester C, Mush (mushrooms), Ubiquitol (very important, it's CoQ10) & 400mg Vitamin E. He still looks and acts like a puppy, thank God!!

Never give any dog with a Heart Murmur anything with salt. My dog is also on "Young at Heart" for Dog Heart Disease, which is working out fine. But I think I will try the EarthClinic.

Replied by Lisac107
Port St. Lucie, Usa, Usa
01/24/2014

Hi Susan,

Thank you for your reply, I hope your dog is still doing well! I see you live in PSL as well, may I ask if you take your dog to a holistic vet?

I am still giving my dog who just turned 15 this month, one Lasix a day, Obiquinol, magnesium and potassium along with his organic chicken broth and grass fed beef, just a small amount for the amino acids in it.

I am also using a homeopathic supplement that is a diuretic, I would like to try the Hawthorn and even Dandelion versions of the homeopathy but have to order them.

I'm adding 1/4 tsp of organic apple cider vinegar to his water for potassium as well. I need to get his blood work done and see how everything is but when I take him to the vet, the gets so worked up, it frightens me and he doesn't do well after for a while. I will ask them if they can just take him in the back, draw the blood and get him out of there quickly instead of him seeing the vet which is what works him up. At this point, I do not want to stress him if I don't have to.

Let me know if you find anything else that can help and thank you again.

Lisa

Replied by Sasho
Bulgaria
02/09/2014

Katie, you mentioned that coq10 have to be ubiquinol not ubiquinone. I see that dr Sinatra uses Ubiquinine by Tischon - In that would you aproove using Q gel Ubiquinone by Tischon? What are your best favorites for L carnetine and CoQ10?

Replied by Katie
Northport, Ny
02/09/2014

Here is some information I gathered while looking into CoQ10. What I found out was the following:

Ubiquinone and Ubiquinol are both forms of CoQ10. The difference between the two is that ubiquinone is the oxidized form of CoQ10, this is the form that has been studied for more than 30 years. The drawback for ubiquinone, is that it needs to be converted by the body into ubiquinol and not everyone can make this conversion. In addition, it's not very absorbable. For young, healthy individuals, they say it's probably not a problem but for older individuals and those with chronic disease (such as heart disease) it is said that they usually can't make this conversion, so ubiquinol is usually recommended for them.

Ubiquinone, which is a fat soluble substance, was then made more advanced about a decade or so ago, when a company called Tishcon patented a delivery system which made ubiquinone water-soluble and therefore more absorbable by the body. This is the Q-Gel? formulation by Tishcon you were asking about.

Then more recently, a company called Kaneka Corporation of Japan perfected an even more advanced form of ubiquinone (or CoQ10) called ubiquinol. Ubiquinol is pre-converted and ready for immediate use by the body, unlike ubiquinone. Since Kaneka Corporation created and patented ubiquinol they are the only company to sell it. It is sold under all different labels by different supplement companies but the trademarked name for their ubiquinol is KanekaQHTM.

Now, an even more advanced form of ubiquinol has been created by Tishcon Corporation. They succeeded in making Kaneka's ubiquinol water-soluble for even better absorption. So, now the body no longer has to convert it, and it's more easily absorbable. They say this form (which is the most expensive) is the form that is best for those with serious health and heart issues. This is the one I decided to give to my dog – it's called Quinogel?.

So, to answer your question, my favorite would still be the Quinogel?. If I couldn't get the Quinogel, I think I would consider using the Q-Gel? ubiquinone formulation by Tishcon, since it is the advanced form of ubiquinone. However, I would never use regular ubiquinone as it is very hard to absorb into the body. Attached is a short piece I came across explaining some of the differences with some CoQ10s.

http://www.swansonvitamins.com/health-library/products/quinogel-ubiquinol-coq10-supplement.html

As far as the Carnitine goes, I gave my dog a liquid L-Carnitine made by a company called Lonza. Different companies sell Lonza's carnitine under their own labels (e.g., NOW). If you look on the back label and you see CarnipureTM you will know this is Lonza's carnitine, as that is their trademark. I don't know if this is the best Carnitine, but I was told that it was so I decided to stick with it. I read that absorbability can be a problem with carnitine and I was told that this was highly absorbable. The draw back is that they might only make it in fruit and citrus flavors now which dogs might not like.

Replied by Sasho
Bulgaria
02/10/2014

Thank you very much for reply Katie. I will look for your recomendations about CoQ10 and L Carnetine as my dog Is In very serious condition - dilated cardiomyopathy CHF 4. I will appreciate If you can give me some additional advice about treatment or supplemeny that I still have not on protocol. I cannot receive such info where I am located - doctors are using traditional methods using drugs which does not heal that Is to say Please If anyone got ability please ask your trusted doctor about treatment of dilated cardiomyopathy. At the moment dog Is on following drugs: Enalapril maelate, Furosemide, Vetmedin. I also give Standard Process Cardio Plus Tabs and Cataplex B tabs and also N Acetyl Cystein, D Ribbose ans EFA and Omega 3 fatty essential.

Replied by Sasho
Bulgaria
04/10/2014

What would be your recommendation on a specific brand for a proper food for dog with CHF?

I like tthe quality of Orijen and Acana grains free dry foods but they are not low sodium foods although salt are 0.3 - 0.6 %. Anyone used Orijen Senior or 6 Fish?

Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn
04/10/2014

Hey Sasho!

I have no advise on diets as I am very unfamilar with them. I do know that many prescribed low sodium diets seem to taste awful and dogs do not want to eat them. You may wish to consider a home made diet as it very well may be the best you can get.

This may be a site you have seen before, but it looks to have helpful information suggests a few low sodium brands:

http://www.vermontveterinarycardiology.com/index.php/for-clients/feeding-the-cardiac-patient

Replied by Linda
Chicago
10/23/2014

I have a 13 1/2 year old Rat Terrier who has had a heart murmur that was discovered at about 2 years old. At that time, her murmur was a grade 2 (some vets said 3). She stayed at 3 most of her life, until the past year the murmur has progressed to a 4 or "almost a 5" as one vet said. None of our vets ever prescribed anything for her, but often told us we should bring her to a cardiologist for a full workup....which we could not afford. She has no symptoms - she is not as active as she was years ago...but I always attributed it to her age (nearly 14 is no spring chicken! ), but she still loves to run through grassy fields and play "chase." She gets tired quickly, but rarely does she cough. Over the past 6 months, she has begun to develop a slight cough that affects her whenever she wakes after sleeping for an hour or more. The cough only lasts about 10 seconds or so, only two or three episodes where it seemed she was gagging and couldn't catch her breath. I took her to a new vet last night (very young and very inexperienced) who was extremely concerned with the sound of her heart and wanted to do xrays. The xrays show an extremely enlarged heart (touching the sternum) and some pressure on the trachea, and some fluid in the lungs. He put her on the lowest doses of Lasix, Vetmedin and Enalapril, but that night when I gave her the very first dose of the three, she became extremely lethargic, dizzy, could not walk and seemed to have pain when her chest touched anything. I thought she was dying, but after about 8 hours, the meds began wearing off and she began acting normally. I didn't give her the next dose, and I am seeing another vet tomorrow for a second opinion. Tonight I gave her the Lasix and Vetmedin, but not the Enalapril, as I feel it lowered her blood pressure into a dangerously low level last night.

I am curious to know if I can add supplements for her, or is it simply too late. I know her age is working against her, but she is so incredibly healthy otherwise...if I had never been told of the murmur or enlarged heart, I would never assume their was a problem. No panting, no rapid breathing...just the minor cough upon waking.

After being through the ringer on conventional kibbles (we've battled allergies over the years) we've finally switch her to a raw diet (most often Stella & Chewy's frozen medallions) in the morning, and either scrambled eggs or cottage cheese mixed with just a few spoons of Taste of the Wild kibble in the evenings (I simply can't afford a full diet of Stella & Chewys). Her only treats are carrots sliced into chips, and the occasional slice of apple. She takes Denamarin (silymarin-milk thistle) to supplement her liver and Glucosamine with MSM for her joints.

Any advice would be most appreciated. I know she can't live forever, but if there is anything I can do to keep her healthy as long as possible, I am sure willing to try it....especially if there is a way to strengthen her heart and reduce it's size.

Wishbone is 19 1/2 pounds and will be 14 years old in January, 2015. I am praying that she makes it to her next birthday -- the vets have sounded so dire that I am afraid I could lose her any day. So hard to believe, as she is so active and healthy.

A million thanks in advance!!

Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn
10/24/2014

Hey Linda!

I lost my rattie girl at 13 years to the day two years ago. She had developed a heart murmur, was taking on fluids and was clearly in pain. I did not know about Earth Clinic at the time, and extending her life with drugs didn't seem fair to *her*. My choice was to PTS. In hind sight, I would do the same over again - not because of any expense or that I thought a wholistic approach would work or not work [I use a holistic vet] -but because the loyalty of a rat terrier is so strong she would have willed herself to live despite the agony and pain just to please me. I had to take the reins as a responsible pet guardian and say "Enough is enough - your body is tired out despite your every rallying spirit, and my last kindness to you is to allow you to leave with my blessing". Believe me I have been in your shoes.

So my advice is this: get that second opinion. Find a vet whom you *trust*. Do the vet prescribed meds and work closely with your vet -touch bases daily or several times a day to report what you see in terms of how the medications are affecting your girl. Ask the vet about an expected time that the drugs should be working together - when you will finally see your girl getting relief.

The remedies listed here may work, although generally they take time to work. Don't rob your dog of comfort by halting the vet meds over the remedies here - JMHO. Pick and choose the remedies listed here and go with your gut: what do you feel at a gut level will work in your girl's favor? If your gut agrees, I say go with it. I strongly feel that with the proper dosing of the vet prescribed drugs, along with the ideas you glean from these pages, your girl WILL make her next birthday. That is just *my* gut talking.

Not sure which vet you are using, but this site lists holistic vets:

http://www.ahvma.org/

They redesigned their site to make it absolutely UN-user friendly, so click the link, and then on the RESOURCES tab click "for veterinarians" - then scroll down past the giant image and you will see three circles, click the first one "Find a holistic veterinarian" and then use the state scroll bar to choose IL and then click on that. The screen will alter just a tiny bit, but a scroll bar will appear on the right side. Drag the scroll bar down and the list of vets will appear. You may find a vet local to you that you connect with. Upon viewing the list, the one that stands out to me is Ventura but I have no idea how close you are to that one.

Sending prayers to you and your girl! Please report back!

Replied by Linda
Chicago, IL
10/24/2014

Hi Theresa!

Thank you for your advice! You are absolutely right about the loyalty of a Rattie...Wishbone is (by far) the most intelligent dog I've ever owned (or that owned me! Lol) and certainly the most loyal and seems to delight in making me laugh. She's a sweetheart!

I was able to take her for a consult with a new vet today, though not a holistic one (right now I'm debating on a consult with a holistic vet or a cardiologist as my next step - both cost nearly the same, and I can't afford both). I spoke with the new vet by phone yesterday and I emailed her xrays to him...upon seeing them he called me and was willing to come in on his day off to see her today...he said her xrays do not look good. He was shocked to see her...he said he expected to be greeted by a very ill dog, and said she does not seem to outwardly match what her xrays are showing. He said that her murmur is only a 3...definitely NOT a 5...and that she appears to be healthier than most dogs her age that don't have heart conditions. He was a very thorough vet, and I liked him very much, but I could see the dismay in his face when I mentioned her Raw diet (why are most conventional vets so against this?? The switch to raw made such a huge difference in our dog! ) He did, however, seem open to supplementation, so my first step is CoQ10..or Ubiquinol, if I can find it. Dr. Becker says 10 mg. per day for each 10 lbs. of dog...which puts my dog at 20 mg. per day....I have found 50mg. softgels but fear that would be too much?? I am lucky to have a holistic vet within 30 minutes of me (it is actually Dr. Becker's original practice) and they carry Mercola's Ubiquinol pump...but are out of it at the moment.

I'm doing my best to determine what is best for Wishbone...and when her health does begin to decline, I agree with you, I will not continue to medicate her only to see her fall into a spiral of suffering. When she can no longer function as a healthy, happy and playful dog, I do not want to her linger in pain as her last loyalty to me.

Until then, any suggestions on supplements and dosages are greatly appreciated. I will run all of them by my vet before administering them. Today he told me he wants to keep her on the Vetmedin, try to get her on the Enalapril (even if we have to go slowly and built up to a therapeutic dose to allow her body to adjust) and to eliminate the daily dose of the Lasix, but keep it on hand as needed (if she develops a "wet" cough or bloating). He heard her cough in the office, and said that it was not a congestion cough, but rather due to her trachea....which is slightly compressed from her heart, but not at all compromised or at a level for concern yet.

I could write for days...but thanks for your response. Any suggestions on supplementation from anyone is appreciated, and again, will be discussed with her doctor before trying it.

Thanks all for some great information!!

Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn
10/24/2014

Hey Linda!

It sounds like you have a good vet - the new vet you just saw. Ask your vet about the 50mg capsules; I could not find any info on overdosing [unless you are giving 500mg per pound of body weight] so I suspect the bigger dose would be OK - but ask your new guy.

In your shoes I would hold off on the holistic guy and the cardiologist, and see if you can get your girl stabilized on the meds with the new vet. When the meds are properly dosed they work well and fairly quickly. Once she is stabilized, then I would consider seeing the holistic guy - JMO.

And excellent that she is grade 3 and not 5! A silver lining in this cloud!

Please keep us posted!

Replied by Linda
Chicago, US
10/26/2014

I did speak with our vet about the CoQ10...he said the dosage is about 1mg per pound of dog, but he said that CoQ10 is a short-lived supplement, so best to break that into twice a day. At 20 lbs, she would need 10 mg. in the morning, 10 in the evening. He didn't think there would be an issue with a higher milligram pill, but I'm going to try my best to find the lowest dosage possible. He said he's seen them in 30mg dosages, so I may just have to hunt around.

The other silver lining is her bloodwork results came back - aside from elevated cholesterol, bilirubin and high tryglycerides, everything else is well within the normal range. No liver issues, no kidney issues, no thyroid issues. He said the elevated cholesterol/bilirubin/tryglycerides could very easily be attributed to the fact that her blood was drawn 2 hours after eating, and since she is on a raw diet, that could account for the higher fats circulating in her blood. He didn't seem concerned, since dogs don't live long enough to develop atheroslerosis....he said to give it 3 months with the heart meds and then she can come back for a new chest xray and bloodwork, and next time we can do the bloodwork after a fast to get a better picture of her blood lipid levels.

So, off I go in search of some low-dose CoQ10. From everything I'm reading about it, apparently my husband and I should be taking it along with our pup!! Lol I know Mercola has a liquid based pump..I will probably wind up trying that for her. One less pill for her!

This morning was the second attempt at a full dose (2.5 mg) of Enalapril....the last time we tried it lowered her blood pressure into a danger zone, and she was too weak and dizzy to stand or walk. Today, a whole different story. She has more energy than my husband and I combined, and I took her to a field to walk some of it off, and she spent 20 minutes running around like a puppy. Right now, she is on 2.5 mg. of Enalapril once a day (slowly working up to twice per day) and 5 mg. of Vetmedin split into two doses (half pill in the morning, half in the evening). We are only giving Lasix (diuretic) as needed, if she should develop a wet cough or bloating.

Her diet is mostly Stella & Chewy's raw patties (they come frozen and I thaw in the fridge overnight), and I rotate the protein source. Right now she is on Rabbit. She only gets these in the morning - I give her a few spoons of Taste of the Wild kibble in the evenings along with either a scrambled egg or cottage cheese...but I am eliminating the cottage cheese simply because of the sodium content. I am thinking about making a stew with boneless chicken (or some inexpensive lamb, if I can find some), sweet potato, peas and carrots (no added seasonings) in the crockpot and freezing that in small portions for her dinner. I'm moving toward the "feeding a dog isn't rocket science" idea - I feel like my dog eats better than most of my friends' toddlers do, and at this age, I just can't see it hurting her - it has to be better than whatever is condensed into those little rocks of kibble.

Thanks again!! I will update as we continue on this journey of keeping this little pup as healthy for as long as possible.

Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn
10/26/2014

Hey Linda!

Great news on your girly!!

A thought on a home diet that I do - I bake a whole chicken and the humans get the first feeding -and any nice chunks of meat get reserved for chicken salad. I save any skin and bones and juices from the human meal and any juices from the baking pan, and all go into the pot the next day, along with the carcass which usually has plenty of meat on it. I toss in carrots and celery [or parsnips, fennel, rutabaga - sky is the limit] and simmer until the carcass falls apart. I then strain, and use the broth for human soup down the line. With the strained chicken bits, bones skin and veggies, I sort out the skin and discard it, along with the bones. I pay particular attention to the spine and joints - the spine and neck contains a lot of meat, and you want to make sure you harvest the cartilage as that is your natural glucosamine and chondroitin. Tiny spine bones are OK to keep in the food IMHO - they don't pose any sort of a choking or swallowing hazard. Once you have stripped all the meat and cartilage off the carcass, mix the shredded chicken into the veggies - this is your protein base. I will incorporate rice to stretch this out, or add more carrots to stretch it out, or feed 'as is'. My dogs have never complained about this diet, and they never have stool issues. If you do see loose stools, it means you are feeding too much protein at one time/too big a portion. If you are concerned about vitamins and minerals, you can give your girl Pet tabs or a vitamin and mineral supplement just for dogs; I will toss in a tablespoon or two of spirulina powder - or toss raw kale in the food processor and puree it and add to the chicken mix if I am concerned about vitamins.

Replied by Linda
Chicago, IL
10/28/2014

Theresa -

Thanks for your chicken stew ideas - I really think I'm going to head in this direction. She's done so well on the Stella & Chewy's raw that I wish I could feed it to her exclusively, but the price combined with her prescriptions is just getting a little crazy. I know I could easily make a month's worth of evening meals for her and freeze them for the same price as 1 week's worth of the raw food I buy.

Replied by Elle
Manila, Philippines
01/19/2015

Hi I hope someone sees this. I just read all the replies here and I need some advise. My 7 yr old peke had a X-ray today and he has CHF, an enlarges heart and fluid around the lungs. I took him to the vet today because he had coughing/ wheezing fit for about 1 hour last night. Since then he has been fine eating and acting normal.

The vet prescribed enalaripl for 15 days, doxyvet for 10 days and furosemide for 2 days. He has a follow up X-ray sheduled in 2 weeks.

Right now he is really happy and eating normal you wouldn't know he has CHF apart from the cough he had yesterday. I don't want to shorten the time I have left with him or worsen the quality of his life. I want to order the Cardio Plus and Canine Whole Body support. I'm not sure how long it will take for them to arrive here though probably at least 2 weeks. Also I read about Pet Wellbeing Young At Heart but reviewcentre.com has terrible feedback on their customer service and products. I'm a bit overwhelmed with all the other supplement advise.

I think I'll go ahead and order the cardio plus and canine support right now anyway. I'm scared not to do anything about his chf until they arrive and making him worse. Should I give him the presrcibed meds in the meantime?

Replied by Katie
Northport, Ny
01/19/2015

Elle,

If your dog has fluid in its lungs, you might want to give the lasix which will help to get rid of the extra fluid in his body and also make him more comfortable and it will probably help to get rid of the cough.

However, I would not want to wait 2 weeks without giving your dog any type of heart support given his current condition. Conditions like this can move very quickly into heart failure. If it were me, what I would probably do, is order both the Pet Wellbeing Young at Heart (I've read the testimonials and they seem good) and I would also order the NHV Hearty-Heart (only because I don't know which product would be better). Personally, I would feel better knowing that I have both on hand, in case one of them didn't work as well for my dog. I would also pay expedited shipping charges to get them to me immediately so I can start them ASAP, with the hope that I can avoid the meds, which tend to complicate everything.

Until they arrive, you may also want to try giving your dog a small amount of magnesium and see if it helps him. Magnesium helps to lower the blood pressure and when a dog is in congestive heart failure, his blood pressure is typically very high. An observation I made with my own dog was that the magnesium helped to slow down his very fast heart rate. (FYI, Enalapril is prescribed for the same reason, as it also lowers the blood pressure.). You may also want to consider either krill oil or fish oil (250/500 mg? for a little dog) which is anti-inflammatory and is good at lowering blood pressure too and for heart health overall.

Hopefully, the herbs will help to stabilize your dog's heart condition. If you are getting good results you may want to keep your dog on them. Then, by the time the Cardio-Plus and the Canine Whole Body Support arrive, you can probably start them too, although I would suggest that you start them slowly (and not at the same time) because your dog's health is weakened right now.

When dealing with a condition such as CHF it is very important to observe symptoms when adding supplements (i.e., increased panting, heart rate, coughing, etc.), which is why you want to add them slowly. You don't want to see an increase in these symptoms, your goal is to see a decrease. If you do see an increase in any of these, it means you need to make an adjustment in your protocol (i.e. lowering dosages or not giving a supplement at all).

I wish you the very best with your dog.

Replied by Elle
Manila, Philippines
01/19/2015

Hi Katie,

Thank you so much for your fast reply and your advise. I couldn't sleep last night I stayed up reading posts on how to help treat CHF naturally. I just gave my dog half the reccomended lasix prescribed. He woke up happy and wanting to play this morning; I'm so scared of him suffering any side effects. I'm staying home to monitor him today. I would rather give him magnesium than enalapril. Also the krill oil? He currently weighs 12 lbs how much should I give him? I can get some today from the health food store. I was reading a lot of posts about supplements for dog heart problems and getting overwhelmed with how many different ones there are and dosage. I want to do everything I can for my little guy though. I was looking at Q10, l carnitine etc and found Vetri Science Cardio Strength. There are a lot of good reviews and feedback on different websites.

Dosage: 1 capsule for 30lbs dog

Side effects: None

Active Ingredients: L-Carnitine HCl 250 mg L-Taurine 250 mg N, N-Dimethylglycine HCI 50 mg d-alpha Tocopheryl Succinate (Vitamin E) 30 IU Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) Powder Blend 25 mg Coenzyme Q10 20 mg Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) Powder Blend 10 mg Folic Acid 0.9 mg Magnesium (as Magnesium Citrate) 0.5 mg Potassium (as Potassium Citrate) 0.1 mg Selenium (as Sodium Selenite) 0.007 mg

After reading about Hearty Heart and Standard Process products I'm leaning towards the Vetri Science for now does this sound ok? People have posted saying they have used this long term and in conjunction with prescribed meds. I don't want to keep him on the meds but as long as he isn't suffering side effects I'll try the lasix for now and magnesium until the cardio strength arrives. I'm trying to find a seller with the fastest shipping.

Thank you so much again for your time and responding to me Katie.

Replied by Katie
Northport, Ny
01/20/2015

Elle,

I'm glad to hear your dog is feeling better today. The lasix is a diuretic (also known as a water pill) and it's job is to release the excess fluid in the body. I don't think you'll have to worry about it causing any complications when you start him on his supplements. In my experience, it has been the blood pressure meds (such as the enalapril) and the other heart meds that have caused the problems. Hopefully, you dog won't be on lasix long- but in case he is, be aware that it can be very tough on the kidneys and it will cause the body to lose/flush out magnesium and other nutrients.

Although I don't have any experience with Vetri-Science, I know they have a very good reputation and I would not hesitate to try any of their products. If you're able to stabilize your dog on this, that is great. Then, afterwards you might want to also add the Cardio-Plus because the CardioPlus is food for the heart and the Canine Whole Body Support is food for all the other organs.

Re the Krill Oil. I read a few articles by Dr. Karen Becker (from mercola.com) on essential fatty acids for pets and how necessary they are. In one of the older articles, dated June 13,2009, she recommends supplementing krill oil (to a pet currently in good health) as follows: 250 mg. daily for toy breeds and cats (1-14 lbs); 500 mg. daily for small dogs (15-29 lbs), 1000 mg. daily for medium dogs (30-49 lbs), 1500 mg. daily for large dogs (50-79 lbs) and 2000 mg. daily for dogs 80+ lbs. I wonder if she would increase her recommendations for dogs that are currently not in good health, such as a dog with heart problems? I tend to think that she would. It was recommended that I give my own dog 500 mg. of fish oil when he was sick (he was 14 lbs).

Anyway, if you decide to give the krill oil, which may be a better choice than fish oil according to Dr. Becker and Dr. Mercola, I know they make a Kids Krill, which is a smaller capsule than their standard size, and it is probably a good size for your dog. The Kids capsules are 160 mg. each, so you could probably give you dog one or two per day. Or, they also sell the krill oil in a pump bottle for the dogs, but there is a chance that your dog might not like the taste in his food. I prefer capsules.

Re the magnesium, I could not find a recommended dose for a dog in CHF (or even as a daily recommended dosage for a dog). I came across an antioxidant formula for dogs made by Vetri-Science (Cell Advance 880) which contains 18.75 mg. of magnesium and it is recommended to take 1 capsule a day per 20 lbs of body weight. So I guess you can use this dosage as a general guideline. However, you would also want to take into consideration that since your dog is also taking a diuretic (which will cause him to lose magnesium), that you should probably increase the amount. I don't know what the amount should be ? 20-30 mg., maybe? You would have to be the judge of that by seeing how your dog reacts to it.

Replied by Elle
Manila, Philippines
01/21/2015

Hi again Katie,

I ordered the Vetri-Science it arrives here on Friday. Cardio-plus and canine whole body support sellers don't ship here to Manila so I have asked a friend if she can ship them to me asap.

Thank you for the info on krill oil and magnesium. I went to the health food store but they had so many different options and I wasn't sure what to get. With the dosage info I'll return tomorrow.

So far Cash (he's a super cute white pekingese) hasn't suffered any bad side effects from the lasix or enaparil. The lasix he is meant to take for 8 days and the enaparil 15 days. It's day 2 of the meds and he's eating normally and has been his happy self. When I get the magnesium tomorrow should I stop or cut down on the enaparil? I was scared he might get worse if I don't give it to him and he hasn't shown any side effects symptoms. He is due for another X-ray in 2 weeks and the vet said to bring him in anytime if he has any problems. So far so good though. Looking forward to getting him off the meds.

Replied by Katie
Northport, NY
01/21/2015

Just an FYI, never stop blood pressure medications cold turkey (e.g., enalapril). I was told that if you do, it can cause a dangerous rise in blood pressure. When coming off blood pressure meds, you need to taper off them slowly. It is always best to work with a vet when trying to wean an animal off of meds. (Unfortunately, I wasn't aware of the dangers of stopping the enalapril cold turkey, and as a result my very sick dog wound up in the hospital with flooded lungs.)

Re the magnesium. It seems like your dog is doing well, I don't think I would give it to him. Maybe you should speak to your vet though about giving your dog some fish/krill oil which may help with the blood pressure (and is also anti-inflammatory).

I wish you the very best with Cash. I hope that you and your vet are able to get him off his meds as his heart hopefully improves.

Good luck.

Replied by Elaine
Belmont, Ca
05/29/2015

Thank you for all of this information. I don't agree with the vet putting Cosette on heart meds and a diuretic. He took her off heart med when he saw signs of kidney problems which were not there before. I have many of these supplements for myself and will start her on a healthy lifestyle instead of drugs. I don't use them myself and instead eat a healthy diet and lots of vitamins. So why shouldn't I do the same for her. God bless Mocha and you for sharing. Elaine and Cosette

Replied by Jenny
Winnipeg, Mb
11/22/2015

I have an 8 year old Norwegian Elkhound that was born with a hole in her heart. We were told she wouldn't last a year. She has been a great friend to us, but lately is having breathing, coughing and gagging problems. Her heart is enlarged and getting worse. We have had her on dandelion leaves, which has done well for the most part, but the last couple of days she has had problems. We did get a prescription from the vet for Lasix, and finally broke down and gave her one. I don't like giving medications if at all possible. I like to use natural remedies. I saw a post from Katie and how she "shrunk her Cavalier's dog's heart. I would like to know was it only using the Cardio Plus and Canine Whole body support? Katie, if you are out there, I would like to hear from you very much.

Replied by Katie
Northport, Ny
11/23/2015

Jenny,

It's amazing that your dog has surpassed your vet's survival estimates by 7 years. Obviously you are doing something right.

Thankfully, my dog, who is still alive, never had an enlarged heart, but his heart was as the upper limits of normal a couple of years ago. Today, its in the mid range of normal.

My sister was born with a hole in her heart too but it was repaired in a surgery by stitching the hole shut. I'm not sure what supplements would help in this condition. But, because your dog was able to manage for all those years with the hole, it makes me wonder if the reason he's having trouble now is because the heart is so weak and tired from the constant backflow of blood through the chambers of the heart all those years. I wonder if nutrition will help him?

If it were me, I would probably try the Cardio-Plus to see if it helps. I also wonder if magnesium, CoQ10 or hawthorne might be helpful for your dog? But most importantly, I would want to work with a good holistic vet and get their recommendations for your dog.

Replied by Joena
Grovetown, Ga
11/29/2015

Greetings Deborah, Mocha, and family. I am a 33 year old unmarried woman who has a Japanese Chin ( Chyn-chyn) fur-baby with an enlarged heart, we live in my mom's home, and I don't drive due to medical issues. My mom cant take us because she doesnt have any sick days left and she is only off on weekends, but the vet's office is closed on weekends. Chyn has run out of her prescriptioned meds and her vet is 15mins away, and wont give us any refills until we go make an appointment. Her seizures/screams are sporadic, but it breaks my heart to see her go through an episode.I have chosen to try your method....the prob is that I dont know where to buy the heartyheart drops....and the last Co Q 10 that was on the shelf at petsmart today were liqui-gels How much should I give her an how often?

Replied by Lpm
Spfd, Mo
01/05/2016

Your dog was having "syncope" episodes related to the heart. These episodes are difficult to tell apart from a seizure however they do not show in blood work and seizures do. When the lower left ventricle of a dog's heart is weakened the heart is not always able to pump out enough oxygenated blood. Therefore your dog's brain detects the low oxygen and as a defense mechanisim shuts down the entire body causing the dog to faint. Normally within a few seconds or minutes your dog will wake back up. Nothing is guaranteed however because afterall yoj are dealing with the heart. Your dog needs to see a vet that is more qualified and able to provide the proper treatment for your dog as soon as possible.

Replied by Jennifer
Winnipeg, Canada
01/18/2016

Hi Katie,

I have a Norwegian Elkhound 8 years old, was born with a hole in her heart and was told she wouldn't last 1 year. Her heart condition is getting worse now, with coughing, enlargement of the heart which is probably pushing on the trachea. She gags and sounds hoarse and gurgely. We have her on Lazix, small dosage, 40 mg. I don't want to give her this. we give her Q10 30 mg, 2 times per day, and dandelion leaves mixed in her food. We are taking her to a holistic vet today. She weighs 42 lbs. According to what I have read, she is in the early stages of heart disease.

I have read your posts and very impressed with your suggestions. I have checked out the Cardio Plus and Canine Whole Body Support. How long did it take for you to notice that it was working, and how long before your dogs heart went back to normal size? I am very stressed out about this!

Replied by Katie
Northport, Ny
01/21/2016

Jennifer, did you see my reply to your earlier post back in November?

BTW, my dog still has his murmur after all these years, despite my best efforts. I have not been successful in getting rid of it. (I still think there is might be some sort of infectious or inflammatory component that needs to be dealt with, such as candida or some sort of bacterial or viral infection. My vet said the vaccines are the cause of MVD and that they attack the valves, which is then transferred to the offspring). BUT, I do think that the heart support I've been giving him for the past 5 years (Cardio-Plus) has been integral in keeping him in stable condition, in combination with good food, no vaccines and no tick/flea preventatives.

With the exception of the murmur, my dog is thankfully asymptomatic of heart disease and he has no heart enlargement.

Replied by Jennifer
Winnipeg
01/28/2016

Hi Katie,

So sorry, I did not see your post back in November; I am so thankful that you have received mine. I have since had our Norwegian elkhound ( Holly) to see a holistic Vet. We have added beef heart, beef kidney and chicken livers to her commercial food. The vet has also put together a Chinese herb formula I still have to give her the Lasix for the fluid buildup but not as often. I researched The Cardio Plus and Canine whole body support but they don't ship to Canada! That is frustrating. Can you email me so that I don't miss your replies? jennyt75 (at) hotmail.com

I don't like to give out my email, but really want to talk to you more about this, and appreciate your advice.

Sincerely,

jennifer

Replied by Jennifer
Winnipeg, Canada
02/01/2016

Hi Katie,

I am very happy to hear about your dog. Even though he has a murmur, you have done wonders with him. Just want to let you know, I also have a cat, that has had a murmur her whole life, which has not made a difference in the quality of life she has experienced. You are right when you say good food and good supplements make all the difference.

Replied by Tony L
Queens, Ny
02/18/2016

I have 2 little Royal furbabies. Both are rescued, and my blessing. Lady was and is my 2nd blessing. She was just left on the street with a sign next to her "PLEASE TAKE ME". So I did just that. She was already up there in age when she came into my life and already has congestive heart problems. Everything you described with Mocha is happening to my Lady. It pains me to hear the screams and worse is to see her just sleep all day to wake up even more tired. Long story short the vet has put her on some meds that I can't even pronounce, for her heart. She avoids her food and I think she smells it. Now it seems lysix will another for fluids in her lungs. The meds is a means for her life but it's not a means for her lively hood and for living. I already got my hands on the supplements you listed, some are already part of my daily regime. I started 3 days ago and I see a little sparkle back in her eyes. I want to thank you for this posting. It means so much to me to know there are options besides pharmaceuticals. I want to ask if there is alternate for the medicine for clearing fluids in her lungs. I want to keep this Royal demanding furball bossing me around for a bit (forever if possible) longer.

Replied by Sarah
Sacramento, Ca
03/02/2016

Thank you so much for taking the time to post here. I will be researching and trying the remedies you listed.

Replied by Amy
Little Rock, Ar
03/17/2016

Hi Katie,

I've been reading as many of your posts as I could. Could you tell me what your current regimen is for your dog? My dog just got diagnosed with CHF on Wednesday when he went in for a dental cleaning. They did a pre-anesthetic work up on him, including an echo by his cardiologist on the morning of, and that's when we were told he was now in heart failure and could not be put under anesthesia. He'd had a murmur and heart enlargement for two years, but only recently started showing symptoms like coughing, reluctance to exercise, and faster breathing rate. So, now he's been prescribed vetmedin, furosemide, and enalapril. I stopped the furosemide and enalapril pretty much right when we started, because I found out his bun and creatinine were slightly elevated, and so I do not want to risk his kidney health any further. I eventually want to stop the vetmedin also (he's only been on this for 2 days now).

I do see a holistic vet, and I mentioned the Standard Process protocol products that you posted about. She is supportive of ordering those for me. Since he is in a more acute condition than your dog, I'm thinking my regimen may have to be more aggressive than what you may currently be giving your dog. But based on some of your older posts, I'm thinking of getting:

Immuplex (for his teeth since he can't get cleanings, but has inflamed gums);
CardioPlus;
Cataplexy B;
Cataplexy F;
Organically Bound Minerals;
Calcium Lactate;
Cataplexy E2;
Hawthorne;
Canine Whole Body Support

Is there anything you would add or take away based on my situation? BTW, he is a 13 year old Chinese Crested Powderpuff; 15-17lbs; symptoms are currently stable on vetmedin; grade 4 murmur; heart enlarged and MVD which has now progressed to CHF; he's also on ubiquinol, fish oil, and a cardio tonic that includes hawthorne, and a low sodium diet; also the cardiologist made it sound like he wasn't really retaining any fluid, which is good. I want to change my regimen and take out these individual supplements in place of some of the stuff above that you also gave your dog.

One question - why the calcium lactate? I think you mentioned it has calcium and magnesium in a 5:1 ratio (I think), but I'm reading that a calcium to magnesium ratio that high in calcium (and even a ratio of 2:1) is too high and that can harden arteries? This article is saying the ratio should be 1:2 or at least 1:1. Here's the link, in case your interested: http://deliciousliving.com/blog/time-ditch-21-calcium-magnesium-ratio
Maybe you can shed some light or maybe you don't give this to your dog anymore.

Also, how did you get your dog to take all these supplements? My dog hates taking pills and chews. If they aren't too big, I wrap it up in some chicken breast, and he'll eat it. I used to use peanut butter but stopped after reading about aflatoxins. Any other suggestions on how to get my dog to take all these supplements? The chicken is working for now, but I know I'll have to change it up now and then, because he gets sick of the same stuff if I give it to him everyday.

Thank you SO MUCH for your input! Any other thoughts or suggestions from you will be much appreciated. I'm so grateful there are people out there with success stories. It gives me some hope that I don't have to rely solely on conventional meds.

Replied by Katie
Northport, Ny
03/20/2016

Hi Amy, (who replied to my post of 1/21/16)

I wouldnTMt give all those supplements to your dog. I started giving them to my dog early on and then found out that it was just too much for him. Now, he only gets the CardioPlus, Ubiquinol, Rosehips and digestive enzymes. Also, two or three times a week I give him a B-vitamin supplement (Cataplex B) and a mineral supplement (Organically Bound Minerals). For his arthritis and hip dysplasia I add some additional ascorbic acid but ITMm not sure if it itTMs even necessary.

I think the most important thing to know is that when trying to figure out a supplementation protocol is that it really needs to be tailored to the animal, based on his condition. So the supplements I am using for my dog (with mild heart disease) would not be not enough for a dog with CHF. I have read that as heart disease progresses to CHF there is damage to the arterial system, the heart and that the level of inflammation in the body increases exponentially too (at least in humans and I am assuming this applies to animals too). The degree of inflammation supposedly correlates to the level of heart disease. From some of what ITMve read, it seems that when there is heart enlargement and CHF, heart cells are also dying.

I did a little internet browsing and came across the attached article on the use of curcumin in CHF. http://doctormurray.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Theracurmin-Review-Improves-Congestive-Heart-Failure-Most-Bioavailable-Form-of-Curcumin.pdf. It seems that curcumin (if they are in the highly absorbable forms) seem to be able to prevent the death of these heart cells and that they also reduce inflammation in the body which can be very helpful in CHF. This study was done with a highly absorbable form of curcumin (Theracurmin). The study mentions that curcumin did not interfere with blood pressure meds such as enalapril (a/k/a ACE inhibitors) because curcumin worked on a different metabolic pathway in the body. In fact, they mentioned that the curcumin and ACE inhibitors work well together. But, I would ask your vet about this as I have no experience with it. Other anti-inflammatories are fish oil, boswellia, green tea extract among others. ITMm not sure if Boswellia and green tea extract are recommended for dogs with CHF, but I would speak to your vet about these or other alternate possibilities. (As a side note, if I were to give curcumin (an extract of turmeric) to my dog, I think I would give it along with a turmeric capsule too so that you have the full spectrum of the entire supplement present for possibly better absorption).

I have also read that when there is CHF that there should be liver support added because none of the organs are functioning optimally. The recommendation was to add milk thistle for CHF.

So, I think that at a minimum you would probably want to use some of the following and then discuss the rest with your vet:

  • CardioPlus (if blood pressure is high) or Vasculin (if blood pressure is low),

  • Ubiquinol (such as the Q-Gel formulation, not ubiquinone). Ubiquinone or regular CoQ10 is not absorbed by those with CHF. I have read that the recommended dosage for CHF should be doubled but it should be started at the lower dosage and increased to a double dosage by the 3rd week.)

  • Hawthorne (although ITMve read this can take a few weeks to start working)

  • Minerals –necessary for the heart

  • Vitamin C or Rose hips (thins the blood, relaxes the arterial system and helps to control blood pressure)

  • Anti-Inflammatory- such as curcumin (?)

Speak to your vet and ask if she recommends any of the following:

  • Ask if any of the Awesome Foursome supplements are necessary: (i) Magnesium (relaxes the arterial system, lowers blood pressure), (ii) Carnitine (increased energy in heart cells, (iii) Ribose (to be used only in CHF- restores energy in sick hearts)

  • B vitamins

You asked about how I hide his pills if he wonTMt eat them, I just wrap them in a piece of cheese or cold cuts.

Good luck with your dog.

Replied by Amy
Little Rock, Ar
03/21/2016

Hi Katie,

Thanks so much for your reply. I have noted all your suggestions. I just started my dog on Cardio plus and canine whole body support, as well as hawthorne, fish oil, ubiquinol, and ordered some others like magnesium and cod liver oil. I also switched him to homemade dog food which has made such a positive difference.

I want to start him on Taraxacum officinale (dandelion). Could you suggest a reliable source for this? I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks!

Replied by Amy
Little Rock, Ar
03/21/2016

Hi Katie,

Do you have any suggestions for immediately lowering my dog's breathing rate? At night, his breaths average 40 BPM, which is very high for him. During the day it averages 30, but just a few months ago his average was 24. What exactly causes the increased breathing rate? Is it high blood pressure? I read in one of your older posts that magnesium helped your dog's heart rate slow down. When I count his heart rate, it's on the normal-ish side (around 120 beats per minute). It's just his breathing rate that is elevated. It's distressing when I see him breathing so fast. Should I give in and give him his meds (vetmedin, furosemide, enalapril)? I'm not even sure that they can be immediately effective. He's been weaned off, and has actually been doing better with just supplements and homemade dog food, but I'm still waiting on magnesium to be delivered, and until then, what can I do to bring him immediate relief for the fast breathing? Any suggestions?

Thanks.

Replied by Katie
Northport, Ny
03/25/2016

Amy,

As long as your dog doesnTMt have kidney disease, I would give him magnesium to see if it helps. It seems we all need it and none of us get enough of it unless we supplement. From everything ITMve read, magnesium is a powerful vasodilator. So, when blood vessels are dilated, blood pressure can come down dramatically. However, if youTMre giving him magnesium and heTMs taking a blood pressure med too (which is also lowering his blood pressure) it may lower it too much. Speak to your vet about this. Maybe the answer is the give a smaller dosage of the med if giving the magnesium or to give it away from the meds? I did notice that my dogTMs heart seemed to calm down after giving him the magnesium, particularly that one time where his heart was beating out of his chest. The recommended forms of magnesium are citrate, taurate, malate, glycinate carbonate. Avoid oxides, sulfates, glutamate and aspartate forms. Or you could try one of the liquid forms like I did, but they may be difficult to dose because the liquid doesnTMt taste good.

If your dog is having a difficult time right now and the magnesium and other supplements donTMt work quick enough to give relief to your dog, please donTMt ignore it. You probably need to give him some meds to give him some relief…he is probably very uncomfortable right now. Work with your holistic vet, maybe smaller dosages of the meds (or fewer meds) can be given while giving the supplements a chance to work. Just remember that if someone has been on a blood pressure med for a while you donTMt want to stop them cold turkey. It can cause a rebound effect and cause a big swing in blood pressure.

I believe that the fast breathing you are seeing with your dog is an indication of the advancement of the heart condition and yes I think that anyone with CHF has high blood pressure. I would seriously look into curcumin for your dog too. I donTMt know if you read that link that I posted a couple of days ago, but it says in the link that curcumin has the ability to basically shrink an enlarged heart due to its anti-inflammatory actions. And the other thing is that it does not affect the blood pressure (it doesnTMt raise it nor does it lower it in any way), so it does not cause a problem if youTMre taking ACE inhibitors. It just deals with putting out the inflammation in the body. I was listening to a webinar a couple of days ago in which an Ayurvedic doctor was discussing the topic of inflammation and the application of Ayurvedic herbs. I asked the question about what herbs would be recommended for Mitral Valve Disease and CHF. The recommendation was (i) Curcumin (should be standardized to at least 97% or so, given along with a fat such as coconut oil to make it absorbable), (ii) Arjuna (a premier Ayurvedic heart herb), (iii) Amla (Indian gooseberry fruit high in Vitamin C—may be similar to Rose Hips but Rose Hips is higher in vitamin C content.), and (iv) CoQ10.

I then consulted an Ayurvedic book I have at home called “Herbal Medicine – Science Embraces Tradition – A New Insight into Ancient Ayurveda" written by Narendra Singh, a MD who was involved in clinical and experimental research with herbals and conventional drugs for 50 years. I believe he may have helped to formulate “Organic IndiaTMs" supplements – many of which I have. I read the chapter on heart disease and CHF and it was mentioned that Arjuna (in the Organic India supplement called Heart Care) is like an herbal Digoxin. That Ashwaganda and the herb Puskkarmool (in the Organic India supplement called Breath Free) is like an herbal “Antiarrhythmic Agent Bradycardiac. That the herb Bhumyamalki (in the Organic India supplement called Liver and Kidney Care) is like an herbal ACE inhibitor, as is Punarnava (also in Liver and Kidney Care). And that Bhumyamalki and Punarnava (in Liver and Kidney Care) have herbal diuretic properties. This was interesting and I thought I would mention it.

Also, I came across a very good recommendation on a natural website which was to give Apple Cider Vinegar to animals with heart conditions (especially for those taking diuretics) because it is high in potassium and other minerals which the heart needs. FYI, ITMve given it to my dog to prevent fleas and my dog doesnTMt seem to have a problem with it. I just add a teaspoon to his food.

Dandelion leaf (not the root) is considered to be a mild diuretic. (Dandelion root is used for liver problems.) I think that a liquid extract is probably better than a capsule because it can be absorbed more easily. I like Medi-HerbTMs herbals (they are a division of Standard Process).

You asked the other day about ways to hide pills. Last night I happened to be cooking rigatoni and realized that that my dogTMs supplement capsules fit perfectly inside of them. I had never thought of it before but I was able to dose him last night and he never knew it.

Replied by Amy
Little Rock, Ar
03/29/2016

Hi Katie,

I just wanted to say a quick "thank you" for your responses! I've learned so much, and yes, I did read what you wrote about curcumin and the other supplements. My dog is now in week 2 of various supplements including the awesome foursome, curcumin, various standard process supplements, dandelion, collagen peptides, hawthorn, vetri science cardio strength, fish oil, along with his meds. I know it sounds like a lot of stuff, but his diagnosis has officially progressed to CHF - it's no longer "just" mitral valve disease. I may add to, remove, and tweak his regimen as we go on. I've also started making him homemade meals, which he is responding amazingly to. I'm planning on weaning him off the meds or reducing them eventually with our vet's help. I tried to do it without the meds at first, but it quickly became apparent that his symptoms were just too much, and the supplements will take time before really kicking in.

I'll let you and everyone know how it goes. Anyways, I just wanted to say thank you again Katie. I'm so touched that you would take the time to answer me, and so thoroughly. I'm grateful for all the others on this forum for sharing their experiences. On a side note, Katie have you thought about giving your dog collagen peptides? I've been reading about it, not only is it great for heart health, but also arthritis (since you mentioned your dog had arthritis).

Amy

Replied by Katie
Northport, Ny
03/31/2016

FYI, here is another article on chronic inflammation and heart health.

Replied by Amy
Little Rock, Ar
04/13/2016

Hi,

Could you tell me which professional pet handling company you use? I have to go overseas and am worried about taking my dog who has CHF.

Thank you.

Replied by Robin
Los Angeles
04/17/2016

I wanted to chime in after spending hours reading this thread and researching the supplements mentioned.

My Cavalier, Margot ( http://cutepiece.tumblr.com ), has had a murmur most of her life. I was told it was normal.

In August 2015 (8 years old) after a flight to Canada she ended up in the emergency clinic having a pulmonary event - her lungs were drained and she was promptly put on benazapril, torsemide & vetmedin.

Last week (April 2016) we returned to the cardiologist & new x-rays/echo showed her condition has worsened. She is now on benazapril, tosemide, vetmedin, Sildenafil (Viagra), & Spironolactone. And gabapentin too because she's experienced syringomyelia symptoms since 2010.

I can't believe it took me this long to research supplements that could help her - I feel like I would have kept her in much better shape and we wouldn't be where we are now.

That said, here we are. Margot is 8 1/2 years old with a severe heart murmur (no number mentioned), MVD, fluid in her lungs & a cocktail of drugs keeping her reasonably comfortable. She sleeps most of the day, coughs often & has very little energy though she's still happy to see me and snuggle.

After reading so many helpful threads I am now eagerly seeking a holistic vet in LA - oddly neither of these sites turn up anything so I'll be looking for the closest ones in neighboring cities. I'm also changing her diet from dried food to chicken/spinach/other veggies. Which means we'll have matching diets.

Thank you all so much for contributing to this thread. And thank you Katie for maintaining your presence over the years. It's a tremendous help.

We'll be into a holistic vet ASAP and I'll be bringing a list of everything you folks have mentioned here.

Fingers crossed I can help slow down the progress of this thing.

With love, Robin & Margot

Replied by Katie
Northport, Ny
04/18/2016

Amy, my better judgement tells me that you should not be flying with your dog in his serious and fragile condition. Someone just placed a post on EC yesterday whose dog wound up being hospitalized for CHF after taking a flight to Canada. I would not take this risk.

Replied by April
Grand Cayman
05/13/2016

Hello. I have a 10-year old, female, pure bread Miniature Schnauzer named Daisy. She was just diagnosed with heart disease, 2-days ago. She has been prescribed Viagra (to help with blood flow) & Furosemide (diuretic) to help reduce fluid build up.

About 1-year ago, Daisy became very sick and we admitted her to the University of Minnesota Veterinary clinic. At that time, they did pick up on a slight heart murmur, but this was not the primary reason she needed specialty care. She had low blood counts & platelets, which turned out to be severe anemia. Looking back, the heart murmur was probably something we should have investigated further, as a precursor to her condition now.

A couple of weeks ago, Daisy started gasping, like she couldn't catch her breath. After it happened a second time, I brought her to the vet. X-rays showed a slightly enlarged heart. Echocardiogram results showed that heart disease has set in her right ventricles.

Although Daisy is 10-years old, she is quite an active & youthful looking dog, which I suppose makes accepting this diagnosis so much harder, as she hasn't behaved or had the appearance of an “old” dog.

We live in the Cayman Islands, so it will be difficult for me to find some of the supplements recommended in this forum. Every summer we usually travel, with Daisy, to Minnesota. After reading some of the above posts, I am hesitant to bring her on an airplane. I would like to get her back to the U of M, where they have a cardic department, for a second opinion. Our flight is usually 2 hours to Atlanta, with a 4.5 hour layover, then 2.5 hours to Minneapolis.

This is all new territory that I'm learning about…I would appreciate any advice or recommendations that you might have to offer, as we would love to extend a good quality of life to our precious Daisy. I thank you in advance.

Replied by Amy
Little Rock, Ar
05/14/2016

Hi April. I know how you feel, as I felt the same way when my dog got diagnosed with CHF in March. It's tempting to blame ourselves or tell ourselves we should've done this or that, but the important thing is to focus on the present. For us, his acute condition necessitated the use of conventional medication. I also started him on several supplements, but we wanted a more permanent solution, so we looked into surgical options. We are planning to take our dog to France for mitral valve repair surgery. I've been in contact with other U.S. pet parents who've done this, and they have shared with me how they took their dogs on the overseas flight. I'm sure you know this already, but if your dog is small enough, it can fly in the cabin with you in a carrier under the seat in front of you. If your dog is a service animal or an emotional support animal/psychiatric service animal, it also can fly in the cabin with you. Another option for those with the means to do it would be to charter a private jet or try to find an empty leg flight on one. I also know there is at least one cross Atlantic passenger cruise ship that allows dogs aboard in kennels, but it ports in England only. I don't know if there are any passenger ships from the Cayman Islands to the U.S. that allows dogs, but maybe you can look into that too. I don't know how you normally fly with your dog back to Minnesota, but I personally would not fly my dog in the cargo area especially now since he has CHF. I hope this helps somewhat. I wish you and Daisy all the best, and don't give up hope. As you can see, there are many people on this forum who have been able to manage their dog's heart disease very successfully in different ways.

Replied by Jeff
Georgia
06/28/2016

I have two Boston Terriers both in final stages of heart failure. I have been using Wu Ling to control fluid retention with great results. However, lately it seems I have to administer more Wu Ling to achieve the same results. Question -- anyone have any guidelines as to dosage? Can you give too much Wu Ling? What is the danger of over administration. Sincerely, Jeff

Replied by Krista
Florida
09/03/2016

My 12 year old Pomeranian is in the early stages of heart failure. Was wondering how much was safe to give him since I read it helped with heart issues. I ordered a powdered d ribose.


Vaccinations and Congestive Heart Failure  

Posted by Pad (Berwick, Pa) on 08/12/2010

Approximately 5 weeks ago my 6 year old Doberman had his annual vaccinations. The vet said he was in perfect health and weighed 95 pounds. I feed him
Nutro and Freshpet dog food and he is very active with our lab-mix dog. About 2 weeks ago I gave him a rawhide chew which I very rarely give him but thought I would give him a treat. The next day he started gagging and coughing as if something was stuck in his throat. I took him to a different vet because his normal vet wasn't in. The new vet felt around and after listening to his heart expressed concern over his heart rate. After an x-ray she informed me that Magnes had an enlarged heart (dilated cardiomyopathy) and his lungs were full of fluid and that is why he was gagging. She started him on Lasix and Enacard which really made him stop eating and lose weight. I took him to his regular vet the next day who said he scratched his bowel and that is why his heart was under stress. He gave me an antibiotic for a bacterial infection. The following Friday I had an echocardiogram done and an x-ray of his stomach which showed and enlarged liver. A blood test came back okay except for elevated liver enzymes and cholesterol. He had a rough weekend last week, his gums were white and he fainted once. He was started on an additional heart medicaine called Vetmedin on monday and seems to be stabilized. He still won't eat that much and needs the food broken up into small pieces. I guess I am writing all this because 2 weeks ago he was a normal healthy dog and now he is in stages of congestive heart failure? Does this happen all of a sudden or is something else wrong or did the vaccines or rawhide cause all this mess?

In my gut I have a very hard time believing that he got this sick this fast from something that should take years to develop. If anyone has any insight or recomendations please help. Thank You, PAD

Replied by Jordan's Mom
Lansing, Mi Usa
08/30/2010

Thuja 30c is recommended for vaccine issues. I saw one recommendation of giving it 3x's, once every 12yrs. It is good to give shortly after vaccines, as well. Most health food stores carry this. It is tiny pellets. I was trying to find some other info I had about giving thuja, then giving, ?silica I think or another remedy after that. If I find it I will reply again. If you can afford it you may want to consult a homeopathic vet since this sounds rather serious.

Replied by April
North Carolina, US
05/06/2014

I'm interested in an answer to the last question. is this something that can just happen overnight? I have a 6 year old chihuahua that was diagnosed yesterday with a stage 3-4 systolic murmur on the left side and fluid in the lungs. He was prescribed lasix and a follow up appointment.

He has been perfectly fine and perfectly normal until 2 nights ago when he woke up coughing and gagging and the next morning he could barely move. Now his body is swollen, he sleeps all day and he can barely walk 20 feet without simply falling over from exhaustion.

I'm heartbroken and I hope I see big results after the Lasix kicks in. He's never been sick and never shown any signs of anything being wrong. This is a complete shock.

Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn
05/06/2014

Hey April!

The post you replied to is over three years old; in case the original contributor doesn't see your post I will chip in.

Occasionally, DCM-like heart muscle dysfunction develops secondary to an identifiable cause such as a toxin or an infection. a breed that likely has a genetic component to the condition, it's more likely the dog had the condition that was undiagnosed until it developed to the point where it could no longer be missed, and perhaps the rawhide chew irritating the bowel was what it took to put it over the edge.

In the case of your chi, it's hard to know why the seemingly sudden onset of severe symptoms. These are some conditions and diseases that may bring on murmurs:

Systolic Murmurs

  • Anemia
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Heartworm disease
  • Mitral and tricuspid valve heart failure
  • Cardiomyopathy and aortic valve insufficiency
  • Mitral and tricuspid valve dysplasia
  • Systolic anterior mitral motion (SAM)
  • Dynamic right ventricular outflow obstruction
  • Dynamic subaortic stenosis
  • Aortic stenosis
  • Pulmonic stenosis
  • Atrial and ventricular septal defect
  • Tetralogy of Fallot
  • Mitral and tricuspid valve endocarditis (inflammation of the inner part of the heart)

Source: http://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/cardiovascular/c_dg_heart_murmur

Please keep us posted on how your boy does on the meds!

Replied by Ray
Calgary, CA
01/09/2015

Lasix is a diuretic.... it is to take water out of the body, since in congestive heart failure the lungs fill up with fluid.

Usually besides the diuretic they also give some other meds to strengthen the heart. The fluid comes since the heart is pushing too hard to get the blood circulating... and so pushes fluid out of the blood into the lungs. So the diuretic is useless by itself unless you also do something for the heart.

My precious little dog died a few months ago. The lasix helped his lungs but his heart finally gave out. The problem of his heart beating too fast was because his heart valves gave out. A week earlier the vet said his heart was fine and then bang... he fainted... and then the vet saw the congestive heart failure.

Vets are only human. They can miss a lot. A good strong heart doesn't mean that the valves won't go. An early sign is hearing heart murmurs. Some vets miss the sound of the murmurs. But looking back I realize now that a few years back another vet, when we were out of town, told us our little felllow had heart murmurs. But then our normal vet never found any such thing. Sadly, the time to do something would have been when the heart murmurs were first noticed. After the congestive heart failure diagnosis our guy lasted 2 weeks, and then we cried for 2 months. I was worried sick for the 2 weeks, feeling his heartbeat every time I took him for walks. A few times I gave him cpr. Then I realized that we all have to die sooner or later and I stopped worrying. I'm sorry I can't help you by recommending any meds. I feel for your pain. Just try to make your friend as happy as possible.

Happiness and a feeling of being loved and wanted kept our dog alive long past the time when the vet said he should have gone.

Replied by Jody
Omaha
01/22/2015

My dog is a rat terrier. He had eaten a small dog treat and he must have swallowed a good sized portion of the treat because later some time afterwards he went outside with me to take out the trash which only took maybe a minute. I turned around as soon as I dropped the trash into the bin, and I saw him just fall over. I was so scared and rushed him right into the vet. I informed the vet that he had eaten a treat earlier. He said that the last of the treat that didn't get chewed properly got stuck in the esophagus at the point where the vagus nerve is. When something presses on it that close, it can cause fainting! It eventually went down and he never fainted again. I stopped giving him any rawhide treats or the ones that are hard and small enough to choke on. My dog is such an aggressive chewer that I only give him the nyla-bone type dog chew toy. It isn't worth it to risk another accident. He has been fine ever since.

Replied by Jessica
Chicopee Ma
04/13/2015

Hi,

I have a 15 year old Japanese Chin that was just diagnosed with a grade 5 heart murmur. The vet said he has fluid around his heart, so we are going to put him on a diuretic to lessen the constriction of his heart. She said this should make the murmur better. We did a full panel and all of his organs are functioning perfectly (YAY!!!! ). At 15 I was surprised. My question is what supplements could I give him a boost after this major trauma and to maintain his health. I feed him Orijens senior and am wondering if I should add some raw food and bone meal as well as fish oil?

Replied by Annette
Jericho, Ny
07/18/2015

Hi Katie, Could you please give me the name of your holistic vet. I've been to two already and wasn't very satisfied with them. They are both in Huntington. Thank you, Annette

Replied by Stacie
Valdosta Ga
10/17/2015

I have a 1 1/2 yr old neo mastiff that we recently found out she is in CHF! She was a healthy happy pup when we got her around 10 months.All of a sudden she got where she was not eating all of her food (NOT like her at all she was eating 6 cups a day). She started losing weight fast .

One morning I get up to let all the dogs out and notice her asleep, her tummy looked really big! Almost like she was pregnant (she is spayed) so I immediatly called our vet and they tell me to rush her there! We get there they ask us to leave her so they can run test and then I get the worst phone call!!!! MY BEAUTIFUL baby is in CHF??? One day shes perfect the next day im told they dont know if shes gonna make it through the night??? shes is currently on ALOT of meds right now and I take her every 2 weeks for the fluid to be drained off of her! Through it all she never acts like she is in any pain! She has been a real trooper through everything!!

Replied by Gretchen R.
Nc
05/19/2016

Want to help the dog? Try probiotics. My dogs grew aggressively active toward food. Indeed, like puppies in terms of activity.

They are maltese, 15, and one is on all those meds you mentioned. I'm trying to find kidney support now. Lasix will do a number on kidneys after awhile. I'm using the Pet Kelp probiotic. There are a number of them. They are good for the dog. Wish I had known about them sooner.

Replied by Stephanie
California
05/23/2016

my 11 yr old Chi had a cough for approx. 3 weeks, I thought it was allergies due to Spring and being windy. X rays taken and his treckea left side collapsed. Vet said to try DM cough med. 5 days later, I'm watching him sleeping and his little tummy is going up and down mile a minute. My vet had told me to keep an eye on his breathing becuz in his X rays he could see some fluid.. Count his breathing for one min. Anything over 50 bring him right in. He was at 25 breaths in 10 seconds. Rushed him in they kept him..did an ecg..his heart was 300 mpg.

Long story short..we knew he had a heart murmur, but just 9 months ago he was fine. Had some teeth pulled, they always check his heart to see if he can be put under to pull them. Now.just in these past 3 weeks. His heart is at a 5/6. Fluid still in stomach...on 2 heart meds 2x day as well as lasik, for the fluid. Can't get rid of his cough. Very dry hacking...also had an echocardiogram done on him...he will be on meds the rest of his life...no stress..no playing ball...nothing. If I'm lucky I might have him in my life for maybe 2 to 3 years. It really depends on home your furr baby can handle everything. I am just so thankful that I was at home that day when his little heart was in such stress. I gone at least 50 hrs.a week working. My Neighbor watches him at her house everyday...she is his 97 yr. old Grandma. He keeps her alive!!!! Love them everyday....you just never know what will happen next. Prayers to you all❤️❤️🐾🐾🐾🐾