Cure Canine Heart Murmur: Natural Pet Remedies

| Modified on Sep 04, 2023
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Home Remedies for Pets with Heart Murmurs

Heart murmurs are abnormal sounds or vibrations heard in the heart and caused by blood flow; and this is a disorder that affects both humans and pets alike. Usually only audible by stethoscope, a heart murmur is usually due to conditions outside the heart like turbulent blood flow rather than the heart itself; but can be caused by narrowing or leaking heart valves. Heart murmur in dogs can range from simple to grave, with symptoms like poor appetite, weight loss, breathing problems; and are more serious when you pet has fainting spells and a weak pulse, and an underlying cause must be determined. Heart murmur in cats can stunt the growth of kittens.

A heart murmur can be indicative of a number of illnesses: anemia, hyperthyroidism, heartworm, heart valve failure, heart inflammation, and the narrowing of veins and arteries. Treatment shouldn’t wait, especially if the heart murmur is audible without a stethoscope or can be felt by hand.

Treat Your Pet’s Heart Murmur Naturally

On this page you can find user-submitted home remedies to treat heart murmurs. Earth Clinic readers have suggested the use of a number of diet supplements such as milk thistle, krill oil, D-ribose, L-arginine, ester-C, magnesium, and carnitine to remedy heart murmurs in pets. Let us know what you try from Earth Clinic to treat heart murmurs in pets. Know of a remedy not listed here? Don’t hesitate to share your story with us!

Additional Pages of Interest:
Canine Congestive Heart Failure

CoQ10, Hawthorn Berry

2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Deanna F. (Fairmont, MN) on 04/11/2022
5 out of 5 stars

Our 14 yr old dog is benefitting from Coq10 (12mg) and Hawthorne Berry (6 drops) once per day to support a significant heart murmur. We'd like to increase to twice per day and eliminate the Enalapril and Lasix (once per day). Can we safely do I.e. Coq10 and/or Hawthorne B safe in these doses twice per day?

Replied by Jean
(Louisville, ky)
5 out of 5 stars

I would say yes. I realize this post is somewhat older. I give my almost 17 year old, 22 pound dog, 50 mg ubiquinol daily, plus hawthorn for her heart murmur. Along with other supplements, she has stayed stable for over 3 years. She has never been on pharmaceuticals. She was diagnosed by a vet cardiologist. She did have a bout with heartworm about six years ago.


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Steve (FL) on 01/15/2022
5 out of 5 stars

Gave D-Ribose to my 5 pound yorkie baby girl, heart murmur gone in 3 weeks, confirmed by 2 Vets

Replied by H

Hi Steve, what dose helped your pup? Ours is 5 pounds as well...

Replied by Kris
(Santa Barbara, Ca.)

How do I find out more about these protocols? How much D-Ribose is appropriate? Any certain brand?

Replied by David
(Tampa FL)

What brand of D-Ribose did you use and where did you learn about using this to crte a heart murmur?

Fresh Watermelon, Supplements

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Barbara (San Antonio, Texas) on 04/30/2021
5 out of 5 stars

Re: Canine With Heart Murmur Has Excess Fluid

I'm having good results giving my 13 year old, 10 pound Chiweenie fresh watermelon chunks every morning. In the raw food diet I feed him, I also adding New Chapter's Water Factors( 2 tabs, finely crushed, twice a day).

Replied by Denna
(Tulsa, Ok)

I recently went to take my dog who is a mixed breed to have him neutered. I found out he has a heart murmur he is 6 months old took to the vet. Surgery is $10,000. I can't afford that. Called around to some places to get financial help no funds available. I'm not sure what to do he murmur is at a 6. Any suggestions would be appreciated.



(Philadelphia, PA)
1 posts

Omg!!! I just saw this website under and it seems that she helped sooo many people! I was just checking it out for my 5lb almost 15 year old chihuahua.

Replied by Dawn
(Florence, SC)

Hi! I'm trying to find the water factors tablets you mentioned from New Factor, but cannot find them on their website. Is there a different name for them?
Thank you!

EC: Perhaps she got the brand name wrong? Here is Water Factors from Country Life:

General Feedback

Posted by Julie (CAN) on 02/21/2021

Hi there,

Please can you help me? I've just lost my girl poodle and her brother has been diagnosed with stage 2 heart murmur no need for drugs I want something so it doesn't get worse and possibly improve GE also has spondylitis and spondylitus please can you recommend something that will help heal him he's also grieving his sister. I'm heartbroken she had heart failure but later nearly 15 months after diagnosis she was on bettering fortekor and frusiminde. I live in nz do you deliver please

Many thanks

General Feedback
Posted by Maltesemum (Norfolk, Virginia) on 03/25/2013

This is the only place I've found hope. My 7 yr old puppy mill survivor maltese pup was diagnosed with a #4 murmur about three weeks ago. Looking for alternative treatments to her enecard (enalapril) vetmed and lasix. Vet has not told me of the side effects of these drugs the way the web has. My pup who ate anything ever put before her now is hardly eating and in such a crazy pattern is completely impossible for me to predict what she will nibble on or not... She dances and lights up as she always has at the prospect of food or a treat but then walks away rather than eating it.

I am a small breed animal rescue and focus on Maltese and puppy mill girls though I don't walk away from any pup. This sweet baby was released in 2008/09 with 5 others but was th only one who tested positive for heart worm, she survived that treatment miraculously and has been in excellent health until this diagnosis. My tip off was a cough that was consistent for a couple three days. I am not ready to accept a "terminal" diagnosis. All my pups are on a natural holistic diet - no wheat no corn or soy. Research led me here, now I need to understand more.

Thanks in advance for any tips to try to save my girl.

General Feedback
Posted by Marsha (Tucson, Az) on 11/15/2012

To Katie from Northpoint - You said deceased dog from using Homeopath's methods. Is this your Cavalier? Because then you said that Cavalier is on phytonutrients namely Standard Process. Please clarify because I am very interested. I am in same situation with Cav and heart murmur. I am waiting to hear back from Dr. West for exact protocol but meanwhile I am using his People Protocol. I know an 86yr old woman who healed her Atrial Fib w/ Dr. West's protocol. She is off all meds and hikes mountains. Wondering if all these tabs, even though they are food product, could be too much on dog's kidneys etc. How is your Cav acting when you give the Standard Process? Sometimes I notice my dog acts like a puppy yet stills coughs. Did you have your dog re-diagnosed? Thx, Marsha

Replied by Katie
(Northport, Ny)

I originally had two cavaliers, now I only have one. My deceased dog was the one that was treated with pharmaceuticals and homeopathy (at the very end). After his passing I learned about the magnesium, CoQ-10, ribose and carnitine. (I believe that had I given these to him at that time that it would have helped to get him out of the woods, so to speak. ) Subsequent research has now lead me to phytonutrients, which I am currently giving to my surviving dog with the MVP. My dog has not been re-examined by a cardiologist yet (only an internist), but I plan to do that soon.

You mentioned that your dog coughs. Was he examined by a cardiologist and if so what was the diagnosis? The dog that I lost coughed too. The cardiologist told me that my dog had a severely enlarged heart and that it was pressing on his trachea and that this caused the cough. My dog's cough also got much worse once they put him on Enalapril. This medication caused him to have a terrible dry, hacking cough which is known as the "enalapril cough". This was a terrible med for my dog. I believe it dropped his blood pressure so much that he was in a fog and would just stare at the walls. I eventually had to have this med reduced because of the negative effects it had on my dog.

My current dog is not on any meds at all and he doesn't have a cough. He's fine with the supplements I've been giving him. I've had a few blood tests taken in the past 10 months or so and his kidney values have remain unchanged.

Replied by Lovelen

My Cavalier has MVD and I have been using Honey Hound Syrup and the Empirical Lung and Heart Qi Capsules. I have recently added cayenne pepper and ginger to the syrup. He has been very responsive to it (currently on Enalapril, Lasix and Vetmedin). I also switched over to a raw diet. Since June 2012, I have seen some signs of improvement.

General Feedback
Posted by Lena (San Francisco) on 11/05/2012

Katie, My recently adopted 12-year old Chihuahua was diagniosed with a grade 1 murmur by a holistic vet; two months later with a grade 3 by a vet cardiologist who suggested blood pressure tests and chest-x-rays so I am so grateful that I came upon your posts on this site. She is asymptomatic though has one slightly elevated kidney reading. Bio-thorne ( in dry form ) as prescribed by the holistic vet upset her stomach so I am now giving her liquid Hawthorne drops preserved in glycerine which she willingly takes. I generally feed her Wellness Senior food along with Omega-3's or The Missing Link for skin and coat, usually adding a bit of fresh boiled chicken with rice and last week, started adding two good tablespoons of prepared raw food ( turkey, oats, carrots, kelp, etc. ) from a pet food store here. She really takes to the raw food. Do you think Hawthorne is effective in this situation as it differs from Bio-thorne. Also, since my poor doggie has broken teeth ( no bad breath at all , though ) I will have her checked by a doggie dentist as dental problems may have brought about her condition. Thank you for posting this invaluable information as I have suspected that drugs are not the only response to my beautiful Nicki's heart murmur if/when it worsens. I am inspired by your reasearch!

Replied by Katie
(Northport, Ny)

Hi Lena. Yes, many times a regular vet cannot accurately grade a murmur this has happened to me in the past too. They do not have the specialized training of a cardiologist. Also, my cardiologist told me that murmurs can be subjective up to Grade 4.

I do not have any personal experience with hawthorn, so I cannot give you my opinion on it. I do know, however, that it's considered to be an important cardiac herb.

Replied by Ckavanagh
(Roanoke, Va, Usa)

I have extensive experience with Hawthorne, Cayenne (I use Habanero's), COQ10 (or Ubuquinol), Taurine, Carnitine, Astaxanthin, d-ribose, plus other things like Spiulina and Chlorella. I use many of these myself, but they're mainly for my Jack Russell (T-Bone). He has a leaking valve in his heart.

He has a heart murmur (3 out of 5). He was diagnosed 4-5 yrs ago. He has NEVER, to this day been on ANY heart medication. I started out with COQ10 & Hawthorne (plus Chlorella) & this helped greatly. However hos cough continued at night. I switched him to Ubuquinol (twice/day), & kept him on the rest. This spring his coughing became worse, although the Vet couldn't understand why. I put T-Bone on Taurine (amino acid), 500mg, 3x per day. His coughing became better, however he still coughed at night.

I began reading about Astaxanthin & d-ribose. I added Astaxanthin first, and his endurance increased but he still coughed at night. I then added d-ribose (2x/day, 500mg). At first nothing happened, then a 'miracle' occured on the 3rd day. His coughing STOPPED! That was about 6 weeks ago. He still will "clear his throat" occasionally, but rarely coughs. I was stunned to say the least. And thank you Dr Steven Sinatra for your books & articles leading me to Ribose.

I didn'tmention it, but I also make my own Habanero Tincture. It's EXCELLENT for the heart. It would stop his coughing (temporaily) cold. You can obviously buy it, but I prefer to make my own. Hawthorne combined with these hot pepper tinctures is AMAZING in itself, & will heal heart disease.

(North Carolina)

How do I know how much of these herbs to give? My daughter 4 month old golden retriever was diagnosed with Grade 5 heart murmur --- he saw a cardiologist today with results: pulmonic stenosis and subaortic stenosis! I really want to try the herbal routee - can you give me some direction?


You need to listen to a vet and do real medicine if your golden has SAS and PS. That is incredibly serious and life-ending. Talk to your cardiologist. They will give you both heart medication and supplement advice.


Julie, Earth Clinic is a holistic site. At one time ALL medicine was holistic. Not everyone can afford 5,000 for heart surgery. We All do the best we can so no need for judgementalism here.


How do you give your dog a supplement like Astaxanthin & d-ribose. Do you wrap it in a pill pocket? I take cayenne pepper liquid under my tongue when my heart drives me crazy and persists and it does work. Do you give a cayenne pepper in a capsule and how much do you give a 10 lb dog? I tried habenero and no can do!! LOL

36 posts

I found a very small astaxanthin softgel that was about 4mg that was easy to hide in some canned dog food and my dog took it without any problem.

I buy the D-ribose in powder form and it's easy to give mixed in with the food. It's sweet so my dog doesn't mind it.


Do not give d-ribose in powder form to dogs. Most contain Xylitol which is toxic to dogs.


Xylitol is toxic to dogs. D-ribose is not.


Are you saying d ribose naturally has xylitol? bc mine only lists d ribose as an ingredient nothing else. are you saying that is not safe?


Hi C Kavanagh,

Would you share about how to make the Hawthorne combined with hot pepper tinctures, please? Also please advise where you buy your supplements and how you come up with the correct dosage. Thanks.

(San Antonio, Tx)

Hi Virginia, Sorry to hear about your daughter's golden, hope they're doing well. I would recommend the facebook group Holistic Help for Pets. They will help greatly and get to the real solution.

Karen M.

Hi.. I realise that your post is old and your precious may not be around any longer,, but I'm wondering how your dog went on this protocol?. Did you end up opting for meds.. would love an update

Multiple Remedies

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Dee (Syracuse, Ny) on 12/15/2014
5 out of 5 stars

My dog rescue dog (11 year old, 30lbs, beagle) begin coughing like crazy back in Decemeber after having surgery to remove some bloody warts on his head. At first I thought it might be due the surgey or an respitory infection so I waited a couple of weeks but it never disippated, instead it got worse. At the end of the month I took him back to the vet who then did an x-ray that showed Ridley's heart had enlarged a little and his murmur had progressed from a 3-4 level to a 5-6 and was diagnosed with CHF, Mitral Valve.

The Vet recommended Furosemide 40 mg 2x a day and Enalapril 10 mg 2x a day and also recommmended I take him to a cardiologist who I could not afford at the cost of $300, but I did put him on the medications as suggested. Also Ridley's respiratory rate was vey high his resting rate was 36-39. I was told by the vet that a resting respiratory rate over 35-40 breaths per minute is considered abnormal.

So I was instructed to do the following:

  1. Wait until your pet is sleeping soundly (i.e. not dreaming), and not panting or purring.
  2. Count the number of times the chest rises and falls (1 full rise and fall equals 1 breath) over 60 seconds.
  3. Do this at least once a day for 7 days, and record your pet's resting respiratory rate on your calendar I did it twice a day for two weeks then only checked it periodically over a week.

Ridley seemed to stabilize, but the Lasix was really a mess to deal with and upon reading up on it I found out about the side effects it causes to the kidneys. This really concerned me but the vet promised me the Lasix WOULD NOT become a regular part of his prescriptions but that we would only use it up until any excess fluid had been released within a reasonable time as not to cause any damage.

Sometime in March Ridley's cough had gotten better but it had not stopped completely so the vet recommended we add in Vetmedin which I agreed to but at the cost $86 every 30 days it was killing me but I remained faithful to ensuring Ridley had what he needed. Within two weeks the coughing stopped and his respiratory rate went down to 26-28. I was relieved. At the begining of the next month I spoke with the vet about about possible reducing the amount of Lasix Ridley was on and was basically told if I reduced it he would die. I questioned the vet about the long term usage of the Lasix on Ridley's kidneys and he dismissed my concerns. Also the two first medications (Furosemide and Enalapril) the vet charged me almost $60 to refill them every month through him and my not knowing any better at the time found out at a later date that both medications were used by humans and could be refilled at Walmart for almost 4 times less the cost.

After the back and forth with the vet I decided to get a second opinion and found out that the 1st vet had Ridley at almost the highest levels you could use for both medications that were needed at extremely detrimental cases. I was then very alarmed and decided to switch to the new vet who after receiving Ridley's medical records requested a blood and urine panel for him adjusted his medications accordingly. We even cut back his daily dosage of Furosemide to half.

I also through research found a supplement called Formula CV for Dogs & Cats" made by Rx Vitamins that came highly recommended and decided to add it in as well. Formula CV for Dogs & Cats" Ingredients per capsule: Hawthorn Berry (standardized 3.2% vitexin) 100 MG L-Carnitine (pharmaceutical grade amino acid) 100 MG L- Taurine (pharmaceutical grade amino acid) 50 MG Vitamin E (d-alpha tocopherol succinate) 75 IU Dimethylglycine (DMG) 10 MG Magnesium (citrate) 10 MG Potassium (citrate) 10 MG Coleus Forskolii 10 MG. Selenium (selenomethionine) 5 MCG Suggested use: One capsule twice daily for each 25-50 lbs. Body weight, or as recommended by a veterinarian. For cats, 1/2 capsule daily.

The reason why I am giving all this detailed information upfornt is something became appearent to me:

  1. Not all vets are the same if your still unclear to the what, when and why seek another opinion.
  2. When your pet gets placed on long term medications research the side effects and weigh the benefits and cost then proceed with a plan deal to with the results. Be ready to make adjustments as needed.
  3. Ask questions it's your right as the owner and if you're still not satisfied ...see #1.
  4. Remember sometimes we have to face reality but if there is even the possibly of additional options that will help the quality of life for you beloved family pet seek them out.

Which brought me to this informative site. Between June and August Ridley did very well with little to no cough but sometime in Septemeber the cough returned and the cost of the Vetmedin was breaking me financially so I after meeting with the vet we placed Ridley back on the Furosemide 40 mg 2x a day and increased Enalapril 15 mg 2x a day. I told the vet that was no longer able to afford the Vetmedin the vet understood but had no other options for me so I decided to do some research through this and other sites to see what supplements I might try to use.

After reading all the information I felt all hope was not lost and came up with the following supplements and amounts I added to Ridley's daily regimen. NOTE: I am in no way promoting or suggesting that the below combination will work for you but if any of this information helps like it did for me do your research and I wish you and your beloved pet the very best. I now feel like I am contributing better to the quaility of life for my boy. Ridley's daily regimen....

Initial Usage -

  1. Furosemide 40 mg 2x a day
  2. Enalapril 15 mg 2x a day
  3. Fish Oil w/Omega 3 1200 mg 2x a day
  4. Vitamin E 100 UI 1x a day (morning)
  5. L-Cartnitine 200 mg 1x a day (morning)
  6. Co Q-10 plus 200 mg 1x a day (morning)
  7. Vitamin C 500 MG 1/2 tab 2x a day
  8. D-Ribose 750 mg 1x a day (morning)
  9. Super Vit B Complex* 1x a day (morning) Garlic 580 mg 2x a day *Super Vit B Complex contains b-1, b-2, b-6, b-12, calcium, niacin and folic acid.

I also bought a brand of dog food within MY budget Purina One SmartBlend dry and canned because it list real lamb as the first ingredient blended with other high-quality protein sources that helps support strong muscles and a healthy heart. It also has Omega-6 and has an antioxidant blend of Vitamins E & A along with minerals zinc and selenium.

What I Found Out:

  • First week the cough slowed down in frequency and engery level getting better.
  • Second week coughed only in the morning for a very short time upon awakening and energy level even better. Respiratory rate steady 23-24.
  • Third week no cough at all and energy level ...omg. Respiratory rate steady 21-23
  • Fourth week same as third week. Respiratory rate STILL steady 21-23.
  • Following month I decided to decrease the Furosemide to 30 mg with the hopes of being able to decrease to 15 mg within a month or so there after. Respiratory rate STILL steady 21-23.

What Today Looks Like for Us: NO coughing and I reduced the Furosemide to 20 mg currently..Enalapril amount still in place. Ridley is very happy and ventures out in the yard like never before but he still a old sweet

What Else Do I Do:

  1. Keep PLENTY of fresh water on hand.
  2. 1/2 banana for a treat twice a day.
  3. Check Ridley's respiratory rate every night before I go to bed.
  4. Get a blood and urine panel every 4 to 6 months and another x-ray here shortly.
  5. Allow for additional bathroom breaks at least every 2 hours when possible on the weekends and every hour and a half in the evenings when I get off work in the evenings.

To all my fellow pet parents you're not alone. I know how you feel and I understand the decisions that you have to make that are hard like this one. I wish you the very best. My results may not be yours but I wanted to contribute to a site that assisted me with good insights and resources. We all know that there will never be that "one work approach". We all have to come to some type of decision and then do the best we can without regret. I now feel like I am personally giving back the unconditional love Ridley gives me. My prayers are with you.

Replied by Felicia

Was wondering if Ridley is still doing well on the supplements? I am trying to help my eleven year old chihuahua with chf by giving her supplements of carnitine, taurine, d-ribose and would like to see if there is anyone who has had long term success using these supplements in treating congestive heart failure.

Replied by Amy
(Little Rock, Ar)

Hi Dee,

I was wondering if you were able to reduce and finally eliminate all of Ridley's medications. If you did, how did you go about it? How long did it take before you completed weaned him off of everything? Did you increase your supplements once he got completely weaned off?

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated! Thank you.


Replied by Kaye
(Sallis Ms)

I was also ripped off at the vet on these medications. I changed vets and was able to have some of these called into my local pharmacy at a fraction of the cost. Also much better prices at online pharmaceutical for animals.

Replied by Karen

Thank you for your post...we just rescued our 3.5 lb chihuahua terrier mix puppy...took her to the vet the day after we got her...he diagnosed her with CHF with murmurs in all four chambers of her gives her a year... we are so upset... he didn't give us any medical advice... guess he thought we'd opt to have her put down but that is not an option for us... she is not in any distress and hardly ever coughs...may try some of what has worked for you.

Replied by Roe
(New York)

Thank you! Going thru almost exact same thing with my 12 1/2 yr old doodle. Going to look into supplement you reccommmend.

Replied by Stevie

Vetmedin Is now very very affordable through California Pet meds only 35 dollars. Also there are so many online companies who have low cost drugs now

Replied by Donna
(Covington. La)

Katie, hello- I posted on here a year ago. I have a 6.5 yr old Cavalier with a grade 3 murmur. He weighs 21.6 lbs. I want to start him on the Standard Process Cardio Plus and the Whole Body Support. How much should I give him of each ? Thanks, Donna

Multiple Supplements

5 User Reviews
5 star (5) 

Posted by Katie (Northport, New York) on 10/05/2011
5 out of 5 stars

My 8 year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was diagnosed with a Grade 2 heart murmur in January of this year. After researching Mitral Valve Disease (which runs in this breed) and Congestive Heart Failure, I immediately started him on Ubiquinol, liquid magnesium, liquid carnitine, ribose and vitamin C. In addition I also give him colostrum.

I just took him back to the cardiologist to be reexamined and was told that his heart murmur is gone and that everything is within normal range. Thank God. I will keep him on these supplements for life!

Unfortunately, my first Cavalier died of congestive heart failure (which started as a Grade 2 murmur and then progressed to CHF in about 2-1/2 years). I had no experience with heart disease at the time and didn't know how to treat him. I wish I knew then what I know now. If I did, I believe my dog would still be here with me.

FYI, these are the dosages I am giving to my 25 lb. Dog:

Ubiquinol - 50 mg. TWICE daily

Liquid Magnesium - 1/2 tsp in the a.m.

Liquid Carnitine (1000 mg) - 1/2 tsp TWICE daily

Ribose - 850 mg. TWICE daily

Vitamin C - 250 mg TWICE daily

Colostrum - 1/4 tsp TWICE daily

Replied by Donna
(Covington, La)

My 5 year old Cavalier was just diagnosed with a grade 2 heart murmur. He has an appointment with a cardiologist later this week. Thanks Katie for the information on all the supplements that you are giving your cavalier. That is wonderful news that the heart looks normal now! That gives me hope! What are the brands of each supplement that you are using? How to you give your dog the pills? Thanks for any and all help. Donna

Replied by Katie
(Northport, NY)

Hi Donna, I was giving my dog the following supplements up until a month ago I purchased all of these supplements at with the exception of the magnesium. Note: I learned about the use of these supplements from the integrative cardiologist, Dr. Stephen Sinatra. Dr. Sinatra has written a couple of books and refers to the following four supplements (ubiquinol, magnesium, carnitine and ribose) as "The Awesome Foursome". He uses them in his own practice.

1) Ubiquinol (ubiquinol is a highly absorbable form of Co-Q10). I chose the 50 mg. "Quino-Gel" Ubiquinol from Swanson because it is water soluble, instead of oil soluble, which means you don't need to take it with a fat to be absorbed.

2) Liquid Magnesium. I purchased "Angstrom Magnesium" from I chose this form of magnesium because it was recommended by Dr. Carolyn Dean (she's written a few books on the benefits of magnesium). She said this form is highly absorbable, and doesn't have the laxative effects that some magnesium can have.

3) Liquid Carnitine. I was giving my dog the NOW Foods "Liquid L-Carnitine" (1, 000 mg. ) which I also purchased from Swanson

4) D-Ribose. I purchased the 850 mg. capsules and gave my dog 1 capsule TWICE daily.

5) Whole Food Vitamin C. I bought the "MegaFood Complex C" because it's made from whole food such as oranges, amlas, peppers, rosehips and is supposed to be much more bioavailable than regular ascorbic acid.

6) Colostrum. Note: Although I originally gave this to my dog, -- I stopped it. I didn't think my dog was getting any benefit from it. So, I don't think I would continue to recommend it.


About a month ago, I took my dog off of the "isolated" supplements listed in my post above. I wondered if they could create an imbalance in him over the long term and, besides, I now wanted to treat the underlying cause of his heart murmur/mitral valve issue. So, in my continuing research I learned that almost all cases of heart disease, has, as its underlying cause, a serious state of nutritional deficiency. I also learned that the heart will recover faster and more completely than any other organ in the body, if it is properly nourished.

So, I have since placed my dog on whole food, phytonutrient complexes that are specifically geared for the heart. I found out about these supplements during my research on heart disease. I found out about a doctor on the West coast (Dr. Bruce West) who has treated over 25,000 heart patients over the past 30 years and he uses (almost exclusively) these same RAW, WHOLE FOOD PHYTONUTRIENT SUPPLEMENTS made by a company in the mid-West called Standard Process with excellent results. Dr. West said that congestive heart failure is, like most other forms of heart disease, caused by nutritional deficiencies, specifically the B vitamins. HOWEVER, you cannot go out and buy a B complex vitamin from the store to heal your heart it won't work there's much more to it than that.

Right now I have put my dog on a modified version of a protocol he uses for humans and I am using the same phytonutrient complexes that he uses. My plans are to keep my dog on this protocol for the next 4 months or so and then bring him back to the cardiologist for a another recheck.

At that point, I will report back here with details and an update on his heart.

Replied by Michelle
(Southampton, Ny)

Hi Kate, Im interested in the supplements you used for your ogs heart murmur. My cavalier was just diagnosed with a murmur and I would like to avoid meds if possible. I'm also interested in diet deficiencies. Please inbox me and let e know if there is a chance we could speak or email privately.

I just made a cardio, ogy appt with dr fox at the animal medical center in ny. Thanks

Replied by Katie
(Northport, Ny, Us)

Hi Michelle, How do I "inbox" you so that we can speak or e-mail privately off this thread?

Replied by Gwen
(Denver, Colorado)

please share ur info with the rest of us....please:^)

Replied by Sueanne
(Milwaukee, Wi)

Will you PLEASE share the 'brand' name of the phytonutrients you use on your dog, for its murmur? We have our horses on micronutrients, and they are some of the healthies horses in the barn. If I can not put my MVD girl on drugs, I'd be very happy. Thanks!

Replied by Katie
(Northport, Ny)

Hi Sueanne, The supplements I am giving to my dog are made by a company in the midwest called Standard Process. This company has both a veterinary line and a regular line for people. I have my dog on a combination of supplements from both lines. You can't buy these supplements in the store, you can only get them through healthcare professionals such as holistic vets, naturopaths, chiropractors, etc. However, I have been able to buy them on Amazon.

The reason I have not replied to the previous posters with details about the supplements I'm giving to my dog is because I have not had him on his protocol long enough to evaluate it - and there is a chance that it still may need to be "tweeked". Also, I have not yet brought him back to the cardiologist yet for another examination, so I do not currently have a update on his heart (MVP). Once I do, however, and have good information to report (hopefully), I plan to post the information back here, along with full details.

In the meantime, however, you might want to consider starting your dog on the following Standard Process supplements for heart support. My 25 lb. dog is currently taking these, in addition to a number of other supplements.

- Canine Cardiac Support (dosed by weight)
- Canine Whole Body Support (dosed by weight)
- Cardio Plus (2 tabs TWICE daily), and
- Cold pressed Flax Oil (I use Barleans)- 1 TBS/day

Also, another consideration is that if your dog has bad teeth, like mine does (periodontal disease), my holistic vet suggested that I add Immuplex (1 tab TWICE daily) to deal with the bacterial load from those teeth. Bacteria from the teeth attach themselves to the heart valves, which in turn can either create a murmur or worsen a murmur. This is why humans with heart disease are required to take an antibiotic before they have dental work done.

Replied by Kendra
(Lebanon, Tn)

Katie, I have a Cavilier that is 13 years old with a grade 5 murmur. I wish I had known any of this a long time ago. The vet never heard it til it was to late I feel. Do you think I could start him on this regimen along with his meds that he is on? I am just wanting to make the rest of his life as quality as possible.

Replied by Katie
(Northport, NY)

Kendra, these are food based supplements, so I see no reason why you can't give them to your dog, along with the medications. If my dog were on medication right now I would give them to him, but I might start slowly (say, give a ½ dosage at each meal for the first week to see how it goes, then increase to full dosage below).

FYI, I subscribed to Dr. West's newsletter (I mentioned him in an earlier post, the newsletter is called "Health Alert") and he mentioned that when patients come to him they're usually already on meds but he starts them on these supplements right away, along with the meds. Then, as the patients start to improve he starts a drug weaning program. He said that patients should be reevaluated about 4-6 months into a program, with an eye towards lowering their meds at that point. He said it can take between 6-18 months to overcome a nutritional deficiency.

FYI, this is the protocol that Dr. West uses to treat his human patients with mitral valve prolapse and murmurs. This is the same protocol that I have my dog on. (Note that the dosages listed below are the dosages I am giving to my Cavalier, not the dosages he recommends for humans).

  • Cardio-Plus - (2 tabs TWICE daily)
  • Cataplex B - (2 tabs TWICE daily)
  • Cataplex F - (2 tabs TWICE daily)
  • Calcium Lactate - (2 tabs TWICE daily)
  • Organically Bound Minerals - (1 tab TWICE daily)
  • Cold Pressed Flax Oil (I use Barleans) - (1 tsp TWICE daily)

I am also giving my dog the following supplements, obviously, these are not part of Dr. West's protocol:

  • Canine Cardiac Support - (1/4 tsp. TWICE daily). I thought a little extra heart support wouldn't hurt.
  • Canine Whole Body Support - (1/4 tsp. TWICE daily). This is the equivalent of a multi-vitamin, which supports all the organs in the body.
  • Immuplex - (1 capsule TWICE daily). I added this because of his periodontal disease.

So, these are the phytonutrient supplements that my dog is currently on. FYI, I was very reluctant to post this information here because I have not yet had a chance to see how it works for my dog. I want to give my dog a full 8 months on this protocol before reevaluating him. However, I believe that if it can work for humans, it should work for animals too. I plan to bring my dog back to the cardiologist late this summer and will continue to monitor any progress we make through auscultations and echocardiograms. I will continue to post here with updates as that information becomes available.

Kendra, I posted this information now, with the hope that it can help your dog.

Replied by Kendra
(Lebanon, Tn)

Katie, I had not seen your response until today and I just purchased the first regimen you started with your dog. The Magnesium, ribose etc. Do you feel that those are not as good as what you are trying now? I hate that I did not see all of this until now. Do you think it is ok to continue using the first supplements you tried until you get your results back? I feel I need to do anything to help him. I have also been researching on dog foods as well. See we have a 2 fold problem here. My dog is also very yeast allergy prone. I have found out that one issue causes another. They put him on Perscription Hill Science diet cardiac dog food and that is nothing but JUNK. It has not meat in it. He is now reacting so badly to that, that I am going back to my raw diet that worked so much better. SO he might not get sodium on that commercial food but he is getting nothing but yeast triggers!

FYI there is a great website for commercial dog foods for those that do not want to make their own dog food. It is Dog Food it rates from 5star to 1star the commercial dog foods on the market, if you want to call them food! So to go by the Vets instructions my dog was TOTALLY suffering from yeast and miserable which only aggitated him and made his heart work harder. CRAZY If you want great info on the raw meat diet for dogs go to Dinovite website, better yet call them and let them explain why it is so good. Now I have to not only try to strengthen my dogs heart I have to rid his body of the yeast that the "junk" dog food put in his body! Kendra

Replied by Katie
(Northport, Ny)

Kendra, Why don't you create an account on EC where you can sign up for a watched post and be emailed if someone responds or posts to it. Go to the top of this page - go to Register, then Sign-up, then create an account - then you can sign up for a watched post.

I also took my dog off of kibble and am now feeding him raw food, just as you are and I'm doing it for the same reason. One thing I noticed almost immediately after starting the raw food is that my dog's dirty, itchy ears improved drastically. I used to have to clean them everyday, but now I'm cleaning them maybe once a week.

Kendra, what symptoms is your dog experiencing with his grade 5 murmur? What medications is your dog on? and for how long?

Replied by Judith
(Shalimar, Florida)

Katie... Would you be willing to talk to me directly about the treatment of your dog with heart murmur? I live in a small town and have no veterinary specialists near me. My precious Italian Greyhound has just been diagnosed with a Grade 2 murmur. I want to do anything and everything to help him. He is my heart.

Replied by Katie
(Northport, Ny)

Judith, please give me your e-mail address and we can talk.

Replied by Kendra
(Lebanon, Tn)

Katie, He is on a lasixs pill, Vetmedin, and enalapril maleate. He is not doing very well lately, just sleeps mostly and hard to get around. His pulses in his back leg area are not real strong. Kendra

Replied by Lynne
(Ho Ho Kus, NJ)

Have any of you heard of [this selection of supplements] L-Carnitine, Taurine, Dessiccated Heart (Bovine), Hawthorn extract, Eleuthero extract, Vitamin E, Dimethylglycine, Co Q10, Arjuna extract, Magnesium, Potassium and Selenium.

Replied by Katie
(Northport, New York)

Yes I have heard of Thorne Biocardio - and I would not recommend it. I had both of my cavaliers on this supplement for a couple of years prior to them developing mitral valve disease and it did nothing to stop or reverse the disease in either of them.

FYI, I brought my dog to his internist about a month ago and she told me that his murmur has lessened and that his borderline high blood pressure (which was 155/110) is now normal (135/65). She told me that that means his heart is working with less effort and his kidneys are starting to work more efficiently.

However, I want to confirm her findings with another echo. I was told by a cardiologist that murmurs can be subjective to Grade 4 and that the only way you can really confirm what's going on is with an echo. So I am planning to bring him to a cardiac health clinic in January for another echo.

Replied by Suji
(Kochi, Kerala, India)

Hi Katie from Newport, is there anyway for me to contact you? pls can you pm me. I have started my spitz on the initial set of supplementations you had recommended about 15 days ago. Can I continue with it?

Replied by Katie
(Northport, New York)

Suji, what supplements do you have your dog on? The only way you would be able to contact me is by publishing your email address on this post -- and I don't think that is a good idea.

Replied by Suji
(Kochi, India)

Hi Katie, Thank you so very much for writing back to me in detail. I would very much love to communicate with you directly.

Right now he is on: L-carnitine, D-ribose, ubiquinol, vitmain C and magnesium. The news about homeopathy is bad because I was hoping it will fix it, thanks for letting me know. He is wheezing and coughing off and on, this is a real concern for me, I am having sleepless nights with all the stress. My email id is ge. Ha. Sam(at) Please email me.

Replied by Kendra
(Lebanon, Tn)

Katie, from NY have the second supplements you have your dog on been sucessful? My dog with the #6 heart murmur was on your original supplement suggestion and seemed better lived another year... Still ticking but I just recently took him off to see if there was a difference and he seems more aggitated. Do you think as old as he is it will help to start him on your newer regimen?

Replied by Kendra
(Lebanon, Tn)

Katie, from Newport, Sorry I forgot to post this as well. Which of these do you recommend? Some are not under the standard process canine listing so they must be the human version. I have seen all of these on your post.... Cardio Plus, Cataplex B, Cataplex F, Calcium Lactate, Organically Bound Minerals, Canine Cardiac Supplement, Whole Body Support, and Immuplex as well as Cold Pressed Flax Oil. SO many things so not sure if some overlap others in this list. Any help would be appreciated.

Replied by Katie
(Northport, Ny)

Kendra, right now I don't know the current status of my dog's heart, other than what his internist told me because he hasn't had a follow-up echo done yet. Once the echo is done I still might have to "tweek" his protocol based on the results but we'll see.

Has your dog progressed from a grade 5 to grade 6 murmur? What medications is he currently taking -lasix, enalapril and vetmedin? Does your dog have congestive heart failure?

I have read that Lasix causes the loss of minerals from the body such as calcium, magnesium and potassium and Enalapril also causes the loss of potassium. These are the same important minerals that the heart needs to pump.

My feeling is that you should probably put your dog back on his current supplements for now. His body probably needs that magnesium (desperately), ubiquinol, ribose and carnitine to keep his heart pumping, since some of these vital minerals are being pulled out of his body by the meds. It is possible that the reason he's more agitated now, since the supplements have been removed, is because it is more difficult for him to breathe without them.

What I might suggest is that you try the phytonutrients which Dr. West recommends for murmurs and MVP, in addition to your supplements. These are the same supplements I have my dog on. (I would assume that the extra nutrition from them can only help your dog's heart. ) They are:

Cardio-Plus - (2 tabs twice daily). Contains about 25 mg. natural CoQ-10 per tab.

Cataplex B - (2 tabs twice daily).

Calcium Lactate - (2 tabs twice daily). This contains both calcium and magnesium in a 5:1 ratio.

Cataplex F -(2 tabs twice daily). This is considered part of the Vitamin E complex and contains some essential fatty acids.

Organically Bound Minerals - (1 tab twice daily). This is an organic source of minerals which is made from alfalfa and tillandsia. It contains potassium, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, chromium and copper in addition to others; and

Cold Pressed Flax Oil - I've been giving my dog 1 tsp per meal.

Replied by Katie
(Northport, NY)

Kendra, I don't know if your dog is holding onto fluids in his lungs or abdomen, but I wanted to mention that Standard Process makes a supplement called AC Carbamide which is a natural diuretic. Thought you might want to look into this if that is the case with your dog. I have not used this product but it is mentioned on the website as a natural alternative diuretic. I also know that Dr. West uses AC Carbamide if there is edema in CHF.

Replied by Katie
(Northport, New York)

UPDATE 2/9/13. My dog just had his follow-up echo last month. The cardiologist said he is doing real good - he said his heart is pumping strong and his heart is now working at 100%.... And he said there was no heart enlargement. He said he still has a grade 2 murmur due to his mitral valve issue but he said my dog was doing really well despite it. It is very interesting.... When the cardiologist went to take his heart measurements he seemed a little perplexed for a moment.... Then he mumbled that he must have taken the wrong measurements on the echo that was done a year earlier because my dog's numbers/measurements improved. His LA Diameter (left atrium diameter) improved by decreasing from 2.4 cm to 2.0 cm and his LA/AO ratio (left atrium to aortic root ratio) improved by decreasing from 1.21 to 1.02. Note: I read that this LA/AO measurement is a sensitive indicator of heart enlargement. So, even though my dog's LA/AO ratio was considered within the "normal" range last year with a reading of 1.21, it has decreased to 1.02 which is right in line with what I read a normal, healthy Cavalier should be. (This measurement is adjusted for different breeds). I read that the range for healthy Cavaliers should be 1.03 + 09 (or 0.94 - 1.12).

My holistic vet told me that my dog no longer needs all the supplements I had him on for the past year. So we have just lowered his supplements to only CardioPlus (3 tabs/day) and Canine Whole Body Support (1/4 tsp. Twice daily) and we'll continue to monitor his progress. Note that Canine Whole Body Support is dosed based on weight - and that this supplement contains most of the other supplements which I was originally giving my dog, only in a smaller proportion (e.g. , Calcium Lactate, Organically Bound Minerals).

In summary, I would highly recommend this protocol to anyone who has a dog with a heart condition. I believe that even if your dog has mitral valve disease, like mine does, this will help to strengthen his heart which will help it to move that regurgitated blood out of the heart (note the reductions in the size of my dog's left atrium size). Without heart support such as this, the heart will continue to weaken and the left atrium and left ventricle will continue to enlarge which could eventually lead to CHF, as it did with my first dog. However, I would make the following adjustments to the protocol I was using for my 25 lb. Dog. I would recommend the following:

CardioPlus - 4 tabs/day
Cataplex B - 2 tabs/day
Cataplex F - 2 tabs/day
Organically Bound Minerals - 1 tab/day
Calcium Lactate - 2 tabs/day
Flax Oil - I would lower this. I think 1 TBS was too much. I would only give 1 tsp/day for every 25 lbs. For dog's less than that, I would halve the dose.

We are going to continue to monitor my dog for any future improvements and will post here with any updates. His next echo won't be for another 6 to 12 months from now.

Replied by Brian
(Tarbert, Argyll, Scotland)

Hi Katie from Northport! I have just read your post with great interest and wonder if you could advise me. I have a 7yr old Golden Retriever who was diagnosed about 4yrs ago with a "suspected heart murmur. " This has now been confirmed, and last year he had a blood test done with the results being "inconclusive. " As the murmur this year is more apparent he had another blood test done which showed he was in the mid-range. He is showing no symptoms and is still acting like a puppy! The vet has suggested starting him on Vetmedin, and seeing how he does. However I feel that it will be difficult to judge any improvement as he displays no symptoms at present. As I live in a rural area of Scotland there is no holistic vet in the area. I could get the Standard Process products that you eventually settled on using at the end of your post, from Amazon in the USA, so wondered if you would advise this rather than the individual supplements that you used initially? Could you suggest a dosage ( his weight is 70lbs. ) and would you wait to see how this works before trying the Vetmedin?

Many thanks for any advice you can give me, and really appreciate you sharing all this information.

Replied by Katie
(Northport, Ny)

Hi Brian, I would suggest that you give your dog only the Cardio-Plus and the Canine Whole Body Support. My holistic vet seems to think that this is all that is needed. Based on your dog's weight (70 lbs) the recommended dosage of Canine Whole Body Support would be 3/4 tsp. twice a day and I would probably suggest 6-9 tabs of Cardio-Plus initially (at least for the first 6 months or so) and then possibly lowering the dosage based on his progress. I would also suggest that if it's possible, I would divide the Cardio-Plus dosage and give 3 times a day, rather than 2 times a day to keep the nutrition steadily in his bloodstream. (My vet initially cut my dog's Cardio-Plus back to 3 a day but has since decided to keep him at a maintenance dose of 4 a day and - he's only 25 lbs).

Note: My vet told me that dogs metabolize these supplements differently than humans (I think she said it had something to do with the fact that they have shorter intestinal tracts than humans) which is why the dosage is higher.

Regarding Vetmedin, this medication scares me. My dog was on it and I believe it seriously weakened his heart. Please read up on it. There is some excellent information on it - and its dangers on the website.

Replied by Katie
(Northport, Ny)

Brian, In rethinking my recommendation of Cardio-Plus for your dog, I think I would give him between 9-12 tabs of CardioPlus a day, rather than 6-9 tabs (based on his weight of 70 lbs)at least initially. This dosage could always be lowered later on as he improves. As I mentioned, my 25 lb dog is on a maintenance dose of 4 tabs a day.

Replied by Brian
(Tarbert, Argyll)

Katie, thank you so much for your prompt and very helpful reply. The info on Vetmedin was very enlightening and in fact confirmed my "gut feeling. " As I would like to ask you a related question, but would rather do so by email, I wondered if you could possibly contact me? My email is, smitbd at gmail dot com. Again, many thanks.

Replied by Rustydusty
(Wantage, Nj, Usa)

Katie, Could you clarify your supplement protocol for heart issues? There have been so many posts I am a bit confused.

Is it just the CardioPlus and Canine Whole Body Support?

Is it no longer:

Cardio-Plus - (2 tabs TWICE daily)
Cataplex B - (2 tabs TWICE daily)
Cataplex F - (2 tabs TWICE daily)
Calcium Lactate - (2 tabs TWICE daily)
Organically Bound Minerals - (1 tab TWICE daily)
Cold Pressed Flax Oil (I use Barleans) - (1 tsp TWICE daily)

Or these?:

- Canine Cardiac Support (1/4 tsp. TWICE daily). I thought a little extra heart support wouldn't hurt.
- Canine Whole Body Support (1/4 tsp. TWICE daily). This is the equivalent of a multi-vitamin, which supports all the organs in the body.
- Immuplex (1 capsule TWICE daily). I added this because of his periodontal disease.


four supplements (ubiquinol, magnesium, carnitine and ribose) as "The Awesome Foursome"

I was actually going to purchase all the following as suggested by another poster but it seems like an awful lot of supplements at high doses - although she says she has had great success with it.

D-Ribose - By Doctor' Best. 1 heaping scoop, (twice a day sprinkle on food). Ubiquinol QH-absorb (CoQ10) - By Jarrow Formulas 200mg, (1 pill twice a day). Propionyl-L-Carnitine HCI - By Jarrow Formulas 750 mg, (1 pill twice a day). Magnesium Taurate By Cardiovascular Research -125 mg, (1 pill a day). Mega Red Extra Strength Krill Oil, - By Schiff, 500mg (1 pill twice a day). L-Arginine - By Jarrow Formulas, 1000 mg (1 pill a day). Colon Green Fiber Supplement with Probiotics and Enzymes, - By Futurebiotics (Sprinkle 2 pills twice a day). Esther C Vegetarian Capsules, - By American Health 500mg (1 pill twice a day). Milk Thistle, 200mg (1 pill twice a day). Senior Vitality Multi Vitamin, - By Optimal Pet (1 pill a day)

My dog is an 18 lb Boston Terrier in advanced stages of CHF. My goal is to make her breathing less labored. She is on max dose of Furosamide and Enapril. Tried the Spironolactone but it didn't seem to help her bloating and seemed to make her extra tired. So we took her off that. She is almost 15 - I just want to make her quality of life as good as possible. Wish I had found this site sooner.

Thank you so much!

Replied by Katie
(Northport, Ny)

Dear Rusty, I originally started giving my dog about a dozen different supplements (as you can see from my earlier posts), but eventually I pared down his supplements to only Cardio-Plus and Canine Whole Body Support, on the advice of my naturopathic vet. She felt that I was giving my dog too many supplements and that they were unnecessary. (She feels that when you're giving too many supplements they can actually start working against you). She also made changes to my dog's diet for his heart health and his mitral valve issue - which I'll detail later.

You mentioned that your dog is in advanced CHF, which is a very serious condition - and that your dog has bloating. By "bloating" do you mean she has fluid congestion in her abdomen (ascites), and also possibly in the lungs?. You also mentioned that your dog is on Enalapril and Lasix.

Heart medications such as Enalapril and Lasix rob and steal the very nutrients from the body that the heart needs to pump. In order to stay strong, the heart requires certain nutrients (some of which are magnesium, potassium, calcium, B vitamins). The use of blood pressure medications such as Enalapril rob the body of (excessive amounts of magnesium), potassium, zinc and calcium. Diuretics, such as Lasix, rob the body of potassium, magnesium, calcium, B-vitamins, vitamin C and zinc.

The best way to replace some of these vitamins and minerals (especially the critical magnesium and potassium), according to my vet, would be to give your dog lots of cooked (organic) spinach (she told me this is food is essential to the heart - and also to the valves). She also suggests (organic) sweet potatoes (as they are high in potassium). Also, sweet potatoes are the #1 top rated nutritious vegetable, followed by spinach. (I have read that sweet potatoes far surpass spinach in nutrition). They are high in potassium, beta carotene, vitamin A & C and certain B vitamins. Spinach is high in magnesium, potassium, calcium, manganese, B-complex, zinc and omega 3 fatty acids. Spinach is an integral part of my dog's diet now and my vet said it is an essential food in healing my dog's mitral valve disease. (Right now I am giving my dog at least 1/3 cup of cooked spinach a day (and sometimes I give it to him twice a day), along with 2 tsp. Chopped parsley (also high in magnesium). I also switch off with other brightly colored veggies such as cooked carrots, canned pumpkin, acorn squash, butternut squash, kale, and beets---- but the top veggie of his diet is spinach.

It seems that the #1 most important issue that needs to be addressed with your dog right now is the fluid retention. Although I haven't had any actual experience in helping a dog with congestive heart failure - I want to pass along some of what I've read/learned.

There are alternative natural diuretics out there which may be used in combination with your current pharmaceutical diuretics. In fact they are a lot safer and they may even enable you to eventually lower the amount of prescription diuretic that is given to your dog. Here are some:

1) Homeopathic Diuretic Remedies - A friend of mine has a dog who has had heart problems in the past and fluid retention. She told me that she has used homeopathic remedies successfully to get the fluid out of his lungs and abdomen. She said she would use apismel 200C (3 drops in 2ml of water) - twice a day, if necessary, for 2 or 3 days and then would stop. She said sometimes only one dose was needed.

She also told me that if the fluid was only in the lungs you could give ars-alb 200C (3 drops in 2 ml water) once or twice a day for two days.

2) Other Alternative Diuretics. I read about these on the website: (i) AC Carbamide by Standard Process; (ii) Wu Ling San by Mayway, (iii) Alisma by Seven Forests and (iv) Salvia Shou Wu by Seven Forests. The last three alternative diuretics mentioned are traditional Chinese herbal medicines. (Note: Dr. West uses AC Carbamide when there is fluid retention in his human CHF patients. Not sure how it works for dogs but it was mentioned on the Cavalier website so I'm thinking it must work for them too).

3) I have also read that parsley water and watermelon juice are good diuretics for dogs.

As far supplements go, I think I would give your dog the Cardio-Plus, the Canine Whole Body Support, and Organically Bound Minerals (this is from alfalfa and kelp and would replace a lot of lost minerals). I think I would also give Cod Liver Oil (500 mg) as this was recommended to me when my own dog was sick. It helps to regulate the blood pressure which is a problem in CHF and almost all heart conditions.

Finally, the website also recommends a product called Vetri-DMG, which is made by Vetri-Science Laboratories of Vermont. DMG is said to support the immune system, oxygen utilization, cardiovascular function and liver function in older dogs with congestive heart failure. Don't know if this is any good but thought I would mention it just in case it's something you want to look into.

I hope some of this helps your pup. Good luck with her, I will keep her in my prayers.

Replied by Rustydusty
(Wantage, Nj, Usa)

Thank you so much for the reply. I think I may temporarily put her on the individual supplements because several other posters have had success with them, then switch her to just the Cardio-Plus and Canine Whole Body Support and Organically Bound Minerals as you suggest. Also the Immuplex as you mentioned in a previous post. I will try adding the spinach and sweet potatoes too. I also have her on a prebiotic and probiotic for dogs and a product called Cardio-Strength by Vetri-Science. I might try the Vetri-DMG by them also. Thank you again so very much!

Replied by Katie
(Northport, Ny)

UPDATE - 6/8/13. Just brought my dog back for another echo this weekend and found out that some of his heart measurements have changed negatively. I think the reason for the change is because I took him off of the original protocol I had him on last year, which was the Cardio-Plus (4), Cataplex B (4), Cataplex F (2), Calcium Lactate (2) and Organic Minerals (1). These were the supplements he was taking prior to his echo in January 2013 in which he had really good results. Following this echo, however, I took him off all of these supplements, and was only giving him Cardio-Plus and Canine Whole Body Support. However, it turns out that these two supplements alone are not enough heart support for my dog's mitral valve disease. They really need to be used in combination with other supplements or in a protocol, like I did earlier. I will be discussing this with my vet soon and plan to get my dog back on track. Most likely I will be putting him back on his original protocol---or a version of his original protocol. It is very likely that some changes or tweeks will be made to it too. Also, I'm not sure if I'll continue with the flax oil at all or if I will be substituting it for cod liver oil? These things will all have to be worked out. However, I'll continue giving my dog the spinach and other healthy veggies in his meals, as I feel they are important to his diet and his overall health.

I don't plan to make any further updates or recommendations until I can get my dog back on track and can confirm positive results on the next echo. Unfortunately, I had spoken too soon on this one and should not have passed along a recommendation which was made to me, without first being able to confirm results/findings on an echo.

Replied by Nadia
(Washington, District Of Columbia)

Dear Katie - thank you so much for all of this information! I just came back from the vet today and my 3 year old Cavalier (he is a little guy at only 14 pounds) had a clear Grade 2 heart murmur. Needless to say I was devastated and hoping to not have to hear that for at least several more years. I know you had mentioned that you won't be making recommendations anymore but I was hoping you could outline for me the original protocol (including how you fed your dog + the supplements) for me. I am very interested in holistically treating this because for me personally dietary changes and supplements cured an "incurable" autoimmune condition that I had.

Is there any way you'd be willing to outline what you had originally found to be the most effective way to treat this? Also, my vet said I probably don't need to do an echo for a year... But do you think that is risky to wait that long?

Thanks so much for all this information!!!

Replied by Katie
(Northport, Ny)

Hi Nadia, I have decided to put my 25 lb. dog back on his original protocol (which he was doing so well on), along with a couple of changes that were suggested to me by a different vet. This vet suggested that it's not a good idea to take a "minimalistic" approach to treating a serious condition such as mitral valve disease by giving only two supplements (Cardio-Plus and Canine Whole Body Support). He mentioned that even though my dog is eating well and has good food, it is still not enough to treat mitral valve disease. He said he still needs additional supplementation. He said my original protocol was good, but suggested adding Cataplex E-2 - and not to give the flax oil. The Cataplex E-2 helps to oxygenate the heart, I believe. I've read that mountain climbers bring this on their climbs to help oxygenate them at high altitudes.

So, the following is pretty much what he's going back on. The only thing I'm undecided about right now is whether I should give my dog Min-Tran (2/day) in place of the Organic Minerals. (My current vet seems to prefer the Min-Tran).

Cardio-Plus (4/day) - (Strengthens Heart)
Cataplex B (2/day) - (For Nerve Conduction)
Cataplex E-2 (4/day) - (For Oxygenation)
Cataplex F (2/day)
Organically Bound Minerals (2/day) (Good source of natural potassium and other minerals for the heart)
Calcium Lactate (2/day) - Should be taken along with a tiny bit of butter to help absorption. Best to be given away from food and other supplements
Canine Whole Body Support - based on weight

Also, my vet mentioned that most dogs have viruses in their bodies, and that they need to be eliminated from the body before they can completely heal from illness. I know that my dog has at least 4 viruses - and I'm sure he got them from each of his four vaccines. I was told that they can be eliminated homeopathically, however, but it will take at least 3 months to get rid of them. So I'll also be working on eliminating his viruses in the meantime, too.

I'll follow up with another echo in about 6 months.

Replied by Phillip
(Olympia, Wa)

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

Replied by Katie
(Northport, NY)
5 out of 5 stars

Phillip, My dog had been doing really well on Dr. West's protocol. There was a big improvement in his echos after about a year on the supplements (the changes may have occurred earlier than a year, but the findings are based on the timing of his echos). But, as you'll see from some of my posts, in January of this year a naturopath suggested to me that my dog didn't need all those supplements so I took him off of most of them for a period of 5 months on her advice. However, after five months I decided to have another echo to evaluate the effectiveness of her "minimalistic" protocol and when I did – I realized that it was not effective at all to withhold those supplements and to rely on food alone (basically) for a condition as serious as MVD. I found out that my dog's Grade 2 murmur had actually progressed to a Grade 3 and that some of his cardiac dimensions had changed negatively too. So, right now, my dog is back on Dr. West's protocol: Cardio-Plus (4/day), Cataplex B (2/day), Cataplex F (2/day), Calcium Lactate (2/day), Organically Bound Minerals (1/day) and Canine Whole Body Support. As mentioned above, I am working with a new vet who didn't recommend adding the flax oil (1/2 tsp. Day) but I still think it is important to keep it as apart of the protocol. This vet has also added a few other supplements to his protocol (such as Cataplex E-2 and a few others). Whether these additional supplements are necessary or not, I don't know yet. However, time will tell. This vet doesn't take the minimalistic view in treating MVD – in fact he said that supplementation is required. In 6 months or so I will reevaluate his progress with another echo.

My suggestion to you at this point would be to put your dog on Dr. West's protocol, as it helped my dog – and it does take time to work. Also, although I can't recommend the Cataplex E2 yet, you might want to see how it works for your dog. My vet seems to really like this product.

Replied by Paige
(Wilmington, Nc)

Katie from Newport - Hi! I have a 15 year old Poodle who has a grade 5 murmur and heart problems and have been following yours and others protocols for treating your own dogs, and I just wanted to ask why you decided to use the human formulas by Standard Process for your dogs heart issues rather than their veterinary formulas? I see you do a lot of research (as I do) so knew you probably had a good reason for doing this. I just know it is much harder to take a supplement intended and used for humans and make it work for an animal. Was wondering if perhaps they didn't have their veterinary line when you first started and maybe that's why? Thanks!

Replied by Andrea C

Put Cayenne Pepper in his food, start with a quarter of a tea spoon, and mix it in well, this has been proven to regrow Heart tissue like crazy, to the point reasherchers were astonished at the accelerated growth of the tissue in numerous studies. After many weeks of the tissue growing in full health, they had to destroy it to stop it growing. If your Dog is a Minature breed, start with an eighth of Cayenne pepper. Your Dog may not like it, but most Dogs sneeze, splutter, walk away, go back and eat more, and may repeat the process. Another way to administer it is in an empty syringe, out it to the left of your Dogs jaw, between their teeth, near to their throat without jabbing the syringe in to soft tissue. It activates their 'Gag reflex' which makes them swallow automatically, and use distilled water, and not to much at a time, little by little. This also works with tablets, if you wet them to stop them sticking if its a capsule, and if its a solid pill, make sure there's no sharp edges on it, and cover it in butter and do the same, (be careful with tablets). And NEVER give 'Paracetamol/Acetaminophen to them, this will cause Kidney and liver, or Heart failure in them.

I try to avoid drugs like the plague with Animals unless its too serious to risk not trying, I do this with my Dogs, my Boy Dog is now 27 years old, and plays like a puppy!! Also be WAY careful of 'De-fleaing' and 'Worming' chemicals. The worlds oldest and trusted animal 'care' providers were selling a Anti-flea' Formula, which they KNEW was killing millions of pets off, and they died a terrible agonizing death!! BOB MARTIN.... In the UK, loads of people have sued them for knowingly poisoning their pets, and its dangerous to ANY life form. As are lots of pet products. There are herbs, which Dogs eat in their natural habitat to do this, and Grass is eaten by every Dog, Cat, to self heal, and induce vomiting to remove toxins from their bodies. Never give them 'Garlic' or feed them processed food, or Chocolate for Human consumption, this will kill them! If not straight away, it will build up in their bodies, then kill them. There is loads of information on the Web about this, And boil any bones till soft, never let them eat hard bone, or run around with sticks in their mouth, I have seen some awful things because of this. Love Andrea C xxxxxx

(Midway, Ky)

Andrea, that is phenomenal! Well done! Thanks for the tips. What do you give your dog besides cayenne pepper?

Replied by Katie
(Northport, New York)

Hi Paige,

At first I was undecided whether I was to go with the human formulations or the veterinary formulations. After I looked into it a little more, I found out that long before the veterinary line was even created, animals were given and prescribed the human line of SP supplements by knowledgeable vets. I believe the veterinary line (and their formulations) were created so that it would be just be easier for most to choose a supplement which would be helpful to an animal suffering from a specific ailment. So, specific formulas were then created - the heart formula, liver formula, renal formula, musculoskeletal formula, etc. However, I don't think these formulations are the same – although I can't tell you how they differ either. My feeling is that the protocol I'm following is stronger though. Also, my vet seems to prefer the human line when treating animals. I know he's been using SP products for many years (20+) and I believe he sticks with the human line because he's had years of good results with them (long before the veterinary line came along). The other reason I decided to use them is because the doctor I've referred to in previous posts has had years of great success in using these same supplements on his human heart patients, and I believe those same results can be duplicated in animals.

Replied by Katie
(Northport, New York)

Hi Paige,

At first I was undecided whether I was to go with the human formulations or the veterinary formulations. After I looked into it a little more, I found out that long before the veterinary line was even created, animals were given and prescribed the human line of SP supplements by knowledgeable vets. I believe the veterinary line (and their formulations) were created so that it would be just be easier for most to choose a supplement which would be helpful to an animal suffering from a specific ailment. So, specific formulas were then created - the heart formula, liver formula, renal formula, musculoskeletal formula, etc. However, I don't think these formulations are the same – although I can't tell you how they differ either. My feeling is that the protocol I'm following is stronger though. Also, my vet seems to prefer the human line when treating animals. I know he's been using SP products for many years (20+) and I believe he sticks with the human line because he's had years of good results with them (long before the veterinary line came along). The other reason I decided to use them is because the doctor I've referred to in previous posts has had years of great success in using these same supplements on his human heart patients, and I believe those same results can be duplicated in animals.

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

I have no experience to add to this, but wanted to comment to Andrea C - your Boy Dog is 27 years old?! My word, that is just awesome! What a testament to your good care!

Replied by Jillian
(Pittsburgh Pa)

Hi Katie, I have been following your posts right from the beginning! Re-reading over and over just to make sure I get the right cocktail for my yorkie mix. Im taking notes when ever I come across helpful hints and proven remedies that have had great results...I Don't want to make any mistakes with this. She is 5 years old 17 pounds yorkie poo. and was diagnosed this month with a grade 2 heart murmer by the holistic vet . no symptoms as of yet. He said theres nothing I can do other than give her canine cardiac support and see what happens. I chose not to accept what he said as truth, which is what led me here, to Earth clinic..and your posts. I started taking her to the so called holistic vet to get alternative remedies for her bladder a year and a half ago..she had stones and needed surgery reg vet did the surgery, not holistic one.. he put her on an herb to prevent bladder stone formation as a treatment plan. my reg vet wanted me to start her on Hills diet which is disgusting. I wanted to go the holistic route instead. I was relieved that problem cleared up and now this grade 2 heart murmer diagnosis emerged! (I want to say though, at age 6 months the vet diagnosed her with what he termed minor heart murmer. he dismissed it as common among puppies and not to worry about it. fast forwarding to present , I am in process of implementing the protocol you advocate. standard process cardio plus, cetaplex B, whole body support, calcium lactate, cod liver oil..cataplexy F, organically bound minerals, cetaplex E ..I also wrote down what you feed your dog..never knew spinach was number one food for heart health!! I just have to order everything. only have cardio plus, canine cardiac support and whole body support. I also share your concern regarding virus's in the body and that they need to be eliminated completely before the body can heal from illness..after my dog zoey had her 2nd rabies vaccine in 2012, she got so sick!! The holistic vet gave it to her. they made light of it when I mentioned she got sick (threw up two days in row following vaccine, lethargic for around 5 days or so..diarrhea for a few days etc....the holistic vet said maybe she ate something outside?? which I know she didn't. he said it can't be from vaccine.. I never pursued my concern though. it fell on deaf ears and didn't know what more I could say. they told me to bring her in if it continued more than 7 went away finally on the 5th day. I believe our babies are being poisoned with unnecessary vaccines..i do get the titer bld test though at his recommendation.(shocked he even advocates this given his luke warm approach to her heart murmur)..which revealed she does not need her yearly boosters. she has enough of the antibodies still in her system from prior vaccination he said. He insisted the rabies is mandatory , which I was already aware of, and THE LAW as he firmly stated. I signed a petition months back to stop the mandatory every 3 years rabies vaccine. that's it been proven one rabies is good for the length of the animals life!! But I do understand they need to follow the rules regarding this for now, , at least until the rules change..I am not getting her anymore rabies vaccines again though.. I am refusing all others as well.. unless her titer bld test shows she needs boosters..i recommend the titer bld test highly to all pet owners. I also am eagar to learn how to rid the body of virus's!! I am very passionate about this and hope to read your upcoming posts about what you've discovered in your travels with a detox protocol too!! I am from Commack ny by the way.(born in queens ) I moved to Pittsburgh in 95. Your help is beyond appreciated! My vet has no interest in his patients obviously. its sad. - Jillian

Replied by Katie
(Northport, Ny)

Jillian, Sounds like you have a terrible holistic vet. I can't believe he asked you if your dog ate something after you just told him about the adverse reaction she was having to the vaccine she just received??!! In cases of vaccine reactions, I think you will get your best results with homeopathy. But you should use a professional homeopath, and not try to remedy this yourself because your animal's life could be at stake - with time being of the essence. I know of a woman whose dog died recently following a rabies vaccine and her second dog became deathly ill after receiving the same vaccine – thankfully the second dog survived.

I have a book written by a homeopathic vet and I read the section on adverse vaccine reactions in which he covered 8 different remedies. I wonder if Arsenicum album would have been the correct remedy for your dog in that situation? It read as follows: “This remedy may also be of assistance for those animals that develop breathing difficulty, diarrhea, or vomiting following vaccination. Fear is common as well, and this is generally my first choice for fearful animals when the fear arises following a vaccination.” Other remedies discussed were Thuja (considered to be one of the best remedies for adverse effects from vaccination), Belladonna, Silicea, Aconitum, Apis mel, Antimonium and Pyrogenium.

This is just an FYI - This vet also had a section on kidney stones in his book in which he mentioned that “when an animal is prone to kidney stones, a diet which is on the acid side of ph will be of considerable help in preventing stone formation. He said this can be ensured by adding a teaspoonful of apple cider vinegar to the animal's food or drinking water daily.

Anyway, I have recently backburnered some of the things I was doing to deal with the viral issues in my dog because I recently found out that that my dog contracted Lyme disease. He picked it up sometime between June, 2012 and August, 2013 of this year, as he was bitten a number of times in that time period. So, right now, he's just completed a month long course of antibiotics and he's also taking some homeopathic remedies, which I believe he will be on for quite a while until we can be sure that this spirochette (which causes the disease) has been killed. Once that's done I'll get back to dealing with the viral issues.

Regarding the supplements I'm giving to my dog….They are as follows: CardioPlus (4/day), Cataplex B (2/day), Cataplex F (2/day), Organically Bound Minerals (1/day) and Calcium Lactate (2/day). This is the Dr. West protocol (although Dr. West also adds cod liver oil or flax oil to his protocols too). My vet suggested that in addition to that protocol that I should add the following: Cataplex E2 (4/day), Hawthorne (1/day) and Canine Whole Body Support. I can't say if my dog needs the Cataplex E2 or the Hawthorne, but my vet has more experience than me, and he would really like my dog on them so I am following his lead. My dog will have his follow-up echo in the Spring so we'll see how it's all working for him. I can tell you that my dog is doing great right now though!!!

Jillian, you mentioned that you're thinking about giving the CardioPlus and the Canine Cardiac Support too. I don't think that's necessary – only choose one. I would suggest that you give the CardioPlus. Also, not sure about whether the cod liver oil or the flax oil is necessary. It's all very confusing because people are of so many different opinions on this. For example, my vet doesn't think it's necessary, but my dog's cardiologist suggested 500 mg. of fish oil and Dr. West uses either flax oil or cod liver oil in all of his protocols. So I guess each of us with have to make that determination for ourselves.


P.S. I grew up in Commack as a child! ☰

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Katie!

Just an FYI; my holistic guy has found that tetracycline is the antibiotic that best works on Lyme's. Many use instead the tetracycline derrivative Doxycycline; doxy will address the symptoms but does not fully erradicate the virus - so what happens is your dog appears to get better, but then slips back.

Probiotics are indicated after a long stretch of antibiotics [sure you already are aware].

Thanks as always for your informative and helpful replies!

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Jillian!

Its so frustrating to read about your experiences with your holistic vet; perhaps its time to find a new vet! These ones are within an hour or so of you - and the right vet is for sure worth the drive!

This one looks promising, right in Beaver:

This is a holistic practitioner in Greensburg:

www.kvetac.comThis one is in Beaver:www.beaveranimalclinic.comThis one in Ellwood City has many possibilities:www.ellwoodvet.comSouth Hills right in Pittsburg does homeopathy, among other modalities.

Additionally Bradford Hills in Wexford is close by and does magnetic pulsating thereapy.

Replied by Jillian
(Pittsburgh Pa)

Hi Katie, my apology for the long delay in my response. I am so sorry to hear your dog has been diagnosed with Lymes disease. As if you didn't have enough to worry about with the heart murmur!! I am rooting for you in getting excellent help for your dog with this disease! I am confident you will find the best treatment out there, given how dedicated you are to your pup! I thank you for relaying all the available options for vaccine damage/illness. Yes, its so true that my holistic vet asked if my dog ate something rather that own up to the fact it was the rabbies vaccine that got her sick. very lame holistic vet in my opinion and unfortunately , the only one in or around my area. If I hadn't found earth clinic and your protocol, I would be in a state of complete despair! everything has such a story to it, I try to stay to the point and not drone on for fear id be boring people to tears! but I am on board with the protocol. actually got the vet to special order the supplements you are using. He was reluctant to do it, (saying the pet line is identical to human line )...only difference he said, it was specifically made for animals due to dosing issues..and how animals need smaller amounts.. he was very very put off by my e mail explaining what I found out! (from your stories etc and protocol). He said no vitamin will cure a leaky heart valve. My dog hasn't gone to a cardiologist yet though , so we don't know for sure what she has.. I heard heart murmurs are subjective up to grade 3 . The vet said it is a grade 2. long story short, I asked a year ago what he thought of vaccine damage (due to my dog getting sick) and he e mailed back that he does not have any protocol for that!! crazy I know! hes a holistic vet and is clueless about any treatment for that? I also don't know if theres a connection to her last rabies shot and at time had a grade 1 a year later its a grade 2. I vaguely recall naming a few treatments that seem like the same ones you sent me. He basically swept it under the rug. I then got him to agree to an immune system supplement (by standard process) and probiotic. (all at my suggestion bear in mind) Now that ive branched out and implementing a treatment for my dog, he is on the defense . I mentioned that a vet by the name of Dr.Martin Goldsein had written in his book that there are ways to treat a heart ailment and encouraged to do so immediately upon diagnosis...I mentioned your prototcol, , , dr.west...Dr.Sinatra etc. He was hostile in his response back to me (in an e-mail) saying how he had over 27 years of experience and if I wanted to listen to other people who didn't have as much knowledge as him, well then that was my choice. he also said he has never seen any heart murmur correct itself in all the years he treated thousands of animals. when I asked what he treated them with, he never replied back. such is the story of a Holistic vet gone wrong. I am not using him anymore after I get these supplements. Im taking zoey (my dog) to cardiologist this week for first appt. will report back what the findings are asap. please bear with any delays as this is an extra hectic time of year and I am not at my computer as much as I would like to be.: )

I wish you healing for your dog (with lymes disease) ..My prayers are with you and your best friend!! I will be looking on the posts to see how it is going for you and your dog!! Take care and thank you for all you do in reaching out to help others! ~ Jillian

Replied by Jillian
(Pittsburgh Pa)

Hi Theresa! I wanted to thank you for your suggestions in trying to help me locate other holistic vets near me! Unfortunately, beaver animal clinic is the one where the holistic vet I use (d) is... : ( He is on his way to being History very soon. he needed to be dropped like a hot potato after having expressed no interest in helping my dog with her heart murmur. I just needed him to special order me the SP supplements first.(the protocol Katie is using) this vet is not happy with my insisting on doing this protocol, and I realize he is threatened by my learning other ways to holistically treat heart ailments... his insists there is nothing anyone can do to heal a leaky heart valve.. nor is there any supplement that will help. it is quite sad that a so called holistic Dr.does not take an aggressive approach in treating heart ailments.. also, regarding the supplements, I will eventually order them through but I needed them quick and strangely, he was too eager to special order them for me? (that was not expected) Theresa, I am very appreciative for your thoughtfulness in letting me know about other vets to check out though. there was one other one I did not recognize and will look them up asap. I have been contemplating traveling to NY to see Dr.Martin Goldstein (Holistic vet). he wrote an excellent book which I have , called the nature of animal healing. He strongly advocates for holistic treatment in ANY heart ailment. P.S. apologies for the delay in replying back.

I am taking my dog to a cardiologist for her first echo possibly this week. will write back when I get new information and more detail on what exactly she has wrong with her heart. take care, Jillian

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Jillian!

I am familiar with Dr. Marty Goldstein's works - he is awesome! Do let us know if you can get his opinion on a treatment plan for your dog's heart murmur - and let us know what the cardiologist finds also!


Replied by Katie
(Northport, Ny)

Jillian, so sorry to hear about that awful vet but glad to hear that you're looking for a replacement. I had a “sell-out” vet that also claimed to be “holistic”. Unbelievably, he would try to stick my dog with a vaccine the second my head was turned. He also claimed that kibble was healthy for dogs. I soon realized that he was a sell-out (just like your's), and that the “holistic” designation he used was just a marketing tool which allowed him to charge more for his office visits.

I do believe that there is a connection between vaccines and heart murmurs (and liver problems too). I've known too many people with small dogs who are disproportionately affected with both these problems. Did you know that a small 5 lb. dog gets the same size vaccination as a 120 lb. dog? They each get usually a 1 ml. dose. Unbelievable. My dog has high liver enzymes (which he's had since he was a pup) and I attribute them to the vaccines. My vet and I will turn our attention to that (probably homeopathically) once his Lyme disease is under control. See the attached by Dr. Jean Dodds..

Anyway, don't want to turn the focus of this Heart Murmur post into a string of Vaccines posts (there's a Vaccine forum for that) but did want to quickly mention that if your dog also has high liver enzymes you might want to think giving him some liver support such as Milk Thistle. This may also help to purge the liver of some of the toxins she's dealing with from that vaccine.

Good luck with Zoey!

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Katie!

I could not find the article you linked re: Dr. Dodd's. FWIW this is from her website re: vaccination protocol et al:

It's disappointing to read about both of your holistic vets. Perhaps the take away here is that like any person you hire for a service, they must be screened and qualified so you know just what you are getting. Sadly, too many take what they see advertised at face value: all the bags of kibble say they promote good health, but the wheat is sorted from the chaff when you read the ingredient label; deteremine from there where to spend your buying dollar to keep your pet well nourished and fed.

I certainly understand you are vaccination wary and with good reason; vaccines can be a good thing - and then there is "too much" of a good thing in over vaccinating and vaccinating when it's simply not necessary. That said, elevated liver enzymes are often seen as a symptom of an underlying cardiac issue and not the other way around. While its certainly possible vaccination may have contributed to a cardiac issue, and in turn caused a liver issue, the data collected does not show a disproprtionate number of small breeds affected with cardiac issues - sadly these issues are in all sorts of sized breeds:

In my experience with vaccinosis, the symptoms manifest 6-12 weeks after the poke - so 'regular' vets fail to associate the disease symptom with the cause/vaccine. And the symptoms range all across the board, from skin issues to coming into heat super early or not at all. The pattern is the same however; yeast in the body over grows - in a particular organ or systemic - and the toxins released compound causing greater issues down the line.

One approach to cleansing for vaccinosis would be dosing with homeopathic thuja, and then following up with acidophillus/probiotics to address the yeast over growth. Dosing Milk Thistle for the liver is an excellent idea, or consider SP Betafood also - but unless the yeast is addressed you may end up treading water - holding even but not moving forward. JMHO!

More reading for those interested in this topic:

Replied by Midnight
(Willow, Ak)
5 out of 5 stars

To Katie: my name is Debbie. I have a pomeranian that has chf. I was told this in June 2012, she just turned 10 back in August. My vet told me that she was between 2-3 stage. I know she is getting worse this last week because her gagging is worse. She is on Enalapril 2.5 mg per day, Furosemide 25mg a day, and vetmedin 2.5 mg a day. Plus I have her on. supplement called Total Heart which she gets 2 tablet a day. I know that the meds are taking things out of her body that she needs because she has been eating a lot more than she ever has in her life. I want to get her off the meds and on the supplements that you have your dog on (which I have ordered), but I want to know how to do it. Once I get the supplements should I start with half of what she needs (half what you give your dog because she weights 10lbs) and take away half of the meds or start full supplements and half meds for a couple of weeks and then 1/4 meds for a week then off totally. I have had Midnight since she was 13 weeks old and she is my baby, please help me. My email is comet62 (at) gci (dot) net. Thanks.

Replied by Katie
(Northport, New York)

Hi Debbie,

I am sorry to hear about your dogâ€TMs congestive heart failure. Because CHF is more serious than a murmur, you would want to increase the dosage on some of the supplements – mainly the Cardio-Plus and the Cataplex B. In CHF, the amount given would be basically doubled for Cardio-Plus and Cataplex B.

You also may want to consider fish oil or cod liver oil for CHF. See the attached article by Dr. Mercola. They sell a Kidâ€TMs Krill which would be a good size for a small animal.

So, if this were my dog (and he weighed 10 lbs), I would probably give him the following: Cardio-Plus (4/day); Cataplex B (4/day), Organic Minerals (1 or 2/day); Cataplex F (2/day); Calcium Lactate (2/day); Mercola Kiddie Krill Oil (1/day) or Blue Ice Fermented Cod Liver Oil (1/day).

With the Cardio-Plus and Cataplex B dosages I would divide them into 3 separate dosages during the day (morning, afternoon and eve) to keep the nutrition in your dogâ€TMs body all day long. If you feel that you dog needs extra Cardio-Plus or Cataplex B during this CHF stage I think you could probably increase the dosage by a tab or two.

I would give these to my dog in the following way. I would give the supplements at the full dosage above, along with his prescribed medications. If you donâ€TMt feel comfortable starting them all at the same time, then start by giving maybe half of them, then increasing to the full dose after a couple of days or a week. Do not lower or change the amount of his meds though. I would continue this until you notice that your dog starts to improve and his heart gets stronger (you would probably hear less coughing, heâ€TMll have more energy, will probably sleep better at night and be more comfortable when laying down). The heart should then start to shrink back to a normal size and the fluids in his lungs should start to disburse. At this point, I would then start to work with my vet to safely start weaning my dog off his meds, but this has to be done slowly. You should not stop the prescriptions on your own -this could cause serious harm. The body becomes dependent on these drugs. The reason I say this is because in my own experience and desperation to help my own dog, I tried to start cutting back on his meds on two occasions and both times it landed him back in the hospital with flooded lungs and abdomen. So, work with your vet on this.

My feeling is that your dog should probably be on these supplements for a couple of months(?) before attempting to withdraw him from his meds. However, I am just guessing at the timeframe, because I am not physically with your dog to observe him or his progress. You will need to be his observer. So when you think he is sufficiently improving, that will be the time to bring him back to your vet/cardiologist to start the weaning process. For humans the recommendation is usually after 3 or 4 months. Remember that this has to be done slowly. I was told that the longer an animal is on a med the longer it will take to get him off of it.

Once your dog is weaned off all his drugs that would be the time where you could start to cut back on the number of supplements youâ€TMre giving him. Depending on his progress, you might be able to cut back to 2-CardioPlus, 2-Cataplex B, 1-Organic Mineral, 1 Cataplex F and 1-Calcium Lactate. At this point the cod liver oil or fish oil may or may not be needed – that would be your call.

Replied by Ray
(Williamsport Md)
5 out of 5 stars

Katie and all dog lovers, please advise me on dosages of your routine for a 115lb Great Dane. As we speak Hunter is at the vets getting x-rays and blood work but they have already told me he has stage 5 murmurs. He is approx. 10yrs old and has diarrhea, no appetite and labored breathing, not sure of bpm. The vet is going to put him on a diuretic and some other meds, I haven't gotten the prescriptions yet. I read some of the postings about the diuretics robbing the body of some nutrients and preventing it from absorbing some of the things you suggest. Please let me know asap as I don't want to start him on the vet meds if the holistic meds work better without them. Thanks to all and god bless.

Replied by Katie
(Northport, Ny)

I am very sorry to hear about your dog's condition - it sounds like it may be CHF. I came across the website of a woman a while ago who raises Great Danes (The Great Dane Lady) and she mentioned that cardiomyopathy is a heart condition that seems to run in this breed. I'm wondering if this is what your dog may have? Cardiomyopathy is said to be a condition in which the heart muscle deteriorates and thickens. I have read, however, that cardiomyopathy is also considered to be brought about by the same severe nutritional deficiencies as most other heart conditions.

Because your dog is so big, and given the seriousness of his condition right now, I would probably give him the following daily: anywhere from 9-15 tabs of CardioPlus, 6-12 tabs of Cataplex B, and 3-4 tabs of Organically Bound Minerals. I have read that for humans with congestive heart failure (and also with cardiomyopathy) that it is also recommended to take 3-4 tabs of Folic Acid B12, along with or cod liver oil or flax oil. So I think I would also give the Folic Acid B12 (I don't see how people are much different from dogs) and I would also give the cod liver oil, as I think it helps with the blood pressure. I'm not sure how much cod liver oil or flax oil should be given to your dog though….I'm guessing maybe 1 tsp. twice a day?…or give a couple of 500 mg. capsules perhaps? When my 15 lb. dog was sick his cardiologist recommended that I give him 1-500 mg. capsule a day. The dosages listed above should be divided between 2 or 3 daily doses. I would think that it's best to give the divided doses with meals – and to take them away from medications, if possible.

Hopefully, once there's improvement with your dog, then you would be able to lower the amount of supplements, but I would think this would take a couple of months before you would be able to do that.

I'm wishing the best for your dog and I hope that this helps him.

Replied by Sherry
(Dallas, Tx)

To Katie from Northport Ny - I need your help please my 9 yr old Maltese was has a #5 heart murmur her liver and kidneys and lungs are all good but she does have a cough which she does only during the day. She has been examined by a cardiologist and this is how we found it. I do have a holistic vet. I have Missy on Frenchie's kitchen food per her vet and she want to put her on Enalapril 2.5mg once every 12 hours which I don't want. Can you please email me at sdrrak(at)aol(dot)com so we can talk about what u are giving you fur baby...please please email me and in the Subject line put Help for Missy.

Sincerely, Sherry R

Replied by Mitchell1383
5 out of 5 stars

I have been reading through all the positive remarks and have hope for my little Chewy. She is an 10.5 yr old chihuahua. She has a grade 5 heart murmur. The vet also said she has an enlarged heart. She is currently on enalapril half a pill a day and lasix half a pill a day. Lately she seems to be trying to catch her breath more and it seems so hard for her. I'm really starting to worry. my research has led me to this forum and I am very interested in taking a holistic approach. I'm new to this and would greatly appreciate your advice on where to start. Thank you! My email is normamitchell Dot

Replied by Shrichar
(Dallas, TX)

Th Katie and anyone that has been following Katie. I have a 9yr old Maltese named Missy she is my heart every time I look at her I just cry because if her first holistic vet would of just taken the time and listened to her and what I was saying this could have been caught in its early stages but now it's too late and she has a stage 5 heart murmur which was confirmed when I took her to the cardiologist a mouth ago. I couldn't hardly comprehend what the cardiologist was saying because I was crying all I could think about is she to young for this this can't be happening. I have since found another holistic vet and hope she can help but I'm not just leaving it in her hands that is why I'm here looking and praying for help.

The valvular heart disease they said its stage 5 and her heart is enlarged and is pushing on her airway which is making her cough she is not in CHF and she has no fluid on her lungs she has started Enalapril 2.5mg tablets every 12 hours and her food is now Frenchies Kitchen. Missy is also on canine cardiac support the new vet started her on it ASAP. She went back to the cardiologist 3/26/14 and she was good still no fluids on the lungs and the coughing is still here the doc said I need to stay monitoring her breathing at rest time because the next step is cough suppressant that has codeine in it and that if we don't know her breathing then she could get fluid on her lungs and go into CHF. I don't want her on any meds if I can find another way. I have been following Katie on here and I have written down everything she is using the cardio plus, cataplex b, cataplexy f, calcium lactate, organically bound minerals, canine whole body support, immuplex, cataplexy e2.

Katie can the above help my little girl if so with her weight being 10 lbs how much of each do I give her....Please respond and thank you.


Replied by Katie
(Northport, Ny)


I am sorry to hear about your dog - it sounds like your dog might have mild congestive heart failure from the symptoms you described. From everything I've read, a person or animal being treated for an enlarged heart, along with (possible) congestive heart failure would be supplemented differently than a person or animal that has a regular low grade murmur, which is what I am currently treating my dog for (that is, no heart enlargement and no fluid retention). So, I wouldn't give most of the Calcium Lactate, Cataplex F or Immuplex. For humans, the basic supplements that are recommended for congestive heart failure are: Cardio-Plus, Cataplex B and Organically Bound Minerals, along with Folic Acid B12 and either Flax Oil or Cod Liver Oil.

So, if Missy were my 10 lb. dog, I would probably give her the following supplements, in the following dosages: Cardio-Plus (3-4 day), Cataplex B (2/day) and Organically Bound Minerals (1/day). I don't think I would give the Folic Acid B12, even though I mentioned in an earlier post that I might. I think I would rather keep it simple and not add too many supplements. And, I think I would also give the cod liver oil (Blue Ice Fermented cod liver oil), as it helps with the blood pressure. As mentioned in an earlier post my previous cardiologist suggested a 500 mg. fish oil capsule for my dog when he was in CHF, however, I never gave it to him. I think I would also give Missy CoQ-10 in the hydrosoluable gel capsule form. This is the type that Dr. Sinatra recommends in his books. I would give either Quino-Gel (50 mg., twice a day), which is considered an advanced hydrosoluable form of CoQ10/ubiquinol. Or, you can give the Q-Gel formulation (which is also water soluable but it is a CoQ10/ubiquinone formula). Just look for Q-Gel anywhere on the label. If you give the Q-Gel formulation you can probably give her 100 mg twice a day because it's not as absorbable as the Quino Gel. CoQ10 is also very safe so you don't have to worry about giving a large dose of it. BTW, CoQ10 will also help to lower blood pressure.

I believe that Enalapril is mostly prescribed for high blood pressure and for CHF. So, when starting her supplements, I would start them slowly and watch her carefully. You might want to try giving them away from meds at first? The reason is that that the supplements may start to lower her blood pressure naturally (along with the fish oil) and you don't want them to negatively interact with her meds by dropping her blood pressure too much. If you find that that is the case, you may need to have her enalapril dosage lowered. FYI, my 15 lb dog was initially on 2.5 mg of enalapril (same as yours) but it had to be lowered to 1.25 mg twice daily because it dropped his blood pressure too low.

I hope this can help your dog.

Replied by Katie
(Northport, Ny)

I just wanted to clarify some information on CoQ-10 (although I had done this in a previous post). When using CoQ-10 (ubiquinone), it is recommended that you use the reduced form which is called ubiquinol. According to research it is a much more effective form of CoQ-10. However, if you choose to use plain CoQ-10 (or ubiquinone), only use it in the hydrosoluable liquid capsule form – such as the Q-Gel formulation which has made it much more absorbable. So the recommendations are as follows:

  • Quino-Gel (water soluable ubiquinol) – Most advanced form of CoQ-10 available today. Recommended for individuals with advanced needs.
  • Ubiquinol (reduced form of CoQ-10) – Far more effective than CoQ10 (or ubiquinone), Highly recommended by Dr. Mercola and others.
  • Q-Gel CoQ-10 (hydrosoluable ubiquinone) – Advanced form of ubiquinone. Was made water soluable so that the body can absorb it more easily than plain CoQ-10 (or ubiquinone). Look for Q-Gel anywhere on the label.
  • CoQ-10 (or ubiquinone) – Not recommended, poorly absorbed by the body.


Replied by Shrichar
(Dallas, Tx)

Hi Katie,

I just read your email and thank you. Can you please email me at sdrrak (at) aol (dot) com and in the subject line put "Missy" just in case it goes to spam. I would really like to actually talk with u personally and I will give u my phone # in a reply email. Regards, Sherry R

Replied by Marci
(Los Angeles, Ca)

Hi Katie,

i have been following your posts and am extremely interested. I was wondering if your regimen is only for dogs? My cat is showing symptoms of ARVC (Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy). He's not even 2 yet, and our cardiologist does not know the underlying cause. He is currently on pimobendan 1.25 every 12 hours and furosemide 12.5 every 12 hours. In five days our cardiologist saw no fluid around his lungs so he suggested we try 1 lasix per day unless we saw a change in his breathing. It took 5 days but it seemed like his breathing was heavier so we decided to do the lasix twice per day again. I went to a holistic vet who gave us standard process feline cardiac support. I have also decided to use coq10 ubiquinol, d ribose, taurine, nattokinase. I was wondering if your regimen works for cats? If so, what are the dosages? Thank you so much in advance.

Replied by Katie
(Northport, Ny)

Marci, I am sorry to hear about your cat's heart condition.

My hope is that some of the information I've shared here on EC would also be helpful to animals in CHF (or an animal that is close to it), but I have no way of knowing if it will. Much of what I've posted here are protocols used by other medical professionals who have had good success with them in humans. However, I personally do not have any actual experience in treating an animal with CHF or getting one out of CHF. My "real-time" experience to date has only been in treating my dog's heart murmur and keeping him out of CHF so that he doesn't succumb to it, like my other Cavalier did.

Replied by Marci
(La, Ca)

Hi Katie... Thank you very much for your reply, I really appreciate it. It's nice to know that folks on EC are responsive, caring, and helpful. I hope your dog is doing well. He's very lucky to have you. Take care.

Replied by Katie
(Northport, Ny)


I am sorry to hear about your cat's heart condition.

My hope is that some of the information Iâ€TMve shared here on EC would also be helpful to animals in CHF (or an animal that is close to it), but I have no way of knowing if it will. Much of what I've posted here are protocols used by other medical professionals who have had good success with them in humans. However, I personally do not have any actual experience in treating an animal with CHF or getting one out of CHF. My "real-time" experience to date has only been in treating my dog's heart murmur and keeping him out of CHF so that he doesnâ€TMt succumb to it, like my other Cavalier did.

Replied by Aurora5
(Los Angeles)

To: Andrea C in Wales - What in the world are you feeding your dog that has allowed him to be 27 years old and still acting like a puppy? I'm desperate to learn!!!

Replied by Chris
(Castle Rock, Co)

This is for Katie. I hope you are still reading these. My dog has a heart murmur. I have known about it for over a year and a half. The vet made me think it was not to big of a deal. Long story short, I have a meeting with her on Tuesday (1/13/15) to find out exactly what is going on. Grade level, heart size (I know it is 10 something), if it is the mitral valve, etc. In the meantime, I'm wanting to be proactive and try to prevent him from having to start meds (he isn't at that point yet). Based on all your replies to people I'm thinking the following for a 12 pound dog not classified as in CHF yet:

Quino-Gel (50 mg., twice a day)

Cardio-Plus (3-4 day),

Cataplex B (2/day)

Organically Bound Minerals (1/day)

Hawthorne (1/day)

Canine Whole Body Support

Per a different person:

Eighth of a teaspoon Cayenne pepper

Have I read your replies correctly? I'm sure I speak for everyone on this thread...THANK YOU for all your support. Because frankly, I had a list of supplements to give my boy a mile long and had some concerns.


Replied by Katie
(Northport, Ny)


Why don't you start by just giving your dog the Cardio-Plus, the Canine Whole Body Support (which is a multivitamin that supports all the organs in the body) and a fish oil capsule (which is anti-inflammatory)? This might be all that you need and see how your dog responds to them. These are the only heart supplements I am giving my dog now. I'm not sure that he needs to be taking all the other ones (time will tell). I decided to add the fish oil (WholeMega-500 mg.) because I know the omegas are anti-inflammatory and would be good not only for my dog's heart, but also for his arthritis and hip dysplasia, so it just seemed to make sense to add it.

If your dog doesn't seem to benefit from just those three supplements, then you might want to look into adding something else like maybe the Hawthorne or the Quino-Gel. But, it's probably better to start with less. As far as the cayenne goes, I did not recommend this at all and would not recommend it to anyone. If you give it to your dog he will probably hate you forever as it will probably burn his stomach. I've taken it in the past and I can speak from experience. I would not give this to my dog.

FYI, although my dog has not been back to the cardiologist in a year and a half, his internist told me recently that his heart sounds good ? although it is still a grade 3 murmur. So I have to be thankful that although I haven't gotten rid of his murmur, it has been pretty stable for the past 4 years. My cavalier is now 11-1/2 years old.

Replied by Chris
(Castle Rock, Co)

Hi Katie,

Thank you for your email. I just read another post that states "Standard Process products are only available by prescription through doctors and veterinarians;". This may be a problem as my vet isn't a holistic vet.

If I can get the supplements, I will try what you suggested and see how it goes. No Cayenne pepper though. :) I actually eat it quite often.

Thank you, Chris

Replied by Katie
(Northport, Ny)


Try Amazon, you can probably purchase them there.

BTW, I forgot to mention in my previous post that although I was told that my dog still has a Grade 3 heart murmur, I wanted to mention that he is asymptomatic for heart troubles. I was told that his heart rate is normal and steady, his blood pressure is normal, there is no heart enlargement, no coughing and thankfully he is on no meds.

Replied by Chris
(Castle Rock, Co)

Hi Katie,

The meeting went well tonight with the vet. Standard Process gave me the name of a vet that has an account with them. I called and they said that if my vet will give me a prescription, they will sell me the two products. My vet wrote the prescription.

So I will give Zander:

Cardio-Plus (3-4 day) - 2 in the morning and 2 at night.

Canine Whole Body Support - not sure what to give on this one (suggestions)? "12 pound terrier mix"

Fish oil.

My vet also suggested the Ubiquinol.

My hope is that this combo will keep me from having to put Zander on any meds. The vet told me to call at the end of February for his annual visit to recheck his heart. I'm hoping that nothing has changed in a year or that the change is small having just started the supplements.

Thank you again.

Replied by Katie
(Northport, Ny)

Chris, the Canine Whole Body Support is dosed based on weight. So, for 1-10 lbs. you would give 1/8 tsp. once a day, or from 11-20 lbs. you would give 1/8 tsp. twice a day.

FYI, it may be best if you start your dog on the new supplements slowly and then increase, rather than starting him on all of them at the same time. I know that Standard Process makes this recommendation too. With my own dog I didn't need to do this because his health was pretty good, but for others in a weakened state (or depending on what their health issue is), it may be better to introduce them slowly so that the body can adjust to them. It will also give you a chance to observe how your dog reacts to each of the new supplements. For example, you may want to start giving only the CardioPlus the first week (maybe start with only 1 a day or maybe you want to start by giving 1 in the morning and 1 in the evening). You may find that 2 a day is all that your dog might need (or can tolerate). But just observe. Then you may want to add the fish oil the following week, and then the Whole Body Support the following week.

I give my dog 4 CardioPlus tabs a day and he's 22 pounds. Some vets have told me that he might not need to take as many, but I feel comfortable giving him 4 and will continue to do so. This is the same dosage he's been getting for the past 4 years.

Replied by Chris
(Castle Rock, Co)

Hi Katie,

Thank you for the info. I bought the Canine Whole Body Support, but the vet had to order the Cardio Plus. I was going to start them all at once, but I will reconsider. My dog is in good health at this point and has also been on the fish oil for several years now.

So, my question is...what am I looking for from the Cardio Plus? If I start with two a day, one in the morning and one at night...after a week, what should I see? The only thing I'm experiencing with him right now is being able to feel the pumping of his heart in his chest. He runs full out without getting out of breath, he doesn't have any breathing issues, and he doesn't get tired easily. I don't want him to ever have to be on meds. This is just a Dog Mom being proactive.

Zander is 12 pounds (a good weight for him) and he will be 12 in March. He gets walked most days and does just fine. :)

Thank you again. :)


Replied by Katie


Since your dog is in good health and not on medication, you should be able to start them all of them at the same time, which is what I did with my own dog.

I only mentioned starting them slowly because I didn't know your dog's condition. And because I had heard from someone whose dog was taking prescription medications and his owner told that they were unable to add any type of supplement to their dog's current meds. It seemed that when they tried to add them, it would aggravate the dog's condition (i.e., increased panting or heart rate). I can only assume that this had something to do with the interaction of the meds. I was told that this happened for almost any type of supplement they tried adding.

So I would just say that for anyone with a dog in a weakened state like this, or for one that is already on prescription medications, I would just add supplements slowly so their body can adjust to them and watch for any side effects.

Replied by Chris
(Castle Rock, Co)

Hi Katie,

That makes total sense. I'm hoping the Cardio Plus will be in tomorrow and the Ubiquinol later this week.

I did start him on a low sodium diet - the Science Diet's h/d Canine Cardiac Health. I do doctor it up with good quality meats and some organic veggies to make it taste better. I wanted to make sure I had something he'd eat to mix all the supplements into.

I do hope these threads will be of help to others.


Replied by Paula
(Detroit, Mi)

Hi Katie,

I enjoyed reading your posts. I have a 13 1/2 years old 10 lb male chihuahua with an enlarged heart and CHF. His actual diagnosis is severe mitral regurgitation, degenerative. Cardiac auscuitation revealed a grade 4/6 systolic murmur with maximal intensity of the left apex with radiation to the right apex. Cardiac rhythm was regular HR = 122. Respiration rate mildly increased 48.

His health has gotten worse since his echo was done July 2014. Our vet added Spironolactone. I was ready to give up before I read your posts. I've been giving Lasix, Enalapril and Vetmedin. Supplements are SP Cardio Support, Coq10 by Energetix, Omega 3 Pet and Chlorella tabs. Several days ago, I just started adding in a dab of CuraMed (turmeric) and a CHF recipe for angstrom minerals because his symptoms had gotten worse after adding the Spironolactone.

I had given up hope before I read your posts. Then as the day wore on, it seemed like he was feeling better. Maybe the Curamed and angstrom minerals were finally getting into his system. I'm not exactly sure what happened but I am delighted. Then I read on your post about the SP Cardio-Plus. I looked at the difference between that and the SP Cardio Support which was what I was giving. I believe the real difference was the sodium in the Cardio Support. It was recommended I use both the Cardio Support and the Whole Body Support but I could not add both because he would start coughing really bad due to the total sodium content. Once I read your post, I realized I could use the Cardio-Plus with the Whole Body Support and lower the sodium content. So, I picked up the Cardio-Plus today and am going to give it a try. I am hoping I can get him off the pharmaceutical drugs eventually.

He is a picky eater. I was wondering if you could give me some advice on whole foods for him. I can only get him to eat baked chicken right now. I hope his appetite improves as he feels better.


Replied by Katie
(Northport, NY)


I have a dog that loves to eat and he will eat just about anything, with the exception of a radish. He even eats raw beets and grapefruit and an occasional green smoothie. But some of the foods I give him are organic chicken, turkey, scrambled eggs, beef cubes, an occasional hamburger, sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, rice, string beans, asparagus, parsley, squash, pumpkin, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, carrots, peas, etc. I don't give him anything out of a bag or a can.

If your dog is not feeling well and you don't think your current supplements are helping him, why don't you look into the possibility of maybe trying an herbal based formula for him instead?

NHV Natural Pet Products ( is a website I came across a while back and I have been giving my dog their Milk Thistle product for his liver. I read on their website that their products are used and endorsed by the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. Most of their supplements are in a glycerine-based tincture, not alcohol, which is what you want for a pet. Plus, it is my understanding that tinctures are absorbed more completely and quickly than a pill, which is another plus. They have recommended tinctures for heart conditions and for pulmonary edema on their website. One of their recommended supplements for heart conditions is something called Hearty-Heart, in which Hawthorne is one of the main ingredients (along with about 10 other supportive herbs). Another recommended supplement to be taken with the Hearty-Heart is Milk Thistle, which is probably especially important for any animal who has been (or is on) meds because it helps to detoxify the liver and kidneys by removing toxins, and also recommended is a Turmeric tincture which helps to improve the liver function and to support the heart and circulatory function, among other things. (So, it is interesting that you mentioned turmeric in your post). For pulmonary edema, they have a slightly different recommendation, which is also on their website. But I thought I would post this in case this is something you might want to look into. Plus, you can always contact them with any questions.

Replied by Elizabeth
(Sheffield, UK)

I've just been told my rescue cavalier has grade 3 heart murmer and would like to give her some supplements

Replied by Om
(Hope, Bc, Canada)

Elizabeth --- I always have old pets to care for and have used Hawthorn tincture which you can google. It is a well known European natural medicine. In addition, one can give vit. E, both about three times a day, ongoing. I do not give allopathic meds. Namaste, Om

Replied by Wali
(Tacoma, Washington)

I have a six 6 month boxer puppy that has a grade 4 by one vet grade 3 by another vet heart murmur.. It hurts to see him not be able to keep up with the other dogs and always out of breathe.. I wanted to know at his age can he take these supplements and where can I purchase them?

Replied by Jerris
(Oregon, US)


Standard Process products are available through some chiropractors, also on but beware of some sellers who charge very high rates. Also some sellers on ebay-make sure they state product is within expiration dates. and other internet sellers carry SP products; google the product you are searching for.

Replied by Katie
(Northport, Ny)

UPDATE 4/27/15: My Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (now 12 years old) had his yearly echo this weekend and we got some good news. The cardiologist said that my dog continues to do well. He said his murmur remains a grade 2/3 and that his MVD continues to be mild. He said this year's echo results are nearly identical to last year's. Thankfully, it has remained stable for the last 4 years or so. He said my dog's heart rate is good (100 bpm), said he has strong and synchronous pulses, that there's no heart enlargement, and thankfully he's not on any meds.

I had hoped by this time I would have found a way to make this MVD "go away", but so far that has not happened. I know that I've addressed the nutritional aspect of this condition with good glandular supplementation and feeding him good "people" food (which I know has been instrumental in keeping his heart strong, in spite of the leaking valves which will weaken the heart), but I have to wonder if I've overlooked a microbial issue in dealing with this condition (i.e., the lesions that form on the valves and the microbes that cause them). Read about bacterial endocarditis. These are bacterial lesions that form on the heart valves and keep the valves from closing tightly. When the valves don't close tightly, there is leakage (or regurgitation) and this is what is seen on my dog's echo each year (actually the doppler). I remember reading an article a couple of years ago, written by a vet researcher and this person mentioned that this condition was seen predominantly in Cavaliers. I also have to think about the bacteria from my dog's periodontal disease which may also be affecting his valves.

My own mother had her heart valves destroyed by strep bacteria. As a young child, she contracted strep throat but was not treated with an antibiotic at the time. It was not well known at that time that a strep infection could lead to rheumatic heart which causes valvular damage. In later years, the untreated strep bacteria caused her to have a rheumatic heart. Essentially, her heart valves became so calcified and narrowed that they had to be replaced. Interestingly, my mother's CRP levels have always been very high. High CRP levels are an indicator of inflammation within the body so I do believe this is an indication that the strep infection never left her body. It is interesting to note that her cousin got strep throat at the same time as she did, but he never developed rheumatic heart or any other type of valvular disease. The difference was that her cousin was given an antibiotic. So, I have to ask myself if this (or something similar to this) is what is going on with my own dog's valvular condition which still needs to be addressed?

Another thing, I recently spoke with one of my vets who told me that MVD is a direct result of vaccinations, and that the MVD then becomes an inherited condition. This vet also told me that she knows of someone who was able to successfully breed this disease out of their line of Cavaliers in three generations by not vaccinating them, feeding them raw food, proper supplements, and not giving tick and flea meds.

Just food for thought.

FYI, I have scaled back further on the supplements I'm giving to my dog. For the past 2 months he's only been taking Cardio-Plus (2/day) and Cataplex E-2 (1/day), at my vet's suggestion. She thinks this might be all he needs. My vet also suggested CoQ-10, but I am undecided about whether I will give it to him. I'm not sure that he needs it for his heart right now, but I know it is an important all-around antioxidant and that it is good for more than just the heart. It is also good for periodontal disease, which my dog has, so I might add it after all.

Note: I do not vaccinate my dog (only titers when necessary) and I don't use tick and flea meds on him. I believe these things will worsen any health condition.

Replied by Thuy Tran
(San Diego)

Hi Katie!

I am very glad to read your update again. I just lost my dog, BuBu on April 12,2015.

He was diagnosed with CHF, Mitral Valve Disease with #2 murmur couple of years ago. The Vet told me that nothing could cure MVD and it wasn't serious, just kept an eye on him, if he sneezed a lot, then brought him to the Vet and he would give him medication. Because he said that, so I didn't do anything, until last October, BuBu started sneezing a lot and he got seizers, we took him to the Vet and he gave BuBu Phenobarbital, one month later, his abdomen filled up with fluid, we took him back to Vet, he prescribed BuBu Vetdemin, Furosemide and Benazepril. BuBu lost his vision and wobbling because of the medication's side effect, I searched and found this website. I ordered Hawthorn, CoQ10, cadio plus and gave BuBu along with the medication, BuBu was getting better, having more energy, no seizers but the water retention stimulated very quickly, we have to bring him to the Vet to drain it out every 4 weeks ( BuBu got seizures a lot when his abdomen filled up with water retention ) For about 4 month, the Vet switched him to Viagra, he said it took one month for Viagra to be effected. One month passed by, I didn't see any improvement on BuBu, so I gave BuBu back to Hawthorn, CoQ10, cardio plus, Vetdemin, benazepril, furosemide.. and I found Holistic Vet, we took him there, the Vet took his blood and called me later, let me know that his kidney was failure ( BuBu stopped eating, vomited and got diarrhea the day before ) I had to make a painful decision to euthanize him, so he did not suffer anymore but I suffer a lot , my tears still rolling down, regretting not to do anything before to save BuBu, I hate myself _ stupid mom.

BuBu 's sister named Cutie, she is 12 yrs and diagnosed with MVD also, the Holistic Vet told me to give her Hawthorn, cardio plus, CoQ10 and cinnamon, he said that they all help different ways.

I give Cutie the whole body support also. I cook for Cutie, not kibbles anymore. My question is, the whole body support is good enough or should I give her anything else? What do you feed your dog? Cutie doesn't like fish oil, should I give her flaxeed instead ? ( I give her Milkthistle and rena food by Standard Process because she has bladder infection that makes her on antibiotic frequently )

Thank you, Katie. I am sorry if my English is difficult to understand.

Replied by Katie
(Northport, Ny)

Dear Thuy,

I am so sorry for your loss of your dog. I know exactly what you are going through right now.

In my experience, I have found that most vets (my cardiologist included) won't warn you about the possible progression of a health issue, unless you ask direct questions. In my case, my cardiologist never even mentioned that my dog Smokie's resting heart rate was high (140 bpm) and that it needed to be watched, or the fact that he had pulmonary hypertension, which is high blood pressure in the lungs. However, these "red flag" findings did appear on his echo, yet they were never mentioned to me as a possible concern. As an inexperienced, first-time pet owner, I did not know how to read an echo or know what any of this stuff meant, including what the normal parameters for things were, such as heart rate. I just assumed that if there was a problem, it would have been brought to my attention. Had the cardiologist told me at that time that MVD could advance into congestive heart failure in a few years, I would have started looking for a way to help my dog immediately and things may have turned out differently. Instead I lost 2 years of valuable time because I was lulled into thinking that everything was okay.

Since that time I've learned to ask a lot of questions of my doctors and I get and keep copies of all my dog's medical records so that I can monitor them myself. I don't take anything for granted anymore.

Your holistic vet seems to have made good recommendations for your dog, including adding the CoQ10. If you want to add the Whole Body Support in addition to them, go ahead. But don't give the WBS in place of your vet's recommended supplements. WBS is really more like a multi-vitamin, whereas the other supplements recommended by your vet, give direct support to the heart, including the Cardio-Plus. Did the cardiologist tell you anything more about Cutie's murmur, such as what grade it is?

You asked about EFA's. Right now, I'm not giving my dog any, but I think I should be. One of my vets told me that the fatty acids help to balance out and heal the body. She recommended that I rotate and give my dog a variety of EFA's such as fish oil, evening primrose, sunflower, coconut and olive oil. She didn't mention anything about flax oil, but it may have been an oversight on her part, because I've read that flax oil is supposed to be good for dogs too. I think the oil would be easier to assimilate than the ground seeds, but I've also read that a combination of them both is probably ideal. I'm not absolutely sure about this, but I think my dog's platelet levels stay in the normal range when he's taking EFAs.

Re Food. I cook once a week now and portion out my dog's meals for the entire week. Usually I'll cook a whole 6 or 7 lb. organic chicken in the pressure cooker (it only takes about 25 minutes or so). I also cook some organic red potatoes or sweet potatoes to last for the week. I usually cook two types of veggies for the week and switch between them (e.g., carrots, green beans, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower or squash). My dog is fed twice a day, so each meal looks like this: 1/3 cup chicken (or another type of protein such as beef, turkey, eggs), 1/4 cup potatoes and 1/4 to 1/3 cup veggies. To warm up the portions I just add a small amount of water to a saucepan, heat the water, then add the food and toss quickly until it's just warm. I don't like microwaves. Also, the whole chicken comes with the liver and the heart inside the cavity, so once a week my dog gets these organs raw. Note: only give liver if its from an organic animal, otherwise the liver can be toxic.

I found that one of the benefits of home cooking was the loss of unwanted weight. A couple of years ago, my dog was 8 pounds overweight and I couldn't understand why it never came off. Once I took him off the kibble, the weight vanished. I think it's because kibble has so much added fat. However, I found out that I also needed to add a starch to my dog's meals too (potatoes) because the meat and veggies alone were not enough for him, he was always hungry and he continued to lose weight. Once I added the 1/4 cup (or less) of potatoes to his meals, his weight has stayed in the 20 to 22 lb. range, which is his ideal weight.

Replied by Thuy Tran
(San Diego)

Dear Katie,

Thank you so much for taking your time, reading and replying to me, I am appreciated a lot.

I am sorry that I forgot to tell you that Cutie is Pekingese, 12 yrs, she weighs 10.5 lbs. The Holistic Vet diagnosed her in heart murmur #2. I haven't taken her to the Cardiologist yet, but I will.

Here is Cutie's protocol

- Hawthorn: 5drops - 3x / day

- Cadio plus: 1/4 tablet - 2x/day

- CoQ10 50mg : 1ml - 2x/day

- whole body support : 1/8 once a day

- Rena food : 1/2 once a day

- Milkthistle : 6 drops 2x/day

- Cinnamon : 1/8 tsp once a day

And Cutie taking cranberry, grape fruit seed, colloidal for her UTI

I am thinking to give Cutie 1/2 tablet of Cadio plus ( instead 1/4) twice a day and 6 drops of Hawthorn once a day. What do you think ? Do you still give your dog 4 tablets of Cadio twice a day ?

Cutie is very picky, she doesn't want to eat the same food the next day, so I have to cook every day for her, try all kinds of meat to please her. I used cook brownrice but my vet recommends quinoa. I don't feed Cutie potato or sweet potato because she has skin problem. You don't feed your dog brownrice ?

When the former Vet diagnosed BuBu with heart murmur #2, I did ask him what to do to help my little dog, he said nothing can cure it, and he told me that not serious, just keep an eye on him and when I see him sneeze, then take BuBu to him. At that time , I believe in him but I am not now, I took Cutie's blood test to read it carefully, and always keep my eyes on her each day.

Thank you again for relaying all the information, and willing to help everybody. You are such a good person.

Replied by Gth
(La, Ca)

I have been following this thread for a little while and appreciate all of the information. We have been dealing with a heart problem with our Whippet. Like so many here, she was diagnosed about 2 1/2 years ago with a murmur (3 -4 grade) but the vet didn't take it as much of a big deal. Just "maybe someday have an echograph done." Even when her appetite started decreasing, no focus was put on her heart. Needless to say things got worse.

We switched from this "holistic" vet who had been treating her to a homeopathic vet, realizing that if we had any hope for healing it would be with homeopathy. At this point she had very labored breathing, a lot of coughing and an enlarged heart. She was obviously very uncomfortable and frightened. We have now been working with Dr. Diana Bochenski at the Buellton Veterinary Clinic near Solvang, CA. She is about 2 hours from us but does phone consults. That is mostly what we do (even emergency in the middle of the night) but have taken her to her twice now. We are fortunate, that even though she is not close, the drive is still doable.

What I have learned is that for a serious condition like this, it's very important to work with an experienced homeopath. While a remedy like Arsenicum Album is a common one used for the heart, it must be used judiciously. The first dose of it given to our Whippet produced very good results for a few days but the second dose resulted in a negative reaction. There are many remedies that can be used in a heart condition, but it must also match the individual. Sometimes this takes several tries to find a good match. So far we have probably tried 6 or 8 different remedies. It looks like this last one given a little over a week ago is a good match and has produced good results. We will probably use this same one for one or two more doses but then the potency or the remedy may need to be changed as the vital force in the patient changes. This is why it is so important to work with someone who is experienced. I have been using homeopathy for several years with our family for things like poison ivy, colds, bug bites, etc, but I feel totally over my head with this chronic heart issue. I am so grateful for Dr. Diana's help.

In addition to the homeopathy, Dr. Diana has her on the Standard process Canine Cardiac Support, Cataplex E, Ubiquinol and hawthorn tincture. She is on a raw diet with a good amount of organ meat. As we have struggled with appetite, there are times I've had to syringe homemade broth mixed with egg yolk into her. Fortunately we have been able to keep her weight at a fairly good level. We have also found out she is pretty sensitive to salt, even natural Celtic and Himalayan, so she is on a pretty much salt free diet. Things got pretty rough for a while and we started her on furosemide, then added in Vetmedin and Benazepril. I wanted to avoid drugs at all cost but it was either this or euthanize. She has been on them for about a month now and between them and the good match with the remedy I am hoping we will be able to start weaning her off of the drugs next week.

Thuy Tran, there is a homeopathic vet in your area named Dr. Stephen Blake, but if I remember correctly he is no longer taking new patients, but you could try. Since Dr. Diana does phone consults, you could try her. It's kind of far for you to drive (just north of Santa Barbara) but you could make it an overnight trip and enjoy Solvang while there. It's very dog friendly. She also see's patients on some Saturdays. There is a website that can be searched as well for a homeopathic vet near you. This is where I found Dr. Diana. At the time I found her she had listed that 75 to 100% of her patients were treated with homeopathy. That has now been changed to 25 to 50%, but my point is if you are going to pursue the homeopathic route, find someone who is a classically trained homeopath and their primary treatment is homeopathy, not a "holistic" vet that says they do homeopathy. Here is the site to search:

Another site I really like is:

Dr. Falconer also does phone consults. I had actually contacted him first for help, but he was traveling for speaking engagements at the time and not taking new clients with chronic conditions. This ended up being a blessing because I found Dr. Diana. I know we still have a long way to go but I am feeling hopeful that things are going in the right direction. I wish all the best to each of you that are facing these same problems. These heart conditions don't only effect our dog's hearts but our own.

Replied by Katie
(Northport, Ny)

Dear Gth(?),

Thank you for posting the link to the Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy. For some reason the link was not active in your post, so I am posting it again for you.

Also, good luck with your dog's progress. I am so glad to hear that things may be improving for him. Please keep us updated on the progress you make with him. Your experience is helpful to all of us.

I've recently started working with my homeopath too. Although my dog is asymptomatic for heart disease, he has other health issues, and after doing a full work-up on him, she's chosen a remedy which we think is his constitutional remedy. My hope is that this will strengthen my dog's overall health even further, including his heart/valves.


I was giving my dog 4 tabs of Cardio-Plus a day (2 with each meal), not 4 tabs twice a day. Now he's only getting 2 tabs a day (1 with each meal), along with 1 tab of Cataplex E-2 a day. We will monitor him to see if this is enough heart support for him. If we feel he needs more, we will just add back some of his supplements, but my vet feels that might not be necessary.

If it were me, I would give Cutie at least 1/2 tab twice a day, maybe even 1 tab twice a day of Cardio-Plus. It can't hurt and it can only help. It is food for the heart and it does contain natural CoQ10 too. If you increase the Cardio-Plus, you should probably let your vet know so she can make adjustments to the other herbs, if that's necessary. There may be a synergy in the dosages she recommended.

Here are just a few things to keep in mind for anyone who has a dog with a murmur.

1. Once a murmur is detected, an echo should be done once a year thereafter to monitor it. Low cost echos can be done by a board certified cardiologist at a Cavalier health clinic. Most breeds are accepted at these clinics. To locate one go to: Note: These clinics are good only if your dog is not seriously ill and only if you're doing this just to monitor them. If your dog is sick and needs medical attention you will need to find your own cardiologist, because they cannot treat your animal or prescribe meds.

2. Learn as much as you can about your dog's condition and what your options are for treating him. Monitor him closely for any changes. Don't let doctor's scare you with comments like "nothing can be done" or "it's inherited and there's no treatment." I don't believe that that is true. Doctors are limited in their knowledge too. As long as our dogs are alive and breathing, they have a chance to get better.

3. If a protocol is not working for your dog, consider trying something else?or even a different vet. Don't be afraid to combine therapies, such as nutritional or herbal with maybe homeopathy, or even acupuncture. If using homeopathy, don't attempt it yourself and seek out a trained professional through the link provided above. Consider acupuncture. Although I don't know much about it for congestive heart failure or heart problems in general, there is info written about it on the internet. I think it is worth looking into as possible option.

4. Learn what the normal resting heart rate should be for your dog and how to monitor it. It is different for small and large dogs. Note: I have read that a 10 bpm increase in heart rate increased the hazard of progression of heart failure by 22%. Additional Note: Four years ago my dog's resting heart rate was 128 bpm and he had high blood pressure. Then I started his supplements and at his next echo one year later, his resting heart rate dropped to 108 bpm, despite the fact that his weight was still pretty much the same. Since that time, each subsequent echo has measured his heart rate at or about 100 bpm, which the cardio said is nice and relaxed. The cardiologist also mentioned that he has a good sinus rhythm, which means, I think, that he has a good steady heart rate with no arrhythmias. Although we haven't checked for the high blood pressure with the cuff, I think it disappeared when his heart rate normalized.

Replied by Thuy Tran
(San Diedo)

Dear Katie,

Thank you so so much for your very helpful advice.

My Holistic Vet is very busy (not many good ones in San Diego). Its very difficult to have a chance to talk to him. I'll reduce the others when I increased the Cardio-plus. I'll adjust her supplements after I take Cutie in for her echogram.

From BuBu's death, I learned not to rely on the Vets anymore. I'm so glad and appreciated everybody from this forums that share their time and knowledge. Thank you all.

Replied by Katie
(Northport, Ny)


I would not stop giving your dog any of your vet's suggested supplements without talking to your vet first. (He sounds like a knowledgeable vet). It is very likely that he prescribed them for a reason that you might not even be aware of. I don't think there should be any issue with increasing the Cardio-Plus though.

As an example, one of your vet's recommended supplements is Standard Process Renafood. Renafood is useful for kidney problems and kidney failure. The kidneys are also involved in moving pooling fluid out of the body, which can happen in heart disease, so it may have been recommended for one of those reasons. Without seeing your dog's blood work it's hard to know what her underlying health issues are. You do mention that she has a UTI though, so this may also a reason for the recommendation. Also, he prescribed milk thistle which is an herb that helps to clean and detox the liver. It is also recommended for high liver enzymes. Milk thistle is useful in just about any chronic disease. It is also protective of the liver, so in case she's taking a med, it gives protection. It's likely that once Cutie gets past her UTI, his recommendations for her may change.

Also, when you do get the echo done to find out the cause of her murmur, share the report with your vet so he can help interpret it for you, and guide you in Cutie's care.

All the best to you and Cutie. Please keep us updated on her progress.

For anyone who wants to know how to take your dog's heart rate: Just place your hand on the animal's chest, count the heart beats for 15 seconds, and then multiply the number of heart beats by four to get the beats per minute. A heart rate taken at home when the dog is comfortable can be more indicative of a true resting heart rate than one taken at the vet's office, where he may be excited or anxious. I do this while my dog is relaxing on his bed.

Replied by Thuy Tran
(San Diego)


I had been taking BuBu and Cutie to the former Vet who doesn't know much about herbal supplement. When BuBu 's heart condition got worse and needed prescribed medication for the rest of his life, I knew the medication would effect his liver and kidney, so I researched online to find some herbal supplement to replace half of doses of medication and I found this website.

Immediately, I ordered CoQ10, Hawthorn, SP Cardio-Plus, SP Whole body support, SP rena food, Milk Thistle and brought them all to the former Vet and asked him if I could give BuBu these supplements along with the medication. he said he didn't know anything about herbal supplement and asked me why I needed to give BuBu these supplements?

I went home and started giving them to BuBu along with half doses of the medication and BuBu seemed like getting better, but because of the diuretic's side effect, his kidney was failure.

And then, Cutie was diagnosed with heart murmur #2 ( the same Western Vet ) I gave the herbal supplement to Cutie also.

When I find the Holistic Vet and bring Cutie in, I showed him Cutie's protocol which I have been giving her :

Hawthorn - 5 drops ( 3x / day )

CoQ10 - 1 ml ( 2x/day)

Cardio Plus - 1/4 tablet ( 2x / day)

Milkthistle - 6 drops ( 2x / day)

Rena food - 1/2 tablet once a day

Whole body support - 1/8 tsp once a day

He looked at it and said:" they all are good, but I don't think Whole body support is necessary. "

One thing he added for Cutie's heart is cinnamon.

For Cutie's UTI ( the bacteria named E Coli ) the former Vet prescribed Clavamox 62.5mg - 1 tablet every 12 hrs for 7 days , wait 7 days then repeat, cranberry 1/2 tablet 2x / day.

The holistic Vet added :

1/2 tablet GFS ( grape fruit seed) 2x / day

ACV - 1 tsp with 1 gallon of water for drink

Colloidal - human dose , once a day

cranberry - 1 tablet 2x / day

This Holistic Vet is co- owner of Acacia animal hospital and Director of the intergratise Holistic medicine Department , so he is very busy. I am thinking about searching for another holistic Vet.

Thank you, Katie. I will update Cutie's progress.

p/s: Colloidal tastes terribly, Cutie hates it. Is there anything can help her to drink it ?

Replied by Stefanie

Hi Katie,

My Cavalier, Milla, is GF 4 and CHF I have a vet appointment to see what to start her on. When she was diagnosed the physician told me, "I won't lie, these medications are no cure and will cause more problems then you want with her other organs. When she starts to faint, sleep more, cough, pant to excess or be up at night bring her back and we will see what can be done." I can tell she is in CHF, although not fainting she is up barking at night, panting, sleeps durning the day, and coughs about once and hour. What can I start her on now to help heal her as much as possible. My husband and I are heartbroken as we know this is the path but want her to live forever (: I have been reading all your posts, she is about 27 lbs.

Thanks, Stef

Replied by Stefanie


Milla weighs 27 lbs, not 27 over weight!


Replied by Katie
(Northport, Ny)

Hi Stephanie,

I'm sorry to hear about your dog's condition. If I read your post correctly, your dog has a grade 4 murmur and is most likely approaching CHF?

If it were me, I would probably do the following:

#1 Find a Good Holistic Vet immediately. You need a good holistic vet to work with you in treating your dog. Because CHF is a very serious condition, I don't think that trying to figure this out alone is a good idea, as this condition can slip into full blown CHF overnight, like it did with my dog. A good holistic vet should be able to guide and support you, while hopefully helping you to stabilize your dog and get her out of the danger zone.

Where to find a holistic vet? Here are the websites of some holistic practitioners. You may want to have a short conversation (or a short interview) with any prospective vet to determine if they will be a good fit for you and your animal.

(i) American Holistic Veterinary Association. Link:

(ii) Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy . Link: Homeopathy can be very effective if you have a good homeopath. I use this in conjunction with other healing methods.

(iii) Consider working with a Chinese herbal medicine doctor. Traditional Chinese Medicine ("TCM") understands the body better than our conventional medical system does. Herbs are more of a food than most supplements, and they are more bioavailable. If you go into the American Holistic Veterinary Association link which I posted above, you will find links to TCM practitioners. Also, if you go to the website, you will see that some of the natural diuretics and natural ace inhibitors they speak of on their website are Chinese herbal remedies, but they need to be prescribed by a vet who is trained in TCM.

Right now, I am working with a China-trained TCM vet for a recently diagnosed eye condition in my dog called progressive retinal degeneration. (In Chinese medicine they recognize the connection between all the organs in the body and how energy imbalances in one organ can affect other organs in the body). So, in my dog's case, his bad liver (which he's had since he was a puppy), is now affecting his eyes.) The people I've spoken to refer to this vet and his system of healing as a miracle worker. He only prescribes herbs for my dog but will use acupuncture on a patient if he feels it is necessary. If TCM is something you decide to look into, I would also ask whether acupuncture would also be helpful for the MVD, because I think that it might be.

#2 If you want to start your dog on supplements prior to your visit to the holistic vet, I would probably purchase the following supplements and then advise your vet so you can have a comprehensive treatment plan going forward: (i) CardioPlus, and (ii) CoQ-10 (ubiquinol), and (iii) one of the following herbal heart tinctures. Either Pet Wellbeing's heart tincture called "Young at Heart" or NHV's heart tincture called "Hearty Heart." The main ingredient in both is Hawthorne, although the formulations are different. I don't know which is better. I've read the reviews and they seem promising. Most are written by people whose dogs have serious heart problems like CHF or close to it. Here are their websites: Young at Heart:; Hearty Heart:

Note: I have heard from some people whose dogs have more advanced heart conditions, like yours, that it was sometimes difficult to give them any supplements at all, including the CardioPlus, because it seemed to increase their symptoms (coughing, etc.). I don't know why this would happen - maybe their arteries are so stiff at this point? So, my suggestion would be to only give a half dose of any supplement at first, and watch for any increase in symptoms. If there is an increase in symptoms, you should probably stop and consult your vet. If all is okay though, you can probably work up to the full dose in time. I've read that it can take a couple of weeks for the tincture to start working so I would order it asap. Also, only give 1 supplement at a time until the body can safely adjust to it. In your case, I think you should start your dog on one of the heart tinctures first as they seem to be more attuned to addressing CHF symptoms, but I would also order the CardioPlus so I could start giving that as soon as possible to start strengthening the heart. Give the CoQ-10 with meals, it's best absorbed with a meal.

Additional Note: When a dog is on meds, most manufacturers say that herbal formulas are contraindicated. I'm not sure that this is entirely true though, because many of the reviewers mention that they are giving the herbals while their dogs are on meds. But, I would work with your vet to figure this out. It may be that once the supplements start working, less of the heart meds are necessary so the meds will need to be decreased. If they aren't, the animal can be "overdosed".

Also, speak with your holistic vet about whether EFAs would help you dog (they are anti-inflammatory and were recommended by my cardiologist) or whether something like Dimethylglycine HC1 (e.g., Vetri-Science DMG) may be helpful in this condition or whether an antioxidant formula recommended by the cavalier website might be helpful (such as Antiox-Ultra 5000 by Sogeval Laboratories). I'm starting to think that an antioxidant might be necessary to deal with the lesions that develop on the valves in this condition. I believe the lesions are caused by a bacteria or virus that need to be kept in check. I'm also wondering about whether I should just add natural Vitamin C back into my dog's regime because it is an antioxidant and good for so much. And, if you've read any of Linus Pauling or Mathias Rath's work on heart disease and Vitamin C and how it repairs arteries, I think that it is just a good thing to do.

#3 Have an echo done by a cardiologist, not a regular vet. You will need a baseline to see what her actual condition is and which valves are affected, and the size or enlargement of her heart. The mitral valve is typically affected (which affects the left side of the heart), but in my dog's case, it also started to affect the tricuspid valve (which affects the right side of the heart) which then led to his heart failure. This is when his stomach got bloated.

#4 If you have your dog on kibble, switch her to home cooked meals. Raw food is probably not a good idea for a dog in your condition.

I wish the best for you and your dog.

Replied by Thuy Tran
(San Diego)

update Jun.17/2015

Hi Gth!

I am sorry I haven't read your post on May 15/ 2015 until today, thank you so much for all the helpful information. Please, accept my appreciation.

How is your dog doing? Is he or she still on the medication ? I hope your dog is getting much better each day. I know we all wish our four legs best friends could live forever with us.

Hi Katie,

We took Cutie to the Cardiologist for the echogram and here is Cutie Cardiology Exam:

HR: 140bpm, RR: panting. MS: BCS 6/9

There is mild mitral insufficiency associated with thickening of the mitral valve. the left atrium is mildly enlarged. The left ventricular contractility is within normal limits.

Cutie's valve disease is mild at this time.

So Cutie is still on the same protocol : SP cardio plus, Hawthorn, CoQ10, cinnamon for her heart.

It has been more than two months when I lost BuBu, I can't hold my tears every time I think about him, I miss him so much, he took my heart away with him. I wished I could find this website earlier so BuBu could live longer with us. I hope Cutie will live loooooong, because seeing her in a good health each day is my happiness.

Replied by Katie
(Northport, Ny)


Okay, so what you need to do now is to keep an eye on her heart rate. You want to see a decrease in her heart rate going forward, not an increase. Although I'm not an expert on this, her heart rate seems high (by contrast my dog's HR is 100 bpm). The fast heart rate (and her likely high blood pressure) probably explains why she has the heart enlargement. I believe all these symptoms go hand-in-hand. Thankfully, you had the echo done now so you know what you're dealing with.

The supplements you have her on will likely help with this. You will probably find that as her heart rate starts to normalize, the heart should also start to return to a more normal size, and if she has high blood pressure, that will probably also normalize. I know from experience that my dog's heart rate got better after starting him on these supplements and I believe that his high blood pressure also disappeared after being on them. (I realize now, that in the case of my first dog he had untreated high blood pressure, along with a fast heart rate, which then caused an enlarged heart.)

It's important that you talk to you vet about the results of this echo and ask her if she has any further recommendations for Cutie based on the results. And, you need to ask her what your next steps will be, with her, and for Cutie, going forward because you will both need to keep a close eye on her now that you know that there is heart enlargement. First, ask your vet what the normal resting heart rate should be for Cutie (it is different for small and large dogs) and ask her to show you how to take it so you can monitor it going forward. As I mentioned in a previous post, an increase of 10 bpm in heart rate shows a hastening or progression towards heart failure by about 20%. Also, ask her opinion about whether you should give Cutie essential fatty acids such as fish or krill oil, or a combination of EFAs such as fish oil/borage oil. And, if so, what is her recommendation? I think this is something you may want to add anyway as it is usually recommended for heart patients because it is anti-inflammatory and heart disease is an inflammatory condition.

Hopefully, the supplements will help with all of this. Please keep us updated.

Wishing you and Cutie the best.

Replied by Diana

Hi Katie,

You're doing an amazing job with your dog and helping owners here.

My dog, 10 1/2 yr old mixed terrier has a grade 3 murmur and an xray showed an enlarged heart. this all happened 8 days ago.he's not showing any symptoms besides these. he's going for an echocardiogram and seeing a cardiologist next week.

I been reading all week about his condition and ordered the following:

Vetri-Science Cardio Strength

Vetri-Science Canine Plus

Dr Mercola, Krill Oil

Dr Mercola, Ubiquinol

We are also changing his diet to a low sodium one.

I didn't read this whole thread until now so I'm wondering if I should change to what you been using....SP Cardio Plus and Cataplex E2?

I like the VS Cardio strength because of the L-Carnitine and Taurine which I read on other sites a deficiency could cause heart disease.



Replied by Thuy

Hi Katie,

Thank you for all your advice, I appreciate it so much.

Cuite doesn't like to be in the car, she is always nervous so I think it effects when she has the echocardiogram done because when she rests at home, I count her breath which is 11-12 / min, it was 16/min. before when she wasn't on the herbal supplements.

The Cardiologist sent Cutie's Echogram report to her Holistic Vet and I did talk to the Holistic Vet about Cutie, he said that Cutie's Protocol now is good, he didn't add anything else or increases the dosages, and he said that he worries more when the heart rate is fast like >32 .

I can see Cutie is improving because she breaths smoother than before and she has more energy than before.

Cutie was paralyzed when she was 1.5 year olds, she had back surgery and after that she couldn't be able to walk again, we have the wheel cart for her but she hates it, so I made a vest for her with two strings which I hold them to lift her hips up, she loves it and she runs and walks every where ( but I have to run with her :( )

As she paralyzed, she couldn't pee, we have to empty her bladder at least 3 times a day, but she still gets bladder infection very often, I give her cranberry, GFS, ACV and colloidal ( she hates colloidal, I can't give it to her) and coconut oil, I hope she doesn't have to take antibiotic anymore.

I forgot, I gave Cutie fish oil but she hates it, so I give her Olive oil, coconut oil, Flax oil.

Replied by Gth
(La, Ca)

Hi Thuy,

Cutie sure is blessed to have you as her parent. You are taking such good care of her with all of the challenges she has had! This is a little off topic but since you mentioned her problems with bladder infections you may want to ask your vet if you could try using D-mannose with her. It is a type of sugar so I think it should be safe to try. It doesn't work like the other supplements you have used for the infection by trying to kill the bacteria but by making the lining of the urinary tract "slippery" so the bacteria can't cling to it. It just gets flushed out. I've never used it with a dog but have on myself and it worked really well.

Replied by Katie
(Northport, Ny)

Hi Diana,

When I first started looking into supplements years ago, I looked into carnitine and taurine too. But I decided not to give them to my dog because my dog was already fed a meat-based diet (and carnitine and taurine are contained in most meat), so I felt he probably didn't have a deficiency of either. Note: All meat contains taurine, with dark poultry being one of the best sources and red beef meat contains one of the best sources of carnitine. So, if you're feeding your dog kibble, it is probably a good idea to at least supplement it with some organic meat.

If you want to use the Vetri Science, why don't you also think about adding maybe one of the Hawthorne tinctures I referred to in an earlier post? Hawthorne is the universal heart herb and it's recommended for most heart issues. Or, maybe you want to try giving one pill of the Vetri Science and one of the CardioPlus a day and see how it goes? The ingredients are completely different. Maybe they will complement each other and work well for your dog?

As you probably know by now, I really like the CardioPlus, because I think it's really helped to stabilize my dog's condition so far by keeping his heart strong . I'm also trying out the Cataplex E2 because I've had two vets so far who recommended it to me. It is the natural form of Vitamin E and Vitamin E is recommended for heart problems. I'm told that it is good for oxygenation of the heart. So, I would say, try it if you'd like, and see if it helps your dog. Note: Cataplex E2 is already in Cardio Plus and makes up 1/4 of that formula.)

Like Thuy, you'll want to monitor your dog closely to make sure that your dog's heart condition doesn't progress. When there is heart enlargement, it is serious, but most vets don't bother telling us this. Monitoring the heart beat and the breathing rate (respiration rate) of your dog will probably give you a pretty good of idea of whether your dog's condition is improving (and if the supplements you are giving them are helping them). Speak to your vet about this.

Please keep us updated on your dog and his progress.

Hi Thuy,

I'm glad to hear that Cutie's breathing and heart rate are normal and that she may be feeling a little bit better. You are a great pet parent, she is very lucky to have you.

I came across an article written by a vet on heart rates and breathing rates in healthy dogs and thought I post it here as an FYI for anyone reading. Carol Osborne DVM mentions in her article that "a healthy heart rate for a puppy who is less than one year old is anywhere from 120 and 160 beats per minute. For a small, miniature, or toy breed, or any dog that weighs 30 pounds or less, a rate of 100-140 beats per minute is appropriate. And for medium to large breed dogs that weigh more than 30 pounds, a heart rate of 60-100 beats per minute is healthy."

Please be aware though that my vet told me that these wide ranges are based on the activity of the dog and that they are not resting heart rate ranges. So, for instance, my dog falls into the 100-140 bpm range. His resting heart rate is 100 bpm which is good, but 140 bpm would not be an acceptable resting heart rate for him. 140 bpm is high and would probably only be acceptable if he was running around and physically active. Just wanted others to be aware of this, because this is how I was blindsided with my other dog. He had a resting heart rate of 140 bpm on his echo (which I now know is high), but he somehow "fit" into this range and neither the cardio nor the vet showed any concern over it or even spoke to me about it. As a result, his pulmonary hypertension continued to build, his heart enlarged and then he went into CHF when the heart became severely enlarged. All because no one ever mentioned any concerns to me.

Also, I just wanted to clarify something from an earlier post. When I mentioned that an increase of 10 bpm in heart rate shows a hastening or progression towards heart failure by about 20% - I should have said that this would need to be on a consistent basis. There can be normal variations in heart rate, but when the heart rate is consistently higher, it is time to be concerned. Just wanted to be clear about that.

In the same article the author also talks about breathing rates for healthy dogs. "Normal breathing rates for canines can range from 10 to 20 breaths per minute. If a dog is panting, up to 200 pants per minute is also normal. To clarify, panting is when your dog breathes with its mouth open and tongue handing out. A regular breathing rate applies to when the dog is breathing normally through the nose, with its mouth closed".

Replied by Thuy
(San Diego)

Hi Katie,

Thank you so much for your helpful advices which help Cutie and many dogs with heart murmur. I wish I could find this website earlier so BuBu would still be with us now.

When I read your post before, you said that you gave your dog SP whole body support. Have you still give it to your dog?

Replied by Thuy
(San Diego)

Hi Gth,

Thank you so much for the good suggestion, I will ask the Vet about using D-mannose for Cutie.

You only tried to help my dog but my mother also because she doesn't drink plenty of water so her bladder infection keeps coming back, and I don't want her to be on antibiotic ( she is 86 years old and has diabete ) she tried cranberry before and it didn't work, I will buy D-mannose for her to try.

Replied by Katie
(Northport, Ny)

Thuy, no I'm not giving him the Whole Body Support right now. He's only taking the CardioPlus, Cataplex E-2 and ubiquinol (I just started giving this to him because its a good antioxidant and good for so much more than just the heart, including my dog's periodontal disease). And, he's also taking 2 herbal remedies prescribed by my Chinese vet for his liver and his eye conditions.

Replied by Cindy
(Dallas, Tx)

Hi Katie,

On May 21,2015, our sweet chihuahua, Senor Bones, was diagnosed by a cardiologist with mitral & tricuspid valvular endocardiosis (degenerative valve disease), Minor ruptured chords - posterior and anterior MV (not flail), moderate pulmonary hypertension, and left mainstem bronchus compression (moderate-severe), collapsing airway disease (mainstem bronchi) from heart enlargement. There was evidently no fluid in the lungs and he was prescribed Sildenafil (generic Viagra) 20 mg 1/2 tab twice daily; and Enalapril 5 mg, 1/2 tab twice daily and Hydrocodone 5mg 1/4 tab as needed for cough. I don't feel they are really helping him, and would love to just take him off of them. The cardiologist is very likable, but incredibly busy being the only one in all of northern Texas! It's a very lucrative business, and I'm not sure there is a lot of creativity and thought going into treatment, simply because she is SO BUSY!

His recheck June 7, supposedly did not show pulmonary fluid, and his kidneys were ok. I don't think the drugs are helping that much, and the side effects are scary. I have only given him the hydrocodone 2-3 times because it doesn't really help his cough, just knocks him out for 2-3 hours, then its right back to coughing/gagging.

I have no idea what supplements and dosages to give him, but would like your advice. I feel a more holistic approach is much better! Also, what would be a more natural diuretic to prevent fluid buildup?

For the past couple of years, I have fed him a variety consisting of organic chicken/green beans/carrots/tortillas/brown rice/a sprinkle of cheese and organic bacon (occasionally), because he's such a picky eater. He also gets a small piece of the chicken True Chews, jerky treats. I know they're high in sodium, but he just loves them.

I'm desperate to give him the a better quality of life, if possible.

I believe this all came from a rabies shot reaction that nearly took his life when he was only a year old.

Thank you so much for your thoughts!

Replied by Katie
(Northport, Ny)

Hi Cindy,

Your dog's condition is very serious like mine was, and you should try to find an alternative vet to help you immediately, if possible. Your dog's coughing may also be worse because of the enalapril. My dog had most of the symptoms as yours does (and to the same degree, although mine also had fluid in his lungs). I think that the torn chord that was noticed on your echo is a serious finding just by itself. I know of someone whose Cavalier passed away in her arms when the cord just snapped. Note: Enalapril is not a diuretic, it helps with the blood pressure, but was a nightmare in my opinion for my own dog.

My thoughts would be:

  1. Find an alternative vet or two. This is the hard part. Maybe you can try to find a good homeopath and a good alternative vet? The fact that your dog got so sick after the rabies shot may be relevant in homeopathy and probably in the progression of his heart problem. Maybe you can also find someone experienced in traditional Chinese medicine that could help you in prescribing some of the alternative Chinese herbal medicines for the heart which are mentioned on the Cavalier website too ? or whatever they feel is right for your dog? Personally, I would not use homeopathy alone in your dog's case because of the seriousness of his condition. I just wouldn't want to put all my eggs in one basket.
  2. See if a small amount of magnesium helps his breathing (such as a citrate or an oratate). Magnesium is supposed to be helpful for high blood pressure and relaxing the arteries. Give it away from the enalapril.
  3. Try to give one of the Hawthorne tinctures mentioned in a previous post. If any questions both websites have vets that you could consult with who are familiar with their products who may be able to make further recommendations or answer your questions.
  4. Consult the cavalier website for additional recommendations, such as DMG, CoQ-10 and ribose (ribose is meant only for severe MVD) -- but speak with your vet about all these things. According to my vet, the typical recommendation for CoQ-10 (ubiquinol) is 1 mg. per pound, but that may not be enough in your dog's condition. The Cavalier website recommendation is 30 mg.


Replied by Diana

Thanks Katie! I ordered Cardio Plus.

I'm going to put him on Fortekor and because hawthorn can change blood pressure I don't feel comfortable doing least for now.

I'll give an update to you and to others that are reading.

We saw the cardiologist, they did an echocardiogram and found 2 leaky valves, (mitral valve disease) no fluids in the lungs, blood pressure was great.To figure out how it's progressing we would have to go back for another echo in a few months.

Both the cardiologist and my vet wanted to put him on the ACE inhibitor Fortekor. They believe it could prolong the onset of CHF.My regular vet has had good success with this happening and these dogs(that he mentioned) have been on it for years and never went into CHF. My research showed that these claims haven't really been studied but I decided to start giving it to him and will check his blood work in a week to make sure everything is ok.He also added that he thinks my dog will live for years more but I know the seriousness of this disease and will take it month to month. He also has a dog that has been on Vetmedin for 3 years, a 15 year old in CHF. Vetmedin can't be given until CHF.

The cardiologist didn't recommend a low sodium diet at this time and said to not play fetch anymore but walks were ok.That is going to be difficult because my dog is still active and besides the Murmur(2 and a 3)(leaky valves) he's not coughing or showing any signs of the disease.

I changed his diet to Orijen.I fed him the Royal Canin veterinary type his whole life.Anyway, he loves the Orijen Freeze-Dried Dog Food "Tundra" and it's low carb, he needs to lose 5 pounds.

and will be giving him

Standard Process - Cardio Plus 2-4 a day

Vetri-Science - Cardio Strength 1 a day

Vetri-Science - Canine Senior Plus 1 a day

Dr Mercola, Krill Oil 3 pumps twice a day

Dr Mercola, Ubiquinol 3 pumps

Fortekor 5 mg 1 a day.

and Love and Exercise.

I would like to add something else.... it's been over 2 weeks since I found out about the murmur and have cried, researched online, cried some more and researched more.I've read 100's of forum posts from people all over the world that are going through the same thing and what I noticed is that there is really no difference between a death of a pet vs a "human" family member and I would bet the pain could even be greater eg:(an abusive husband that dies, ect) so with that said we think our pets will live forever, I mean we don't believe it deep down and after thinking about it but in our day to day lives we think they'll always be around.

For all I know I could die before my dog does, we're all going to die so for now I'm going to give my dog the best care I can and enjoy him now and stop worry about this(well maybe until the next ultrasound)

I'll up date in a few months.

Replied by Cindy
(Dallas, Tx)

Thanks so much, Katie!

Replied by Stefanie
(Zimmerman Mn)

Hello Katie,

When I sent you the post I was so upset waiting for her appointment I went home and ordered some vitamins hoping for some sort of change.

  • CoQ10
  • Hawthorn
  • Fish Oil
  • Cardio-plus
  • Cataplex B

In the first 3 days I noticed her coughing reduced by ?, she was up a little more than normal but restless during the night. After the first week maybe a cough 2x's a day and she was up waiting for me when I woke up. We are on week 2 of all vitamins (it took longer than I thought for everything to get shipped to me) and she continues to improve. My mom who watches our 2 yr old during the day commented yesterday how Milla rarely pants or coughs, she said "She also is walking around the house and playing with the other dogs".

I can't believe it! I really can't!

We have an appointment with the holistic vet in Elk River near our house, I am looking forward to a different view on my dogs health. I will say had I know any of this sooner I don't believe this heart condition would have progressed as it has.

Thank you for not giving up hope on your dog so you could give hope to others like myself. I wish we could post pics on this site because Milla smiled the other day and I got a great pic of her and thought, "wow, I think she is feeling happy too! "

More to come!

Thanks Katie!!

EC: Hi Stefanie,

Sorry, for some our database turned your measurement or percentage into a ? Please resend so we can fix the post. Thank you!

Replied by Katie
(Northport, Ny)


I am so happy to hear that Mila is feeling better. This is such good news. Thank you for updating all of us. How much was Mila's coughing reduced in the first 3 days?

My reason for doing the updates over the past couple of years has been to hopefully help and educate others through my experiences with my dogs. Regardless of whether my experiences were good, bad or indifferent, I felt that they were all important and should be shared with others who are now walking this same path with their dogs. My hope is that others may be able to avoid the mistakes and missteps I made with my dog.

Please keep us updated on Mila's progress. Your experience helps us all.

Warmly, Katie

Replied by Katie
(Northport, Ny)

Cindy, if you're still reading this thread, you should also try giving the CardioPlus and an EFA such as fish oil. How did I forget to mention the CardioPlus??

Replied by Angela

How do you give these supplements? On food? Directly into mouth?

Replied by Mary
(Fremantle, W.a Australia)

Hi there!

How is your cavalier doing? I had the exact same experience with my 1st CKC who died from heart disease. I have 3 beautiful Cavaliers, one of them was diagnosed with grade 2 couple of weeks ago. So I really would like to start giving her the same treatment.

Could you give me a bit more information about it? Where do you get it? And also about the dosage. (For ex the ribose 850mg, twice daily , do you actually give him 850mg -2 /day? )

Also, I would be interested to know who advised you because I can not believe there are still so many dogs dying of heart disease just because the owners have no idea and aren't told there's actually something they can do to really help! Thanks so much for your help!

Mary, Australia

Replied by Taylor
(Salt Lake, Ut)

Are these dog-specific supplements or are they the same for humans and dogs?

Replied by Amy

Recently my 7 year old chihuahua has been diagnosed with a heat murmur, she takes 3 half tablets morning and night since she's been on meds she seemed to perked up a lotm but lately she's seems to have lost a little more weight and isn't eating like she used to. Also, she's been sick today after arch time she eats. Is it normal for them still to have the cough as she still does this around 3 times a day of what I no of

Replied by Gth
(Southern California)

Hi Amy,

So sorry to hear about your Chihuahua. We've been struggling with CHF with our Whippet for the last 9 months. You don't say what kind of meds you are using so I'm guessing that it is a diuretic. We have found that when we started our dog on them it cleared the fluid out of her lungs so she could breath better. This increased her energy and decreased her coughing. Over time as her heart function declined she would start coughing again and breathing heavily and we needed to increase the amount of diuretic. Some coughing may also be caused because of the enlargement of the heart. As it enlarges, some positions the dog lies in can cause the heart to bump against the trachea causing coughing. We've gone through the vomiting and not eating too. We've used homeopathy to help with this. Our vet is a homeopathic vet who has been great. She practices classical homeopathy. This method helped us through the appetite and vomiting but really wasn't making any progress on the heart itself. A few months ago we also started consulting with a homeopath that practices a different method. She uses "protocols". We have seen some positive changes on these protocols, including being able to reduce her meds. A

bove all we have done a lot of prayer. She is also on a raw diet and we are using many of the supplements recommended above in this thread.

Replied by Michelle
(Detroit, Mi)

I know this post is outdated but my mini poodle has mvd and I would love to here more about the supplement you gave your dog.

Replied by Gth
(Souhern California)

Michelle, if you read through the thread there is a lot of discussion on beneficial supplements. Currently we are giving our dog, Standard Process Canine Cardiac and Cataplex E2, NHV Hearty Heart, Ubiquinol, fish oil and potassium chloride. This is in addition to the homeopathic remedies and meds. She is also on a raw diet.

Replied by Karen
(Richmond, Va)

I too have a 14 year old beagle with a heart murmur. I have had her on Co Q10 for 4 years now and her heart is very strong. I recently learned of Standard Process Cardiac Support With have been on their Whole Body Support (multi vitamins for her homecooked diet) also for 4 years and she has done very well. These two supplements come from foods only. I was concerned about using Bovine but talked directly to one of their veterinarians who assured me they do strict testing and only use specific tissue. I was also concerned about the sodium in it but was told there was none added only naturally occuring in the foods. SP is an excellent company and I know they have researched extensively the proper dosage of materials supporting the heart.

I would be very careful with all supplements not to overdo which could also be taxing on the heart.

Replied by Beth
(Brisbane, Australia)

Hi Katie, Just wondering how your dog is doing. Have been reading your posts from beginning until your last posting. My cav is just coming up to being 15 years old. He has heart murmur, no meds but am going to start him on standard process suggestions. Basically I think age is catching up with him and his heart. Hope to hear your dog is still doing well.

All the best.

Replied by Katie
(Northport, Ny)

Hi Beth,

My dog continues to do well (and he's still on no meds)….he will be 13 in a couple of months. And congratulations on your Cavalier! 15 is a milestone birthday especially for this breed. To only be finding a murmur now is almost unheard of --- and so fortunate.

I continue to give my dog the CardioPlus, the rose hips (for the full natural C-complex), ubiquinol, and I have recently added Vitamin E and some extra Ascorbic Acid. I also give him a mineral supplement a few days a week. The Ubiquinol, Vit. E and Vit C apparently recycle each other in the body. Although the CardioPlus contains all of those ingredients (in small amounts), I decided to add extra for a number of reasons. My dog has hip dysplasia, arthritis and periodontal disease (all vitamin C/collagen deficiencies) so I felt this would probably be helpful to him. I also recently read a book written by a vet (Wendell Belfield) who used both of these supplements extensively in his practice over a 35 year period, along with other vitamins and minerals and he felt they were absolutely necessary for good health in dogs, especially the Vitamin C (in the form of ascorbic acid). It was his feeling that although dogs produce Vitamin C (in small amounts) it is not in adequate enough amounts for good health and he recommended this for all his patients. I also started to think about how the heart valves are comprised of collagen too…..and how this may also benefit them.

The other suggestion I would make is to speak to your holistic vet about what can be done to curtail the inflammation that is part of heart disease. I have addressed it from the nutritional aspect but I still have to deal with the inflammation that is still in my dog's body. The fact that he still has his murmur is evidence of this (and that his valves are still moderately thickened). It's interesting because the NHV website (which sells the Hearty Heart), recommends giving the HH along with their turmeric tincture and I'm thinking one of the reasons is probably to help deal with the inflammatory nature of this condition. I'm not saying that this is supplement to take for the inflammation but just wanted to mention it anyway. Just be aware that if someone chooses to use turmeric and/or curcumin, they should know that they are not easily absorbed by the body and won't get into the blood in adequate amounts unless you use a highly bioavailable product. FYI, one thing I noticed at an echo taken a couple of years ago was that my dog's valves were less thickened than the previous echos. I could not say definitively why this was, but I remember giving him some herbal supplement which was highly anti-inflammatory, anti bacterial and antiviral and this may have had something to do with it. This is something that I am going to continue to look into for my dog.

In the meantime, I did notice some interesting improvements on my dog's last blood test. His platelets which have typically always been on the low side, have increased to normal for the first time in about 3 years (from 160 to 255). And his cholesterol, which has been high for the past 2 years, (which is an indicator of inflammation) has dropped into the normal range (from a high of 370 to 280). I can't say for sure what caused it, but the only things that changed in his routine were that I was giving him rose hips (high vitamin c) and feeding him sweet potatoes (which are supposedly good for increasing the platelets). And two small cysts on his body seem to be shrinking.

Replied by Lorraine
(Chesterfield Va)

I use dandelion root and Hawthornberries, Ma Cq10 and I make sure dog food has L-carnitine in it. Also grain free. Poobe 60lbs? He has goods and bad, this going since 2010, he had the heartworm treatment from vet stay in. Hospital overnight etc.

Replied by Robin
(Los Angeles)

I wanted to chime in after spending hours reading this thread and researching the supplements mentioned. My Cavalier, Margot ( ), 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 Suseeq
(Sydney Australia)

Robin, vitamin E and co-enzymeq10 can help your dog.

Replied by Gth
(Southern California)

Hi Robin, We are in the LA area as well. Good luck with finding a holistic vet in LA. We have tried several and found them to be fauxlistic instead.

We finally found a real good one up in Buellton (near Solvang), Dr. Diana Bochenski. She is truly a holistic vet. She is a very skilled homeopathic vet as well. She does do western medicine, so she will know the meds Margot is currently on. It is a bit of a drive, but doable. It takes us about two hours to get there. We have taken our Whippet there a few times and just made a day of it, but Dr. Diana is also very good about helping from a distance. I regularly correspond with her via email and sometimes by phone. She does bill for the time but I have found the fees to be very reasonable. We do have to bring Clown into her about every six months for a blood panel. They want to keep an eye on her organ function with the drugs (Furosemide, Benazapril and Vetmedin) she is on. I have them send out the meds to us instead of going there to pick them up. In one case we ran low of the Furosemide (diuretic) and wouldn't get the refill in time if they sent it out. They were happy to call the prescription in to a local pharmacy for us to get it locally.

Dr. Diana is truly a treasure. I have called her in the middle of the night on several occasions when things got bad. She tells us never to hesitate to do so if needed. Our dog is in advanced stages of CHF. The classical homeopathy Dr. Diana practices has helped slow the progress of the condition but I felt we weren't getting the results I had hoped. I wanted to try another method of homeopathy that the homeopath we use for my husband, daughter and I use. Dr. Diana was very willing to work with her. There was never an issue with egos. She is clearly most interested in what's best for the patient. I can't say enough good things about her. You can probably find her info by googling on line but if not let me know and I can send it. She's at Buellton Vet Clinic.

Replied by Robin
(Los Angeles)

Thank you for the recommendation Gth - I can only imagine the path you must have taken to get to Buellton for proper homeopathic care.

I have an appointment at Limehouse in Glendale - which I have a feeling is going to fall under 'fauxlistic'... it's just so close to home I thought it was worth a shot to see if it might work.

I will be in touch with Dr. Diana and hopefully get up that way at the end of the week.

Replied by Gth
(Southern California)

We were clients at Limehouse for a while. They are a little more holistic than the average, allopathic vet. Our final issue with them was when they diagnosed our 2 year old show Maltese with a breast tumor. She (the wife) recommended surgery to remove it and spaying at the same time to lessen a recurrence due to hormones, then possible chemo. No alternative treatments, right to conventional cut and poison. I was hesitant since it didn't look like any tumor I had seen in the past and sometimes it would look larger and other times smaller. But since the dog was also our daughter's pet we ended up caving to their pressure. Ended up it wasn't a tumor, it was a hernia. The surgeon repaired it and spayed her at the same time without letting us know it wasn't a tumor. We now had a large surgery bill and a dog we could no longer show since she was spayed and had a surgically repaired hernia. It could have been healed with homeopathy (and they claim to practice homeopathy). I'm not a vet but after seeing the hernia and comparing it to tumors I've seen, I can't imagine confusing the two. I could be wrong, but felt a vet should be able to tell the difference between the two.

At the time they pushed their processed foods. When I told Dr. Limehouse (the husband) that I fed raw he sarcastically asked me if I send all of the meals to a lab to make sure they were nutritionally balanced. My thought was, "I don't send my daughter's meals to the lab either! "

They were also very pricey.

It's been a while since we've been clients there so some things may have changed. And since they are close to you it's probably worth checking them out to see if they have moved further to the holistic side.

Replied by Katie
(Northport, Ny)


I think that any vet who misdiagnoses an animal as terribly as they did yours, should not be allowed to practice - its almost malpractice. I had a similar experience with a vet who misdiagnosed my dog - and he too, should not be allowed to practice. Two months before my dog Smokey went into CHF (and before I even knew he was sick) something terrible happened to his eye. It appeared to turn white overnight. I took him to the vet the following morning and he diagnosed him with “uveitis.” He prescribed antibiotics for him and told me to come back in a week. The following day my gut instinct was telling me that there was something much more seriously wrong with his eye and I decided to make an appt. with an opthalmologist, but I couldn't get in to see him for about 5 days. When I finally got there, I was told that my dog had a detached retina and that he had lost his sight in that eye because it was not treated immediately. The opthalmologist told me that his sight could have been saved if he had been properly diagnosed by the vet and treated immediately. Instead days passed because of the misdiagnosis and the nerves died in his eye and nothing could be done at that point.

So, when the topic comes up, I do as you have, and I tell people the truth and tell them to steer clear of him and his practice. It was a lesson sadly learned.

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hello Gth,

I agree with Katie - tell the truth. I'd be Yelping about this and making online reviews on veterinary sites had this been my dog. It is appalling and stunning that any vet could confuse an inguinal hernia with a breast tumor -and that you had seen this vet previously and that the hernia was missed all this time, again, it boggles the mind.

So sorry for your experience, but I hope your girl is doing well.

Replied by Gth
(Southern California)

Hi Katie and Theresa, Thank you for your support and confirmation that I wasn't crazy for thinking they should have known the difference. We've moved on and my daughter's Maltese is doing well. Loved just as much spayed as if she wasn't, just disappointed that the choice was taken away from us, especially since you pay a lot more for a dog you can show. I hesitate to slam a vet but I did think this was pretty egregious and just want to give others a heads up if they are considering them.

Replied by Robin
(Los Angeles)

Hi again -

I'm re-posting because I feel like I'm slim on resources to help Margot.

@Gth I was in touch with Dr. Diana + she has referred me to somebody in Florida who is very familiar with Cavaliers, though I still haven't managed to nail them down for a consultation.

Here's the rundown of her history ::

3 YRS old diagnosed via MRI with syringomyelia. The neurologist tried her on a few different combinations of drugs (including steroids which were awful for Margot). We ended up on Gabapentin 100 mg 2x daily.

8 YRS old diagnosed with MVD by a cardiologist. She was put on Benazapril, Torsemide & Vetmedin 2x daily.

->> 6 month checkup at cardiologist over a week ago EKG + x-ray shows progression of the MVD. Margot was additionally prescribed Sildenafil + Spironolactone. Immediately she started panting and coughing uncontrollably, 24 hours a day.

A week later she's returned to the cardiologist twice + has stopped the additional/new heart meds to eliminate them as the cause of her discomfort.

The symptoms continue which leads me to believe that it's the syringomyelia that's the cause of her restlessness, discomfort, panting + coughing.

It occurred to me that she had perhaps panted so much in pain from the SM that she's created an inflammation in her trachea (which showed to be very narrow/collapsing on x-ray as a result of the enlarged heart).

She's been prescribed hydrocodone to relax her and stop her from panting/coughing. It worked for 24 hours but now I'm giving her the max hydrocodone prescribed and doubled her gabapentin dose but she is still extremely uncomfortable.

I've also begun to give her hawthorn extract for her heart + milk thistle to help detox the liver from the meds + omega3/fish oil for inflammation.

The regular vet doesn't have much else to offer + I've been reading these posts and am now trying to find a reliable cold laser therapist in/around LA to help with the SM.

Any further suggestions would be so appreciated - I can't stand seeing Margot in so much discomfort + am trying to rapidly weed through crappy faux holistic vets + alternative therapists to find good ones.

I've cross posted this to the SM thread since there are two issues with her at present.

Video of her behavior here :

Replied by Gth
(Southern California)

Hi Robin, I hope you are able to connect with the person in Florida. That is one thing I really like about Dr. Diana, if she knows someone who she feels is better able to help you, she will recommend them instead of just trying to keep the business for herself. She truly is interested in what's best for the patient.

I watched your video. What a sweet baby you have! Comparing her actions to what I've seen with our Whippet, I would say her panting and coughing is related to the narrowing of her trachea. It seems like it is position related that sets it off (our Whippet has this issue too in certain positions). It looks like the position restricts the airflow which then causes her to pant for more air and cough from the irritation. You could very well be right that inflammation is causing the sudden change. I am not a vet, so keep that in mind, but we have used a combination, recommended by our homeopath, of homeopathic Aconitum Napellus 200c along with Bryonia Alba 200c, given together to stop the coughing in our Whippet. This combo has also helped our daughter's Maltese who has a trachea that is starting to collapse and is coughing. This combo can be given two or three times a day. You can probably find both remedies locally at Sprouts or if you have a Lassen's near by. The Santa Monica homeopathic pharmacy would definitely have it. Amazon carries it too. Homeopathy is pretty safe even if the incorrect remedy is used. It is relatively inexpensive as well. You can probably get both for $20 to $25. So if you want to give something a try until you can get a consult, you might want to give it a go.

The remedy is usually little pellets. Put about three of each in the lid of each container. If you can lay Margot on her side, lift her lip and dump the pellets (both remedies, at the same time) onto her gums, then cover them up with her lip. Try to keep them there for a minute or so. If she spits them out after this, that is fine. The remedy is on the outside of the pellet and only needs to make contact with a mucus membrane for a short period of time. If she swallows it that's fine too. Most dogs like them. They taste sweet. Don't touch the pellets with your fingers. The remedy can come off on your hands and then not work on Margot.

If you are interested in pursing homeopathy more, I can give you information on the homeopath we have been using in addition to Dr. Diana. I will warn you though, she is pretty expensive. She has not been able to reverse Clown's condition but she certainly has slowed it's progress and made her life more comfortable with the homeopathy. This in itself has been an answer to our prayers. Homeopathy is tailored to the individual patient but there are remedies that have specific actions on the heart. If you want to try some of these I can share which ones we have used.

Replied by Pauline

Hi Katie,

I have a 10yo chh(13lb) who has grade 4 heart murmur and an enlarged heart(left ventricle)

He is currently on vetmedin, furosemide & fortekor.

Would appreciate some advice which std process supplements & dosage that will be of help to him.

He is currently on the following supplements:
d ribose
hawthorne tincture(away from meds)
milk thistle
golden paste
rose hip
krill oil

Thank you!

Replied by James
(Jersey City Nj 07305)

My 10 lb. yorkie has a heart murmur. He is now 10.6, Doctor after doing test want to but him on meds. Anvilapril. I see there are side effects. Maybe I am better off with natural? I am mixed feeling on this matter. He is doing better a month after losing his friend to heart failure my Spanky who was 11.7 years old, Just want to do all I can for my Jake.

Replied by Suseeq
(Sydney, Australia)

Vitamin E and garlic are both good for the heart.

Replied by Robin
(Perkinston Ms)

I realize this post is from 2011. But I need advice for my chihuahua. She is only about 10 pounds. I know I can't afford the name brand supplements most of you are taking. I give my animals the same supplements I take myself. My question is which supplements should I use for the dog and how much/how often? I bought l- Carnitine already- just not sure how much I should give her. She is about 10-12 years old and in good health except for the heart murmur and joints. She has had surgery because her socket isn't deep enough to hold the bone (??). She has pins holding it together. So I have been giving her fish oil and glucosamine also.

Replied by Suseeq
(Sydney, Australia)

Hi Robin, what I have in my notes is this:

taurine 500grm per day, l carnitine 200o mgs, per day, co-enzyme 10120mg per day.

These are the minimal dosages.

Replied by Cryj
(Marin County, Ca)

Wow! Katie, thank you so much for initially sharing your experience and for everyone else who has chimed in. I am so appreciative that you have kept us updated since your initial post.

My dog, an 11-yr old Sheltie, was diagnosed with a level 1 heart murmur a couple months ago. At his recent well visit our vet said it was a level 2. I want to do all I can to nip it in the bud now! Our vet is a really kind person. I actually am friends with her ... (kind of complicates things for me) and I believe her greatest strength is actually surgery ... but she does not use or believe in supplements really (only the usual things that the large companies produce and sell through vet offices.)

Anyway, I realize after reading here I need to take quick action to improve my dog's nutrition and start immediately with supplements -- but, prior to finding a practitioner to guide us (which, again, given our vet is a friend will be tricky) -- I wanted to see if Katie (or others) can guide me initially...

My sheltie is about 23 lbs and in general good health. Still happy, playful and loves his walks. He does huff and puff a bit more at uphill parts and stairs -- so we take it easy on him and don't go as far. Only time I've noticed he stops and lets out a cough is when he gets very riled up playing with our younger dog (running and jumping up on each other). He'll drop a toy from his mouth and cough. I stop them from playing at that point and make him rest -- but sharing to note I don't see many symptoms at all. For about 10 yrs he ate Solid Gold Hund & Flocken. But our younger dog wasn't taking to it and after research found a lot of Shelties did well on Fromm Gold (a dry kibble). I switched both to it about 1 month ago.

So, here are my specific questions:

- What specifically should I start feeding him, and quantity?

- What supplements do you recommend for his breed and weight (and as of now, otherwise healthy)?

- Does anyone know of a trusted Vet (holistic? homeopathic?) in or near Marin County, CA (North Bay, San Francisco)? (I hope to find someone that can guide supplements and nutrition and maybe I can still go to our friend for vaccines and routine check ups?)

Thank you all for your help both in finding what will work for my baby as well as posting so much here. Your experience really helps keep my sanity and desire to fix what is wrong vs. get sad chocking things up to age.

Replied by Suseeq
(Sydney Australia)

Vitamin e is good for the heart.

Replied by Katie
(Northport, Ny)

Please see the attached recent article and video by the holistic vet Dr. Karen Becker regarding the use of high dose ubiquinol and a meat based diet for dogs with mitral valve disease. This is really informative.

Replied by Patricia
42 posts

This is in answer to a pet post but I believe it should be put in the human section also. If the moderator will do so I think lots of people can benefit from Joe Vialls story of potassium chloride as vital for life.


I don't know about heart murmurs but potassium chloride seems to cure everything heart related. This man, Joe Vialls, cured himself of 25 years of hi blood pressure and angina by ending life long potassium deficiency. Here is his story:

Personally I had begun to have rapid heart beats maybe once a month for a few seconds only. Still it was scary. I read Joe Vialls article and his story fascinated me and purchased Now Foods potassium chloride on the web

This was many years ago so I don't remember how or how much I took but the rapid heart beats are long gone. I moved two years ago and don't know where my potassium chloride disappeared to.


EC: Hi Patricia, adding this to people section too, thank you!

Replied by Gth
(Southern California)

You can search for homeopathic vets on It will tell you what percentage of that particular vet's practice is homeopathic. That is how we found our homeopathic vet, Dr. Diana Bochenski in Buellton, CA (near Solvang). She is a two hour drive each way for us, but well worth it. She does phone consultations. We started out that way, until our dog got to the point she needed to be seen. We tried working with a vet closer, then going over the details with Dr. Diana on the phone, but we could not find a vet in the area that we weren't frustrated with and that didn't scorn natural methods, so we gave up and just made a day out of the drive. Since you have a local vet you trust you could do it this way and do phone consultations for homeopathy. If you are interested, Dr. Diana is listed on the above site. We love her and highly recommend her. Even our dog loves her and wanted to follow her out of the room the last time we were there. All other vets she's nervous with.

As for food, we feed raw.

Best of luck to you!

Replied by Katie
(Northport, Ny)


Do not give potassium chloride to your animal without speaking to your vet about it first. I'm not sure that a vet would even recommend this. Potassium chloride is used in ice melts. Potassium is one of those minerals that most doctors will tell you should be getting from food, not a supplement because it is very easy for the blood levels to get too high which can be very dangerous. Potassium needs to stay in balance with the other important heart minerals such as calcium and magnesium.

The people reading this post most likely have animals who are already on meds or animals with serious heart conditions. And it is really important that they know that potassium chloride can have serious interactions with many heart meds such as enalapril and many of the diuretics. Combining these meds may significantly increase potassium levels in the blood in your animal and high levels of potassium can develop into a condition known as hyperkalemia, which in severe cases can lead to kidney failure and cardiac arrest.

Also, if you have kidney problems you cannot take this – it can be very dangerous. For those who are interested, Dr. Sinatra's website gives an expansive list of recommended foods which are high in potassium, magnesium and calcium which he recommends to his heart patients to help bring down their blood pressure.

Replied by Cryj
(Marin County, Ca)

@Gth - thank you for the link and suggestions. I am on the wait list for a homeopathic vet (they estimate 6 mo. wait) so I may start with a phone consult with your DR! [Unrelated, 1 yr ago we moved north from Orange County]

@Katie - I appreciate you noting the Potassium concern. Rather than doing too much at once without the guidance of a DR I am holding off.

@Katie @Gth - I reread years worth of posts and I have set what my immediate course of action will be. Of course I will meet with DRs ASAP, but would greatly appreciate if you could review and provide feedback for now. My Sheltie is 23 lbs, heart murmur level 2, no symptoms other than he stops to 'cough' or 'hack' when playing VERY rough with our younger dog - just once a day maybe ... sounds like he clears his throat.

  • Standard Process, Cardio-Plus (2 tabs per day - 1 morning, 1 evening)
  • Standard Process, Cataplex E-2 (1 tab per day, morning)
  • Dr Mercola, Krill Oil (2 pumps per day - 1 morning, 1 evening)
  • Dr Mercola, Ubiquinol (2 pumps per day - 1 morning, 1 evening)

Over the years other things were mentioned. What about: Cataplex B, Cataplex F, Calcium Lactate, hawthorne, Standard Process Whole Body Support and recently mentioned rose hips and ascorbic acid?

OH! And, how could I forget to mention food!? I will immediately stop feeding the dry kibble and switch to what I've used as a 'topper.' Freeze-dried Stella & Chewy's. Likely I will modify over time, but I now realize the freeze dried is better than kibble!

Again THANK YOU so much! I am immensely grateful for this site, everyone's input and especially Katie's perseverance throughout her journey to find the best AND share it with all of us!!!


Sorry 1 more note - after re-reading the history above I did not buy the krill oil, but I did buy the organically bound minerals. So, in feedback please let me know if you would add/change my plan.

Replied by Gth
(Southern Ca)

It looks like you have a good start for supplements. Katie can probably give you better advice on supplementation. I can only tell you what we have used. As you consult with a vet you can then make adjustments. Our dear Clownie is nearing the end of her journey, but after 1 1/2 years in full blown CHF we feel very blessed for this time. We've had a couple friends whose pets have gone through the same and only lasted 3 weeks and 6 weeks. I believe, besides prayer, it is the homeopathy that has helped the most, along with good supplementation and diet. I probably mentioned it in a previous post, but the supplements we are using are the Standard Process Canine Cardio and Cataplex E2 along with Mercola Pet Ubiquinol, Hearty Heart, Cod Liver Oil and on and off Hawthorne (Dr. Christopher's). We do supplement with a small amount of Potassium Chloride, but as Katie mentioned, only do this under the direction of your vet. Both Dr. Diana and the cardiologist recommended it since we are now on a pretty high dosage of diuretics. The diuretics flush the potassium, so if you are not using any diuretics there probably is no need for it, but check with your vet.

Things to consider. The majority of homeopathic vets in the US are classically trained, including our vet, Dr. Diana. This is a wonderful, gentle method of healing the whole body. Especially since your dog is in early stages (we didn't start homeopathic treatment until she was in full CHF) this would be a good method. We used the classical treatment with Dr. Diana for some time, but as we started to loose ground we added another homeopath, Joette Calabrese, from the East Coast, who practices a different method of homeopathy to our team (we use her for the two legged members of our family). The method she uses uses protocols of repeated dosage and multiple remedies simultaneously. Dr. Diana was wonderful with welcoming her help and working with her. Joette's protocol for heart valve issues is one dose of Lachesis 200c every other day. Clown is also on other remedies prescribed by Joette, depending on what symptoms are presenting at the time. It's up to you if you want to start this protocol while you wait for an appointment with a homeopathic vet. The repeated dose of a high potency remedy is contradictory to classical training and a classical vet may have issues with you doing so. Since I was used to it with my family, I wasn't concerned. My recommendation would probably be to start with a classically trained vet and use the protocol down the line if you are not getting results or if the vet is ok with you doing it.

One other thought. We had one other Whippet who had a heart murmur. All I did with him was use essential oils on him and a raw diet. His murmur never progressed. It's hard to say if it was the oils or if it never would have progressed on it's own anyway. he lived to be 13 and died of spleen cancer. I used Young Living's "Joy" oil, 3 drops, two or three times a day directly on his skin over the heart. If used today, I would also add their oil "Aromalife" used the same way. They can be applied one after the other. A third oil to consider would be goldenrod if you went the oils route.

Hope this helpful and isn't too confusing.

Replied by Nora
(Fort Worth, Tx)

Katie you're back!!! For the past month have been absorbing all the information provided here for the past 5+ years. Thank you so much for your contributions.

Learning to understand dog heart murmurs and how to deal with them.

Thank you so much for everything. Without your comments and others my little dog Molly and I would still be trying to figure it all out.



Replied by Katie
(Northport, Ny)


One of the first things you should do now that you know that your dog has a murmur, is to take him to the cardiologist for a full cardiac exam. They will do an echo, take measurements of his heart and valves, determine if there is heart enlargement and identify the cause of the murmur, among other things. This is important for a number of reasons: (i) you and your vet will want to know what's causing the murmur in order to treat him most effectively (i.e., is it a valvular issue such as mitral valve disease, cardiomyopathy, stenosis, parasites, etc.; (ii) you want the cardiologist to accurately grade your dog's murmur because regular vets are not good at doing this. A good example of why you want to do this is because I've actually had some vets tell me that my dog did not have a murmur at all, when it fact he had a grade 2 or grade 3 murmur (as determined by the cardiologist), so you should really only trust the opinion of a cardiologist in this area, and (iii) you will need to monitor your dog's heart health going forward and you will want to get this baseline exam for comparison purposes. Follow-up exams should be done at least yearly with a cardiologist once a murmur is detected. If a murmur is more advanced the follow-ups may need to be more often, like every 6 months.

A grade 2 murmur is considered mild, but I would still be concerned about the coughing your dog is experiencing after playing. This is another reason why you want to make the appt. - heart enlargement can also cause coughing. The good thing is that your dog is pretty much asymptomatic and not on any meds, so it makes it much easier to supplement him without having to worry about any meds interfering with supplements.

I would definitely give the Cardio-Plus, Cataplex B, rose hips, ubiquinol and an Essential Fatty Acid (e.g. krill oil, cod liver oil, flax oil) as a start. I would also add Hawthorne and the Organically Bound Minerals. I would add the Hawthorne because it is a well known heart tonic (it is a wild berry) and it is completely safe. It strengthens the heart and blood vessels and increases the heart's ability to contract. It also relaxes the muscles of the coronary artery walls and allows more blood to flow into the cells of the heart . It also helps to balance blood pressure. It basically does the work of digoxin -- but naturally and safely. Organically Bound Minerals is a whole food supplement made from kelp and alfalfa. We all need minerals and this was the recommended mineral supplement used by Dr. West for his heart patients, so I think this is a good supplement too. I would also SERIOUSLY consider giving large doses of ubiquinol, instead of the typical small dosages that everyone seems to recommend. The article I posted by Dr. Becker on the use of high dose ubiquinol by the cardiologist for his own dog gives food for thought. If the Boxer dog which she spoke of (which weighs between 60-70 lbs) was able to resolve its murmur (although not the mitral valve disease completely) on 400 mg. of ubiquinol twice a day, I would think that the equivalent dosage for a 20 lb. dog would be between 100-130 mg. twice a day. An additional recommendation would be to give the ubiquinol with an oil, such as flax oil, coconut oil, olive oil in his meals, which will help to increase it's absorbability into the body, since it is a fat soluble vitamin. So I don't think that the 20 mg. of ubiquinol which you would get from 2 pumps of Dr. Mercola's ubiquinol would be nearly enough. I would definitely go higher. From everything I've read about CoQ-10 and ubiquinol, they are extremely safe even at very high dosages. Also, many integrative cardiologists that I've read about have said that they would not want to practice without it because it makes such a dramatic difference in their cardiac patients. It seems that the improvements were most dramatic with higher dosages. The cardiologist mentioned in Dr. Becker's article gave at least 1,000 mg. twice a day to his heart patients, and sometimes more.

Also, I did want to mention something about vitamins in general, particularly vitamin C (ascorbic acid) in case someone wants to supplement with it . Most vitamins are now coming out of China and they are being made from genetically modified ingredients. They are now making vitamin C out of genetically modified corn and B vitamins from petrochemicals. So, if you decide to supplement with ascorbic acid only buy China-Free Vitamin C (you can find out more on this from the or Quali-C is another non-China vitamin C, although my preference is still rose hips for vitamin C because it's full spectrum.

I think combining supplements with homeopathy is a great idea, if you can find a good homeopath, like Gth has.

In the end, it's all about what works and what will help your dog, as no dog is the same. So if something doesn't work, continue looking and try something else. Animals with more serious heart issues will likely have to supplement differently too.

Good luck with your dog, please keep us updated on his progress.

Replied by Kim
(New York Ny)

Hi, could you tell me where you purchased these supplements for your pet, please.

Replied by Cryj
(Marin County, Ca)

@Katie, I will add Krill oil, Hawthorn, Rose hips, and Cataplex B. For my 23lb dog, what do you recommend for dosage? Also, do you recommend any particular brand/retailer? There seem to be a lot of ways to administer some of the supplements (tincture, capsules, etc.) ...

Thank you for suggesting the cardiologist. It was my gut to want this but thought I was not at the point I should do it yet. Will definitely take this step ASAP.

@Garth, appreciate the reply and oil suggestions. I will stick to supplements to start--but I am very open minded and may incorporate more to the regimen over time (and determine what proactive measures I should take with my 1-yr old Sheltie) to ensure I address areas I didn't realize may have been lacking in our older dog's diet.

@Kim, most of the supplements I mentioned starting were available through Amazon.

Replied by Katie
(Northport, Ny)

Sorry for the delay in answering. You asked about the dosages on some of the supplements…I would probably give CardioPlus (2/day), Cataplex B (2/day), Rosehips (1 or 2/day), Hawthorne (1/day), Krill Oil (Not sure - I know my cardiologist recommended about 500 mg of EFAs for my 13 lb. dog, I know I posted info on this somewhere on this blog when I was researching it). I would also give the ubiquinol and minerals. You might want to consider adding a probiotic too. When I was giving the Hawthorne, I used Medi-Herb Hawthorn which was in a tablet form. I also use Starwest Botanicals Organic Rosehip Powder (I buy it in the powder form, not the "cut leaf" form). I buy it in the 1 pound bag and make the capsules myself. Some of the benefits are that it is pure (without any fillers) and it's inexpensive. You asked about the difference between supplementing with tinctures or capsules. From what I've read, tinctures are supposed to be more readily absorbable since they do not have to be digested first.

Replied by Debbie
(Bohemia, Ny)

I had my maltipoo neutered yesterday because he was aggravating my bigger dog and got bitten badly. He has a heart murmur and since bringing him back from vet he is coughing a lot. What supplements can I buy to help him without taking him to the vet. I have seen too many dogs get put on meds and then get worse. Katie, I would appreciate your help since you live close to me and would know where to go to get the right items. Thank you!

Replied by Irina
11 posts

Hawthorne berries may help, and also HSSII

Replied by Katie
(Northport, Ny)


If you haven't had your dog to a cardiologist yet you should really bring him in asap to find out what's causing his the cough and to find out the condition of his heart. His murmur may be more advanced than you think and his coughing doesn't sound good to me. Anesthesia can be dangerous to an animal with a heart murmur. Some can even die from it. Typically, any animal with a murmur needs to be “cleared” for anesthesia by a cardiologist for safety reasons. I've never had my dog undergo a procedure in which they didn't ask me about the condition of his heart and whether he was “approved” for anesthesia. Because if he's not, they will not do the procedure. Another thing is that different breeds of dog have intolerances to certain anesthesias so the people administering it, really need to know what they are doing. So, everyone should ask their cardiologist if their dog is safe for anesthesia before undergoing any procedure.

Replied by Katie
(Northport, Ny)


If you haven't had your dog to a cardiologist yet you should really bring him in asap to find out what's causing his the cough and to find out the condition of his heart. His murmur may be more advanced than you think and his coughing doesn't sound good to me. Anesthesia can be dangerous to an animal with a heart murmur. Some can even die from it. Typically, any animal with a murmur needs to be “cleared” for anesthesia by a cardiologist for safety reasons. I've never had my dog undergo a procedure in which they didn't ask me about the condition of his heart and whether he was “approved” for anesthesia. Because if he's not, they will not do the procedure. Another thing is that different breeds of dog have intolerances to certain anesthesias so the people administering it, really need to know what they are doing. So, everyone should ask their cardiologist if their dog is safe for anesthesia before undergoing any procedure.

Replied by Kristin

Hi Katie,

I have a 15 year old 47lb female lab/dalmatian mix who has had a grade 4 heart murmur for several years now. I've had her on Standard Process Cardio Plus 3 a day for several years. Over the last few months shes just now started coughing a bit now and then- this happened when I ran out of the Cardio Plus and had to have family ship it up to me in Canada where they don't sell it. (I'm from the States originally.) I got her back on it as soon as possible. The coughing lessened or seemed to nearly go away until we took a trip to WI recently to see family for a month and she started back up. I think it has something to do with the VERY humid weather here. I want to get her on some Hawthorne Tincture or pills and have ordered low dose CoQ10 until I know she can tolerate it and will then up her dosage. Shes still got alot of energy and goes for walks and plays no problem, the coughing seems to be the only issue...she does pant frequently here but its been stinking hot and believe its mostly from that.

I'm having trouble figuring out what Hawthorne Tincture to give her and at what dose. So many contain grain alcohol and I want to avoid that. I found this version but have no idea how to dose it. "Nature's Answer, Hawthorne, Alcohol-Free, 2000 mg 1fl.oz."

Is it better to go with the pill formulation?

Can you or anyone give me some insight into how much Hawthorne I should be giving my dog?

Thanks so much for your insight on this...I've been keeping up with your posts and this thread for years now since my dog was diagnosed and believe I've helped her stay stable for years with the Cardio Plus. I think she needs a little extra help at this point.

Replied by Katie
(Northport, Ny)

You're right, I wouldn't give a tincture either if it contains alcohol. I was giving my dog 1 tablet a day of the Standard Process Medi-Herb Hawthorne at my vet's recommendation. Since your dog is twice his weight you might want to give 2 tablets a day. Or you might want to try one of the combination herbal tinctures made specifically for pets with heart conditions that contain hawthorne, along with some other important heart herbs (which may be even more effective than taking a single herb alone) such as the “Young at Heart" by Pet Wellbeing. I have not used this product but it seems to have very good reviews and I think you can speak with the vet on staff if you have questions on dosing, etc. See attached link.

Another thought. B vitamins are supposed to be very important too in any kind of heart condition so you might want to consider giving your dog a good B-complex or add the Cataplex B. If adding a B-complex beware of the genetically modified ingredients which are being hidden in many of them.

Also I encourage anyone reading this post to learn about the importance of COLLOIDAL, plant-based minerals (not the minerals made and packaged from ground up rock) and to consider adding them to their animals protocols. I've only recently become aware of their importance. The body apparently needs 70 essential minerals on a daily basis, but we only get a very small amount of minerals in food these days. We are nutritionally depleted and so is our food. Vitamins need mineral co-factors in order to work in the body, so when the minerals are not present the vitamins cannot be used and this is where disease supposedly begins. The problem is that it is impossible to get these 70 essential minerals which our bodies (and our animals) require on a daily basis because they are no longer present in our food because our soil was depleted of them long ago. So even if food is organic, it can still be seriously lacking in nutrients. A plant can only be as nutritious as the soil in which it grows. If the soil is deficient in minerals, the plant will also be deficient.

Google Dr. Joel Wallach to learn more about this. I have two of his books and have watched numerous interviews with him. He was a pathologist first, then a vet, then a naturopathic doctor. In his time as a pathologist he noticed a correlation between nutrient deficiencies and disease in animals after performing thousands of autopsies and tens of thousands of blood tests and lab work. He said this correlated to humans too - even though the names of the diseases might be different, the pathology on autopsy was the same. He said supplementation of essential minerals and vitamins is critical and required. He said farmers and cattlemen have known this forever and that if they didn't supplement their animals with minerals they would have a sick herd. A sick herd would leave the farmer financially depleted so the health of the herd was of paramount importance and supplementation was accepted industry wide. Dr. Wallach said that by supplementing these animals the veterinary world was able to make hundreds of so-called “diseases" in these animals disappear, because they were in fact nutritional deficiencies. He questions why this same logic of supplementing minerals was never applied to human health by our allopathic medical world, but I think we know the reason for that. A sick patient is a patient for life--and very profitable. A healthy patient doesn't generate future income.

If I can get Dr. Wallach's recommendations for mitral valve disease in dogs and/or congestive heart failure, I will post it here.

One final thought is that a good digestive enzyme should probably be added to everyone's protocol because it will help the body to break down and absorb the nutrients from the vitamins and minerals you are giving your pet. Sick animals (and people) have a much harder time of being able to absorb nutrition because their organs are not in the best shape.

Replied by Al
(New Orleans)

Can you please tell me where can I purchase Ribose 850mg that is dog friendly.

Replied by Deepak


Our Weimaranar is 6 years and has a Grade 2 Murmur and MVD which a heart rate of 180. The vet has prescripbed Enalapril and Lasix. What is your take on this? Should we try it at this time or test Herarty Heart, Ubiquinol and other supplements. Your comments are valuable.

Replied by Katie

180 bpm is a very fast heart rate and your dog is definitely going to need relief. Even though your vet said he has a grade 2 murmur, his condition may be more serious than a typical grade 2 murmur given that his heartrate is so high and that he has been prescribed Lasix and Enalapril already (typically, they are not prescribed for grade 2 murmurs). When my dog's heartrate jumped up to 160 or 180 bpm (I can't remember exactly what the number was) he was in CHF.

I'm thinking that if you have some magnesium on hand, you might want to see if that helps to calm down his heart, but I would do it immediately (can you buy this in a local store?). If it doesn't help, you may have to just give him the meds to give him relief. In the meantime, you could probably rush order the other supplements such as the Hearty Heart, Ubiquinol and start him on them. You probably would not be giving the supplements at the same time as the meds because it might lower his blood pressure too much. You will want guidance from your vet on this.

Just a few things to remember: blood pressure meds such as Enalapril deplete magnesium, potassium, zinc and calcium; diuretics such as Lasix deplete magnesium, potassium, B vitamins, zinc, calcium and Vitamin C. So you will want to supplement to make up for this. I believe that you will need to supplement with at least magnesium and B vitamins. Potassium is also really important, maybe you can give apple cider vinegar? Or, maybe an ionic mineral supplement to help make up for the loss? Maybe a holistic vet can guide you on this.

I wanted to share something else in this post because I have been reading about the importance of selenium and vitamin E in heart conditions. I have a book at home called The Veterinarians' Guide to Natural Remedies for Dogs by Martin Zucker. One of the vets (Roger DeHaan, DVM) mentions in the book that he used Vitamin E, Selenium and CoQ10 in his practice of 30 years for heart conditions in dogs and found the results to be quite dramatic. He said he would use this combination for old animals and animals with weak hearts, cardiomyopathy or any cardiac condition and he mentions that typically the animals would be feeling much better and have better energy within a month of starting these supplements. He said along with a good diet, solid improvement was usually seen within a month. He also mentioned that this could be used to support any conventional treatment. The dosages he mentioned in the book are:

Vitamin E (in the form of d-alpha tocopherol, which is natural vitamin e): Small and medium dogs, 100 IU daily; large dogs, 200 IU daily; giant breeds, 400 IU daily.

Selenium (preferably in the form of selenium methionate): 100 to 400 micrograms daily, depending on size.

CoQ10 (Ubiquinol) - 1 milligram per pound of body weight.

Replied by Deepak


Thanks for your immediate reply.

As she is only mildly symptomatic and energetic, I've decided to take a breath and not give her the meds for a week or so.

We will immediately order the following in addition to using Cardiac Diet from Royal Canine:

1. Ubiquinol (200 mg) - Dr. Karen Becker suggests higher does, you suggest less (Can you please confirm this)

2. "Hearty Heart",
3. Vitamin E (Krill Oil not needed I guess)
4. Selenium
5. Standard Process Cardio Plus
6. Cataplex E2
7. Cataplex B (possibly)


Replied by Katie
(Northport, Ny)

Yes, I would definitely give a higher dosage of ubiquinol than what appeared in the excerpt which I took from that book and posted yesterday. The vet mentioned in the book was only using 1 mg. per pound of body weight of CoQ10. I believe that is way too low. From everything I've ever read, it's always the higher dosages of ubiquinol that produce good results especially in heart patients. I encourage anyone reading this post to go back and review the article by Dr. Becker which I posted on 8/2/2016, in which she mentioned that a human cardiologist told her that he put his own Boxer dog on 400 mg. twice a day when the dog was diagnosed with mitral valve disease (grade 2 murmur). This dog probably weighed about 65 lbs. She mentioned that the dog went from being symptomatic (with murmur) to asymptomatic (no murmur) using ubiquinol alone. The mitral valve disease wasn't cured, but she said he was able to resolve the only symptom the dog had (the murmur). She said he was also able to significantly slow the progression of the disease. She also recommends that dogs be on a meat based diet, especially cardiac patients, and she explains why.

I like your choice of supplements, including the selenium. Just an FYI, Vitamin E and Selenium are synergistic and work together. Vitamin E and Vitamin C recycle each other in body. So my thoughts are:

  • Vitamin C. You might want to add a rosehip capsule for Vitamin C because it will have a synergestic effect along with the Vitamin E.

  • Meat Based Diet. You should probably also be adding meat to your dog's diet too so that he can get the amino acids that meat provides (e.g. carnitine, taurine).

  • Minerals. I think it is important that you add minerals too because vitamins need mineral cofactors to work and we are all supposedly very deficient in minerals, including our animals. Google Joel Wallach to learn more about the importance of them and plant-based minerals, (not to be confused with colloidal metallic minerals which come from clay, ancient sea beds and ground up rocks and soil). He sells something called Youngevity Plant Derived Minerals which you may want to look into (it's a liquid). There is another trace mineral supplement called ConcenTrace Trace Mineral Drops (these are ionic liquid drops) which may be something else you want to look in. Both of these supplements contain over 70 minerals.

Replied by Deepak


Thanks for the giving info about natural d-alpha Vitamin E as well as the dosage!


@Dee suggested this "Formula CV for Dogs and Cats" which has Vitamin E, Selenium and Magnesium which I think would cover this.

Will keep you posted on the progress.


Replied by Katie
(Northport, Ny)

Also, Dr. Becker mentions towards the end of her video that if an animal is not on a fresh meat based diet (which is her recommendation), that the animal's food should be supplemented with the missing amino acids which the meat would have supplied. Those are L-carnitine, Arginine, Taurine and Carnosine.

Replied by Margie
(Columbia, Ky.)

Hello, very worried over my dog Sissy. she is Cockapoo.she weighs about 15 pounds now. Much fluid. she has a heart murmur enlarged heart and she is being treated with spironolactone 25mg1/2 pill a day, Furosemideoral solution 10mg, she takes 1.5 mg twice a day. Plus enalapril 2.5 milligrams half a tablet once a day. He tells me there's nothing that he can do for her heart murmur that it will eventually wear her heart out but according to this site her heart murmur can be taken care of. In desperate need of your advice. MARGIE

Replied by Katie


I just want to mention again that I don't have any actual experience in getting a dog out of CHF, only in keeping my dog from going into CHF. So anything I mention here is something you should discuss with your holistic vet in order to formulate a protocol for your dog since no one knows your dog (and his health condition) better than you and your vet.

Since every dog's heart condition is different they all need to be treated differently. In your dog's case, he is on multiple meds, has an enlarged heart and has fluid buildup. When an animal is on meds (especially multiple meds) it becomes more complicated to try figure out supplementation because the medications they are on are already artificially lowering their blood pressure. So when you're giving supplements (which would help to naturally lower the blood pressure), it is possible that the blood pressure can get too low. This is why you should work with a knowledgeable holistic vet who can help guide you on this. But, having said that, I might want to try the Hearty Heart first to see if it helps. As I mentioned earlier, the reviews looked pretty good for this product. You may also want to speak to your vet about adding something to help with the fluid buildup, like dandelion tincture (which is a mild diuretic). (Note: I think it is best to stick with a tincture over capsules because they are more easily absorbed. They bypass the digestive system and this is important because most sick animals have compromised organs). I would also want to add the ubiquinol, but I would start with a lower dosage at first given that your dog is already on meds and I believe that the ubiquinol will also lower the BP. Also, a reader recently mentioned a product called CV Formula by RX Vitamins (this is a company with a good reputation) which looks interesting. It contains the following vitamins and minerals which are helpful for the heart: Hawthorn Berry, Carnitine, Taurine, Vitamin E, Dimethylglycine (DMG), Magnesium, Potassium (citrate), Coleus and Selenium. If it were me, I think I would be inclined to add this too.

I think you should add the supplements slowly at the beginning and see how his reactions are to them (i.e., is it affecting his breathing, heartrate, causing coughing or increased coughing?). If any of these things happen an adjustment will need to be made to either his meds or his supplements. You vet could advise you on this. Hopefully, your dog will show improvement. Then, and only if your vet approves, you may be able to remove some meds and add some additional supplements such as the CardioPlus, to support his heart further, plus maybe you could add a turmeric or curcumin tincture, but do not do this without speaking with your vet. You don't want your dog to wind up in the hospital like mine did when I removed his meds.

Replied by Julie

I would like to know who is Dr. West and how can I find out more about his protocol for heart disease?

Replied by Ali
(Pottstown Ps)

Did you continue to have good results with these supplements? Thanks.

Replied by Katie
(Northport, Ny)

Julie, I have a paid subscription to his newsletter called HealthAlert. This is where I've learned about some of Bruce West's protocols.

Ali, my dog's heart condition is classified as mild so his supplementation is different from what is being discussed above.

Replied by Thuy Tran
(San Diego)

Hi Katie from Northport, NY

How are you and your dogs doing? I hope they are doing well, live long and happy.

I don't know if you remember me or not, I had 2 Pekingese BuBu passed away in 2015 when I found this website and read, asked your opinion for Cutie ( BuBu's younger sister )because she had minor mitral valve, I gave her herbal supplements and she had been great for 2 years.

This year, her heart failure condition got worse. I took her to the cardiologist, he prescribe Viagra for her, she had fainting spell almost everyday, and up to twice a day. I increased Viagra dosages ( the cardiologist told me when she needed) she got a little better, and back to having episodes again.

Last night, she had heart attack at 10 pm, passed away...she was 14 and 4 months.

I miss her so much, can't stop crying. I don't know why at this sorrow moment, I would like to share with you.

I wish you and your dogs the best luck.

Warm regards

Thuy Tran.

Replied by Sachi
(New South Wales)

Hi Katie,

I know this is a very old post but in case you see it will you please update how was your dog on this regime long term? It will be much appreciated if you can response.



Replied by Suzy
(Staatsburg, Ny)

Hi, I came across this website and read about some of the products but I have no idea the amount or dosage I would have to give my dog and would be terrified having to take guesses. I have a precious 11 1/2 King Charles Spaniel with a heart murmur and Mitral Valve Disease, he has a persistent dry hacking cough that just doesn't stop and I know he must be in a lot of pain and discomfort. His Vet has him on Vetmedin and Enacard and this isn't doing anything for him and unfortunately there isn't much else they can do for him other than put him on more medication which will eventually mess up his other organs but of course these Vets won't tell you any of this. I don't know what else to for him other than to try the natural stuff, he's 21 pounds in case you were wondering. Please any feedback will be very much appreciated, thank you.

Replied by Pam
(Knoxville, Tennessee)

Where did you get these at? At a health store?

Replied by PJ
(Olympia. Wa)

Where did you get these supplements? My situation is exact except he's a Tibetan spaniel. I'm finding it difficult to find at this location.

Replied by Amy
(Chattanooga, TN)

My baby weighs 15.5 lbs. They said she has a slight heart murmur. She's part Maltese & pomeranian. Do you think I should give mine 1/2 of what you give yours?

Replied by Nayibe
(Raleigh, N.C.)

I have an important question. My 5 year old, 25 pounds English Cocker Spaniel was diagnosed with heart murmur on April this year. We took him back a week ago, for a regular check up and the vet said that his murmur is grade 5. He has no other symptoms. He will have an X-ray this coming Friday and we are waiting top get scheduled for his ultrasound.

I have been reading the different posts from Katie in 2012. I don't know who can guide me on this important matter. I want to start him on something natural, but at this moment I am lost. Please somebody help me. Thank you very much and God bless you.

Replied by Nayibe
(Raleigh, N.C.)

My 6 year old English cocker spaniel, 25 pounds, was diagnosed with grade 5 heart murmur. He has no more symptoms. Breathing normal, no stomach issues. Very active. He had x-rays done last week and we are waiting for the results today. I have been reading the information on your website. Real good comments from Katie, but they were done a few years ago. Please help me with guidance about what to do, what can I give him to get things better. Is any special diet I have to buy? He doesn't eat dry food. He has been on Pet fresh. food. Thank you

(somewhere, europe)

Nayibe, what's wrong with a heart murmur? People live with it all their lives.

Replied by Nayibe Guarin
(Raleigh, N.C.)

This is the third time I am asking for help for my 6 year old English Cocker Spaniel 24 pounds, who was diagnosed with grade 5 heart murmur 5 weeks ago. He already saw a cardiologist and he said that he has MMDV. My dog doesn't have any symptoms and the doctor said he needs to see him back in 6 months.
My question is what can I do for him now? Is there any natural protocol to follow? He eats fresh pet food. Please help me. Thank you


I'm sorry you're not getting answers. I just looked it up and things like dandelion for the fluid around the heart, hawthorn, cbd oil, fish oil etc are mentioned on dogsnaturallymagazine. Did the vet give your dog any meds? Our golden retriever had heart murmur, congestive heart failure. She was taking enalapril and furosemide. But back then I didn't know about natural supplements. She did well on those meds, but not enough to help her live longer, she was 13. It's great that your dog is not showing symptoms! Ours was lethargic, having difficulty walking, etc.


In humans, medications that might be used to treat heart conditions associated with murmurs include:

  1. Blood thinners (anticoagulants). This type of medicine prevents blood clots...

  2. Water pills (diuretics). This medicine removes excess fluid from the body...

  3. Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors...

  4. Beta blockers.

The closest herbal medicine in the plant world would be turmeric spice. If I were you I'd look into that.


I just read that besides giving your dog Coenzyme Q10 that fish oil is also very good for your dog's heart murmur. There is a lot of information on heart murmur if you google it. I hope you find a good natural solution to your dog's problem.

Pulmonary Valve Stenosis

Posted by Msbodhi (Westport, Ct) on 04/11/2013

9 week old puppy with a severe Pulmonary Valve Stenosis:

Hello! So glad to have found this website. I am overwhelmed with the amount of information I am reading about raw diet as well as supplements. I need help! First off, I just purchased a puppy from a breeder last week who turned out to have a severe heart murmur. I don't recall the vet grading it but they did say it was severe and probably needed surgery. I want to make this puppy healthy and avoid giving her medications and surgery. I have a solid 8 months before I have to decide on this surgery so I want to do my best for her! Her PG=100mmHg which is a high level. Right now she shows no clinical signs and I would like to keep it that way.

What can you recommend for me?? I used to take the standard process line myself which I find amazing. I didn't know they had a pet line. I also would like help switching her to a raw diet and need to know how to figure out the measurements etc.

There is so much information on this site it is wonderful. I need help for my pup!

Please contact me as soon as possible.

Replied by Linda
(Anoka, Mn)

Check out for recipes. I switched my two boxers to that and they love it! It also helps itchy skin and they smell better.

Replied by Guest
(Florida Fort Myers)

hello, saw your post , , , , , our dog , , , is only a 8 week old , , , bluenose pit , , , and he was diagnosed with #4 heart murmurs , , , on both sides of the heart... They said it might go away with growing older , , but the chances are not good that'll happen , , they recommend him to a cardiologist ......then possibly surger. I'm willing to try the holistic approached , , , since I myself am really into natural cures for humans and dogs ..

Please anything you can suggest would be great ..

This is what someone suggested on the website .. what is your opinion of these supps .?

  • D-Ribose - By Doctor' Best. 1 heaping scoop, (twice a day sprinkle on food).
  • Ubiquinol QH-absorb (CoQ10) - By Jarrow Formulas 200mg, (1 pill twice a day)
  • Propionyl-L-Carnitine HCI – By Jarrow Formulas 750 mg, (1 pill twice a day)
  • Magnesium Taurate – By Cardiovascular Research -125 mg, (1 pill a day)
  • Mega Red Extra Strength Krill Oil, - By Schiff, 500mg (1 pill twice a day)
  • L-Arginine - By Jarrow Formulas, 1000 mg (1 pill a day)
  • Colon Green Fiber Supplement with Probiotics and Enzymes, - By Futurebiotics (Sprinkle 2 pills twice a day)
  • Esther C Vegetarian Capsules, - By American Health 500mg (1 pill twice a day)
  • Milk Thistle, 200mg (1 pill twice a day)
  • Senior Vitality Multi Vitamin, - By Optimal Pet (1 pill a day)

Thank you.

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Blue-nosed Pit Pup Person!

A couple of thoughts for you.

First things first: If you are indeed dealing with a serious congenital cardiac issue with your puppy you should inform your breeder ASAP. Your pup's sire and dam each carry the trait and should never be bred to the other again - else they will produce more unhealthy puppies and further heart break to those who buy them. Your breeder may also wish to contact those people who have littermates to check to see if any other pup in the litter is affected.

Next, it's difficult to recommend *how* to move forward without a proper diagnosis.

Most any vet can grade a heart murmur; the part that requires the cardiologist and the expensive diagnostics is determining the murmur's importance and long term prognosis. If your vet is not highly skilled, the diagnosis could be way off base; this would make a grade 2 innocent murmur appear like a serious congenital defect, ie grade 4.

I'm leery of bombarding a baby with all the supplements you listed; don't get me wrong - they look like 'good stuff', but all at once and the dosages listed might result in side effects that may further cloud the issue: I would hold off on them for a little bit to determine if they are actually needed.

If this were my puppy I would first make sure he is healthy in all other areas of his life. He needs to be wormed and parasite free - so keep up the wormings [every 2 weeks for 3 treatments]; he should be on high quality groceries - no grocery store kibble, and probably on adult chow, not puppy chow. Things like the stress of a new home, being removed from the litter, changes in diet and routine all have an impact on your puppy's health and may contribute to a temporary murmur condition. So give your puppy a chance to settle in his new home and make sure he is thriving. Keep an eye out for demodex [red mange] - and while allowing him exercise and sunshine do not let him over do it. And then wait. Wait until 12 or 16 weeks and bring him back for his boosters and have the vet take another listen to see if the murmur has graded down or changed in any way. It also would not hurt to get a second opinion - so if you saw a partner at the clinic, have the owner do the re-check exam. If at 12 or 16 weeks you still have a grade 4, then a specialist is indicated - to determine the importance of the murmur and the long term prognosis: at this point you will have the information necessary to build your nutritional arsenal.

Please keep us posted!

Websites you may wish to read and review: Education Handouts/Cardio/Congenital Heart Disease.pdf


1 User Review
1 star (1) 

Posted by William (Clewiston, Fl, US) on 04/11/2013
1 out of 5 stars

I took my cat to the vet for eye irritation I thought it might be an infection at first but it was only on the upper and lower lid not on the eye itself. The vet had seen the cat before he had diagnosed her with a heart murmur years ago but she was doing great. When I got her to the vet he said it was an allergic reaction, he really did not know what to , he gave her a steroid shot and an antibiotic. ShE slept all that evening and all the next day , not eating or drinking anything, that afternoon or early evening I notice she was breather heavier than usual I needed up taking her to an emergency clinic an hour away and barely got her there fluid was building up in her lungs. And heart was failing. From what I have read so far cats with known heart murmurs should not be given steroids because it causes just that , water build up in th e lungs and heart failure , has anyone else run across this?


1 User Review
2 star (1) 

Posted by Timothy H. (Licking, Mo) on 01/03/2018
2 out of 5 stars

My 13 year old Beagle has heart murmor has fluid build-up, coughing/labored breathing spells.

Please how can I reduce the fluid?

He is getting white willow herb, di-ribose, L-carnitine, fish oil, hawthorn berry. The issues above persist.

Replied by Shelley
(Arcadia, Ohio)
06/07/2022 6 1/2 yr old female cheagle was diagnosed with a heart murmur and fluid in the lungs. The vet wants to charge some outrageous amount that I can't afford because of being retired. Can anyone suggest and products or any help in this matter.

Thank you.

Posted by John (Avalon Beach, New South Wales, Australia) on 08/17/2014

Sam the dog 12 is a small terrier, 8kg has been diagnosed with a heart murmur. Fluid around the heart had reduced the tracia causing constant wheezing and a hacking cough. He is now on Vetmedin 5mg, Bricanyl 5ml and Frudix. I want to get him on to natural medication, CoQ10 and Red Clover seems the way to go but in what amounts and can any one recommend any other remedies?

Replied by Om
(Hope, Bc Canada)

Have a little dog and give him Hawthorn tincture. This can be combined with CoQ10. It can be five drops twice a day. The Hawthorn, about five drops in water by syringe. It worked well with another dog and takes about several weeks to strengthen the heart. This is a very old reliable remedy. Look it up online.

Please stay away from modern drugs. Just as a suggestion.

Namaste, Om

Posted by Trouble (Dubai, United Arab Emirates) on 09/19/2013


My 14 year old precious fur baby has been diagnosed with Mitral Valve Disease and heart enlargement. He has graded a heart mummer btw 1-2 and also says the thorax is now parallel to the spine as the heart has grown. Below are the reports

Radiography Report;

Lateral (sin-dex) and ventro-dorsal views of the chest:

- Enlargement of the cardiac silhouette,

- Increased sterno-cardiac contact,

- Trachea pushed dorsally and parallel to the spine

- No evidence of pulmonary edema on these views.

Ultrasonography Report

Cardiac Ultrasonography:

- The right atrium appears to be normal in size (no enlargement) compare to the left atrium.

- RA measured 1. 25 x 1. 2 cm

- Thickened mitral valve with very mild mitral regurgitation.

- No dilated cardiomyopathy,

- No hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

All images consistent with an early stage of Mitral valve disease.

The vet has prescribed Fortekor (Benazepril Hydrochloride) 2. 5mg a day and Furosemide 20 mg twice a day.

My dog started off with cluster seizures for a day last year in Oct 2012 he was in Kepra for a few months and then we weaned him off. Early Feb this year every night when we went to sleep he would pant incessantly having sleepless nights eyes big and wide he would ask to go out then come back in then pance he did not know what he wanted. He was irritable and started loosing muscle. We took him for bloods everything was perfect We did a chext xray and an abdomen scan and heart disease was detected. Now I have been a firm believer of earth clinic for years.

Please advise me am I doing the right thing.

I have deceided not to give him a diruetic twice a day as he already starting getting muscle pulls and then gets all stressed and panting begins. I am instead going to give him 1 diruetic a day and then go down to half a day in conjunction with a homepathic diruetic But I want to do away with the diruetic tablet so how can I do this naturally along with the homeopathic drops? I live in Dubai so dandelion tea etc is not the best option can someone please give me various options?

The Foretekor for his heart I will give him 2. 5 a day in conjunction with a homeopathic medication called Rytmopasc

My dog weighs 5kgs

I am giving him 100 mg of vit c with rose hips

100mg of Magnesium

20mg of COQ 10 as Ubiquinone

1tsp of D-Ribose

2mg of Zinc

500mg of L-Arginine

I read somwhere that Propionyle L-Carnitine is very good what is the difference btw Propionyle L-Carnitine and L-Carnitine? can I give L-Carnitine and how much ?

I will buy Milk Thistle 200 mg and supplement him with it

I also bought Manuka honey how much do I give him ?

Have I missed out something?Help me please I need your valuable input. August

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

August, I am so sorry to hear about your Peke's declining health. He is 14 - so very old! And clearly a testament to your good care of him.

MVD is grouped as an 'old dog disease' however it disportionately affects Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. There is MUCH good information about MVD at this health site for cavaliers:

The onset of panting at night this past February along with the confusion and large eyes - in hindsight - was from his heart disease. From what you describe, your boy is at Stage B; stage D is end stage, and life expectancy on average from this diagnosis is 3-5 years.

I agree there is concern over using Furosemide; the human drug torsemide (Demadex) is an excellent alternative and considered more potent.

Natural diuretics include urea, Wu Ling San, and Alisma, both traditional Chinese herbal medicines (TCM). Holistic supplements should be taken only if prescribed by a licensed veterinarian who also is holistically trained in TCM.

Again, please review the website for Cavaliers with this genetic condition - it has far too much information to post here and you should review it in depth as it discusses additional medications and the pros and cons and efficacy of each, as well as provide a game plan for you to best support your boy at each step of this journey.

Replied by Dawn882

I have an 8 pound cat who has been diagnosed with CHF and has a build up of abdominal fluid. What would be the dosage of A-C Carbamide for him? I also plan to give him Heart and Circulation Tonic. Thank You for your help!

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Dawn!

A-C Carbamide is a Standard Process product - and Standard Process products are only available by prescription through doctors and veterinarians; are you working with a vet to obtain this product? If so, you may wish to consult your vet as to the appropriate dose as the bottle only reads "3 capsules per day or as directed". That said, my vet has prescribed many Standard Process products to my critters, and 1 capsule 2 times a day would be a standard dose for this product.

You may wish to stagger when you dose the herbal A-C Carbamide and the homeopathic Petalive Heart and Circulation Tonic as dosing at the same time might result in one remedy preventing the other remedy from working properly.

Replied by Michele
(Kings Park, Ny)

Hi Katie from Northport.

I'm going to the cardiologist tomorrow for my cavalier. The vet heard a murmur last week for the first time. I want to start him on these supplements and new diet ASAP. He is 8 years old. Since I am in the next town over, who is your holistic vet? I want to contact him/her. Thank you so much for all your info. I have been so nervous about this visit tomorrow and reading your messages has calmed me. I can't wait to start helping my little guy.

Replied by Shrichar
(Dallas, TX)

Hi Katie from Northport

I need help with my little Maltese girl Missy she has a stage 5 heart murmur. She has been to the cardiologist and they have done all the test and want to start her on imutrill (not sure of the spelling but it will keep her from coughing and slow done the murmur and even her holistic vet has agreed to this drug for now but will take her off of it slowly and put her on herbs. Her first holistic vet mention to me that she had a murmur but didn't start treating her for it that is why I looked for another holistic vet and that is when she sent me to the cardiologist to see what stage she was in and she want to whin her off the herbs the first vet has her on and then start the imutrill then whin her off that and start other herbs. What do you think? if you like you can email me at [email protected] and in the subject link put in Missy's name just in case it goes to my spam box. Regards and many thanks Sherry R.

Replied by Brenda
(Freehold, Nj)

Hi, I so appreciate reading all of the messages on this site. It is nice to know that I am not alone in researching and using alternative treatments for my dogs. I have a 13 year old Chihuahua who was diagnosed with a heart murmur, enlarged heart, and cardio valve disease. About a year ago, my Zoey fainted along with that horrific screeching sound. It was so frightening. I took her to the cardiologist who diagnosed her with the cardio valve disease and enlarged heart. He suggested that she be placed on meds. After researching the meds and their side effects (why would one med be given for the heart if it causes the failure of the kidneys??) , I decided to find alternative means. I found a website: 5 Leaf Pharmacy and began following the protocol for the heart murmur.

I now make her dog food with ground turkey or chopped chicken, ginger powder, organic mixed vegetables, powdered greens, brown rice, oatmeal or Quinoa. No salt is added to any of her food. Sometimes I add spinach, but then heard that dogs had a difficult time processing it, so I do not put it in anymore. I also add wild salmon oil. She also takes a daily vitamin.

Three-four times a day I add the following to the food/snack:

1) powdered ginger

2) powdered greens

3) powdered Taurine (1/4 scoop for 8

4) powdered L-Carnitine (1/2 scoop for 8 lb. dog)

5) Five Leaf Pharmacy Hawthorne liquid supplement ( 1 drop per pound of dog weight)

6) Five Leaf Pharmacy Canine Heart Tonic (1 drop per pound of dog weight)

Cayenne powder was also recommended, but my dog does not like it.

* If your dog is suffering from kidney failure, they also carry Rena-Clean and Immuno-Aid.

At my last vet visit, my vet told me to continue doing what I was doing. That was 8 months ago. She is due to be seen again this week.

She has had very few episodes of syncope (fainting) and her breathing is not as labored.

She eats well and is having a much better quality of life. We'll see what the vet says when I take her in this week.

I know there is no cure for this disease, but I am very happy that she continues to have a quality life for over a year now, especially when a year ago, the prognosis was not a good one. Hope this helps anyone else who is looking for answers to improve their dog's heart condition.

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Brenda!

Thank you so much for sharing your CHF protocol! I know others experiencing this condition with their pets will benefit.

:) :) :)

Replied by Malia

Hi Brenda - How has your dog been doing on your regimen? I have a little Pom who was diagnosed with an enlarged heart recently and trying to get her off her meds and onto a more holistic approach.


Replied by Caireboo


My 7 yr. 4 m.o CKC Spaniel was diagnosed with a heart murmur at a very young age but I was told it was common for the breed and not to worry as it often doesn't progress.

January this year I noticed that when my dog was on my lap I could feel his heart pounding through his chest. I took him back to my vets and they immediately put him on Cardisure (Vetmedin) 2.5 mg every 12 hrs. I now realise that as he was showing no clinical signs, this was wrong. My dog has always been huge for a CKC and although not hugely fat weighed nearly 17kg. May this year my Mum (who lived with me with her CKC spaniel) suddenly passed away. Both dogs lost weight through stress but Boo, the heart murmur sufferer, lost 7 kg and is struggling to maintain weight (he is 24 pounds now and as he is a big dog his ribs show).

Does anyone know of incidents of cardiac cachexia in dogs prescribed vetmedin too early or is this a natural progression of his murmur? Then on Tuseday Boo started coughing and wrenching, I was told it was an infection and to keep an eye on him he was injected with antibiotic and anti inflammatory. Thursday he was struggling to breathe so I rushed him in and it was discovered he had fluid on his right lung so they have prescribed furosemide 200 mg every 12 hrs for five days. I have no idea what stage the heart murmur is at except for a few guesses which change massively each time. My vets are so kind and helpful but I feel I need to educate myself to get the best treatment if that makes sense.

I feel terrified, lost, and desperate. The more I read the more confused I become and my head is like cotton wool unable to retain information as it means so very much. I adore all dogs, heck all animals, but Boo is special. He knows my moods before I even know, he is with me every second of every day (if I shut the toilet door he cries) and is helping me through the crippling grief I'm suffering since losing my mum / best friend. The thought of losing him at the moment is just too much.

In the UK, or certainly where I am, one is not sent to a cardiologist, the vet just deals with you and there are only a few holistic vets in the country and none near me. The standard process nutrients look incredible but to get them shipped here is prohibitevly expensive. I will bankrupt myself quite happily for Boo but need to ensure I'm doing the right thing.

Is there anyone in the UK esp. near North Oxfordshire who can help?

Also any advice on supplements specific to my dog would be greatly appreciated. Basically if anyone who can suggest anything to help I would be beyond grateful. I will be speaking to the vet over the next few days and am trying to compile a list of questions to ask about medication, tests and treatment so anything anyone could add would be wonderful. Sorry for the diatribe but I'm desperate.

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Caireboo!

This is a comprehensive site for all things Cavalier:

Read up and educate yourself on your dog's heart condition - the site covers the medications and explains the symptoms in great detail.

If you read the EC pages on heart murmurs and CHF you will be able to get an idea of what others have done holistically for their pets.

In your shoes - in the shoes of anyone with an acute diagnosis and acute symptoms - I am all for the drugs the vet prescribes because they tend to act *quickly* whereas most of the nutritional or holistic remedies take time to work - and in acute cases you may not have very much time for the natural remedies to work.

I will let the others with hands on experience take over with replies.

Sending healing prayers for you and Boo.

Replied by Caireboo
(Oxfordshire, UK)

Theresa, I am so very grateful for your fast reply. Boo just had his X-ray and ultrasound and is in CHF with an LA:ao ratio of 2.2. He is to stay on cardisure and furusemide and is also to start nelio ace inhibitor and spironolactone. I am terrified to make the wrong decision but agree that at this point the meds are best to get him immediate help. Reading that spironolactone is a carcinogen terrifies me, Infact all the side effects do. I greatly wish I'd found this site earlier. If anyone else has experience with a dog at this stage of CHF please share anything of use. I will do anything it takes to help my baby. Thankfully at the moment he seems unaware. He is taking bigger breaths and his heart beats so powerfully it rocks his body a bit, but he still runs outside like a puppy. I just hope I have the strength for what's to come.

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Caireboo!

I have very limited experience with this condition, but my experience is when dogs are this deep into the condition, that the big pharma meds do an excellent job at providing relief as quickly as possible. Given you do not know the time frame - how many days/weeks or months left for Boo, if this were my dog I would use the vet prescribed meds to ensure he is as comfortable as possible at this time. It would be a shame if you tried the all natural approach, only to have him drown in his own fluids within a week; if this were my dog I would want him as comfy as possible, with the drugs helping to clear those lungs and give me more time to plan an thoughtful and caring exit strategy.

One thing to help you both is Rescue Remedy - take this for him to help calm him, and for you to bring you strength for what is to come.

Please keep us posted on Boo!

Replied by Al

This Post is for Giovanni the gentlemen with the dog Bella (11 year old, 10lbs, Shih Tzu)!

Giovanni can you Please tell me How Long are you keeping Bella on this Formula?

1 month? 2 Months? 3 Months? 6 months?

or For the Rest of Bella's Life

Please Advise! Thanks!

D-Ribose -

Ubiquinol QH-absorb (CoQ10)

  • Propionyl-L-Carnitine HCI
  • Magnesium Taurate
  • Mega Red Extra Strength Krill Oil, - By
  • L-Arginine -
  • Colon Green Fiber Supplement with Probiotics and Enzymes, -
  • Esther C Vegetarian Capsules, -
  • Milk Thistle,
  • Senior Vitality Multi Vitamin,

Also Once Bella gets off the Heart Meds, are you reducing this list of items?

Or are you keeping this whole List in tact as a Continual Daily supplement?

Please let us know; many Loving Dog Owners with their dogs in distress are Looking for the answer to this Question! PLEASE LET US KNOW!

Replied by Heather
(Charlotte, Nc)
1 posts

So glad to find this info. My 12 to 14 yr old rescued poodle mix of 15 lbs that's been with us for 10 years and is my baby was dx with a grade 2 heart murmur about 2 yrs ago.

Six weeks ago after a horrible coughing/hacking episode in the night my vet took an x ray and decided to start him on Enelapril only. I believe he said his heart was enlarged a bit. Since starting the meds I have noticed that he is not breathing as hard at night.

I've asked for a referral to an integrative vet to try to find out what will help his heart and also he started limping (after rest when he is stiff) on his right front leg several months ago and I want to see how they can help that and avoid any more vaccines, etc.

Andy has been on a raw complete diet (Nature's Variety Instinct Raw varying proteins) for the past 6 months or so and I recently started him on ubiquinol by mercola healthy pets. I also give him Primal brand raw goats milk, grizzly salmon oil, curcumin from mercola healthy pets and Acti Flex K9 glucosamine chondroitin.

I will try to go through this thread and figure out what to add to his diet to help him. I want many more years with him here with us. Its very scary to see him off of the enelapril now and I had no idea the heart problems would progress this fast.


Replied by Jamie

Hi Everyone, I'm after some extra advice.

My Rosie was diagnosed with a grade 5 heart murmur, she is a 30kg Weimaraner and shes just over 10.

The vet subscribed her with:

Cardisure - 2.5mg twice daily an hour before food

Fortekor - 7.25mg once daily

Prilactone - 60mg once daily

Furosemide - 30mg twice daily

From our vet this is an absolute fortune, they also will let us use online subcriptions, I have looked and i'd be saving a fortune. She is in a better state now but she needs a pick me up as she just feels like lying around all day and mostly ignouring food where shed normally eat plenty. I dont quite think shes ready to call it a day, I know im certainly not, last week she was barking at pass-us bys, out the window and just ignouring me when shes out late for a toilet before bed, then after one walk this springs out of nowhere. She defiantly hasnt had this before that walk as she had to be checked to be sedated to remove a harmless growth we feared for a cancer.

Money is a big factor to us as we are a young family, the vet will be charging me �300 a month for the meds listed above. I just want abit of normality and energy to her.



Replied by Om
(Hope, Bc Canada)

To Jamie (UK) --- I have only used Hawthorn tincture and CoQ10 with success. But my rescue poodle was old and had to be euthanized because of accumulation of fluid in the lungs.

I never go to vets otherwise as I do not want to ruin myself financially. For skin outgrowths use turmeric combined with cold pressed castor oil. Turmeric with coconut oil internally and fresh veggies in grain free kibbles and hemp seed oil or sesame oil. All the best. Namaste, Om

Replied by Dchan88

Hi everyone new to the forums. I have a teacup Pomeranian and she has been diagnosed with a grade 3-4 heart murmur. She is on meds for it as well as thyroid pills.

However, last night she began coughing quite a bit and pretty loud like there was something stuck in her throat.

From reading the above posts seems like COQ10 helped, what else can I do to help my dog?

As for food she's on the frozen food diet. I will stop giving her treats that we buy from Costco and Bosley starting today

What do you guys recommend on helping with her heart murmur and the cough?


Replied by Michael

How's ur dog?

Mine still strong after Feb 2015 diagnosed..

Replied by Travis
(Victoria, British Columbia)

My dog has been diagnosed with a second degree heart murmur and heart is a bit enlarged persistent cough ..big appetite and lots of energy...I have been giving coenzyme q 10 and am thinking about hawthorn tincture...he is also just started benazapril 2.5 mg per day.

Replied by Katie

My 13.5 yr old shi-tzu/bichon (14 pounds) was just diagnosed with a grade 2 heart murmur, as I noticed her slowing down a bit but no persistent coughing. Vet said both her mitral and tricuspid valves are "leaky", the vet recommended fish oil, and not to start any medications because heart is not enlarged, no fluid buildup, and otherwise got a good bill of health. What supplements should I start her on?

Replied by Shannon
(Houston, Tx, Usa)

My ten year old Silky Terrier dog was diagnosed yesterday with a heart murmur. Number two on the scale. She has no outward symptoms such as coughing, wheezing or anything. She is very active and runs up and down stairs. Her weight is about 10 pounds. What can I give her to reverse or stop any progression of the murmur? And in what amounts for her weight?

Replied by Deborah
(Chino Valley, Az)

Hi Shannon, Lots of information is available on this site re: heart murmurs in dogs. See the link -

Sounds like some supportive care would be just the thing for your pup. Murmurs can definitely be dealt with in so many cases.

Good luck! Deborah

Replied by Steve Lewington
(Wangi Wangi, Nsw, Australia)

Hi all, I would love some advice please as I have read all through these emails and am unsure how to get started healing our little fellow.

He is a 12 year old mini foxy cross chihuha around 6 pounds/

We have just got him home 2 days ago, from hospital, as he had trouble breathing , a cough and was weak.

They had him on oxygen, his heart rate was around 140 bpm, and his breathing around 80 bpm. These have come down a bit, heart is around 130 and breathing 40 bpm.

The vets have given him days to weeks to live. He is on Flusapex(diuretic) 0.5ml 2x per day

Vetmedin(Pimobendan) 1.25mg per day and Fortekor(Benazepril) 1.25 mg per day.

I want to start helping him to heal.

So far I have given him 1 Hawthorn Berry tablet, But split into 3 doses over the day, the brand is Mediherb. I have bought Cayenne, LCarnitine, D Ribose, Calcium Lactate, Krill oil with Astaxanthin, Ubiquinol 100 mg but am unsure of the amount to give him, eg do I weight the powders, and was scared of any interaction with his drugs. I asked the vet, but they couldn't understand why I would want to give him any more than the prescription drugs. We do not have any holistic vets , I did contact one who would do a consult over the phone, but they could not see him.

Could someone please help me put all this into perspective as I have so many questions, and cannot find the answers.


Replied by Om
(Hope, B.c., Canada)

to Steve Lewington from Wangi Wangi:

Please give Coq10 from the health food store. That should support his little heart. In addition give Hawthorn tincture. Adjust the dosage for the tincture as per your judgement.

As a food and to strengthen his body give a small Teaspoon Royal jelly or Manuka honey or just plain organic honey in a drop of water, diluted, by syringe. Do this about hourly. Any internal bacteria will be killed by these. Please hug him for me. Om

Replied by Om
(Hope, B.c., Canada)

Oh and I meant to say to get off those drugs!

Use your judgement and adjust if necessary. The natural remedies, such as hawthorn tincture, have been used for centuries. Ubiquinol can well be taken along with it.

The danger of chemical drugs and over medication must be kept in mind. Often these chemical drugs will stand in the way of improvement with safe herbs. If diuretics are necessary, use tea made with the whole dandelion plant. It will not have the side effect as the chemicals. Chemical diuretics remove valuable minerals/vits. from the body. Stinging nettle is also a good diuretic and will improve his mood while removing toxins. Om

Replied by Steve
(Wangi, Lake Macquarie Nsw)

Thanks for your input Om.

I have started Teddie on Ubiquinol, DRibose, Hawthorn and Cayenne, but only small dosages. This amounts to two capsules. The Ubiquinol and D Ribose in one, and a small amount of Cayenne (100mg) in the other. The Hawthorn is from a pill cut into 3rds. I have been giving him this spaced out over the day and away from his medications. I am scared to just cut his medication as I do not want to lessen his chances, and the Vetmedin, gives him a lot of relief.

Last night we thought we were going to lose him, as he was struggling breathing, and seemed in pain.

He seemed a lot stronger during the day, and was walking around quite confidently.


Replied by Diane Cartwright
(Modesto, Ca)

My 14 year old Llasa/Cocka/Poo mix has a significant heart murmur, a 4 I think the vet said, and was sleeping most of the day, lethargic, coughing and lacking energy. I take him to an alternative/integrative practice in Oakland, about 2 hours from here where the vet does acupuncture and prescribed Standard Process Canine Cardiac Support. It helps a bit. With her approval I also added non-alcohol liquid hawthorn berry, milk thistle extract, fish oil (not too much) and 30 mg. CO-Q 10 twice per day.

I also found Hampl Homeopathics in Australia with homeopathic remedies for the heart and a natural diuretic which are mixed in filtered hot water, cooled and gently syringed into Fritzi's mouth. He's a little resistant but it's worth the effort. Not long after getting this combination he's running both in the house and on his walks and acts like a puppy again. The CO-Q 10 is mostly present in the heart and other muscles so supplementing is very important as it decreases as we grow older.

Last vet check shows an improvement in his murmur and no fluid in his lungs. He's sleeping less and looks happy again. I only use conventional drugs as a last resort. Find a good holistic vet and you'll both be healthier and happier for a long, long time.

Replied by Cheryl
(Santa Clarita, Ca)

Just thought I'd mention that since Steve from Wangi Wangi was told to add CoQ10 to his dog's diet even after he said he gave the dog Ubiquinol I thought I'd mention that Ubiquinol delivers a more bioavailable—or body ready form of CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10). CoQ10 is an important nutrient found throughout the body, but your body must break it down into a usable form. That usable form is ubiquinol, and over 90% of the CoQ10 found in your body is stored in the form of ubiquinol, a “ready-to-go reserve” of CoQ10 power. So, basically they are the same thing, it is just that Ubiquinol is bio ready.

Replied by Alicia
(Maui, Hawaii)

Thank you for this concise list. I plan on adding these supplements to my existing routine of taurine, CoQ10, and fish oil. My vet approved the list and amounts.

My Elvis is a 7 yo King Charles Cavalier and has a grade 4 murmur. I see him slowing but improvement with the above supplements. So difficult to keep him calm when we come home or walk time.

For the person with the older dog with a grade 2.....I would supplement and not worry. Most older dogs and people will experience a heart murmur.

I plan on adding several of the supplements to my own daily routine.

Love and light to all our fur babies. Enjoy the special moments each day. Aloha.

Replied by Diamond
(Ma, US)

Thank you for your message, every message helps another in need such as my self. I have a very old Cock-a-Poo, she is appox. 15 or 16 years of age. Last month she got very sick, she had no use of her legs at all, she just stayed in her little bed for over a week. However she did eat, I made her organic oatmeal cooked veggies then added salmon oil caps.

I prayed every single day for her recovery, also not to let her live if she were to suffer any further. Then on a Tue. I said to my husband that we need to take her and have her put to sleep as she showed no signs of getting up to walk and go potty. She looked really sick. Then by that same week on a Wed. she got up and walked out on her own to go potty. She is now still our little demon we all love so much.

God Bless every one and especially our animals. They so need us and our help to keep them safe and healthy. A friend of mine always for years cooked or steamed her dogs people food, then chopped it up and fed him a small amount at a time. He lived a very long time. When she passed away I took him home, the worse and saddest thing I ever did was the vet suggested I feed him dog food, so I fed him dog food and eventually he died from many illnesses. Follow your heart. Peace

Replied by Kayla
(Brisbane, Australia)


I would like to know how your beloved pet is? Are the supplements you are using for her for humans also or are they especially for dogs? I've heard of some people using human supplements to treat their dog?

I hope to hear from you. Kayla

Replied by Linda
(Huntington Beach, Ca)

So encouraging to hear that these various herbs/supplements are a potential hope for for our fur babies with heart problems. Alicia, could you please share what the dosages are that you give to your cavalier? And what has the effect been since you started? I have a-9-year-old 21-lb Cav. & I'd like to start implementing some of these as well for he has a heart murmur of 4/5. He's been on the Benazapril for about a year and just started the Lasix and Vetmedin 2 months ago but the coughing only decreased for a short amount of time and it seems to be back. We just lost his sister 3 months ago on her 9th birthday-she was increasingly put on more rx (increased from 2 to 5 medications over her last year ) so I'd like to add something new this time. I blanch and boil veggies, fish, chicken & egg whites along with fish oil. Thanks so much. Any concrete info on dosages & experiences is appreciated.

Replied by Car
(Illinois, US)

Hello All, I have a 15yr old terrier mix. She just passed out on me a couple days ago. Vet diagnosed a heart murmur, also said she had bronchitis and was given antibiotic. I'm wondering if it could be the food. I'm feeding her Blue Buf Senior soft and hard food. I really don't want to put her on all kinds of medicines. Has anyone found supplements that work? Any and all suggestions that have worked with your pets are appreciated. Thanks for your time.

Replied by Om
(Hope, Bc Canada)

Reply to Car --- I have an old rescue poodle who gets Hawthorn tincture with a few drops of water in a syringe three times a day. I put 20 drops into a syringe and divide this over the day. Read up on hawthorn as an herb. It takes about three months of this regimen to strengthen the heart. You can add CoQu - 10 ubiquinol to it. H. is an old well known remedy used for hundreds of years. Side effects = stronger heart and well being.

Namaste, Om

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Car!

When I read your post I thought "bronchitis = coughing"; it sounds like your dog has been suffering for a while now for the cough to have turned into bronchitis. It is possible there is a food connection, however IMHO for a 15 year old terrier senior I am thinking genetics is the real culprit here. You dog may have had a heart murmur for years and only now has it gotten worse - chronic cough - so as to become obvious.

I like Om's suggestion of Hawthorne; my only dislike of that particular remedy in this particular case is that it takes 12 weeks to take effect vs relatively rapid relief from meds from the vet.

If you read the posts there are many things to consider that over a period of time do provide healing and relief. I will only add that keeping your pet's weight down is very beneficial with this condition, and that the Blue Buffalo Senior appears to be a fine diet.

Replied by Thuy
(San Diego, California)

Hi Giovanni ( Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. )

I read your dog, Bella's story, I am very interesting because my dog has CHF also, he is in poor health now, I have tried Hawthorn, CoQ10, D-Ribose along with the prescription, his fluid build up very fast, we have to bring him to the Vet to drain the fluid out every 4 weeks. I wonder how your dog, Bella is doing ? is she still on medication ? or you can be able to wean off the Vetdemin and Benazepril ? I hope you can read this and I am looking forward to hear from you.

Thank you, Thuy

Replied by Monica G.

My 8-year old lhasa apso has been diagnosed with CHF a month ago. He's hypothyroid and has been suffering from yeast infection, ascites (fluid buildup) and has been coughing. His ECG is normal. He's on Lasix now, twice a day and I feed him a high protein, low salt diet. I know that there's no cure for CHF but I'm willing to try anything to prolong the life of my dog. I'm currently using two organic natural supplements that I believe, helped in improving my dog's stamina and appetite. One is Coco Nectar, which is rich in amino acids. I'm also giving him Moringa/Malunggay oil capsules, once a day. Moringa can supply his body with all needed vitamins and minerals. Since taking these two food supplements, my dog is now eating well, has improved energy and alertness. He is still on Lasix but I'm hoping that the ascites will improve later on. I will look for COQ10 and will add that as well to his regimen.


May I ask where you took your dog for ECG in Manila? Did you take him to a veterinary cardiologist? Thank you.

Replied by Aaron


I am glad that I found very helpful information, so decided to start with cardio plus and cartaplex b and cartaplex G for my dog(french bulldog, 9years old - he had congestive heart failure).

What I am wondering is, Do I need to have my dog with taurine and L-carnitine, ubiqinol?

My dog have been taken them so far, but start with cardio plus, I am just wondering, because the ingredient have no taurine.. so please kindly let me know. Thank you!

Replied by Mike

y 15 lb mini poodle dianosed in feb with congenital heart disease, mytral valeve problems.put her on enelaril, spiroloctonate, vetmedin and lasix.i started giving her taurine, l carnitine arginine and co q 10 and fish oil, 6 month checkup shows enlargement of heart. She is stable no increase in drugs. Dr was a vet from the uk and was super nice. He loved the idea I was giving supplements. He was a new dr the old dr said she didnt know anything about supplements. Made me feel good to know I found a dr who like natural as well. So I now give her 100mg magnesium and celeryseed extract as a diuretic along with her lasix, she is doing great, her breathing has improved and she still running and jumping and playing with no cough.

(Detroit Mi)

Hi Mike, I How is your pup doing? I have a poodle as well with the same problem. Are you getting supplements specifically for dogs or are you using human kind and what dosage?

(Brooklyn, Ny)
5 out of 5 stars

My gigi is doing well over 1 yr after diagnosed with chf. I use use human supplements: hawthorne, cayenne, taurine, arginine and oil also. She has slight cough when she gets excited.

Replied by Val

Try Young at Heart on Pet Wellbeing

Replied by Shveta

How much quantity of Hawthorn to give a 8 pound chihuahua?

Replied by Debbie

FYI- Blue Buffalo is a horrible pet food. it has had many recalls, is in a lawsuit right now and dogs have died from eating the food. A homemade diet is best.

Replied by Scott

Hi Mike,

Is your dog still on the rest of the meds or just lisik. My 19 pound 11 year old Chiuauhauh is on all 4 meds with no supplements and canned and dry Science Diet. Coughing is pretty bad but better since on the meds. I also have a place to get the meds super cheap. Save you alot of money.

Replied by Laurie

Hi Giovanni,

Thank you for sharing your experience, I am considering ordering the products you recommended but would love to hear an update and if you were success at weaning off all meds.

Thank you

Replied by Brittany
(Los Angeles)

Hi there, thank you so much for your post as I too am really big on the holistic vet - yet I have not seen one yet. My little guy who's a Maltipoo is 7 weeks old (he was not properly cared for by the previous owner so that's why I have him so young) and he has a heart murmur..the one and only vet I've seen so far, said his heart murmur is probably about a 5. I have not seen the cardiologist yet and I'm not sure if he's too little to be taking any over the counter healthy meds?

Replied by Kiki

My mini dachshund just had a dental today that was very risky. Her murmur is a 4. But, instead of her living on antibiotics with a raging dental infection, we took the chance. Her bloodwork looked great ahead of time. Just found out she came out of it fine! Whew!! BUT, I was wanted to get the correct Standard Process supplements to help HEAL her murmur and enlarged heart. How do you get them? This vet is not holistic nor can I find one around here. Thank you.

Replied by Mickie's Miracle
(Austin, Texas)
5 out of 5 stars

To Giovanni:

Thanks so very much for your list of supplements you gave your shitzu, Bella. We have two shitzus, male and female that are 10 years old. Mickie developed a heart murmur about 3 years ago due to flea allergy, infection that even after doing everything to keep our yard, environment flea-free with natural products and treatment for Mickie and several hundred dollars in vet bills later, I finally discovered by researching key ingredients to treating were Taurine (source, turkey liver) and L-Carnitine, L-Lysine, Co-Q10 were vital. So I found one formula of Blue Wilderness Small Breed (pink bag) that had these. I started feeding Mickie that, and chopped organic carrots, apples, raw pumpkin seed (treats parasites, as well as other benefits), peas (high in fiber), cooked beef liver, chicken mixed in.

Mickie started making an immediate and amazing recovery ... becoming more playful, energy, etc. and not one seizure in more than a year! PTL! (prior to ... had several over a few months). Now, with added supplements that you suggested, he is doing so much better. But Christmas day, 2015 we actually lost him during the night ... suddenly no breathing, no life at all... BUT we immediately started praying, anointed him with oil from Israel, massaged his chest, and in a couple of minutes, life came back into his little body; when I put him gently on the floor, he had a couple of "burps" from his chest to tail (organs restarting). Hallelujah! Mickie was literally resurrected! Mickie's Miracle! He is a precious gift from God and I know God cares so much for us that He also cares for our precious pets, his creation; especially when we love, care for them. The only supplements I need to add now, and ordering/buying today are: Ubinquinol (best Co-Q 10), MegaRed Krill Oil (although I've been using organic Norwegian fish oil with vitamins, made by Shed-X (highly recommend) and the Colon Greens Fiber Supplement with probiotics and enzymes. All of these ingredients, as well as amino acids (Swanson AjiPure Cardio Aminos with L-Lysine, L-Argnine, L-Proline and Taurine) are so very vital to the well-being, health of your pets (dogs), especially when they age.

So, once again, thanks so very much for your supplement list and helping me add what Mickie needs. God bless you and all who love their pets, give them the best care, holistic food possible! May your pets be blessed with long, happy lives!

Mickie's Miracle

* Jeremiah 29:11-13


(Detroit, Mi)

Hi Mickie's miracle. What a awesome testimony. Are you using the exact dose and brand that was listed? If different, can you tell me what you're using. Thank you. Would like to help my poodle, Fredom.

Replied by Michelle
(Detroit, Mi)

How is you dog Bella doing now..years later? My dog Freedom is going thru the same thing. I order the supplements you suggested. Thank you

Replied by Elaine
(Austin, Texas)


I'm using close to the exact dosages Giovanni recommended. Keep in mind your dog's breed, size and just monitor how he does, use your own judgement. I can tell you that these supplements have been wonderful in keeping Mickie healthy, and without seizures for over a year, along with healthy food. We feed the Blue small breed chicken recipe, dry with chicken, peas, carrots, apples mixed in.

The Blue Buffalo brand has these key ingredients for heart health: taurine, l-lysine, l-carnitine and others that are beneficial.

All the best for your precious pet!


Replied by Molly
(Los Angeles)

Hello, I am glad I found this article and discussion. I have a 2yo, retriever/cocker mix and he was diagnosed with heart murmur 2. I bought Vetri-Science Cardio Supplement and my dog can't digest it ( he gets diarrhea every time I give him the supplement). Can you please suggest a supplement that may not cause this? or what may cause the digestion problem?

Thank you,


Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hello Molly,

Dosage for this product is 1 capsule per 30 pounds daily; it may just be you are giving too much at once. Try splitting the tablets in half and see if your dog can digest the lower dosage. You might even cut the capsules into quarters and then gradually build up to a full capsule.

Replied by Shannon
(Houston Tx)
5 out of 5 stars

I wanted to give an update on my dog and want to encourage everyone else to update on how their dog is doing after giving them the supplements. As I posted in 2013, my dog was diagnosed with stage 2 heart murmur. At that time I found this site and found the recommended supplements. I have been giving my dog Ribose, CoQ10 and Canine Cardiac Support. So far her heart murmur seems not to have progressed at all. Every time we take her in for a checkup she is fine. As far as I know the murmur is still there but not any worse. She has no or very little coughing. So basically she is doing well.

EC: Thank you so much for updating us!

Replied by Travis
(British Columbia)

Hi there, the hawthorne tincture you give your dogs ..does it have alcohol in it??? That is all I can norfolk is diagnosed with a grade 2 heart murmur and an a bit of enlarged heart.... Thanks, Travis

Replied by Jaime
(Cambridge, Ontario)
5 out of 5 stars

Thank you for sharing your experience. I intend to use your regiment as my chihuahua Bababooey has the same level 5 murmur and breathing issues. I have shared your list of supplements with my vet and the only concerns was that the vitamin C is very high and not recommended as it will cause kidney stones. As well she had a concern that the magnesium dose was also high. I hope we can achieve the same good results. I hope Bella is still doing well and wish to thank you again.

Replied by Rosemary
(Florida Panhandle)
2 posts

My 7 year old chihuahua was just diagnosed with a heart murmur. She has no outward symptoms. Just heard the murmur at the vet a couple days ago. Did labs that were normal no proBNP yet. Chest X-ray didn't show anything significant. Scheduled for an ultrasound next Friday. The Dr is talking about heart meds which I am against. I guess I will know more in a week.

Replied by Nia
(San Diego, Ca)

Do you give your dog regular medications too or just those supplements?

Replied by Darcy

What it comes down to is diet.These dogs are often sick because of a processed, devitalized diet.In the wild, they eat raw meat. If you want to address the health problems, then try and feed them a diet that at least partly resembles what they have eaten for hundreds of years, and that's RAW meat.When you cook it, you ruin the enzymes and the water content.There are good vets, (you can find on YouTube, )that can teach you how to feed your pet a raw meat and vegetable diet.It is not that difficult to do. In the long run, it is less expensive too, (no vet bills). My dog had that awful hacking cough, kidney failure, severe lethargy, severe atopic allergic dermititis and hypothyroidism.ALL of these conditions resolved when I changed to a RAW diet.You have to spend a little more time making it but the rewards are astounding for your dog (or cat).

Replied by Shannon
(Los Angeles, Ca)

My dog, a dandie dinmont terrier, suffers from MVS, CHF, and heart murmur. hes on all 4 of the meds that you mentioned and I also, like you, researched what else was out there to help them. the regimen I use is very similar to yours...i use a lot of standard process supplements and COQ10 is really amazing. his cardiologist gave oscar about 6 months back in may when he had his first failure and had to spend 3 days in an oxygen tank. after 3-4 months of his medication plus the supplement program I developed for him, hes the most energetic ive seen him in years! I was bringing him in for check ups every month. the last one, in october, his doctor was amazed at his disposition and told me unless I obviously need to, he doesn't need another check up for 5-6 months! These supplements DO work and im so glad its catching on. even if it does end up shortening his life, at least I know he's comfortable and happy. if he doesnt have quality of life, theres no point.

Replied by Don
(New York, Usa)

I recently adopted a shelter dog with a heart murmur and pretty heavy coughing. I use Hawthorn berry extract from Pet Wellbeing. Simple directions, shipped once a month or more as needed. The results are very favorable. Very little coughing, frisky, happy dog. I have two Hawthorn trees in my yard and am going to make my own. They have kept me off of heart meds for several years now. Good luck with your Dog. Don

Replied by Ms. Jerry D.
(Pensacola, Fl)

Hawthorne Berry Tincture without Alcohol at Swanson.

Replied by Deborah

I would love to try this regime but I have a tiny 3.5lb Pomeranian who is 11 years old. She has been on Benazepril .5mg. per day and Vitamedin .75mg morning and .25mg night. She has no energy and is still coughing. She has a heart murmur was told it was only grade 2 but had a hard time coming out of anesthesia after teeth cleaning and he did an xray and said her heart was a little enlarged so he put her on cardiac meds. They are expensive because the benazepril has to be compounded at a pharm. because she is so tiny. So I am paying 100.00/month. How would I know how much to dose her at for her size? I would appreciate any help you could give. Did your dog act like she had a hard time breathing thru her nose? I thought she had allergies not heart problems.

Replied by Cheryl
(Phx, Az)

What form all of these supplements in? Are they all separate tablets/capsules? My dog has heart murmers and is on many pills but is losing so much weight.
MMy vet is suggesting a heart diet food but along with the meds he takes it really will be costly. I am looking for homemade heart healthy recipes but they all seem to have stuff in them that will end up also being pricey.

Replied by Shannon
5 out of 5 stars

Another update on my Silky Terrier. She's 14 now and was diagnosed at age 10 with stage 2 hear murmur. Yesterday she had her checkup and the vet could barely hear any murmur so 4 years on the cardio plus, co-Q10 and D-Ribose and prayer has worked for her.

Replied by Siew

Hi my cavalier is 8+ years old and been diagnosed with stage c mvd. She's on vetmedin, frusemide and benazapril starting today. I cook for her daily and supplement with fish oil, spirugreen, multivit. I want to start her on coq10. But not sure of the dosage. She is 7.15kg or 16 lbs. can someone advise?

Replied by Vicki C.

Recently I had to buy heart meds for my Chihuahua for a heart murmur and heart failure. Rather than just buying a one month supply from my dog's vet, I asked about getting a three month supply (just like I do for my own meds). It was only a few dollars more! I was surprised, and of course I bought a 90 day supply, which saves me gobs of $$$$$. Just wanted to pass this on, in case some of you may have not thought to ask about that!

Replied by Medisa
(Berkeley, Ca)

Hi, Could you give me the name of the holistic vet in Oakland that you took your dog to? My dog was diagnosed with a heart murmur and I have been trying to find the best treatment for him.

Replied by Mary

Hi Siew, did you find out the dosage as I would also like to start my Zac on COQ10 but unsure what dosage. Thanks Mary

Replied by Sarah

Be careful using d-Ribose. I was giving my 10 lb dog half the dose recommended here and it was crashing her blood sugar. (Hypoglycemia is a known side effect of ribose.) If you choose to use this supplement, please watch your pup closely for signs of weakness, tremors, distress, especially 1-2 hours after taking it.

Replied by Paughnee

How long did your dog live taking all these supplements or is your dog still alive? I'm going to follow what you did and give it to my dog. She is 13 pounds so there shouldn't be any difference in the amounts.

I was curious as to where you got all this info? Did you see a holistic vet and they told you what to try and how much to give to your dog or did you just do research? It just seems like a lot of each one to give to a small dog.

Also, how did your dog react when you first started giving them and about how long did it take to notice a difference? My dog is having diarrhea after giving them but I also know it is probably cleaning the junk out of her. If it lasts too long then I will have to cut back on them or stop.

I have been giving my dog hawthorn berries and I noticed pretty fast that her coughing decreased to maybe 1 or 2 every 3rd day. I also have been giving her "kidney support" by Pet Wellbeing. With her being on the regular meds the vet gives and especially the diarectics, she needed something to protect her kidneys since it is so hard on them. She had diarrhea after first taking that but it soon went away.

The problem I am having now is her appetite and low energy. I was searching for something that would help her and I found your old post.

I hope to hear back and see how your dog did and what it went through when taking them.


Replied by Karen
(Rahway Nj)

Hi everyone
Thanks so much for this post! My 9 yr old, 23lb Boston terrier has stage 3 CHF with fluid in his lungs, and he is on the usual drugs--vetmedin, lasix and enalapril. We had a recent scare and he got heavy dosages of lasix and spent the night in an oxygen tank. I hate relying only on the meds, especially since I read how hard they are on the kidneys and his cough doesn't seem to be going away (it's a dry cough that ends in a hack).

I recently added 30mg of Coq10....not sure if it should 1 or 2x a day? And I want to add in alcohol free Hawthorne, fish oil and maybe taurine. I'm just not sure of dosage and if any of that will interfere with the meds....I'm not comfortable taking him off the meds :( my vets are dismissive of the supplements which is not helpful at all.

I really really really appreciate any help or advice you guys can offer. I'm desperate to help him

Thank you!!!

Replied by Thuy Tran
(San Diego, Ca)

Hi Karen, you should try Hearty heart ( google NHV hearty heart pet health- all buyers said its good ), it has Hawthron in there also and this supplement don't interfere with the medication. You should take him to the Cardiologist ASAP and its great if you could find Holistic Vet for him. I hope this can help your dog get his energy back .

Replied by Kathleen

What did you use for supplement brands?

Replied by Jean
28 posts

You should try NAC instead of the lasix. It will act as a diuretic w/o the side effects. Figure the dose from a human dose down to the weight of the dog. I was told to do this instead of a diuretic or steroid for my dog. The advice came from our holistic vet.

Replied by Debra E
(Madras, Or)

My beagle Tasha has a high grade heart murmur. She has been on enanapril and laziks. Last week she could not stand up. The vet put her on vetmedin. her heart rate was 145 at the time. I took her back to the vet and she said her heart rate was 170. the vetmedin seems to stop her coughing, but I have to force feed her. she will get up to drink water and pee outside.

I would like some advice on something to bring her heart rate down and something to entice her to eat. please help. I lost my jack russel who was 17 and my 20 yr old cat one week apart last year and 2 weeks after that Tasha was diagnoised with cancer. she had a tumor removed from 1 of her tits, and handled chemo, without any problems. shes all I have left. Shes 13 thank you for any info

Replied by Dianne
1 posts

Can you please post a few recipes for a raw diet. I have a 10-year-old, 17 lb. chihuahua. He has a 2.5-grade murmur, he coughs a lot and his breathing is labored. I give him Hawthorne, Milk Thistle, Dandelion, and Burdock, 1 capsule of each 2 x a day. He still has fluid build up also. I am going to add COQ 10 and need something for the fluid, any ideas? Thank you.

Replied by Blessedmama
(Ramona, Ca)

It is so wonderful to read all your positive and encouraging posts. Can anyone list the supplements they give their dogs and the dose amount? This would be for my 11lb doggie. Thank you in advance and God bless you!

Replied by Chris

All I'd like to say is that if your dog is coughing, diuretics will make it go away. Whilst I believe in natural therapies and have my 18yr old Maltese x Shih tzu on some natural remedies, not limited to but including, turmeric, fish oil, chondroitin, glucosamine and CoQ10, there will be a time (which is likely already there for some of you) where you will need to use a conventional heart drug such as Pimobendan (Vetmedin). The drug works miracles for dogs and the side effects are minimal in my experience, my dog has both increased appetite and energy on the medication. Please don't ignore conventional medicine, it works the same way in humans, digoxin is the equivalent of Pimobendan in animals. I hope many of you listen to this and that your dog lives on for many years.

Replied by Kathleen

My 13 yr old Pom has a heart murmur. Mitral valve. What is Ribose? Also how much COQ10? What brand? My Pom weighs 14 lbs. Hawthorne scares me as it would be easy to get the wrong kind. I take krill Oil Myself, if that would help my Pom, I can give her that but how much? Dog food is an issue. I make it with boiled chicken, Peas,, Carrots, Sweet Potato, but is she getting all the nutrients she should? I will not use Blue Buffalo. (Recalls). I want her on good supplements instead of medications. But I want to do as few as possible as I think too much added can be dangerous. Please advise on The COQ10 and maybe 2 others that are critical. Thanks.

Replied by Kathleen

Where did you get those supplements for your dog Never heard of Ribose? My Pom is 14 lbs with a heart murmur. Mitral Valve.

Replied by Maggie
36 posts

My dog is a mini poodle, 13 years old. She had a dental last year, had blood work and echocardiogram and everything was good except for the small heart murmur. When I found out she had the heart murmur, I looked to see what to give her so it doesn't get worse. Hawthorn is an herb and the berries are what is used for the heart. I buy the capsules. Most capsules are too big for my dog since she may be having throat problems so I empty the capsules in another vitamin bottle and then put some in her food. It doesn't taste bad. I bought a measuring spoon set that measures tad, dash, pinch, smidgen, and drop and I use that to give my dogs and cats their supplements in their food if I can't give them the capsules. Most capsules are too much for small dogs. I always taste whatever supplement I'm going to give them to see if it's bitter because if it is, they won't eat the food you put it in. I give my dog Hawthorn, D-Ribose, and L-Carnitine for the heart, a "pinch"(1/16 teaspoon) of each, twice a day plus other supplements. I was going to give her COQ10 but read something that I didn't like so I'm not giving it to her.

I used to feed my dogs Blue Buffalo but then decided to cook their food. Now I give them boiled chicken and a lot of different vegetables. Tuna, hamburger, and turkey every now and then, just for something different. They get a vitamin supplement every day.

Replied by Maggie
36 posts

Don't know if you got a reply on where to get D-Ribose but you can get it at most vitamin stores or online. It's not cheap but if you look around, you can get it at a good price.

I too have a small dog with a heart murmur and I give her



Hawthorn Berries

Replied by Maggie
36 posts

My dog is a mini poodle, 13 years old. She had a dental last year, had blood work and pet scan and everything was good except for the small heart murmur. When I found out she had the heart murmur, I looked to see what to give her so it doesn't get worse. Hawthorn is an herb and the berries are what is used for the heart. I buy the capsules. Most capsules are too big for my dog since she may be having throat problems so I empty the capsules in another vitamin bottle and then put some in her food. It doesn't taste bad. I bought a measuring spoon set that measures tad, dash, pinch, smidgen, and drop and I use that to give my dogs and cats their supplements in their food if I can't give them the capsules. Most capsules are too much for small dogs. I always taste whatever supplement I'm going to give them to see if it's bitter because if it is, they won't eat the food you put it in. I give my dog Hawthorn, D-Ribose, and L-Carnitine for the heart, a "pinch"(1/16 teaspoon) of each, twice a day plus other supplements. I was going to give her COQ10 but read something that I didn't like so I'm not giving it to her.

I used to feed my dogs Blue Buffalo but then decided to cook their food. Now I give them boiled chicken and a lot of different vegetables. Tuna, hamburger, and turkey every now and then, just for something different. They get a vitamin supplement every day.

Replied by Jackie Cross
(Erie, Pa)

my 10 1/2 year old Pomeranian is also suffering from heart murmur and mitro valve disorder. Am going to try the fresh food diet and the supplements but was wondering how you get your fur baby to take the supplements. My Pom knows when I disguise them and will not take them. Was looking for suggestions on that. Thank you. I was inspired by your story. Thank you

Replied by Nicole

Hi, how is your Cav doing? My cav was just diagnosed with a grade 4 murmur as well. What is the natural remedy you have, and how is it helping?

Replied by Sandra

My Female English bulldog has a heart murmur and had CHF. She is on meds. She takes Lasix, Spironolactone and Benazepril. She has fluid on her tummy and her hind legs were swollen but not now. Her right side of the heart is very large. Severe tricuspid valve regurgitation and severe right atrial enlargement. Bo is les than 3 years old. SHes had her heart murmur from birth. She had ECO, no fluid around her heary or in her lungs.

What can I do natural to get rid of the fluid in her tummy?

It's pretty big!

What can I give her to help her live a longer life and not suffer?

She weights about 35 pounds. Need help as soon as possible. Thank you


Dandelion Root☕😊

Replied by Rachel

How long did it take before this started making your dog feel better?

Replied by Patrick
(four oaks nc)

Can you take some time and send me maybe a list where I can get some ingredients to help me get my little sassy girl feeling at her best she has a 5-6 heart murmur and is holding on but could use a betters regimen than what I'm doing I'm just trying what I've read what others are writing on this web site . I would appreciate it so very much for some help with trying some of these remedies that are a more holistic approach. Thanks so much, Patrick