Heart disease is the leading cause of death for people of most ethnicities in the United States. Your dog can also develop heart problems which may lead to heart failure, too. In some cases, your dog may have underlying heart problems present at birth.
If your dog gets tired very quickly, has difficulty breathing, develops a cough that keeps getting worse, and is losing weight, you should take your pet to the see the veterinarian. The vet may prescribe a treatment regimen for your companion including medication and a low-salt diet, but you can always ask if any of the following herbs and supplements can be included in treatment as an aid to the medical protocol.
You may use ginger to treat indigestion, but it can also be beneficial for a dog suffering from heart problems. Ginger stimulates blood circulation, which helps prevent blood clots. This is more noticeable with dogs that are overweight or have a buildup of fat in the arteries since ginger can help reduce that buildup. However, even with these potential healing powers, ginger should be administered in moderation.
The hawthorn plant over time, can increase the amount of blood pumped in a heart contraction, thus strengthening each heartbeat. It relaxes blood vessels and allows blood to flow freely, which reduces blood pressure. It also helps in removing fat buildup from arteries and has antioxidant properties that fight the free radicals that destroy red blood cells.
If the heart muscles are weak, fluid may build up around the heart. Dandelion is a diuretic that can be used to remove the fluid so that the heart muscles can pump stronger. Dandelion leaf or root also supports the liver, an essential part of care in a dog with a heart condition.
Parsley is another diuretic that can be used to remove fluid buildup from around the heart.
Cayenne will stimulate the blood flow in your dog. It may also help rejuvenate the deteriorating heart muscles and blood vessels.
A dog with heart disease may be carnitine deficient. Therefore, carnitine can be provided as a supplement, or you can increase the amounts of carnitine-rich foods like red meat and dairy product that you give your dog. However, you should always consult your veterinarian before making a diet change.
L-Taurine is a more preventative treatment. It ensures that the heart muscles produce enough potassium to prevent heart disease.
This coenzyme is found naturally in the body of animals. However, organs may eventually malfunction and will no longer be able to manufacture coenzyme. If your dog has heart disease, giving coenzyme Q10 may help your pet since it removes free radicals from the bloodstream and makes the blood circulate faster. As well, other prescribed enzymes can break down scar tissue, and rebuild healthy tissue.
Vitamins A, B6, C, and E
Substances called free radicals might enter the bloodstream and limit the carrying capacity of red blood cells. This promotes heart disease. On the other hand, vitamins A, B6, C, and E help to remove these free radicals to ensure that enough oxygen is carried to and from the heart. Vets may prescribe the vitamins but will also encourage you to give foods containing these vitamins to your dog.
Magnesium and Selenium
These minerals go a long way in improving heart functions. They strengthen the heart muscles and blood vessels.
Other Treatment Options
Acupuncture and acupressure are treatments that have shown promise in canines with heart disease. Used alongside traditional treatments, acupuncture has given a second chance to some dogs. Of course, the treatment runs concurrently with medication. Dental care is important in the maintenance of the heart. Prevention is key as a healthy mouth allows for a healthier dog. Detoxification is deemed necessary by some holistic vets. A change of diet, for example, from foods with preservatives to a natural-based food is required.
Discuss Options With the Vet
As a dog owner, remember these natural remedies may not get rid of the problem, but they may help to alleviate some of the symptoms your four-footed friend may suffer. Conventional medication also helps, but sometimes has a lot of side effects associated with it. You should also consider that there are instances where traditional medicine will be needed. Always consult your veterinarian and ask which natural remedies can be included in treatment. Don't prescribe them yourself. As long as your veterinarian approves, your canine friend will thank you from the very bottom of their heart.