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Conventional treatment of heart disease in dogs is to use medicine to counteract the symptoms in an attempt to extend the life of the sick dog.
However, some conventional medication for dog heart problems can cause side effects which may put additional burden on the already weakened dog's body.
The good news is, natural remedies (herbs, dietary supplements for the heart) can greatly improve the life quality of a dog with heart disease - without the side effects.
If your dog has been diagnosed with heart disease, it is advisable to consult with a holistic veterinarian so that a natural holistic treatment program can be designed for your dog.
As well, prevention is better than cure. Even if your adult dog does not have any heart problems now, it is still advisable to try to strengthen his heart as he ages. This can easily and safely be done through the use of herbs and supplements.
Herbs can be used to tackle dog heart problems from three approaches:
Here are some great herbs that can be used on dogs with heart problems:
Hawthorn is the herb for the heart. It normalizes heart activity by strengthening a weak or erratic heartbeat and it also dilates blood vessels of the heart and the brain.
In addition, it is an antioxidant that helps remove free radicals that take away oxygen from the blood. It is a safe herb and can be used as a tonic for dogs with a weakened heart.
Ginkgo acts on both the cardiovascular and nervous systems. In particular, it improves circulation by preventing or reducing the release of platelet-activating factor (PAF), the substance that increases blood stickiness. Ginkgo also maintains the elasticity of the blood vessels.
When a dog's heart is not pumping strong enough, causing fluid to build up in the lungs or other areas, a diuretic drug or herb can be used to help reduce the fluid build-up, thus reducing the load on the heart.
Dandelion is a mild diuretic that also supports the liver and rich in potassium. Using dandelion is better than using diuretic drugs (e.g. furosemide) since such drugs usually deplete the body of potassium, causing adverse effects on all muscles including of course heart muscles.
Parsley is a mild diuretic and it is also effective for liver support.
Cayenne is considered a tonic herb but it is extremely helpful for dogs with heart problems because cayenne stimulates blood circulation. In addition, it makes the heart, blood vessels and nerves stronger.
Ginseng has been used for thousands of years in Asia as a tonic, especially for the heart.
Ginseng can be used as a tonic for dogs with heart problems. It regulates heart rate and provides extra energy and vitality to old dogs and those who are suffering from heart problems.
A compound in garlic is effective at preventing blood clot formation in the vascular system. It can also reduce cholesterol levels and fat buildup in the arteries (atheorsclerosis). Therefore, it is an excellent cardiovascular tonic for dogs with heart problems.
Motherwort not only supports heart function, but is also effective in calming patients who are restless and agitated.
This Chinese herb is frequently used in TCM to support heart function; in particular, it supports the blood vessels that carry blood into and away from the heart and maintain healthy lipid levels in the blood.
Natural dietary supplements should be given to your dog if he has heart disease. For aging dogs, heart supplements can also be used to strengthen their heart and prevent dog heart problems. The following supplements are beneficial to the heart:
This enzyme (such as Vetri-Science Coenzyme Q10) is good for the heart; it acts as an antioxidant that makes the heart muscles stronger thus improving heart muscle oxygenation.
L-Carnitine is a naturally occurring amino acid which plays a vital role in the metabolism of fat. To put it simply, it enables cells to carry fatty acids (fuel) to the heart.
L-Taurine is a building block for all the other amino acids. L-Taurine is found to be able to reduce the risk of heart disease risk by maintaining a normal output of potassium from the heart muscles.
If you dog is suffering from heart disease, supplementing him with these amino acids can greatly improve the condition. It is also advisable to start supplementing your dog with these amino acids if he is starting to show some signs of heart failure.
These vitamins are antioxidants and are essential as they help remove free radicals from the body, thus preventing damage caused to the heart by the free radicals.
Fatty acids, such as salmon oil, evening primrose, or borage oil, are also beneficial to heart patients since they help protect muscle cells.
These two minerals are essential in improving heart function.
Here are some effective products that you can try to use to help your dog:
This herbal formula contains herbs such as hawthorn, motherwort, fo-ti root, and more. They work synergistically to support heart function, improve circulation, and maintain healthy blood pressure.
This formula contains cardio-support vitamins, minerals and amino acids such as L-Taurine, L-Carnitine, Dimethylglycine (DMG), EPA, Vitamin E, coenzyme Q10, Magnesium, Potassium and Selenium.
It provides support to cardiovascular function and is beneficial to pets with low cardio output, and those experiencing weakness or difficulty breathing. It is also an essential supplement for senior dogs or those at risk of developing heart disease.
Another highly effective formula that benefits the entire cardiovascular system. It contains Vitamin E, Magnesium, Selenium, Grape Seed extract, CoQ10, Hawthorn, and Siberian Ginseng. Highly recommended for dogs with congestive heart failure or other congenital heart abnormalities.
This herbal formula contains the heart-supporting herb hawthorn, which has antioxidant properties and promotes support to the heart and the circulatory system.