Heart Disease in Dogs and Cats

Heart Disease in Dogs and Cats (Heart Murmurs & Congestive Heart Failure)

“We had some good news about Puff Daddy! Ever since Puff Daddy was a pup, different vets would say they heard a mild heart murmur. About two years ago, we started a heart disease protocol that included Amazing Omegas, Purrfect Pet CoQ10, and Resveratrol for Dogs. We went in for Puff Daddy’s rabies vaccination and the vet listened to his heart for quite some time. She looked up amazed. She heard no murmur. She asked me what I was giving him and said to keep it up. Puff Daddy has the energy of a puppy, running at full-speed with dogs 3-4x his size. I am so grateful for Ask Ariel.”

Andrea, Washington D.C.

Natural Supplements For Heart Disease in Dogs and Cats
Heart Disease Supplements for Cats and Dogs

Holistic treatment for congestive heart failure and heart diseases works best when natural supplements are used in conjunction with treatments prescribed by your veterinarian. When considering how to care for a dog with congestive heart failure, consider the below natural recommendations. Heart supplements can strengthen the heart muscle and enhance immunity. Ask Ariel’s vitamins for cats and dogs with heart disease can help pets live a higher-quality and longer life than was predicted in their initial prognosis.

All heart disease and heart murmur natural treatment should include maintaining your pet's weight at a healthy level. Many cats and dogs are overweight, and this can create a significant burden for the heart. Keeping your pet’s teeth clean is also essential. Bacteria in the mouth can travel to the heart via the blood. Be sure to get your pet’s teeth cleaned regularly. Below, you’ll find some of our most trusted home remedies for canine congestive heart failure and feline heart conditions.

Purrfect Pet CoQ10 - This product is veterinarian-approved and recommended for purity and potency. It contains non-GMO ubiquinol-reduced CoQ10, a powerful antioxidant that provides an efficient and natural method of nutrient delivery for heart health and may slow the progression of heart disease. Purrfect Pet CoQ10 is an essential core of a cat or dog heart murmur coughing treatment.

Power Probiotic - Power Probiotic is the best probiotic for pets! Backed by scientific research, this powerful, multi-strain formula repopulates the good, friendly bacteria, which research suggests may reduce blood pressure and inflammation, supporting a healthy heart. It’s pure, safe and natural with no fillers! Many pets love the taste of Power Probiotic!

Amazing Omegas for Pets - This product contains a research-backed, powerful source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been scientifically shown to benefit dogs and cats with heart disease. It’s packed in glass bottles to maintain freshness and to prevent toxins from plastic from leaking into the oil. It’s third-party tested for purity and to ensure all heavy metals and environmental toxins have been eliminated, and it’s gently manufactured to supply the omega-3 fatty acids the way nature provided them for enhanced benefit to your pet.

Resveratrol for Pets - This product contains an exceptional antioxidant that has been researched for its cardiovascular support and cancer-fighting properties. Scientific research shows that its anti-inflammatory effect in the vascular system leads to a reduced risk of inflammation and blood clotting, common precursors to heart disease. It’s a very concentrated formula and works best for dogs over 10 pounds.

“I love the new CoQ10 formula for our dog, Bella. These capsules are easy to handle and administer. The outside is firmer, yet squeezable, making it easier to divide than other CoQ10 options. Thank you for providing this supplement to support Bella’s heart health. Even with a Grade IV heart murmur at age 15, she is happy, healthy, and active.”

Brenda, California

Heart Disease in Dogs and Cats

Dogs and cats can have a variety of heart conditions. Being proactive is essential, as warning signs of heart disease may not appear until the disease has progressed to an advanced state. Common heart disease problems may include heart murmurs, congestive heart failure or poor valve function. While some breeds may be predisposed to develop congenital heart conditions, pets often develop heart problems with age. Early diagnosis, working closely with your veterinarian and using a heart-healthy diet and supplement regimen can help your pet live a longer and healthier life.

What Is A Heart Murmur?

A heart murmur is an abnormal heart sound. There are several different types of heart murmurs. The most common is a systolic murmur. These are usually caused by narrowing blood vessels in the heart but can also be caused by anemia, cardiomyopathy or hyperthyroidism. Diastolic heart murmurs are caused by leaks in the aortic valves and are quite rare in pets. Some murmurs are innocent or physiologic, which means that they are harmless sounds as the blood circulates through the heart. A pathologic heart murmur can be caused by disease or a structural defect in the heart.

Heart murmurs are graded by their intensity based on a scale of I to VI. A very slight, faint murmur will be a Grade I murmur. As they intensify, the scale increases. A loud murmur that can be felt is generally a Grade VI murmur. Heart murmurs can be serious, but in most cases, they are treatable. The most important factor in treatment is dependent on diagnosis of the underlying condition. If the murmur is caused by something like anemia or hyperthyroidism, the treatment plan will be much different than that for a cat or dog with congestive heart failure. Pets with heart murmurs need to be regularly monitored by a vet, as murmurs can be a sign of heart disease. Cat or dog heart murmur natural treatment includes exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight and adding heart supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants to keep your pet's heart function strong.

High Blood Pressure in Dogs and Cats

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a common precursor to heart disease and CHF in cats and dogs. Blood pressure is the pressure of circulating blood against the walls of blood vessels. High blood pressure can cause restricted blood flow in the arteries, making the heart muscle work harder. Over time, the increased pumping and pressure can lead to deterioration and weakness of the heart muscle.

Most cats and dogs with high blood pressure have secondary hypertension - meaning it is caused by another disease or condition. Primary hypertension - high blood pressure on its own - is very rare in pets. The most common conditions causing high blood pressure in cats and dogs include kidney disease, diabetes, hyperthyroidism and Cushing's disease (hyperadrenocorticism). With appropriate treatment for these diseases, many pets will have their blood pressure decrease back into the normal range.

High blood pressure can be associated with many symptoms and health issues, so it is important to have your dog or cat checked by their veterinarian. The risk of high blood pressure increases as your cat or dog ages. With age, they also become more susceptible to kidney disease and heart conditions. Make a blood pressure check part of your pet's annual wellness exam.

What Is Congestive Heart Failure in Dogs and Cats?

Does your dog or cat have a persistent cough? Does it appear to have a hard time breathing? Most would consider this to be a respiratory issue, but these are the most common symptoms of congestive heart failure (CHF). CHF is a progressive disease and can respond very well to holistic treatments. In dogs and cats, the heart doesn’t actually stop beating. The valves start to leak due to a buildup of scar tissue. Fluid accumulation on the left side of the heart leads to edema in the abdomen, while fluid accumulation on the right side produces coughing and lung congestion. The scar tissue can also create heart murmurs or arrhythmia. CHF affects both cats and dogs and usually develops in middle-aged and senior pets. It is often harder to detect heart problems in cats than in dogs because the symptoms may not be as noticeable until the cat’s heart disease has progressed significantly. That is why it is especially important to have your pet checked routinely, and if your cat displays symptoms such as weakness, inappetence or respiratory difficulties, bring your cat to the veterinarian promptly.

Conditions of the circulatory system in cats and dogs can be well managed by feeding your pet an appropriate heart disease diet and using the best heart supplements for dogs and cats as part of your treatment for congestive heart failure in cats and dogs.

Common Conditions Linked to Congestive
Heart Failure in Cats and Dogs

Conventional veterinary treatment for congestive heart failure in pets depends on the cause of the illness. Heart disease can be congenital or adult onset. Common conditions linked to CHF in cats and dogs include the following:

  • Degenerative mitral valve disease (DMVD) – detected by a heart murmur; more common in certain breeds (Cavalier King Charles spaniel, Newfoundland, bull terrier, Siamese cats)
  • Collapsed trachea – as the trachea collapses, breathing difficulties can lead to an enlarged heart
  • Endocarditis – bacterial infection of a heart valve, treated with antibiotics and then with supportive care and supplements
  • Cardiomyopathy – disease of the heart muscle, results in weakened contractions and decreased ability to pump blood
  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) – most commonly diagnosed cardiac disease in cats, thickening of and abnormal relaxation of the heart muscle, can lead to oxygen starvation and possible arrhythmias
  • Heartworm infections – spread through mosquito bites, the larvae mature within the host’s heart and lungs and can impair blood flow

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) in Cats

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the most common heart disease diagnosed in cats. Maine coon, Ragdoll and Persian breeds are prone to this. HCM causes the muscular walls of a cat's heart to thicken, decreasing the heart's efficiency and sometimes creating symptoms in other parts of the body. A heart murmur or arrhythmia may be the first clinical sign, but not all cats with HCM have murmurs. Symptoms include rapid, open-mouthed breathing, lethargy and sudden hind limb paralysis. Some cats will show no symptoms. An echocardiogram, otherwise known as a cardiac ultrasound, affords a look at the inside of the heart and heart valves. This is the most important diagnostic test for HCM. Conventional veterinary treatment for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy consists of medications to regulate heart rate and beats, improve blood flow and alleviate fluid buildup. When dealing with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in cats, treatment, including supportive care and medication, can allow some cats to live with HCM for years.

Symptoms of Congestive Heart Failure in Dogs and Cats

The clinical signs of congestive heart failure are quite varied, and many of them may not seem to be heart related. Heart disease can be a “silent killer,” and it is important to have regular veterinary exams, as it can be caught early. Watching for these signs can improve the prognosis for your pet with heart disease and congestive heart failure.

  • Heart murmur (abnormal heart sound)
  • Coughing
  • Easily tiring after exercise, loss of stamina
  • Bluish discoloration of the tongue
  • Sudden collapse
  • Difficult or heavy breathing
  • Accumulation of fluid in the lungs, leg or abdomen
  • Enlarged liver

The Best Heart Disease Diet for Dogs and Cats

Pets with congestive heart failure and heart diseases need a diet high in fiber and rich in omega-3 fatty acids. A low fat, fresh diet can be very beneficial. Green vegetables contain fiber, vitamins and minerals and can support a healthy immune system. Many pets are eating prescription diets that can contain chemicals, food allergens and grains when low-fat natural diets are available. Include your pet’s treats and diet on the order form at checkout, and we will include free heart diet tips on the packing slip that comes with your order.

Need Help?

We understand how hard it is when your pet is suffering from congestive heart failure and heart disease, and we will do all we can to help. It can be confusing to know which cat and dog supplements would be appropriate for your pet. Please email us at Support@AskAriel.com. Please note that we cannot provide consultative advice due to veterinary regulations, but we will be happy to provide articles and information so that you can make an informed decision about what's best for your pet.