Various natural supplements might help your dog avoid potent cardiac medication.
Heart disease can occur in smaller breeds as they approach old age. It’s easily diagnosed during a routine exam when the veterinarian listens to the dog’s heart and hears a murmur.
When a murmur is detected, the vet should perform a complete cardiac evaluation, including blood and urine testing, chest X-rays, and an electrocardiogram. These tests will determine the stage of the disease and whether medication in needed.
Natural treatments for heart disease includes such supplements as fish oil, antioxidants, coenzyme Q10, and certain hers, such as hawthorn or garlic. A vet will advise you on the appropriate dosage.
There is no proof that the early use of supplements will slow down the progression of heart disease, but holistic vets point to research showing that the early use of more potent cardiac medications has no benefits.
Because supplements are relatively safe and can have positive cardiovascular benefits, holistic vets typically prescribe them at the first signs of heart disease, before cardiac medications are needed.
The original version of this column, “The Natural Vet” by Shawn Messonnier, DVM, was published in AKC Family Dog.