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Cardiovascular Function in Dogs and Cats

Cardiovascular Function in Dogs and Cats

Herbal nutrition to help support cardiac function in dogs and cats.

The heart is at the center of the cardiovascular system providing nutritional support to the cardiovascular system and other organs including the liver, kidneys, and digestive system, supporting optimal cardiac function and muscle cell healing and regeneration.

The heart is at the center of the cardiovascular system providing nutritional support to the cardiovascular system and other organs including the liver, kidneys, and digestive system. Balanced nutrition is critical because it also supports other vital heart functions including optimal cardiac function and muscle cell healing and regeneration.

Heart disease is equally common in dogs and cats and like people, affects the heart muscle and valves. The heart consists of four chambers which are divided into right and left sides. The upper chambers are called atria while the lower chambers are called ventricles.

The heart is one of the most essential organs of the body and the primary function is to pump blood containing oxygen and nutrients through the blood vessels to the cells within the body. If the heart fails to pump blood effectively and efficiently, the blood circulating to the body is significantly reduced and heart failure occurs.

More and more dogs and cats develop various types of heart disease each year. Heart diseases include congestive heart failure, diseases of the heart muscle (cardiomyopathy), diseases of the heart valve, heart murmur, arrhythmias or congenital defects. In dogs, heart disease may develop as a result of defects in the heart muscle or in the valves.

In cats, heart muscle defects are the most common form of heart disease. Although heart disease is serious and a cause for concern, with proper management and treatment your pet can live a healthy life. 

Signs of cardiac disease:

Heart worm infection

Congenital defects



A weak heart muscle (cardiomyopathy)

Heart valve



Poor nutrition

Lack of exercise

Types of heart disease include:

Dilated cardiomyopathy is a heart muscle disease which is characterized by the thinning of the muscle and as a result, the heart has to struggle to pump effectively. Because the heart has to work extra hard, it stretches and enlarges and causes circulation and blood flow to the organs to decrease. It typically affects medium to large breeds such as German Shepherds, Doberman pinschers, Great Danes and Irish Setters.

In mitral valve disease, the surfaces of the heart valves are affected. The heart valves which usually act as a seal between the chambers of the heart begin to leak affecting circulation and blood pressure.

The leakage may also cause a heart murmur. Mitral valve disease is the most common form of heart disease and typically affects small to medium size breeds such as the Poodle, Chihuahua, Schnauzer, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Boston terrier or Fox terrier. Older dogs, particularly male dogs are prone to this disease. Cats rarely develop heart valve disease.

Chronic valvular heart disease develops as a result of thickening and degeneration of the heart valves. This may lead to enlargement of the heart and heart failure due to fluid build up in the abdomen or lungs.

Herbal Nutrition - (listed in order of relevance and recommendation by holistic vets - human grade meets/exceeds highest safety criteria for pets)

Herbal remedies can be used as stand alone therapies or as adjunctive additions to conventional therapies, depending on the health and wellness of your animal. Herbal remedies have been used for millennia as a cardio tonic, to improve the heart and circulatory systems, including healthy circulation and strong blood vessels, to support healthy blood pressure, and for their benefits to the heart, circulatory and nervous systems.

Kick Start My Heart  (learn more)  is used holistically as an adjunctive cardio tonic to help address symptoms related to all types of Heart Disease once diagnosed, including Cardiomyopathy, Valvular Heart Disease, Congestive Heart Disease; may help to improve the heart and circulatory systems by strengthening heart muscles and blood flow throughout the body; may help to reduce the risk of heart disease by maintaining heart health, including muscle and cell healing and support of cell walls and arterial blood pressure, for all parts of the body including the brain; may help to protect cell walls and to support strong blood vessels; may help to support the strength of veins and arteries and as a cognitive tonic; may help to stimulate alpha brain waves, critical to heart function; and for its overall toning effects on the heart, circulatory and nervous systems. 

That’s A Nice Looking Bone – (learn more) used holistically to help address all types of Heart Disease (Cardiomyopathy, Valvular Heart Disease, Congestive Heart Disease), for all types of arthritis, osteoporosis, Degenerative Joint Disease and Intervertebral Disk Disease; for its genistein and daidzein isoflavone content which has a stimulatory effect on osteoblastic bone formation and an inhibitory effect on osteoclastic bone resorption; for its plant actions to help support bone mineral density, potentially increasing bone mass; for its ability to help restore lost cartilage and bone deterioration and to provide nutritional support for joints, muscles and tissue; for its nutritive content to address mineral deficiency; to help support veins and arteries and to help increase vascular elasticity; for its oestradiol compounds which may help address urinary incontinence.

Don’t Go Breaking My Heart  (learn more) is used holistically as an adjunctive and preventative to heart disease, helping provide nutrients that reduce blood pressure, cholesterol, and the risk of coronary cardiac heart and coronary disease; removes fat from arterial walls; may help combat degenerative diseases including arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis; helps support cardiac and circulatory function; helps support the strength of veins, arteries and healthy blood circulation to the brain; helps balance blood sugar levels, critical for pets with diabetes; for hypertension; used holistically to help address Heart Disease, Congestive Heart Disease (CHD), Cardiomyopathy, Valvular Heart Disease, Endocardiosis, Ischemic Heart Disease, Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and as a stroke preventative.

Yelp for Kelp - (learn more) provides critical vitamins, amino and fatty acids and trace macro and micronutrient support for the endocrine system, to energize the body, for building and toning enzymes, tissues, hormones and bones, for enhancing natural cleansing and detoxification, to help nutritionally support a balanced immune system; to help support healthy skin and coat;  to help balance digestion; as an osteoporosis preventative, to promote immunity and for metabolic disorders, including the thyroid gland and other glands and tissues that affect the thyroid, for thyroid disorders, to cleanse the lymphatic system, to maintain healthy levels of TSH, T3 and T4, and for metabolic disorders.

There are a number of things that you can do to support heart health in your pet and these include:



Feed your pet high quality, home cooked, raw or premium all natural diet that contains the proper ratio of proteins, essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and nutrients for any known conditions



Encourage moderate, regular exercise to keep your dog and cat active which helps stimulate the lymphatic system



Maintain a healthy weight in your pet. Overweight and obese dogs and cats are at a greater risk of heart disease, just lke people. 



Provide clean, filtered water daily. Most tap water contains flouride, pesticides and other chemicals that create toxic burdens in our pets. 



Limit toxin exposure to smoke and chemicals in your house found in candles, dryer sheets, laundry detergents and cleaners



Make and take time to show love and praise to your dog and cat and reduce stress and anxiety in your pet's daily routine.



Add an immune boosting/balancing to your pet's diet to encourage immune health



Consider adding an adaptogenic herb, which is able to identify dysfunction in body systems and helps nutritionally bridge health deficiencies.



Make sure that your pet is treated for heartworm infection



Check and clean your pet's teeth regularly, as dental health is tied to cardiovascular, digestive and immune health



Visit your vet regularly for routine check ups



Conventional Remedies:

The diagnosis of heart disease is based on your pet’s symptoms, a thorough physical examination and review of the medical history. Additional diagnostic tests such as x-rays, ultrasound and ECG (electrocardiogram) will be performed to determine the cause of heart disease.

Your vet will prescribe certain medications depending on the type of heart disease, cause and your pet’s overall health. Medications such as diuretics, vasodilators administered are aimed at reducing the build up of fluid in the chest and lungs, increasing the amount of blood pumped by the heart and correcting rhythm abnormalities. In addition, a special diet and nutrient supplements may be recommended as part of the treatment plan. In more severe cases, surgery may be required.



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