A heart murmur occurs when the blood flow through the heart is abnormal, causing a vibration or irregular beat. Some causes of heart murmur include congenital birth defects, cardiac diseases, anaemia, high blood pressure or ageing. Symptoms to watch for include weakness, coughing, lethargy, breathing difficulties, panting and a bluish tinge on the tongue or gums. Although there are no cures for a heart murmur, a few natural remedies are available to help manage the problem.
Eating large amounts of food at one time creates a lot of stress on the body. A healthier choice is to feed your dog several smaller meals throughout the day. This will keep your pet's heart working efficiently while keeping his appetite satisfied.
Heart Healthy Diets
Commercially prepared diets that are well balanced, nutritious and made specifically for heart health are available at pet stores and veterinarian's offices. These foods contain omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. Look for commercially prepared food that is low in salt and preferably without preservatives, colourants and additives.
Herbs and Supplements
Hawthorn, also known as Crataegus oxycantha, is an herb that contains antioxidant and cardiotonic properties that maintain health and strength of arteries. You can tell if the hawthorn is working by the increase in energy that your dog displays or by the reduction of coughing. Boost your pet's immune system with vitamin supplements. Coenzyme Q10 helps increases the oxygen level in cells and tissues. If your pet food does not contain omega-3, include fish such as salmon, tuna, herring or mackerel in his diet. Omega-3 helps lower blood pressure and may lessen the incidence of blood clots.
Fresh, clean, filtered water keeps pets from getting dehydrated and will flush out harmful toxins.
Obesity increases the likelihood of heart disease. A healthy diet along with moderate exercise that includes routine walking or swimming keeps your dog strong and healthy.
Medical Treatment Alternatives
If you have determined your dog has a heart murmur, find ways to reduce his stress or anxiety. Natural herbs and supplements in addition to a heart healthy diet and exercise encourage overall health. It is important to visit your veterinarian on a regular basis to determine any conditions before they become major problems. Holistic healing is becoming increasingly popular for both humans and pets. If you live near an alternative vet who practices herbal medicine, homeopathy or acupuncture, you may have access to additional choices for natural remedies.