Best Supplements for Dogs with MVD / Heart Disease
A big welcome back to Lisa. If you missed Lisa’s first installment, Staging of MVD Mitral Valve Disease in Dogs, please go take a read then pop back here for her list of heart-healthy supplements for dogs. Here is Lisa’s second contribution to this series. Here is Lisa’s second contribution to this series. You can also follow Lisa and Jiminy over on Instagram.
Heart-healthy supplements! There are many supplements available that can help support healthy heart function in our Cavaliers, but which supplements to choose? And how do they help? Today, I will try to answer both of these questions and make some brand recommendations.
- MCT oil: This fatty acid serves as an alternative energy source for the cardiac muscle. (medium-chain triglycerides).
- Amino acids (lysine, methionine, L-carnitine and taurine): These serve as antioxidants and help to maintain the heart muscle’s contractility.
- Omega-3 fatty acids: These decrease inflammation, which is particularly important because MVD is primarily a disease of inflammation. OFAs also decrease the risk of clots, help prevent heart muscle loss, and help maintain healthy blood pressure.
- Vitamin E: Serves as both an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory.
- Magnesium: Important in heart muscle contraction, maintaining healthy blood pressure and heart rhythm.
- Coenzyme Q10: An antioxidant.
Now that you know what supplements can benefit your Cavalier’s heart, where can you find them, and what brands are safe and recommended? I have confidence in the following products:
- Natural Force Organic MCT oil: The dose for the average Cavalier is approximately 1 tsp daily with a meal/snack. Order info.
- Rx Vitamins for Pets Formula CV: This supplement contains the amino acids, magnesium, Vitamin E, and CoQ10. The dosage is on the label by weight. This product also contains hawthorn berry extract, which is perfectly safe to use IF your dog is not yet on the Vetmedin! This ingredient can interfere with the function of Vetmedin!! Order info.
- Vetriscience Cardio Strength Capsules: Like the Rx Vitamin supplement, this also contains similar ingredients, minus the hawthorn berry extract, so it is safe to use for all stages of MVD and with all heart medications. Note: This supplement also comes in a “chew,” which DOES contain hawthorn berry extract, so I recommend avoiding those. Order info.
- CoQ10: Although this is included in the above two supplements, a higher dose is often recommended. In that case, the Life Extension brand 100 mg capsules are a very good option. Order info.
- Omega fatty acids: Fish oil is one of the most bioavailable sources for our dogs, but not all brands are equal. Source matters in fish oils! My favorite brand is Nordic Naturals Omega Pet liquid or capsules. The liquid must be refrigerated after opening and must be discarded three months after opening because there are so few preservatives. Order info.
A healthy diet, heart-healthy supplements, and maintaining a lean body weight are all ways we can help support those loving Cavalier hearts! These supplements can be started at any stage of MVD but can also be started before a murmur is detected! Hopefully, this overview was helpful. If you have any further questions I am happy to try and answer them for you!
If you are the proud parent of a breed prone to MVD, it’s a good idea to schedule yearly evaluations with a cardiologist.
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