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Diet for heart murmur


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Wasn't sure where to put this . Please move if necessary.

My recent adoptee came with a 'mild' heart murmur. Don't know the grade at the moment.

He has yet to see my vet as I am working on car travel anxiety and waiting for a travel harness.

The thing is - I am reviewing the diet he was on at the Rescue and wondered if there was an optimum diet to help minimise any deterioration and help protect the heart.

Many thanks.

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Cheers. I still think that as with humans diet plays a big role in health. It was definitely key in my last dog's survival in spite of a major health issue. I don't know what Ben was on before but the Rescue had him on a kibble which is 70% maize plus some low quality meat protein. Anyhow my vet put the murmur at grade 3 - which is not 'mild' in my book. But the good thing is he checks out well in every other respect and is not displaying any symptoms - yet.

I am not talking so called prescription food - but perhaps a good quality kibble plus home cooked.

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How are his teeth? If they have a lot of tartar, that can be a cause of a low grade heart murmur - among other reasons, of course.

 

I had a female that kept building up plaque. At the time (10+ years ago), I didn't know about raw bones which probably would have helped with keeping her teeth cleaner. Once she reached about 10 years of age, I had to have them cleaned a couple of times by the vet. Each time, she had a slight heart murmur which 'disappeared' after a tooth cleaning. Apparently, the bacteria in the mouth can get into the circulation and affect the heart valves.

 

There can be several causes for a heart murmur. Hopefully your visit to the vet will help determine the cause and a course of action.

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What they say - good quality food and clean teeth won't hurt and maybe certainly be helpful in more ways than this.

 

PS - When I was in Scotland and got to visit the kennel of a shepherd on a demonstration hill farm, I was amazed at the food the dogs were fed. It was very high in maize, the poops were big and bulky and full of undigested maize, and it was not what would be considered at all a "quality" food in the US (and maybe not in many other situations in the UK and Ireland).

 

Obviously the dogs seemed to do okay on it as they were able to work hard but I also wonder how much better they might have done and longer-lived (and productive) they might have been on food that was more nutritious.

 

I feed a very good kibble with raw organ meat and bones as supplement, teeth cleaners, and fun food. My kidney disease dog (with a heart murmur) is on a diet of raw beef, cooked glutinous rice, cooked egg whites, and veggies, plus supplements, to meet her particular needs under the limits imposed by her reduced kidney function.

 

There are as many opinions about feeding as there are people feeding their dogs, so there are many suitable options - just make sure that what you pick works for your dog because we find over and over again here that what one owner raves about for his/her dog, another owner finds just does not work well for their dog. So you may have to try different options before you find the best one to suit your dog, your situation, and your pocketbook.

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You are the only other person I know of who has fed glutinous rice. I did that too when the kidney values on my old girl started to spike. But it was a difficult balancing act since she also had poor liver health and what's recommended for one condition is not good for the other.

But what you say about all food not suiting all dogs also goes for meds and supplements to some extent.

Poppy got very poorly on even a low dose of steroids. Neither could she tolerate Ursodiol which was recommended for her liver condition in the early days. SAMe also upset her stomach as she got older. We always had to start any meds at the low end and work up carefully.

But we are definitely moving from the maize food. I can't believe that is good for any dog long term. Poppy was on what I now know was a low quality food in her early years. She seemed to be doing well on it at the time but you don't know if you are building up problems for later years..

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How are his teeth? If they have a lot of tartar, that can be a cause of a low grade heart murmur - among other reasons, of course.

 

His teeth are actually fine (at least something is!)
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My female Border was recently diagnosed with a heart murmur (III/VI.) The cardiologist didn't have any recommendations (medication or otherwise) but I remembered that my previous female Border also had a heart murmur and someone had recommended Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acid supplement (Salmon oil.) This Border also has urinary crystals and is on special food and distilled water but I don't see anything in the ingredients that should interfere with that. Clear it with your vet but why not give it? That's what I figure. Start off at a small amount in case it causes diarrhea but my dogs love it. Does it help? From the literature sounds like it should. Will it hurt? Nope.

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Oh, that is because of her urinary crystals. Where I live we have very hard water with lots of minerals. Where I work we see lots and lots of animals (cats and dogs) with urinary crystals. Some pets do fine simply by giving distilled water. I think it is something with the area where I live. I even changed the cat to distilled water.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi,

 

My dog had a grade 3/4 heart murmur. It turned out for her it was a PDA, and since repaired.

 

Before surgery, the cardiologist gave us the following nutrition recommendations (these are for patients with early/mild heart failure):

  • Diet of less than 80 mg of sodium per 100kCal of food.
  • Avoid kidney diets unless kidney disease warrants protein restriction
  • Fish oil supplements (Omega-3, avoid cod liver oil and flax seed and producst with Vit A and/or D)

Tufts has some information on their page: http://vet.tufts.edu/heartsmart/diet/reduced-sodium-diet-and-treat-lists-for-pets-with-heart-disease/

 

I was able to contact the manufacturer of the kibble I was feeding and got the sodium content from them, and was happy it was in the limits. The Tufts list is pretty limited.

 

Hope this helps!

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