Cardiac cachexia is the body-wasting condition seen in many dogs with congestive heart failure.
Cardiac cachexia is not like normal weight loss because of the large amounts of lean muscle mass lost, resulting in a poorer prognosis and diminished quality of life.
Also unlike normal weight loss, the condition cannot be remedied by simply increasing calorie intake.
In What Is Cardiac Cachexia? I explain the process underlying this condition and the many contributing factors.
You’ll also find information about what can be done to improve cardiac cachexia, including an innovative treatment protocol that has been proven to allow cachectic humans to gain back lean muscle mass.
Spironolactone for Dogs
A hallmark of heart disease is the activation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS), which occurs in response to reduced blood flow to the kidneys.
RAAS activation constitutes the body’s attempt to compensate for the decreased blood supply, but high levels of the hormone aldosterone have a host of negative effects, including sodium and fluid retention, which exacerbates tissue and organ congestion.
This is where spironolactone comes in. As an aldosterone antagonist, spironolactone blocks the effects of aldosterone.
See Spironolactone for Dogs to learn more about RAAS activation, the effects of aldosterone and spironolactone, as well as potential side effects associated with spironolactone use in dogs.
We’ll also look at the research to answer the important question of whether spironolactone increases survival times for dogs with congestive heart failure.
Supplements Used for Canine Heart Disease
Drugs are not our only option in the treatment of heart disease.
Supplements ranging from amino acids and fatty acids to coenzymes, vitamins and minerals play a role as well. While some supplements are used to correct deficiencies that can be a cause or effect of canine heart disease, others are used for their pharmacological benefits.
Supplements can help slow the progression of heart disease, reduce the severity of symptoms, improve quality of life, and decrease the need for medication. Sometimes they can even reverse some of the damage to the heart.
In Supplements Used for Canine Heart Disease, I take a long look at the various supplements that may be helpful for dogs with cardiac disease. What are they and what do they do?
What’s the evidence for their efficacy and what constitutes a therapeutic dose for dogs? Those are some of the questions you’ll see answered.
Nutritional Management of Heart Disease
If your dog has been diagnosed with heart disease or congestive heart failure, there is little question that nutrition will be an important part of the treatment plan. But what kind of diet is right for canine heart patients?
We now know that some of the traditional dietary recommendations for dogs with heart disease were actually counterproductive, but what are the new guidelines?
That’s what I explore in Nutritional Management of Heart Disease.
First, we’ll look at macronutrients, and you’ll learn how much and what type of protein, fat, and carbohydrate dogs with heart disease should eat. Chocobo Names
Then we’ll look at the most important micronutrients for canine heart patients: sodium, potassium, and magnesium.
You’ll find out how many milligrams of these minerals should be in your dog’s diet, and I’ll provide you with a formula to quickly calculate the amounts contained in dog foods.
Commercial Heart Diets
Have you wondered if your dog should be eating a prescription heart diet?
Commercial Heart Diets examines the therapeutic dog foods available for dogs with asymptomatic heart disease and congestive heart failure. And I’ll bet you get a surprise reading some of this information.
I look at protein-fat-carbohydrate composition, protein quality, and micronutrient content, including, of course, sodium levels, as well as the inclusion of nutraceuticals such as L-carnitine and EPA/DHA that are known to be beneficial for canine heart patients.
I also discuss whether regular maintenance dog foods can be fed to dogs with heart disease.
Home Cooked Heart Diet for Dogs
There is nothing quite like a homemade diet to provide your canine heart patient with optimal nutritional support.
Home Cooked Heart Diet for Dogs looks at the advantages and disadvantages of feeding a home-cooked heart diet, and provides you with a complete and balanced recipe based on the latest nutritional guidelines for canine heart disease.
You’ll learn how to make a special meatloaf that’s as nutritious as it is delicious (to dogs anyway) and an excellent natural source of all the nutrients known to be important for dogs with heart disease:
carnitine, taurine, arginine, EPA and DHA, coenzymeQ10, B vitamins, and various antioxidants.
Sodium is moderately restricted, making this recipe appropriate for most dogs with asymptomatic heart disease and mild to moderate congestive heart failure.
However, instructions are included to modify the recipe for dogs requiring severe sodium restriction, higher or lower potassium levels, and more or less fat. Ready to get cooking?
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