CBD OIL FOR HEART DISEASES IN DOGS AND CATS
This article will comprehensively explore heart diseases in dogs and cats. We will share how pet owners can detect heart disease provide early treatment using CBD oil.
WHAT IS HEART DISEASE IN DOGS AND CATS
Heart diseases encompasses all abnormalities in the function and/or anatomy of a dog or cat’s heart. They may be congenital in nature, meaning they are present at birth; or they may be acquired, meaning they appear later in the animal’s life either through lifestyle, old age, or other factors.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF HEART DISEASES
For dogs, most heart diseases are congenital in nature. Some examples of common heart diseases are:
- Dilated cardiomyopathy – this refers to the enlargement of the heart muscle, making it difficult to pump blood efficiently. Boxers, Great Danes, and Dobermans are more prone to this type of disease.
- Heart murmurs – the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is the breed most susceptible to this irregularity in blood flow.
- Valve diseases – Endocardiosis is where the valves of the heart don’t close and open all the way. Blood leaks from the defective valves causing the heart to enlarge and press up against the windpipe. This is usually associated with old age. Schnauzers, Poodles, and Pomeranians commonly get valve diseases.
For cats, below are some of the most commonly diagnosed heart diseases:
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – this refers to the thickening of the left ventricle of the heart, making it difficult to pump blood. Breeds susceptible to this are the American Short Hair, Maine Coons, Sphinxes, Rag Dolls, and Bengals.
- Congestive heart failure – occurs when the heart fails to pump blood normally, thus causing strain on the heart muscles and valves. The backed-up blood triggers abnormal fluid accumulation.
HOW TO PREVENT HEART DISEASES IN DOGS AND CATS
According to Dr. Bill Tyrrell, veterinary cardiologist and founding partner of CVCA, Cardiac Care for Pets, there is really no one, surefire, and scientifically-proven way to prevent heart diseases in pets. Despite that, early detection can make a world of difference in a pet’s chances of survival and overall quality of life.
Just like with all diseases, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is generally believed to provide an armor of protection. Specifically, below are some pointers that may reduce risks for acquired heart diseases:
- Balanced diet – the heart can be strengthened by getting enough enzymes such as taurine and L-carnitine from food. Furthermore, giving pets human food should be limited if not totally avoided.
- Prevention or early onset treatment of heartworm – heartworm, if left untreated, can progress to heart disease.
- Maintain regular veterinarian check-ups
- Maintain normal weight for the cat or dog’s specific breed
SYMPTOMS OF HEART DISEASE IN DOGS AND CATS
Dr. Michael Aherne, clinical associate professor of Cardiology at the University of Florida, says symptoms of congenital heart diseases appear early on in younger dogs compared to acquired heart diseases that are generally seen in older dogs. However, regardless if the heart disease is inborn or acquired, the primary symptom is lethargy.
Another sign that heart disease is in the advanced stages is coughing accompanied by an increased resting respiratory rate, or what we call in layman’s terms as panting even when at rest.
Dog owners can easily do a routine check of their dogs’ resting respiratory rate on their own. Simply observe the number of times that the dog’s chest rises and falls within one minute. If the count is below 35, the dog is breathing normally.
For cats, lethargy is also a symptom of heart disease. Although, due to their nature, lethargy is harder to spot in cats compared to dogs. Other symptoms that can be telltale signs are increased reclusiveness, respiratory difficulty, and loss of appetite. Resting respiratory rates can best be observed while the cat is at rest. A count of less than 50 within a minute is the standard.
In addition to the above signs, for both cats and dogs, veterinarians advise to keep an eye out for weight loss and diarrhea. They may also be early-stage heart disease symptoms. For the more advanced stages of heart diseases, a dog or cat may also display:
- Blue-gray colored gum
- Difficulty swallowing
- Distended abdomen
- Leg swelling
If any of the above symptoms are seen in a pet dog or cat, owners are advised to bring their pets to a veterinarian immediately. The veterinarian will perform a physical exam and may conduct an echocardiogram or an X-ray for an exact diagnosis. A primary care vet may also refer the pet owners to a cardiologist.
HOW TO TREAT HEART DISEASE
Among the myriad of possible treatment routes, giving cats and dogs CBD oil for the management of heart diseases is one of the most widely accepted and most natural. Some veterinarians also administer CBD oil for cats in conjunction with other traditional medications as a means of minimizing unpleasant side effects.
Some identified benefits of giving CBD oil are:
- Helping sick pets sleep better
- Decreases inflammation
- Improves appetite
- Manages pain
- Calms anxiety
- Reduces frequency and severity of seizures
- Alleviates diarrhea
It is important to note, that CBD oil comes from the hemp plant. It is not to be confused with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound that can give a high. CBD oil’s advantage is that it maximizes the natural healing properties from hemp without the buzz. It is safe for animal consumption.
It’s important, however, to point out that despite CBD oil being natural, proper dosage must always be followed. CBD oil comes in various forms to best suit the pet’s needs and preferences:
- Oil tinctures – Oil tinctures can be administered via drops or sprays directly into the pet’s mouth or mixed with food.
- Treats – This form is the most fun and easiest for the dog to consume.
- Extract concentrates – Extract concentrates are often pure and without flavor additives. This form is also given directly by mouth or mixed with food.
- Capsules – This is the best option for pets picky with tastes, and can be hidden among (or within) treats.
- John Gilpatrick, Pet MD, m.petmd.com>general-health
- Dr. Jennifer Coates, Pet MD, July 18, 2012, m.petmd.com>blogs>july
- Robyn Johnson, PetCare Rx, New York, petcarerx.com/article/604/what-causes-heart-disease-in-dogs-and-cats.html
- Sarah Redding Ochoa, DVM, Innovet, innovetpet.com/blogs/diseases/how-cbd-can-help-with-heart-diseases-in-dogs
- Dr. Janelle Broxton, Simply Pets, February 7, 2019, simplypets.com/cbd-oil-for-heart-disease-in-dogs/#