Diet and supplements for senior dog Gracie’s heartInspiring Pet Tails 5 min read
As our pets age, we find ourselves making more visits to the veterinarian. Just as in people, as they grow older, dogs and cats are susceptible to different ailments. This is where we step in and do our best to improve their quality of life.
Meet Gracie. She’s a one of a kind, senior hound dog who lives with her humans and her fur-sibling Lucy in Illinois. We were introduced to beautiful Gracie by a very dear NHV Pet Parent Customer, Steadman’s mom Jessica. She told us that her sister’s dog Gracie had recurring allergies. Itchy breakouts and skin biting along with a runny nose. Gracie started a regimen of NHV Stimmune, Multi Essentials and BK-Detox.
The Stimmune addressed the histamine response that caused her itching and runny nose, the Multi Essentials helped to ensure she was getting vitamins essential to restore her healthy skin and BK-Detox helped cleanse her blood to prevent reoccurring breakouts.
This regimen continues to provide relief and comfort for Gracie for almost an year. Until one day she showed signs of breathlessness.
“Our Gracie girl is sick. Not sure exactly what’s going on yet, but we’re hoping her recent breathing problems are caused by pneumonia or a fungal infection and not the other option I can’t even say. We will know for sure tomorrow.”
We got news that Gracie sadly suffered from a heart condition and was diagnosed with Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM). This is a disease in the heart muscle that results in weakened contractions and poor pumping ability as well as Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) a term that refers to the hearts inability to pump adequate blood supply to the body. When the heart is unable to efficiently pump blood through the body, this results in a backup of blood in the pulmonary system (lungs) and causes fluid to build-up. Hence, Gracie was coughing and was prescribed a diuretic to help her body flush the excess fluid. This is sadly, a common diagnosis in senior dogs.
During the week of Gracie’s back to back vet visits and tests, we stayed in close contact with her mom Jenelle. Soon we received a final update that things are in control. It was now time to take some holistic steps.
“Good news! We had a great checkup today. Gracie is acting like herself again. The x-rays taken today are being sent off to U of I, but doctor said they show much improvement since Thursday. The meds are working well. No more coughing fits, thank goodness! He said it’s a day by day then week by week then month by month disease. Lucy is the best little sis. Always with her and keeping a close eye!”
Our lead veterinarian Dr Amanda recommended Hearty Heart. This was to provide Gracie support for her heart, heart valves and pulmonary system. It helps to ease coughing, improve breathing and aid with other symptoms of heart conditions like weakness and restlessness. We also recommended PetOmega 3 and Milk Thistle.
Petomega 3 is a great source of EPA and DHA which are essential fatty acids that are very beneficial to heart and overall health.
Milk Thistle which helps prevent toxins from binding to the liver and helps the organ regenerate more quickly. It has the ability to scavenge free radicals and stabilize liver cell membranes. It’s very beneficial for many health conditions including heart issues.
There was a slight chance that Gracie’s heart condition may have aggravated due to the food she was eating. It was a grain-free food that was indeed undergoing FDA investigation for causing heart disease in dogs. Needless to say, we had to help Jenelle change Gracie’s diet. Dr Amanda customized a home cooked nutrition plan just for her!
If you’re feeding a diet that is grain free, it’s important to remember that whole grains are great for heart health. Although grain allergies exist, they affect less than 5% of the pet population. They’re often assumed to be the culprit when in fact, it is more likely to be a protein or even the type and quality of grains within the pet food.
Yay!! 🎉 Gracie’s @nhvnaturalpet supplements came in! Add those to some made with love 🙋🏻♀️ pup food (recipe from NHV’s Dr. Amanda) and you have some happy pups!! 🐶♥️🐶 We’re on the road to recovery!
Gracie was prescribed other heart medications and along with the use of her NHV regimen, her condition began to improve! But restoration was still a few months away.
Had our first visit with a cardiologist today. They said she is stable. No improvement, but no signs of heart failure so that’s good. They added two more medicines to help her heart that are standard after rechecks. The doctor heard a few arrhythmias so Gracie is going home with a heart monitor for 24 hrs. This will tell us how often she has them and if often, she’ll need to be on a medication to help prevent them. Whatever helps her. ♥️ recheck again in 3 months!
Gracie was getting back to chasing bunnies and going on adventures with her pawrents and fur family once again! The new home-cooked diet was helping and her mom noticed her skin getting better and even her anxious leg-chewing and grass-eating reduced.
Given Gracie’s return to being a bouncing, senior dog running through the wilderness once again, she’s also using Inulin PK to help prevent parasites from any wild animal poops! We love watching Gracie and her family’s adventures on their Instagram page!
If you feel your dog’s food may have been a part of the recent FDA investigation on grain free dog foods, then don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We will help you find a suitable supplement for your dog’s cardiac function, to help support what the diet or age may have damaged.
Although it’s tough when you and your senior dog face what may be a devastating diagnosis, don’t give up! Adding NHV supplements to their daily regime can have a long lasting, wonderful effect on improving your senior pet’s quality of life. Gracie is a very loved dog and we are happy to be part of her integrative team. As time passes, we will continue to do what we can to support her. We wish her many many more years with her family, chasing the bunnies and enjoying new adventures with her sister Lucy.
Published: September 5, 2019