Need help with a blind 17 year old Chihuahua, 3.5 lbs., raw-fed, chemical-free. Eats and sleeps well, hearing fine. Diagnosed with a heart murmur two months ago when taken in for routine teeth cleaning. Opted not to put him under for cleaning. Has marked tachycardia over past couple of days. Any herbal or other recommendations? Thank you.
Thank you for your inquiry to Holistic Pet Info. You can treat your Chihuahua with similar supplements as with people. CoQ10 catalyses ATP production, supports energy metabolism and is also an antioxidant. You can offer him 3-22 mg/kg daily. Omega 3 fatty acids modulate cytokines which affect survival in canine chronic heart failure. Recommended dose is 150 mg EPA and DHA/kg of body weight. Bio-Cardio by Thorne has a great combination of nutrients that are both protective and supportive.
A rapid heart rate is usually interpreted as a sign of Heat and in the case of congestive heart failure it is considered a form of spasm. Relaxant herbs such lime blossoms and mistletoe and antispasmodics such as Motherwort, Bugleweed, Passion Flower, Valerian and Lily of the Valley all are Qi and Blood movers by nature. Other herbs that are potentially useful in slowing a rapid heart rate include Hawthorn, Barberry and Skullcap. These herbs rein in “excess energy” in the heart by clearing heat or astringing Heart Qi and nourishing Heart Blood.
You may also want to speak with a local veterinary acupuncturist. Since acupuncture has a considerable effect on the nervous system it should help resolve or moderate the tachycardia. The acupuncturist should also be able to give you herbs in formulation made specifically for canines. Best of luck.
Colleen Smith DVM, CVA