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February 14th, 2013     Volume 4, Issue 7 Follow Us   Facebook Twitter Youtube
 Pet Alert!
Charkley
1/25/2013 - Hartz Mountain CorporationHartz Chicken Chews and Hartz Oinkies Pig Skin Twists
Charkley
1/9/2013 - IMS Trading Group Withdraws Chicken Jerky Dog Treats Due to Drug Residue
Charkley
1/9/2013 - Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch chicken jerky - trace amounts of antibiotic residue in samples
Charkley
1/9/2013 - Milo’s Kitchen Recalls Chicken Jerky and Chicken Grillers Dog Treats - trace amounts of residual antibiotics
Charkley
12/12/2012 - Claudia’s Canine Cuisine® Voluntarily Recalls it’s Dogcandy
Charkley
11/20/2012 - Priority Total Pet Care All Natural Bullstrips
Wolf
9/14/2012 - FDA Investigates 2,200 Reports of Animal Illnesses Linked to Jerky Pet Treats
Wolf
6/14/2012 - Investigation of Multistate Outbreak of Human Infections Linked to Dry Pet Food
 If Dogs Could Talk

Tips To Keeping Your Dog Heart Healthy

By Amber Keiper & Monica Reyes

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We can all agree that the health of our pets is important. The month of February is not only a month for us to celebrate the love for our family, friends and significant others but also for the love for our pets. This month is also American Heart month, which puts an added emphasis on the condition of our heart.
BARF World takes the health for our pets seriously, so we thought we’d share the love with some information on canine heart disease.
While many pet owners never expect to have to deal with this condition, there are unfortunately a few breeds that are more at risk for the two most common heart diseases in dogs.


Breeds at risk for Chronic Valvular Disease 1:

  • Stiffness of the joints after exercise
  • Difficulty sitting, standing, or jumping
  • Hesitancy to jump
  • Reduced activity level
  • Lethargy
  • Trouble getting up in the morning
  • Lameness
  • Lagging behind on walks
  • Yelping in pain when touched
  • Personality change resisting touch
  • Loss of appetite or unusual weight gain
  • Unusual urinating in the house
  • Depression or withdrawn behavior

Breeds at risk for Dilated Cardiomyopathy 2:

  • Stiffness of the joints after exercise
  • Difficulty sitting, standing, or jumping
  • Hesitancy to jump
  • Reduced activity level
  • Lethargy
  • Trouble getting up in the morning
  • Lameness
  • Lagging behind on walks
  • Yelping in pain when touched
  • Personality change resisting touch
  • Loss of appetite or unusual weight gain
  • Unusual urinating in the house
  • Depression or withdrawn behavior


What is Chronic Valvular Disease?

Chronic Valvular Disease is also known as Mitral Valve Disease or Mitral Regurgitation. Basically what happens is that the heart valves become damaged, causing blood to leak back into the heart’s atrium. As a result, the heart must work harder to get the proper amount of blood flow through the body. The heart itself is a muscle so by working harder than it should, the atrium becomes enlarged over time, causing high blood pressure, palpitations, lung congestion (blood starts to back up behind the heart).3


It is not known what exactly causes chronic valvular disease but it does seem to be hereditary, especially in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. Small and toy breeds are the types of dogs most afflicted by this disease. Symptoms include coughing, decreased appetite or energy, depression, quickened breathing, or a heart murmur.

What is Dilated Cardiomyopathy?

Dilated Cardiomyopathy is the weakening of the heart, causing it to work harder to pump blood through the body. This extra work causes the heart muscle to become enlarged and the ventricle walls to thin, causing the heart to weaken further. This is the most common cause of congestive heart failure in large and giant breed dogs.

Most dogs are between the ages of 2 and 5 when symptoms first appear and are mostly males. Myocarditis (inflammation of the heart most commonly due to infection)4 and hypothyroidism have been linked to this disease. Taurine deficiency has also been linked to causing dilated cardiomyopathy, which is why a natural, raw food diet including organ meats (which contain a natural source of taurine) is ideal in preventing heart disease.

Symptoms of Heart Disease

  • Rapid weight loss or gain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Rapid breathing
  • Frequent coughing, sometimes containing blood
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Fainting
  • Changes in behavior

Tips To Keeping Your Dog Heart Healthy

As a pet parent it is good to monitor your dog for any out of the ordinary behaviors. Keeping a close eye on your pet and noticing any abnormalities in behavior, appetite, energy, and body function can make all difference because these can be signs of something going on with your pet. Being able to catch a disease, particularly heart disease, early can make a big impact on the effectiveness of treatment. Some important practices for you to adopt are:

  • Schedule a regular annual (or 6-month) check-up with your veterinarian.
  • Keep a daily journal of your pet’s activity, behavior, energy, and eating habits.
  • Monitor your pet closely if they develop any behaviors out of their normal routine.
  • Call BARF World’s raw pet food specialists at 1-866-282-BARF (2273) if you encounter any irregular dietary or appetite changes.

3 Important Things To Consider for Canine Heart Health:


1. Proper Exercise - Exercise is permitted depending on the extent of the heart condition. You do not want to overexert your dog if they are having serious symptoms like difficulty breathing, lethargy, coughing, or rapid breathing. Consult your veterinarian if your pet tires easily or if they have been diagnosed with a heart condition as too much exercise may cause complications in their condition.

2. Proper Diet – Another big reason to make sure your pet is fed a healthy, natural raw food diet (like BARF World’s complete and balanced BARF Diet). A raw diet is the first step to a proper diet for your pet. It provides the proper amount of nutrition that processed kibble, canned and cooked food diets cannot. Additional dietary recommendations for good heart health are as follows:

  • Natural, meat-based diet
  • Low-sodium diet
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3. Proper Supplements – Additional supplements recommended for a healthy heart include: carnitine, omega 3 (like those found in Alaska Naturals’ Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil) and taurine are beneficial to add into your pet’s diet. PLEASE NOTE: Both carnitine and taurine are naturally present in the BARF Diet.

 

Our pets are important to us – they truly are a part of the family.  So as responsible pet parents we must do what we can to guarantee as great a chance of a long, healthy, and happy life for them as we can.  And in turn, our beloved animals will show us what it means to truly give someone their heart and soul.
Happy Valentine’s Day…and a salute to a happy, healthy heart!


1WebMD Veterinary Reference from "Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook" <http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/congestive-heart-failure-dogs>, 2007
2Straus, Mary <web@dogaware.com> Heart Disease In Dogs Article <http://dogaware.com/health/heart.html#dcm> on DogAware.com website, last updated 2/7/2013
3Washington State University, Heart Valve Malfunction in the Dog (Mitral Insufficiency) Article <http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/cliented/mi.aspx>
4Cooper, Leslie T., Jr., Myocarditis, New England Journal of Medicine < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myocarditis>, 2009


Amber Keiper is the Marketing Assistant and Raw Diet Educator for BARF World Inc.. She and her husband have two former rescue animals that are now healthy and proud “BARF brats” – a terrier mix named Chewbacca (“Chewy”) and a tabby mix named Chiquita (“Chiqui”). For more articles like these and to learn more about the benefits of raw food for your pets, sign up for The Intelligent Pet monthly e-zine at www.barfworld.com.
 Bark Out Loud

Vet Sued After Doggy Face Lift Turns Fatal


In China, a man is suing his vet over the death of his Mastiff during a face-lift operation. The procedure was insisted upon by the owner thinking that if he removed he dog's wrinkles that he would look more attractive to female canines. During the surgery there were complications, which led to a deadly heart attack.
Full story HERE


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