View Full Version : Looking for a little advice

16th October 2009, 11:11 AM
Now that Jasper has recently been diagnosed with MVD and I would like to do the very best for him, is there any things we can do to make life easier for him, I know to keep him slim, luckily he is and always has been, he is fine in himself, he loves his walks and eats well. We have been told not to wrap him in cotton wool and let him get on with his llife, but is there any supplements or foods (bearing in mind he only likes wet food), or is it really all down to luck as to how is health progresses. He is on 1 Fortekor tablet a day and 1/2 Frusemide every other day. Grateful for any advice from any that we have through this with their cavalier.

Margaret C
16th October 2009, 11:09 PM
I have tried supplements such as CoEnzyme Q10 and Vitamin E when my dogs have first been diagnosed with a heart murmur.
There is no way of knowing if they make a difference, I just wanted to feel I was doing something.

I do not supplement once they are prescribed MVD drugs; I would be worried that they would be incompatible.

16th October 2009, 11:28 PM
I use supplements (with the approval of my cardiologist and my general practice vet) for all the Cavaliers - there is NO problem using supplements in addition to prescription heart medications. I use CoQ-10, omega 3 fish oil (capsules and NOT cod liver oil), vitamin E; and for the seniors with arthritis or joint disease, I use glucosamine/chondroitin. I have also used a multi B vitamin for a couple of dogs I've had that developed kidney failure in addition to the other supplements listed.

I am positive that these supplements have not hurt but there's no way to know if they have helped, although my Cavaliers have lived to be 13 (one Cavalier) 14 (three Cavaliers) 15 (one Cavalier) and 16 (two Cavaliers). None of these died from heart failure (actually only two ever developed heart failure but died of other causes). I use human supplements rather than canine - I've found that they are much cheaper and I think there is more quality control in the human vitamin/supplement market. For you US members, I use Puritan's Pride online/mail vitamin/supplement company - I've used them for 15 years or so. They have great sales.

I give these same supplements to my dogs with no heart murmurs - currently have a 7 year old and a 14 1/2 year old who are both heart clear. 14 1/2 year old is one of the very last of Liz Spalding's Kilspindies.


16th October 2009, 11:42 PM
I've learned recently that my Jasper as a mild heart murmur, since then I give him 1 capsule of fish oil (If anything its done wonders for his coat) and I changed his food from Hills Science Plan to Burns dried food, Burns also does dog treats :), I also share a tin of oily fish once a week between Jasper and Gabby.

Love my Cavaliers
17th October 2009, 03:54 AM
I also give Oz, who has a grade 1 murmur, Omega 3 and coQ-10. I get them from Puritan's Pride, like Pat mentioned. They always have 2 for 1 sales. Like Margaret and Pat, I don't know if they do anything, but he was diagnosed close to 2 years ago and has remained a grade 1 to this day.

17th October 2009, 02:10 PM
I have a silly question, as I can't find the answer on the internet. Is MVD the same as heart murmur?

Our last dog (Shih Tzu) was diagnosed with heart murmur a few years before he died from old age at 16 years. We gave him Enelapril, and the murmur never increased. He was always exercised regularly with walks, all his life. The vet told me that walking was the very best thing for his heart, and to continue doing so as long as he was able. He walked one mile a day until the last year of his life, when we would go once a week because he was sooo sloooooow. He loved his walkies right up to the end.

He received Omega supplements for his skin allergies, and glucosamine for arthritis prevention. He rarely showed signs of arthritis, so I don't know if he had ot or the glucosamine/chondroitin kept it at bat.

17th October 2009, 04:57 PM
Not a silly question but a pretty common one. No, a heart murmur is ONLY a sound that a vet/doctor hears when listening to a person's or animal's heart with a stethescope (called auscultation). A heart murmur is only a symptom which would prompt the clinician to investigate further. The loudness, timing and PMI (point of maximal intensity) of the murmur can cause the vet to presume that the murmur means a particular type of heart disease. Obviously a cardiologist is better at making this presumed diagnosis. There are pages of charts in my cardiology textbook describing various types of murmurs and the associated diagnosis.

A murmur can mean many things or nothing at all. It can be an innocent flow murmur (no disease) or be a symptom of a number of congenital and acquired heart diseases - including the congenital defects patent ductus arteriosus, subaortic stenosis, atrial septal defect, mitral valve or tricuspid valve dysplasia, pulmonic stenosis, ventricular septal defect or the acquired diseases endocardiosis (what we call MVD), endocarditis (a bacterial infection of the valves), dilated cardiomyopathy (usually found in large breeds), heartworm disease, etc.

We Cavalier owners always ASSUME that a murmur means MVD (endocardiosis) because of the prevalence in our breed but that's not always the case.

I'm quite active in the yahoo group Canine CHF. We always say that a murmur or a diagnosis of CHF doesn't mean very much at all - we always get new members to find out an exact diagnosis and stage of the heart disease so that we can give appropriate advice and lead the owner to vet papers that would be helpful in their particular situation.

Your shih tzu did have MVD - I have shih tzu also and it is common in the breed in elderly dogs. But it is developed later in life and progresses more slowly and they often die at an old age of something else. (This is our goal for Cavaliers.)


17th October 2009, 05:53 PM
Pat - Thank you for the explanation of heart murmurs, etc. That helps a lot. Vet never recommended having the dog tested beyond the ultrasound, I suppose because it was a low level murmur.