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Thread: preventive treatments for murmurs

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    Default preventive treatments for murmurs

    At 4 months of age Oz was diagnosed with a Grade 1 murmur caused by leaking across the mitral valve. Are there any therapies that others have tried to slow down or prevent the progression of MVD in dogs with a diagnosed murmur? CoQ10 has been mentioned, but I don't know the dose to use. Also I have heard about using Calcium Carbonate and there is supposedly a rosemary protocol. Anyone know of any of these? Since his murmur is only a grade 1 right now, his cardiologist has not put him on any meds and he is just to go in yearly for a cardiac follow-up unless there are worrisome signs - thankfully there are none right now. He is active, playful, and just a lot of fun.
    Bev
    Oliver (blenheim, born 3/2001), Riley (black & tan, born 8/2002,), Madison (ruby, born 9/2003), and Oz (tri-color, born 7/2007)

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    I am so sorry, I had a dog with mvd before, and it's sad to see it so young.

    The best advise I received ( though she was medicated at the time) was to feed her HD dog food, which is for heart disease, and keep her to a heart healthy, low fat, low sodium diet. I was also told to feed her bananas, but that may have been because she was on lasex. I think it helped, she had a good quality of life until she was 12. I never gave her supplements, the medications worked very well and she had no side effects. It's great that you caught it early, if it advances even a bit you'll know and early treatment makes a great deal of difference.


    Jen and Ilsa

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    I've been reading a fantastic book... The Veterinarians' Guide to Natural Remedies for Dogs by Martin Zucker. This is a compilation of advice from many holistic-minded vets. The advice for supporting the cardiovascular system is this...
    CoEnzymeQ10 (can lessen your dog's dependenceon medication when used long term) - 10 milligrams, twice daily for small dogs
    Vitamin E (antioxidant/anti-inflammatory)- 200 IU daily for small dogs
    L-Carnitine (an amino acid that improves the strength of the heart muscle and helps burn fat) - 250 milligrams daily for small dogs
    Powedered Kelp (excellent source of minerals for the nervous system which keeps the heart pumping) - 1/2 teaspoon per meal, mixed into food
    Selenium Methionate - 100 micrograms daily
    Also a helathy diet and exercise, of course!

    Talk to your vet about these before administering!!!

    Hope this helps
    Melissa

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    At 4 months of age Oz was diagnosed with a Grade 1 murmur caused by leaking across the mitral valve
    ---------------------
    Whoa, this is really significant info for me. I've never before heard of a dog younger than about a year diagnosed with endocardiosis (acquired valvular disease, the problem so common in Cavaliers). I've been studying this for about 20 years. At the Heart Symposium in Atlanta in 1996 (where the MVD Cavalier breeding protocol was announced), Dr. Beardow was asked the question of how old the youngest diagnosed Cavaliers were, and he replied that they were about one year old. One of my personal Cavaliers was diagnosed at 18 months, which was pretty young. (And by the way, he lived to 15 and never went into CHF which was rather remarkable. Cardiologist - Gil Jacobs in Athens, GA - and I have no idea how that happened.) The reason that the disease doesn't manifest until about a year is because it is a DEGENERATIVE disease which obviously means that the disease takes some time to develop versus a congenital defect which is something present at birth.

    There is a condition known as mitral valve dysplasia, and this is a congenital malformation of the mitral valve. But this is different from the degenerative valve disease that Cavaliers typically have. Lance Armstrong's golden retriever had mitral valve dysplasia and Chris Orten at CSU vet school is the vet who pioneered the surgery to repair congenital mitral valve dysplasia. More below that I copied from Merck Veterinary Manual site:

    Congenital malformation of the mitral valve complex (mitral valve dysplasia) is a common congenital cardiac defect in cats. Canine breeds predisposed are Bull Terriers, German Shepherds, and Great Danes. Mitral valve dysplasia results in mitral insufficiency and systolic regurgitation of blood into the left atrium. Any component of the mitral valve complex (valve leaflets, chordae tendineae, papillary muscles) may be malformed, and often more than one component is defective.

    Would you be willing to share details such as the name of the cardiologist who diagnosed this and whether this was confirmed by an echocardiogram? A murmur in a dog who is 16 weeks old is generally either an innocent flow murmur or a congenital heart defect such as a PDA or aortic stenosis or similar. The mitral valve dysplasia that I described above is not one of the most common congenital heart defects and it is not a Cavalier breed issue. Do you have a written discharge summary or report? If so, does the diagnosis read endocardiosis or mitral valve dysplasia or something else? If this is truly mitral valve dysplasia, you should read about the surgical repair options.

    This is really very significant info to me. Rod - if you are out there, have you ever heard about this or read any veterinary papers about it?

    I'll address diet and supplements later after I leave the office.

    Pat Beman
    Atlanta
    Pat B
    Atlanta, GA

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    I just looked at your signature and saw that Oz was born in July of 2007, so this diagnosis happened over a year ago? Murmur auscultated at four months by cardiologist or regular vet? Echo done at four months or recently? I'm trying to make sense of this. Wondering if it was an innocent flow murmur at four months but is now an MVD murmur???? If this had been mitral valve dysplasia, likely the condition would have worsened.

    Pat

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    Hi Pat,

    Oz had an episode of what I think now was probably Episodic Falling syndrome when he was 4 months old. His regular vet heard a murmur when I took him in that day and referred me to Dr. Eva Sikorska, a cardiologist at the Animal Emergency and Referral Center in Northbrook, IL. She works with Dr. Leuthy. His diagnosis was mild degenerative valve disease and intermittent second degree AV block, confirmed by echocardiogram. I can fax you the discharge summary if you would like which includes a lot of information which I don't understand. By the way, although the murmur was picked up at 4 months of age, he didn't see the cardiologist until he was almost 6 months old. He also wore a holter monitor for 24 hours. I took him back to the cardiologist last week for a follow-up because his regular vet could not hear the murmur. Dr. Sikorska confirmed that it is still present. She called it a soft murmur and said that it hadn't changed from a year ago. Please let me know if you want a copy of his paperwork. Thanks for your concern. By the way, he has not had another instance of episodic falling syndrome, so I don't really know if that's what it was.
    Bev
    Oliver (blenheim, born 3/2001), Riley (black & tan, born 8/2002,), Madison (ruby, born 9/2003), and Oz (tri-color, born 7/2007)

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    Thanks Melissa. I am going to look for that book. Sounds like it has a lot of good information.
    Bev
    Oliver (blenheim, born 3/2001), Riley (black & tan, born 8/2002,), Madison (ruby, born 9/2003), and Oz (tri-color, born 7/2007)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat View Post
    At 4 months of age Oz was diagnosed with a Grade 1 murmur caused by leaking across the mitral valve
    ---------------------
    Whoa, this is really significant info for me. I've never before heard of a dog younger than about a year diagnosed with endocardiosis (acquired valvular disease, the problem so common in Cavaliers). ...

    Rod - if you are out there, have you ever heard about this or read any veterinary papers about it?
    This is a real shock to me. I don't doubt its accuracy, because I know the cardiologists who are involved. I have never heard of a Cavalier that young with a confirmed MVD murmur. It would not surprise me if the cardiologists publish a case study of this dog.

    As for supplements, I suggest these basic ones, which would be good for any Cavalier, even those without MVD murmurs:

    -- Vitamin C (300 to 400 mg. daily)

    -- Vitamin E -- Tocopherol (100 I.U. daily)

    -- CoQ10 (30 mg. daily)

    -- Fish oils high in Omegas 3 and 6 -- such as wild salmon oil -- (about 400 mg. daily)

    Since the dog already has a murmur, you might conisder a general cardiac supplement like:

    -- Bio-Cardio, by Thorne Veterinary Products.

    -- Canine Cardiac Support, by Standard Process, Inc.

    I think that these products are obtainable only through a veterinarian, but you could ask your vet to order them for you. These are holistic supplements, so some conventional vets will think these things are a waste of time. Their usual response is: "There are no peer-reviewed, double-blind studies finding that these supplements are of any value."

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    Be careful with vitamin C though - you shouldn't give it in conjunction with prednisolone {or Medrone - Methyprednisolone} or Frusemide {lasix} as it can give rise to calcium oxalate crystals in the urine, as these drugs affect the way it is broken down and excreted.

    COQ10 only actually has an effect on heart muscle - so there isn't really any point {in MVD} in giving it until there is muscle involvement - ie the heart is enlarged. However it is supposed to help with dental health, so it may be worth starting it earlier for that reason as bacteria from dirty teeth can cause a deterioration in heart condition.
    Nicki and the Cavalier Clan Our photos www.scotlandimagery.com
    Supporting www.rupertsfund.com and www.cavaliermatters.org

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    I have been giving Geordie CoQ10 30mg daily since his cardiologist started him on Enalapril in 2008.
    Cathy Moon
    India(tri-F) Geordie(blen-M)Chocolate(b&t-F)Charlie(at the bridge)

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