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Newsletter - January 2013

We had a contractor here for four days. Nice guy, loves dogs, knows how to greet them, but he was wearing a cap. That doesn't sound so bad, right? Well, Tori would disagree with you. Evidently, some caps are more dangerous that others.

Day one: contractor enters, Tori barks non-stop. Contractor removes cap. Tori stops to reconsider the risk. Contractor puts cap back on. Tori looks at him as if he had turned into a new person and the barking starts again. Repeat scenario a few times while contractor gives her a treat when she's not barking.

Days 2-3: repeats of day one, but with less enthusiastic barking and for shorter periods of time.

Day 4: contractor (now wearing a hat) enters; Tori lifts her head up from a lounging position on the couch, gives one sorry excuse for a bark and goes back to sleep. There goes any hope of our being saved from hats and caps from now on. "Killer" has become too lazy to bother.

Your Dog's Heart Health

Heart problems show up fairly often in dogs, but since I've been "mom" to Cavaliers for so many years, the issue hits home harder than for most. That's because despite many breeds having valvular problems, the disease(s) always escalate more quickly in Cavaliers. So, anything that can help the heart gets my attention, and it should have yours as well. No matter the breed or mix of breeds your dog may be, the potential of having a healthier heart is serious business, and quality of life even more so.

Tori has a grade 5 heart murmur. That's just one grade away from being at the very top aka at the end. She would be expected to have a pronounced cough by now - but she doesn't. Given that both sides of her heart are affected, one wouldn't think that she could run and play with abandon - but she does. I can't prove that the regime I have her on has benefited her, but there's science behind it and I'm pretty sure that if you saw her, you'd find it hard to believe her heart was in trouble. So here's the why-and-how of Tori's heart regime:

It's a known fact that dogs with heart failure produce a large amount of free radicals. You can consider this to be a double whammy. First, the failing heart is unable to oxygenate all cells normally. In turn, this creates regular production of free radicals. And then there's a third and rather odd thing that can happen: blood returning to oxygen deprived tissue can cause yet greater creation of free radicals.

Vitamin E is so commonly used that it seems almost silly to mention it here, but some folks don't believe in supplements. Heart failure is deaf and blind to belief systems, so it's a good idea to reconsider. Vitamin E plays a cell barrier role against oxidants, and intestinal absorption varies for several reasons including composition of the diet, amount and type of dietary fat, gut health, et al.

Taurine is known for promoting heart health. Although not part of any study I've found that included it along with other antioxidants for canine hearts in particular, I've known of too many dogs deficient in taurine to risk my own dog. Tori's been receiving 125 mg of taurine daily since she was 1 year old.

CoQ10 is a potent antioxidant, long recognized for improving heart function when supplementation is provided. While that's true in people, the question as to whether or not it helps dog hearts was answered as yes, no, and maybe - depending on who you asked, which study you looked at who funded said study. The fact is that studies have been in rats and people, with few in dogs much less in the way of cardiac insufficient ones. Yet, the literature is full of promise and urging for further studies. I knew that Tori wouldn't live long enough to see the conclusions of those studies which may or may not happen any time soon. She's been getting CoQ10 daily for years now.

Essential fatty acids (EFAs) play an important, protective role against free radicals produced by cardiac cells. But EFAs aren't created equal. There's no question that omega 3 fatty acids are of greater benefit to the heart, and even more so when it's ailing. Tori gets 500 mg of our wild salmon oil every day without fail.

Lastly, have you heard about polyphenols? Touted as more than antioxidants, they have antioxidant properties and have held special interest in the scientific circles focusing on heart disease. Black grapes and blueberries are really good sources of polyphenols, but grapes are toxic to dogs and diarrhea is bound to occur if we were to feed a dog enough berries to make much of a difference in so far as heart health goes. My answer has been to add Antioxidant Booster to Tori's food. A good source of polyphenols, available throughout the year and an easy thing to mix into any food. She loves the taste, so that's a bonus. I believe in what I'm doing for Tori's heart.

I believe in it because it's difficult to deny that she's responded well, but also because my client's dogs have too. I've used these supplements proactively in some cases and for dogs that already have heart trouble in others. And while I've seen other supplements recommended, especially for Cavaliers, the fact is that none showed the results my clients had hoped for. Sometimes, keeping it simple and looking at the facts is your best bet.

Save $6.77 per Cardiac and Cognition Package Do it now. Consider the information above, and think about the fact the same products which help the heart can help the ageing brain. Your dog deserves this as much as our Tori does.

This package includes one bottle each of vitamin E 200 IU (90 capsules), 1/2 pound of Antioxidant Booster, 1 bottle (120 capsules; 500 mg each) wild salmon oil, and 1 bottle (60 capsules; 30 mg each) CoQ10. Save $6.77 and get your dog off to a healthier start right away.

Personally Speaking

Learn more on my blog

Good Things For Older Dogs

French Onion Soup

IBD and Food Allergies

Overfed and Malnourished

How To Supplement Kibble

Salmon Pâté

Happy New Year!


"The dog has seldom been successful in pulling man up to its level of sagacity, but man has frequently dragged the dog down to his." ~ James Thurber



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