Heart disease is an umbrella term for any disease or aliment that impacts the heart and its functions. As it is an umbrella term, there are multiple different types and aliments that your pet may suffer from. Some heart disease is acute and can be treated without a high chance of relapse, others can be chronic and come about due to a variety of factors including old age.
Types of Common Heart Disease
There are a variety of heart diseases than can affect our pets health, congenital heart will often appear in younger dogs, whereas acquired heart diseases are more likely to appear in older pets. These are the some of the more common heart diseases that veterinarians report seeing amongst pet owners.
In dogs, one of the most common types of heart disease is Degenerative Mitral Valve Disease (DMVD). Whilst it is more prevalent in smaller dog breeds, any breed of dog can in fact suffer from it. DMVD is caused when the mitral valve changes shape over time, which causes a leaky valve and results in a heart murmur.
Valvular Heart Disease (VHD) is a denigrative condition that if left can result in an enlarged heart. In a properly functioning heart blood flows through the right atrium and is then pushed into the right ventricle, from here the blood is pushed into the lungs where it is filled with oxygen. The blood then travels into the left atrium which then contracts, forcing the blood into the left ventricle, which is how the blood enters the rest of the body. It is these valves that regulate the blood flow, but if your pet is suffering from VHD, these valves become thick and deformed which results in improper function and small amounts of blood following back through the deformed seals. This over exertion of the heart, results in the heart becoming enlarged.
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) primarily effects cats, of all sizes and breeds. HCM causes the muscle to become thicker than normal which impacts the hearts ability to relax, thus impacting filling and pumping correctly.
Symptoms of Heart Disease In Our Pets
Heart disease can be difficult to spot in our pets, especially if they are getting on in years. If you find your usually active dog isn’t playing for as long as they used to or getting fatigued quicker than normal it may well be the early onset of heart disease. This slow down is what it makes it difficult to spot, but if your dog then develops a cough and seems to be breathing at a higher and harder rate, this is a symptom of heart failure.
In cats, heart disease is even more difficult to spot due to their natural tendency of being lazy. If you find your cat has lost their appetite and being more reclusive it may be an indicator that something is a wrong. Unlike dogs, cats don’t often cough when they enter advanced heart failure, so knowing your pet may be the best way that you can help spot early symptoms.
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Can CBD Help Manage Heart Disease?
Within the mammalian body there is an endocannabinoid system, the ECS has receptors located all around our bodies from the cells in our immune system, spinal column and our brains. It is these receptors that bind with compounds within cannabis to bring about surprising health and well being benefits. Some benefits that have been noted by academics include but are not limited to reduction of vomiting and nausea, increased appetite, modulated immune system, calmness and decreased anxiety. Research into the cardiovascular system and its response to CBD is still new relatively new but, a study conducted by Resstel et al., 2008, studied the link between the attenuation of cardiovascular stress and CBD. The research concluded with positive results which demonstrated the reduction of stress by the rats that were given CBD. Whilst they didn’t evaluate the link between CBD and the management of heart conditions, the attenuation that CBD caused can help our pets. When pets suffer with heart diseases, stress is a common symptom and sign. Through a reduction of the physiological response to stress our pets become more comfortable. Furthermore, studies have been conducted into the effect that CBD has on blood pressure. In a trial 9 males were exposed to different levels of CBD over a period of time, at the end of the experiment all were recorded to have lower blood pressure than at the beginning. This area of research warrants more investigating, but at the moment it is in its infancy, with more studies expected to be undertaken.
What CBD Oil Is Best For My Pet?
There is no agreed best option as it all comes down to you knowing your pet, however a plethora of research exists that suggests that a whole plant extract can produce more benefits than an isolate product. It is natural to be concerned about the levels of THC in whole plant extracts or full spectrum products, however you don’t want your pet to miss out on the array of health benefits they can receive from the terpenes and other cannabinoids found in cannabis. Most of the CBD oils that are available on the market have less than 0.0015% THC in order to be considered legal. This legislation embodies products made in the European Union and some states in the USA.
Heart diseases, whether congenital or acquired can be tough to spot in our pets when it is in its early stages. Preliminary results seem to suggest that CBD can help manage stress induced symptoms of heart disease as well as reduce blood pressure. Prior to beginning treatment with CBD, consult your vet to ensure there will be no adverse reactions with any medication your pet is currently on, they may also be able to recommend you an appropriate CBD oil for your cat or dog.