Elderly Dog with Congestive Heart Failure
Answered by: Kerry Hackett
Question from: Donna
Posted on: April 16, 2007

I have a Silky Terrier, Suki, who is somewhere around 14 years old. She has been very healthy since we have had her, until several months ago. She has been diagnosed with congestive heart failure with an indefinite time left with us. She is currently on several medications and Hills HD (Heart Diet), prescription dog food. Could you please help me find some low salt recipes for food and snacks for her? She is our precious little girl who will leave a huge whole in our lives when she passes on. I would like to keep her as healthy as possible so we can enjoy her as long as she is well enough to maintain her present quality of life.

Congestive heart failure is one of those illnesses that can go on for years before an animal (or human) feels it’s time to leave. In the meantime, quality of life is utmost. This means a good diet full of all valuable nutrients (please see the work of Richard Pitcairn, "Natural Health for Dogs and Cats", "The Complete Herbal Handbook for the Dog and Cat" by Juliette de Bairacli Levy and "The Barf Diet" by Ian Billinghurst for further information), as much exercise as she is able to enjoy, lots of love and as little stress as possible. In my experience, a good, homemade diet makes an enormous difference. You should find lots of information and salt-free recipes in the resources listed above. In addition (and assuming your dog is not on any pharmaceuticals), you may also want to add ten drops of a Hawthorn glycerite to your dog’s food twice a day. Hawthorn has a history of strengthening the heart muscle and helping it be as efficient as possible. It is a lovely heart tonic and the glycerite form tastes great!

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