Hawthorn for Dog with Heart Problems
Answered by: Kerry Hackett
Question from: Charydi Gambill
Posted on: October 13, 2006

I am desperately seeking an answer before its to late for my dog. My dog has cushings and now heart problems (enlargement, murmur grade 4, high heart rate, and thickness). He is using trilostane for cushings and I have heard from the makers of Vetoryl that "The risk of hyperkalaemia developing should be considered if trilostane is used in conjunction with potassium-sparing diuretics or ACE inhibitors. The concurrent use of such drugs should be subject to a risk-benefit analysis by the veterinary surgeon, as there have been a few reports of deaths (including sudden death) in dogs when treated concurrently with trilostane and an ACE inhibitor." I have also been told that using hawthorn is good for the heart, but have read the following: "Hawthorn was found to be at least as good as the ACE inhibitor Captopril in an eight week double blind study of 132 people with congestive heart failure." So my question is, would using trilostane with hawthorn be dangerous? I have been told it’s safe, because it’s not an ACE inhibitor, just acts like one. I was wondering what your opinion might be about the use of hawthorn.

This is an incredibly complex case and not one that can be served well on this forum. I would strongly recommend that you set up a one-on-one consultation with a qualified professional who has experience working with both animals and herbs as you and your dog deserve the direct attention only a personal consultation can provide. As far as your question regarding interactions go: both triostane and hawthorn are complex entities and I wouldn’t want to offer an opinion without taking a full case history as well as conduct a lot more research into the possible problems involved in taking both medications. I’m sorry I can’t be of more help in this case. You should be able to find a qualified professional in your area by going to the website of the Veterinary Botanical Medicine Association (VBMA) at www.vbma.org Good luck!

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