Background: Any condition in which the heart is unable to pump the blood through the circulatory system adequately to meet the metabolic needs of the patient is considered CHF. This disease is more common in older horses but can occur in young horses that have heart damage or congenital disorders. It also occurs secondary to lung disease, valvular disease or with wasting of the myocardium.
Symptoms: Pulmonary edema and coughing or dyspnea, ascites, exercise intolerance, and collapse. In horses, coughing is not generally heard; however, extreme exercise intolerance is usually noticed.
Diagnostics: Cardiovascular workup, echocardiography and EKG.
Principles for Supplementation: Improve myocardial function with antioxidants, improve oxygenation and blood flow to myocardium. Traditional Chinese medicine is also very helpful, however herbs should be prescribed by a practitioner educated in Chinese medicine.