CARDIOVASCULAR disease and congestive heart failure are common medical conditions in the dog and cat. Recent advances in veterinary cardiology have underlined the importance of nutrition in patients with heart disease. In the past, associations between nutrition and cardiology began and ended with concerns about dietary sodium content. The discovery of taurine deficiency as a reversible cause of feline dilated cardiomyopathy in the late 1980s increased awareness of the importance of dietary management in the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Both specific nutritional deficiencies and excessive levels of certain nutrients can cause or contribute to cardiac dysfunction. This article reviews the pathological changes commonly seen in body condition in cardiac patients and discusses their dietary management. It also highlights specific nutrient considerations for companion animals with cardiovascular disease drawing on experiences gained in the medical field.
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