A recent study in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine has found that low vitamin D levels may be a risk factor for congestive heart failure in dogs.
Congestive heart failure (CHF) occurs when blood and fluids become backed up in your body because your heart does not pump blood very well.
There have been many studies looking at the role of vitamin D in cardiovascular disease in humans, but few have looked at the same potential role in dogs.
Recently, researchers looked at the vitamin D levels in 31 dogs with CHF and compared them to the vitamin D levels in 51 healthy dogs. They were interested in seeing if vitamin D levels were related to CHF and outcomes in CHF.
They found that the vitamin D levels in the dogs with CHF were lower than in the healthy dogs. Furthermore, they also found that lower vitamin D levels were related to an increased chance of developing CHF or of sudden death in dogs.
“These findings suggested that low concentrations [of vitamin D] may be a risk factor for CHF in dogs,” the researchers stated. “Low serum concentration [of vitamin D] was associated with poor outcome in dogs with CHF.”
The researchers call for the creation of strategies to improve vitamin D status in dogs with CHF.