Pet owners often ask their vets about the risks and benefits of giving their animals supplements like vitamins, glucosamine and chondroitin, fish oil, and other things. Recently, there’s been a lot of interest in something called Coenzyme Q10, also called CoQ10. What is Coenzyme Q10 and does it have health benefits for your dog? Here are some basic facts you should know before adding CoQ10 to your dog’s health regimen.
CoQ10 is an enzyme that can be found naturally in your dog’s body, as well as in certain foods like oily fish and organ meats. It’s an antioxidant, which means that it reduces cell damage caused by free radicals (oxidized molecules). CoQ10 is important to healthy cell function, particularly in organs like the heart and liver.
Coenzyme Q10 deficiency in dogs can be caused by age, lack of proper nutrition, and certain diseases or genetic conditions.
Coenzyme Q10 is said to be helpful for dogs with certain conditions. Talk to your vet if your dog is experiencing the following health problems:
Cardiovascular disease: CoQ10 is given to dogs with congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy, and high blood pressure. It’s often used in addition to regular heart medication, so be sure to talk to your vet before making any changes.
Periodontal disease: Dogs with gum disease can benefit from CoQ10, which helps reduce redness, inflammation, and bleeding of the gums. Interestingly, gum and heart disease can often go together, so CoQ10 could be especially helpful in dogs with both conditions.
Other medical conditions: CoQ10 may be beneficial if your dog has cancer, immune system disease, diabetes, and even age-related cognitive dysfunction.
Be sure to talk to your vet before giving your dog CoQ10, especially if she is already being treated for any of these health issues. While there is anecdotal evidence that CoQ10 is beneficial for dogs, very few CoQ10 scientific studies have been conducted on dogs. Some studies report moderate benefits, but more canine studies need to be done.
Interested in learning more? Check out Dr. Christopher Sherwin’s excellent article on nextgendog.com.
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