Relation of vitamin D status to congestive heart failure and cardiovascular events in dogs

J Vet Intern Med. 2014 Jan-Feb;28(1):109-15. doi: 10.1111/jvim.12239. Epub 2013 Nov 7.


Background: Vitamin D plays a pivotal role in cardiac function, and there is increasing evidence that vitamin D deficiency is associated with the development of congestive heart failure (CHF) in people.

Hypothesis: Serum vitamin D concentration is lower in dogs with CHF compared with unaffected controls and serum vitamin D concentration is associated with clinical outcome in dogs with CHF.

Animals: Eighty-two client-owned dogs.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, we examined the association between circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D], a measure of vitamin D status, and CHF in dogs. In the prospective cohort study, we examined whether 25(OH)D serum concentration was associated with clinical outcome in dogs with CHF.

Results: Mean 25(OH)D concentration (100 ± 44 nmol/L) in 31 dogs with CHF was significantly lower than that of 51 unaffected dogs (123 ± 42 nmol/L; P = .023). The mean calculated vitamin D intake per kg of metabolic body weight in dogs with CHF was no different from that of unaffected dogs (1.37 ± 0.90 μg/kg metabolic body weight versus 0.98 ± 0.59 μg/kg body weight, respectively, P = .097). There was a significant association of serum 25(OH)D concentration on time to clinical manifestation of CHF or sudden death (P = .02).

Conclusion and clinical relevance: These findings suggest that low concentrations of 25(OH)D may be a risk factor for CHF in dogs. Low serum 25(OH)D concentration was associated with poor outcome in dogs with CHF. Strategies to improve vitamin D status in some dogs with CHF may prove beneficial without causing toxicity.

Keywords: 25-hydroxyvitamin D3; Canine; Cardiology.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dog Diseases / metabolism*
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / blood
  • Heart Failure / metabolism
  • Heart Failure / veterinary*
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives*
  • Vitamin D / blood
  • Vitamin D / metabolism


  • Vitamin D
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D