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Heart murmmer

Discussion in 'Dog Health and Nutrition' started by stellab, Aug 19, 2009.


  1. stellab

    stellab PetForums Junior

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    I found out at Stella's 2nd injection that she had a heart murmmer.

    The cardiologist said that it was between a grade 2-3 but she was so wriggly that he couldn't give me a definate score and that I was to take her back when she was 6 months for an ultrasound.

    She is now 6 months old and the time has come to take her for a futher check up but I am in a dilemma. When I bought her I was in contract work which has ended and I am now unemployed.

    The ultra sound will cost £200 upwards and I just don't have the cash at the moment :blush2: I am wondering if he sounds her with the stethescope again it will give me an idea of what Im dealing with ?

    I want what is best for her but what is the ultrasound going to change :eek:ut: I don't think there is treatment for heart murmmers is there :confused:
     
  2. Nonnie

    Nonnie PetForums VIP

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    I know they can pick up a heart murmer on a stethascope, but im not sure if they can grade it.

    Unless there is some form of treatment or operation they can perform, then i dont see what difference an ultrasound would make. All i can think is that a scan could show up an further health problems.

    Can the breeder not help? I assume shes a boxer btw.
     
    #2 Nonnie, Aug 19, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2009
  3. stellab

    stellab PetForums Junior

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    Thanks for the reply :wink5:

    Im thinking ...... If the ultrasound did show up that she had a heart murmmer grade 3 then is there a treatment for it ?

    what is the point in getting ultrasound done :eek:ut:

    I guess Im trying to ask myself if I should just accept she has a murmmer and without paying out lots of money... just treat her like any other pup without getting her too excited or over stressed.

    Yes she is a boxer and the breeder has been told about her murmmer but did not offer any help
     
    #3 stellab, Aug 19, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2009
  4. Nonnie

    Nonnie PetForums VIP

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    You couldask the vet if the ultrasound would affect the course of treatment. Sometimes they want a definate diagnosis before they commence with treatment (understandably) but if theres nothing they can do, then it does seem superfluous. I dont know a huge amount about heart murmers though tbh. My dog has a heart condition, but he is on medication, and required various tests to get a diagnosis.

    If they really push for the scan, you could try asking if they would allow you to pay in installments.
     
  5. Heart murmur is the sound theblood flowing through the heart makes when beating

    The murmur is an abnormal sound, it in itself is not the condition - it is a clue to an underlying condition.

    They are graded into severity. The grade is how LOUD the murmur is. Generally the quieter the murmur the lower the grade. However depending on the cause of the murmur sometimes the quiet murmur is a much more serious condition than a loud murmur - or vice versa. The grading therefore can be misleading.

    However without the ultrasound, you wont know what type of murmur she has or whether there is treatment/surgery available for her.

    The murmur could come from a valve problem, it could come from a hole in the heart (ventrical septal defect or atrial septal defect), It could be stenosis (narrowing of a chamber or blood vessel), it could come from something else altogether, it could even be benign, or it could have been her rapid breathing and wriggling that mimic'd the sound of a murmur - you wont know unless you get her scanned.

    Without the correct diagnosis you wont have a proper prognosis or treatment plan for your dog.


    I'm sorry if i have scared you or sound harsh, i have no intention of doing so, however if the cardiologist specialist vet thinks a scan is in order - i would take that advice. Maybe put it off for a couple of weeks, or speak to them about a payment plan - but get the scan done.

    For anyone else reading this - its a good example of insurance being necessary!
     
  6. wooliewoo

    wooliewoo PetForums VIP

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    firstly dont panic too much at this stage (easier said than done i know:rolleyes:). wait and see what your vet says.
    I know of 2 cases where boxer pups have had murmurs at 12 weeks. 1 of the dogs went on to not have murmur at 7 month check while the other did.
    The pup with murmur had no treatment as such (she was under a specialist) but wasnt allowed to get over excited and not long periods of exercise. The murmur has become less as years pass and she is just a like any normal Boxer now........she has just turned 4:)
     
  7. bucksmum

    bucksmum PetForums Senior

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    Hi x i have no experience of heart murmers in pups,although i have heard they often dissapear.
    I just wanted to say that i recently lost my lakeland terrier aged 17 who had a stonking heart murmur,he was on medication for the last 5 years of his life,costing about £20 a month.He never had an ultrasound it was monitered by stethescope.
    Saying this i am no way as knowledgable on this as the previous poster so please don't let me put you off ultasound,just saying it's not all bad and they can lead a long and healthy life.
     
  8. rona

    rona Guest

    I also had a puppy with heart murmur which after time cleared. My vet told me it could have been because I kept her fit and didn't restrict her exercise. She lived until 13 and died of something unrelated
     
  9. shazalhasa

    shazalhasa PetForums VIP

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    I would suggest taking her to a totally different vet for a basic check up and see if they pick up this murmour. The reason I suggest this is that I took a 10 week old puppy for his 2nd jabs and after poking and prodding the poor little mite the vet decides to listen to his chest... :eek: heart mumour he said... put him to sleep he said... don't worry, you'll get your money back on the insurance he said... :eek: :eek: :eek: NO way I thought !

    Two weeks later a different vet found nothing, almost a year later and vet found nothing... every vet since has found nothing !!!

    I have since found out that if the puppy is slightly stressed then this can cause little flutters that mimick a heart murmour. I have also found out that some murmours can go away in time (lol 2 weeks... yeah right) Well whatever was wrong with this dog, was gone 2 weeks later and has never showed up since.

    How come the cardiologist gave you a grading ? Did he give the jabs too ? You must have a rather posh vet to have a cardiologist :rolleyes:
     
  10. I just want to say:

    I was in no way saying that the dog couldnt live a normal happy life - not once in my post does it say that!

    I also mentioned that the murmur could be benign, it it could even be the pups breathing mimicing a murmur.

    Most murmurs are nothing really to worry about, but is it worth that risk not getting it diagnosed properly? I dont think so.

    Our vet surgery has a cardiologist, and we also have a cardiac specialist at the local referral centre.

    I have had two dogs with heart problems. The first had a heart murmur as a pup, and died at 13 from congestive heart failure - unrelated to his puppy murmur. The 2nd is currently 14, and still going strong!

    The point however, is that if a SPECIALIST has reccomended further tests this shouldnt be ignored. I would rather not take the risk of "it'll be fine" just incase it isnt. If i had refused the tests and lost my dog due to something i could have treated for if his condition had been diagnosed, i would never forgive myself.
     
  11. shazalhasa

    shazalhasa PetForums VIP

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    and I was recommending trying a different vet as the diagnosis may be totally different.

    A couple that go to the dog class that we go to had a problem with their dog so took it to the vet. It was suggested that she had a very serious illness and all kinds of things were recommended to them... turned out she had kennel cough, something that could have been cleared up with some childrens benylin :rolleyes: ... shame they had to fork out over £250 before finding that out... don't you think !

    Yes it needs to be checked out, I didn't suggest for one minute to ignore it.
     
  12. i was assuming as the dog is now under a cardiologist, that it has already been a confirmed murmur - by the initial vet and the cardiologist.

    Yes get a 2nd opinion - vets can be wrong, and often are. Its not always the first vet thats wrong though ;)
     
  13. wooliewoo

    wooliewoo PetForums VIP

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    Any specialist advice should be followed. I do think though that maybe things wernt explained properly by vet/specialist as to murmur gradeing and occurance. A pup with a murmur can and often do outgrow them which is why pup is being checked again now.
    See what vet says and take it from there (ie second opinion etc)

    Our 8 year old has just been diagnosed with a murmur and the vet said its just age related and normal at her age
     
  14. haeveymolly

    haeveymolly PetForums VIP

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    I would suggest go ahead with the ultra sound its very important for your vet to know how severe the murmur is for future treatment (unrelated) and for anesthetic should your dog ever need it.

    You are lucky to have a cardiologist to hand, it was possible that at one time that my dog might have needed to see a cardiologist and just to see him was going to cost £2,000.
     
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  15. dinks

    dinks PetForums Senior

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    Im sorry to say but that is rubbish - it is not normal for a dog to develop a murmur at any age!Keep on eye on her for breathlessness, coughing and intolorance to exercise - at 8yrs old your dog should still have a good few yrs in her yet!:)
    Many puppys of certain breeds are prone to heart murmurs ckcs, boxers and many large breed pups - most will not cause any bother at all and some will even go away once they get a bit older ie 6-7m and then some dont go away and have them the rest of their life and cause no bother at all.However in saying that i have nursed 8-9m old pups who have been referred to our specialist and sadly do not make it to their 2nd birthday.:(
    My point is please do not ignore the fact your pup has a heart murmur - if you have the chance to see a specialist - please do.:)
    I hope you continue to enjoy your pup.;)
     
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  16. wooliewoo

    wooliewoo PetForums VIP

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    :eek:hmy: Thanks for that, it was about 2 months ago she went for a check up and was told, .....casually i might add. It was a case of you know she has a heart murmur, i questioned her about it and the vet said its age related.( previous exams have not picked any heart problems up)
    She is on limited exercise due to a spine condition but will be watching for the signs mentioned.
     
  17. Stellabella

    Stellabella PetForums Senior

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    I've recently taken on a pup with a serious heart murmur - but though I knew from the vet it was about as severe as it could be, I decided to go and see the cardiologist for a more thorough examination and an ultrasound scan.

    I did have reservations about it, and wondered what the point was, after all I knew she probably wouldn't have a very long life, but I decided I needed to know what it was. I was thinking from one extreme to the other - worried every five minutes that she'd die before my eyes, to thinking that some miracle would happen and she'd be better.
    Anyway the news was not good, she will not live long into adulthood if at all, there is the possibility of an op when she is bigger but it is way too expensive and I'm not sure if I could put her through it - it is risky.

    The reason I'm saying all this is that by having a proper definitive diagnosis it has given me a realistic idea of what to expect. I know what is likely to happen, she is not likely to suffer any deterioration or pain, just one day her tail will stop wagging and she will pass away. I could never have known this without the scan and the answers from the specialist. And knowing this will help me take the best care and make sure that tail never stops wagging.

    Obviously this is a bad scenario and I dont want to scare you, but what I am saying is that if you go ahead and see the specialist I am pretty sure that like me, whatever the outcome you won't regret knowing what is going on. After all, you want your pup to have the best chance she can.

    The chances are high that the problem will be treatable, and not everything is megabucks, but you won't know if you don't go.

    The consultation and two scans came to £362, which was a lot but once I'd paid it I was so glad I had. The op itself would be about £2500, which I'd sell a kidney for if it came with a 100% guarantee.

    I hope you do go, beg or borrow the money - I don't suppose you've got insurance? I haven't, for heart problems, as it was diagnosed before I insured her.
    But whatever you do, I wish you the very very best outcome.

    Good luck x
     
  18. mickyb

    mickyb PetForums Senior

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    If you don't work, and get help with housing benefits, you can take your dog to the PDSA good luck
     
  19. stellab

    stellab PetForums Junior

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    Thanks for your replies.

    I am going to make an appointment at the vets and have the cardiologist sound her out and we will take it from there.

    I couldn't get insurance for her that will cover these examinations because the murmmer was discovered before insurance was taken out so nowhere will cover her for heart related illness :(

    At the discovery of the heart murmmer the cardiolgist mentioned aeortic scenosis (sp)
     
  20. dinks

    dinks PetForums Senior

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    Hi No probs glad to help wooliwoo!:)
    Aortic stenosis is something that is common with boxers.The ultrasound will be able to show exactly where the defect is and how well or poor the blood flow is to and in the heart itself.They usually dont need sedation and lie quite happily.
    The point is and as Stellabella says you have an actual diagnosis,prognosis and able to treat the actual cause and if it likely to cause further problems or not.Which a stethascope simply cant do.Hope pup is well.xx
     
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