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Heart Murmurs


Guest Alichou
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Guest Alichou

My grey recently went in for his yearly dental and was not able to proceed bc the vet found a very audible heart murmur on the monitor. Tonight he is going for an ultrsound to determine whether it is cardio myopathy or perhaps nothing at all. Im praying everything is fine. It was a complete shock to me as I just had him into the vet 3 months ago for his check up and shots. the vet told me he was the healthiest grey he had ever seen. Just wondering if anyone else has experienced this problem. I'm very worried and praying its not cardio myopathy. If it is he will start medication immediately. If anyone has a grey with this condition please feel free to let me know how the meds are doing for them . I know once diagnosed deterioration is rapid. Staying very positive as nothing is for sure yet. :unsure

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Is this vet familiar with greys? Many times they are misdiagnosed with a heart murmur when there is none. Greyhound physiology.


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My 9 yr. old schnauzer developed a fairly loud murmur this year that was never there before. After an xray to see if the heart looked enlarged, my vet said it was probably just a leaky valve. Since she has no symptoms, we decided not to do further testing (4 months later there are still no symptoms).

 

How he explained it is that there are two flaps on a valve that come together (or go apart) to close or open the valve. These flaps are controlled by "strings" that tighten and loosen to control the flaps (I call them strings, because that's how he drew them on the diagram...I have no idea what they're actually called!). Sometimes, as a dog ages, the "strings" become weakened and occassionally break. He guesses one of Jett's "strings" broke, which is preventing the valve from fully closing. The slight leaking is the cause of the murmur. He said if it's just one "string" they're usually just fine. It may become an issue in the future if further "strings" break and the valve fails to work at all.

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Guest SusanP

My Dr. Doug was diagnosed with a mild aortic stenosis after our vet noticed his murmur. He has not needed any treatment and is now 7 and doing fine. He was diagnosed at around age 3. Not sure what the future will hold, but for now the only thing we have to be careful of is antibiotics for dentals, and I can't scale his teeth at home without them either.

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Nadia has a distinct murmur and arrhythmia. She was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy by a canine cardiologist (my regular vet at the time did overstate the seriousness since greyhounds do have large hearts for their size). I've seen the abnormality on her ECG - it's pretty apparent. She was diagnosed at five and is a happy and otherwise healthy eight year old princess. She takes digoxim and Enalapril.

 

BTW, how old is he? Just curious.

gallery_15026_2920_5914.jpg
Marc and Myun plus Starbuck (the cat)
Pinky my AWOL girl, wherever you are, I miss you.
Angels Honey (6/30/99-11/3/11) Nadia (5/11/99-6/4/12) Kara (6/5/99-7/17/12) Cleo (4/13/2000-4/19/2014)

Antnee (12/1/2002=2/20/17)

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As Turbotaina says, vets who aren't grey-savvy do sometimes misdiagnose them. Greyhound hearts are proportionately larger than other comparably sized dogs, and that, combined with their narrow chests, can sometimes cause an 'echo' which sounds like a murmur.

 

I always tell people, if in doubt, get further testing. My first dog went for a cardio evaluation when my vet told me he could hear a distinct murmur. In that case he was right, but Jim was already a senior and he had another two years symptom-free before we went back to the cardio and he got put on meds. For the record, each time that particular vet has listened to any of my dogs, he's always shaken his head and said he could hear a murmur and the dog would 'probably go the same way as Jim'. So far, only Jim has actually HAD a murmur. :lol

 

Here's a useful article on the Greyhounds of New Mexico site -

 

Greyhounds and Heart Problems

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The plural of anecdote is not data

Brambleberry Greyhounds My Etsy Shop

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Guest Alichou

He is 7 years old. He is very healthy otherwise. He still loves his long powerwalks and doesnt tire all that easily. However right now to be on the safe side im just taking him for quick walks. Ill know for sure tonight and ill keep u all posted on his condition. Im starting to think more positive with all the replies. Thanks so much.

 

 

My Dr. Doug was diagnosed with a mild aortic stenosis after our vet noticed his murmur. He has not needed any treatment and is now 7 and doing fine. He was diagnosed at around age 3. Not sure what the future will hold, but for now the only thing we have to be careful of is antibiotics for dentals, and I can't scale his teeth at home without them either.

 

 

I know he is familiar with the breed but not on a full scale. Like most vets, he probably isn't aware of everything regarding the breed.

 

Is this vet familiar with greys? Many times they are misdiagnosed with a heart murmur when there is none. Greyhound physiology.

 

His ECG came back completely normal so thats also a good sign.

 

Nadia has a distinct murmur and arrhythmia. She was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy by a canine cardiologist (my regular vet at the time did overstate the seriousness since greyhounds do have large hearts for their size). I've seen the abnormality on her ECG - it's pretty apparent. She was diagnosed at five and is a happy and otherwise healthy eight year old princess. She takes digoxim and Enalapril.

 

BTW, how old is he? Just curious.

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As Turbotaina says, vets who aren't grey-savvy do sometimes misdiagnose them. Greyhound hearts are proportionately larger than other comparably sized dogs, and that, combined with their narrow chests, can sometimes cause an 'echo' which sounds like a murmur.

 

Yep. That's why my regular vet at the time (grossly) overstated the seriousness of Nadia's condition. My current vet, who I really like, is far more aware of greyhound quirks.

Edited by MarcR

gallery_15026_2920_5914.jpg
Marc and Myun plus Starbuck (the cat)
Pinky my AWOL girl, wherever you are, I miss you.
Angels Honey (6/30/99-11/3/11) Nadia (5/11/99-6/4/12) Kara (6/5/99-7/17/12) Cleo (4/13/2000-4/19/2014)

Antnee (12/1/2002=2/20/17)

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Guest Greensleeves

Whistler had an age-related heart murmur. We were told that it's not at all uncommon in older dogs, and it didn't cause him any symptoms or discomfort... and it did NOT prevent him from having general anaesthesia for a dental and an ultrasound (at the age of 11). Apparently there is a number scale they assign to murmurs, from mild to severe (I want to say it's something like 1-5). Did your vet give you a number?

 

Good luck!

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Apparently there is a number scale they assign to murmurs, from mild to severe (I want to say it's something like 1-5). Did your vet give you a number?

 

Good luck!

 

In humans, it's 1 to 6. My son had a small hole in his heart with a 2/6 murmur.

 

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Guest Alichou

No he didn't give me a number. He said it was a very audible, loud murmur. However I'm still skeptical until the ultrasound tonight bc I remeber I took him for a dental before when I was living in another part of Canada and the vet heard a murmur and said it was a bit normal, he was also very familiar with greyhounds. So I'm going to stay completely positive until told otherwise.

 

Whistler had an age-related heart murmur. We were told that it's not at all uncommon in older dogs, and it didn't cause him any symptoms or discomfort... and it did NOT prevent him from having general anaesthesia for a dental and an ultrasound (at the age of 11). Apparently there is a number scale they assign to murmurs, from mild to severe (I want to say it's something like 1-5). Did your vet give you a number?

 

Good luck!

 

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If you email me I will send you Dr. Feeman's "greyhound idiosyncrasies"

 

 

Greyhounds may have mildly enlarged

hearts and mild heart murmurs that can

occasionally be considered normal. The

murmur is known as a physiologic flow

murmur and is considered idiopathic but

most likely relates to turbulent blood

flow associated with a high stroke volume.

10,11 The physiologic flow murmur

can be characterized as systolic (not

holosystolic), loudest over the left base,

and low intensity (grade III or less)10,11

and must be distinguished from murmurs

due to cardiac diseases. Mild generalized

heart enlargement is also a common finding

in many normal greyhounds, even

many years after retirement.

Echocardiographic idiosyncrasies

noted in greyhounds include enlarged

left ventricular cavity dimensions, increased

left ventricular and septal wall

thickness, and increased systolic time

intervals when compared with nongreyhounds.

These differences were significant

despite corrections for body surface

area and body weight.12 Greyhounds are

also known to have significantly higher

mean arterial pressures than nongreyhounds

(118 mm Hg vs. 98 mm Hg).13

C

 

From one of his other papers:

 

15. Many Greyhounds can have mild heart enlargement and a mild heart murmur that

can be normal. The murmur is known as an athletic heart murmur and is a result of the

large and powerful contractions of the Greyhound heart forcing relatively more blood

through the heart than non-Greyhound breeds. If your veterinarian hears a heart murmur,

it is always a good idea to take a chest x-ray. If there is some left atrial enlargement (a

chamber of the heart) then an ultrasound of the heart (echocardiogram) would be

necessary. If only mild generalized heart enlargement is noted, then it is likely normal

for the breed and additional testing may not be necessary. The heart murmur can be

described as systolic (not holosystolic), loudest over the left base, and likely a grade I or

grade II.

Edited by Burpdog

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Guest Alichou

Thank you all for the positive re-enforement. Turns out u were all right. It was due to the mild sedation before general aneasthetic and the murmur turned out to be nothing and he is completely healthy. I couldn't be happier, I'm going to get him some vanilla ice cream now for being such a good boy for the doctor.

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Guest Alichou

Thats exactly what he had. A physiologic flow heart murmur. Thank goodness thats all it was. But its very true that sometimes not all vets do their homework when it comes to greyhounds. The doctor that did his ultra sound thought it was completely normal and wasn't fizzed a bit. I could tell just by the look on his face he almost thought the appointment was unecesary. Well no matter what I'm just glad that all this is behind us and we can carry on with our normal activities. Now we just have to get his dental done and we are good for the year. Haha the vet said his heart is excellent, but his teeth are a completely different story!! Have a great week everyone!

 

If you email me I will send you Dr. Feeman's "greyhound idiosyncrasies"

 

 

Greyhounds may have mildly enlarged

hearts and mild heart murmurs that can

occasionally be considered normal. The

murmur is known as a physiologic flow

murmur and is considered idiopathic but

most likely relates to turbulent blood

flow associated with a high stroke volume.

10,11 The physiologic flow murmur

can be characterized as systolic (not

holosystolic), loudest over the left base,

and low intensity (grade III or less)10,11

and must be distinguished from murmurs

due to cardiac diseases. Mild generalized

heart enlargement is also a common finding

in many normal greyhounds, even

many years after retirement.

Echocardiographic idiosyncrasies

noted in greyhounds include enlarged

left ventricular cavity dimensions, increased

left ventricular and septal wall

thickness, and increased systolic time

intervals when compared with nongreyhounds.

These differences were significant

despite corrections for body surface

area and body weight.12 Greyhounds are

also known to have significantly higher

mean arterial pressures than nongreyhounds

(118 mm Hg vs. 98 mm Hg).13

C

 

From one of his other papers:

 

15. Many Greyhounds can have mild heart enlargement and a mild heart murmur that

can be normal. The murmur is known as an athletic heart murmur and is a result of the

large and powerful contractions of the Greyhound heart forcing relatively more blood

through the heart than non-Greyhound breeds. If your veterinarian hears a heart murmur,

it is always a good idea to take a chest x-ray. If there is some left atrial enlargement (a

chamber of the heart) then an ultrasound of the heart (echocardiogram) would be

necessary. If only mild generalized heart enlargement is noted, then it is likely normal

for the breed and additional testing may not be necessary. The heart murmur can be

described as systolic (not holosystolic), loudest over the left base, and likely a grade I or

grade II.

 

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Guest Sniffy

I agree with those who suggest you find out the severity of the murmur according to the 1-6 scale. My bridgegirl had a murmur during her last couple of years, and her vet recommended an ultrasound by a cardiologist, which wasn't cheap but did provide more certainty and detail about her murmur--it turned out to be 2 on the scale of 6. We had it re-checked at her annual exam and it hadn't progressed so she did not require medication. Good luck.

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