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Heart Murmer

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My sister found a little mixed breed at PetSmart this weekend and it is with her on a trial run. It seemed to be having respritory problems so the rescue took her to the vet yesterday. The vet said what she had was a heart murmer -- a 3 on a scale of 1-6. Does that sound right? I have no experience with heart murmers and she is wondering how this could affect the little girls life. She is about 5-6 years old and 12 pounds. Thanks.

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I have no idea Pam, but wanted to pop in and say "Hi" while you are on the computer :D

~Beth, with a crazy mixed crew of misfits.
~ Forever and Always missing and loving Steak, Carmen, Ivy, Isis, and Madi.
Don't cry because it's ended, Smile because it happened.
Before you judge me, try to keep an open mind, not everyone likes your taste.

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Guest PiagetsMom

I know you're going to get some better knowledge, but I'll share that I had a girlie with a heart murmur who lived to be 14 yrs old, and didn't end up passing from anything related.

On the 1-5 scale, she stayed at 2-3 for many years, until she was well over 10 yrs. She was never on any medication, and she led a very normal life with her only symptom being an infrequent cough. Of course, as she got older her activity level naturally decreased, so we didn't see any physically related effects, but that might not be the case with a younger dog with a more serious heart murmur.

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Hi Pam


It's hard to predict what to expect without a further vet evaluation, probably including an echocardiogram. Some murmurs are entirely benign, others are not. Older dogs develop calcification of their heart valves, which can cause a murmur. If a dog is showing no symptoms of heart disease or congestive heart failure (panting, exercise intolerance, shortness of breath), many murmurs can be well-controlled with watchful waiting, or medication if CHF is suspected.


Iggy Bailey is now 15-1/2 and has had a Grade IV murmur for years. He's never shown any symptoms or limitations until recently. He developed a hacking cough. He's now on enalapril which seems to help.


The other thing I'd think of immediately is heartworm - hopefully she was HW tested when she came into the rescue pgm.


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Guest tricolorhounds

My new boy Ketchey won't be 2 until April and has a grade IV heart murmur... His mitral valve is mishapen and in the wrong place. The specialist expects it to impact his life expectancy... there is nothing that can be done for him until he starts to show symptoms of CHF (panting, exercise intolerance, shortness of breath.) We love him just the same.

Edited by tricolorhounds
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Guest iconsmum

I have a golden with a 2-3 grade murmur that's because oof SAS...been the same since puppyhood.. we do an echo every 12 months, keep her really slim and well muscled, and pray a lot :) the vet says she is probably ok for years, if not her whole life...no symptoms ever and no cough, so I think it goes dog by dog and depends on what the underlying physiology is...you might be ok Good Luck!!!

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