|Barked: Wed Sep 6, '06 7:19pm PST |
|I ufortunately don't know much about dog medicine, but I'm a people nurse and I know some about heart murmurs in people. If this was a person complaining about this I would encourage them to proceed with the xray. When a person has a heart murmur (depending on where the abnormality is) it can eventually lead to heart failure (the heart becoming ineffective at pumping blood through the body). Commonly the left side of our hearts will fail first because the left side of the heart has to supply blood to the entire body. If the left side of the heart backs up and isn't treated, then the right side of the heart also becomes "backed up" or congested. Where does the blood go? Well, it backs up right into the lungs, since the right side of the heart pumps blood to the lungs to get the oxygen so the left side can send the oxygen to the body. In people, a symptom of congestive heart failure is a dry hacking cough (among many other things) because there is excess fluid built up in the vessels of the lungs.
King mentioned an ECG- it's also known as an "EKG"- electrocardiogram. It is simply montoring/reading of a heart rhythm. LOTS of things can be seen on an EKG, from benign to serious. If the heart murmur has caused any heart failure the ventricles (the big pumps) of the heart can actually enlarge (the atria can as well, but that happens later) and this can be reflected on an EKG.
Again, I don't have any idea if doggy hearts work the same as people hearts, but this is how it is in us humans.
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