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heart murmur and chronic cough?

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.

  
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Bobby- Adopted!!!

little peanut!!
 
 
Barked: Wed Sep 6, '06 10:59am PST 
hi! i was found as an abandoned little hound thrown away like trash with terrible health conditions that, luckily, the mayors animal alliance in nyc helped to get under control! i have a low grade thyroid problem and a minor heart murmur, which haven't ever seemed to slow me down! my foster mom has always noticed a funny little dry cough that i always had on occasion, but has seemed to be getting progressively more frequent. it doesn't ever occur when i'm lying down or resting, just when i'm waling around. we went to the vet to check my thyroid levels and the dr heard it, and she recommended a chest xray- now i'm puzzled cause i don't know what that is and my foster mom is really scared because that means sedation and i'm a distinguished (ahem!) gentleman of a certan age and could that be dangerous? what do all of you out there think? does anyone else out there have a heart murmer? or just have some advice at all???
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King

333769
 
 
Barked: Wed Sep 6, '06 11:20am PST 
King had a heart murmur as a puppy but out grew it. Now he has what is called a Sinus Arrhythmia which is an irregular heart beat. The Vet asked me if King tolerated exercise and if he had a cough. I had an ECG done for King because when he is 2 years old I want to have him neutered and have a PennHip x-ray and was concerned about his heart and any surgery. King doesn't have a cough and he does fine with exercise and the Vet told me he would be fine for surgery and the people that read the ECG's recommended some specific things for him when the time comes. Maybe you could have an ECG done first. So you and your Vet will know more about the condition of his heart and can know better whether anesthesia could be dangerous for him. I wanted to add that pre op blood work is always good too.

Edited by author Wed Sep 6, '06 11:32am PST

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Poquito- ♥

Die- Cancer,- Die!
 
 
Barked: Wed Sep 6, '06 11:23am PST 
Don't know about heart murmurs, just wanted to say he's a handsome doggie. Good luck.

-Pokie's mom
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Bobby- Adopted!!!

little peanut!!
 
 
Barked: Wed Sep 6, '06 3:13pm PST 
thanks poquito! wow, king, maybe the cough and heart murmur IS kind of common after all if your vet asked about it... what exactly is an ecg? is that like an ultrasound? cause the vet said an ultrasound was another option too, but more expensive, but now that i think about it it many be safer, especially if it's not requiring anesthesia. if it's the same thing as an ecg maybe this is a bad thing? or maybe more common than i thought? o boy, now i'm nervous! hopefully it's not that bad... maybe my foster mom can convince the rescue group to pay a little more for the ecg procedure, especially if its safer.
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TK, CGC

Stop and lay in- the sunshine
 
 
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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King

333769
 
 
Barked: Wed Sep 6, '06 7:47pm PST 
The ECG I had done for King was around 55.00. So not to expensive and it gave me piece of mind knowing that his heart is healthy. Irregular heart beats and murmurs can be life threatening and they can be harmless.
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Bobby- Adopted!!!

little peanut!!
 
 
Barked: Thu Sep 7, '06 11:03am PST 
wow, thanks king and tk! maybe i should have both the ekg and xray done... this sounds really worrisome. my foster mom is really concerned now for my health, also because families just don't seem to want dogs with health problems, especially severe ones... i don't understand why, i'm just as loveable and sweet. it makes me sad =(
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"Mocha Java"- aka Java

Da Bulls.. Goin'- all Da Way!
 
 
Barked: Thu Sep 7, '06 12:52pm PST 
Sorry to hear that you are having problems!

The only thing that kind of concerns me about this is that you mentioned sedation for a chest x-ray? In all the years I was teching, unless the animal was terribly behaved, we never used any sedatives.. The only other reason was if the animal was severely injured and painful.

I would question the logic of the sedation, especially since the little man already has heart problems!

JMHO
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Paris - In loving- Memory

To know him is- to love him
 
 
Barked: Thu Sep 7, '06 12:55pm PST 
I had the heart murmur and the cough. My mom said I sounded like Felix Unger from the Odd couple. I was told by the vet the cough was from a collapse treachea. My mom had to stop walking me with the collar and use a harness. It never went away but it didnt get worse and I lived to about 13 years. No one ever really knew my age just knew that I was an old man.
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Fawn (3-18-93 to 3-14-2008)

Why is that cat- living in my- house?
 
 
Barked: Thu Sep 7, '06 3:58pm PST 
Hi! I'm not a vet and I do not have medical experience. But, my dog Fawn had the same coughing symptoms. Her vet did an ECG and x-rays and she was not sedated for either. (And she is about as hyper and misbehaved as a chihuahua/terrier mix can get at the vet.) Fawn has a murmur, an irregular heartbeat and her heart is enlarged. She was diagnosed with all of this about 3 years ago and has been taking a great medication called Enalapril (the generic of enacard). Her coughing stopped shortly after beginning the medication and her heart condition has not worsened. Her vet says heart problems are extremely common, especially in...ahem..distinguished dogs. I hope this helps and good luck in finding a home! And, try not to worry too much. While heart conditions can be serious and should not be ignored, there are treatments that work! Fawn has been proof of that for 3 years!
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