Just got back from the vet..Frankie has a systolic heart murmur..how serious are they..?

Got a new, young, furry love in your life? This is the place for you to ask all of your questions-big or small! Just remember that you are receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a vet or behaviorist! Most important is to remember to have fun with your new fur baby.

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Bossy Aussie
Barked: Tue Jul 10, '12 12:19pm PST 
Sorry to hear of your bad news! My wife worked as a veterinary assistant for 6 years and has seen many dogs live out very normal lives that have a low grade heart murmur. Keep in mind that the very low grade heart murmurs are diagnosed differently by different veterinarians.

My mother has always had Shetland Sheepdogs, and when she bought her latest three years ago she ran into some heart murmur scares. She saw three different veterinarians with her Shetland Sheepdog puppy when she first brought him home because he veterinarian is a large practice that rotates, and only one of them said that they thought they heard a heart murmur.

Upon hearing the news my mother gave the dog to my wife to take to work with her and upon doing so he was checked out by five different vets and none of them heard the murmur. Sometimes a second opinion can set your mind at ease! smile

Do you even- lift?
Barked: Tue Jul 10, '12 1:10pm PST 
I had a similar experience to what Natalie described with the bf's dog. We'd taken him to a different vet than our normal one for shots because we didn't want a 7 in 1, and while she was doing the examination, she told us he had a heart murmur. We started freaking out and immediately made an appointment with the specialist she recommended. Suddenly we were both sure he was tiring too fast, breathing too hard, ect.

My father suggested taking Booth to our regular vet before driving several hours and spending hundreds of dollars on a specialist. Took him into my vet, didn't tell him about the heart murmur until he had listened to his heart and said everything was fine. After I told him what the other vet had said, he listened again but said everything sounded normal to him. Took him back at a year old and everything still sounded normal.

So I definitely agree that getting a second opinion is a good idea. And as others have said, even if he does have a heart murmur, the low grade ones often have no real consequence on the dog's life.

I can't hear- you.
Barked: Tue Jul 10, '12 1:27pm PST 
You may think about taking your dog to an OFA clinic where a licensed veterinary cardiologist (a vet board certified by the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Specialty of Cardiology) can assess the dog. It may be more thorough than just having a general vet do it.

Clinic prices are normally pretty decent. We had Ghost's OFA Cardiac ascultation done at one and I think the cost was just $35.


Edited by author Tue Jul 10, '12 1:28pm PST



Cheese? PLEASE!
Barked: Tue Jul 10, '12 5:18pm PST 
I am near tears as I read some of your posts and replies..thank you all sooo much for sharing your stories and experiences..it is very comforting!!

big hug

Spreading Smiles- As A Tribute For- Lexi
Barked: Tue Jul 10, '12 10:12pm PST 
I worked as a vet tech for 11 yrs and although the one I worked for was amazing I still would suggest always get a second opinion on anything you're concerned about regarding your furs health. Sending healing thoughts and prayer your way hug

Barked: Wed Jul 11, '12 1:07am PST 
I just started doing my internship to be a vet tech. One of the students that was in my vet tech class had a cavalier king charles spaniel that had a murmur since she was a puppy and she is 9 years old and she is still going strong. The murmur hasn't worsened at all and doesn't keep her from living a peaceful dog life. A normal heart beat for a dog is 120bpm (beats per minute) but do keep in mind the smaller the dog the faster the heart beat is and the bigger a dog is the slower the heart beat is. Murmurs tend to sound like a "whooshing" sound. It sounds a lot like a washing machine. But if you want a 2nd opinion I would go to a vet that specializes in cardiology. They will be able to give you a grade of the murmur and answer any q's you have about dog murmurs. 2nd opinion doesn't hurt anything and it will put your mind at ease. Also keep in mind that not everything you find on the internet is true, so don't believe everything that you read.
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