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Old 12-11-2013, 07:28 PM
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amydunn19 amydunn19 is offline
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Default Heart Murmur

My non diabetic schnauzer has grade 2 heart murmur - i found this out yesterday. My vet says no big deal but my friend who has had several dogs with heart murmurs say if i wait until she has symptoms, it will be too late to really prolong her life like I could early on. She has had several dogs on a medication - it is not lasix but something else. She thinks i should get a referral to a specialist to get an echo of her heart.

Thoughts??? Totally lost as to what I should do.
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Old 12-11-2013, 10:24 PM
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Default Re: Heart Murmur

That's a fairly mild murmur... grading is 1-6 I believe. Chris had a longstanding heart murmur leftover from PDA surgery as a puppy that was graded 1 most of his life, eventually rose to a 3 or 4.

Whether treatment should be started now, I think would depend on the cause.

I'm firmly of the more information is better philosophy so if it was me, I would go ahead with an appointment with a specialist, preferably straight to a cardiologist. A cardiac ultrasound is noninvasive and could potentially tell you what problems there might be and how serious they are.

It's also pricey. Several hundred dollars probably.

My guess is that the medication is Vetmedin (pimobendan).

http://www.vetmedin.com/

It's a great drug - very helpful to Chris and many other dogs per our vet at the time. Our vet said so many dogs who were treated with it just felt a whole lot better. Also pricey.

And while I'm big on preventive medicine, I'm not big of medicating without knowing there's a reasonable expectation that it's needed and useful and not too risky. I don't like to give dogs meds they don't need.

Which would put me back at further diagnostics.

We started with one cardiologist and found him to be too conservative. Switched to one I liked much better. She totally got Chris' sensitivity to meds and odd reactions to things. She was so nice.... we did a lot of talking via email so Chris didn't have to go in and be stressed. We never paid her nearly enough for all she did for Chris.

So if you have a choice of cardiologists, even better. Ask trusted vets / clients for a recommendation if you decide to go.

Chris was at the time quite frail and had half a dozen heart diagnoses so any vet visit was stressful for him.

Treating his heart conditions probably gave us easily another year with him we wouldn't have had otherwise.

Natalie
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Old 12-12-2013, 07:05 AM
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amydunn19 amydunn19 is offline
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Default Re: Heart Murmur

Before Maggie's diagnosis with diabetes, I would have never questioned my vet if he says it is no big deal. Now, though, I would never just wait to see what happens. As soon as January 1 rolls around, I am going to take her to a specialist to see what is really going on.

Thanks, Natalie for the info. Everything I have looked up thus far suggests so many different causes and circumstances, I want a definitive answer. I just know very little about her history except that she was born in a puppy mill and never left until she developed a hernia at four years old so they deemed unworthy of continuing to live because she couldn't have any more puppies. Thank goodness for schnauzer rescue.

Her lack of development and proper nutrition shows in her general health and teeth(terrible) and there is no telling about her genetics.
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Old 12-12-2013, 09:39 AM
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Abby's Mom Abby's Mom is offline
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Default Re: Heart Murmur

Amy,

I don't know have experience with Heart Murmurs, but in my lack of experience, I can give double or tenfold the prayers, and wishing that your vet is correct, that it is not a big deal.

Barb
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Old 12-12-2013, 10:02 AM
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Default Re: Heart Murmur

My Cleo who is now 13+ has had a level 4 heart murmur all her life and I was always told not to worry. On her last exam with the previous vet, we were told that she may have cancer and that it may be her time to leave us.

We now have found a new vet and after a thorough exam, blood work and x-rays, he gave us an answer as to why Cleo was struggling.

In addition to other medical problems, both her heart and liver are quite enlarged and he put her on Vetmedin, which although expensive, helped a lot. She gets a pill every 12 hours and since she started, she has a bit more energy, doesn't cough as much, seems to be breathing better as well as eating with more appetite (of course, I started home cooking). He couldn't answer whether the enlargement was due to the fact that the condition had always been ignored.

He did warn us that she will go into distress and that we will need to be "big boys" and make "the" decision.

If I had to do it over again, I would seek the help of a specialist immediately.

Good luck with your baby

Louise
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Old 12-14-2013, 06:26 AM
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Default Re: Heart Murmur

Thanks, Louise! I appreciate any and all information. I know murmurs seem to be common but I have been so focused on all of Maggie's issues that this caught me off-guard. My husband is so attached to this little schnauzer that I want to make the best decisions we can for her. She is the first dog he has allowed himself to love since we lost our black lab a few years back.
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Old 12-14-2013, 02:44 PM
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Default Re: Heart Murmur

A friend of mine who breeds Maltese (2 litters a year, and is a very reputable breeder) once placed a dog born with a heart murmur with a friend who was a great home. She lived to be 17 years old! My friend used to tell me that when the little dog came back for her monthly grooming and she would listen to her heart and it sounded like a washing machine (the old kind). But she was none the worse for wear. She maybe wasn't quite as active the last few years (who would be at say 135 years old in people years), but she lived a great life.

I'm not saying it wouldn't worry me, it would so it is understandable how you feel.

All the best and you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Eileen
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Old 01-08-2014, 05:35 PM
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amydunn19 amydunn19 is offline
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Default Re: Heart Murmur

We are having the echo tomorrow! I will be glad to find out exactly what is up and make sure Mya is on the right track.
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Old 01-08-2014, 07:13 PM
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Default Re: Heart Murmur

keep us posted!
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Old 01-08-2014, 07:17 PM
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momofdecker momofdecker is offline
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Default Re: Heart Murmur

Positive thoughts coming your way.
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