Symptoms of Dog Heart Murmur
Dogs Symptoms and Canine Health - Dog Heart Murmur - General Canine Observations
When you are worried about your pet dogs or puppies it is wise to make general observations and a note of your dog's general well-being before considering a health issue and problem such as Dog Heart Murmur. Overall physical condition? Mental attitude? Appetite? Condition of bowels and urinary apparatus? The nose of healthy dogs or puppies is moist and cool but in sick dogs it is usually hot and dry. Hair loss? Dry skin? Discharges? These general observations are useful to consider whilst checking out the symptoms of Dog Heart Murmur.
A heart murmur is caused by abnormal blood flow through the heart and there are six grades that heart murmurs are classified in depending on its severity:
Grade 1 - Very faint
Grade 2 - Soft
Grade 3 - Heard all over the precordium (portion of the body over the heart and lower chest)
Grade 4 - Loud, with palpable thrill (a tremor or vibration felt on palpation)
Grade 5 - Very loud, with thrill. May be heard when stethoscope is partly off the chest
Grade 6 - Very loud, with thrill. May be heard with stethoscope entirely off the chest
Grade One and Grade Two: These are usually minor murmurs that don't require immediate medical intervention. If the dog develops a cough or becomes lethargic it is advisable to seek professional help in case the murmur has developed into a more serious condition.
Grade Three and Grade Four: A murmur of grade three or grade four are more serious and usually are a cause for concern. The dog is likely to tire easily and quickly after exercise, and may also have a persistent cough which could indicate that fluid is collecting in the lungs. Medication is usually required in murmurs of this grade to keep them under control.
Grade Five and Grade Six: Murmurs of grades five and six are the most serious grades of murmurs. Dogs may require medication and possibly surgery to repair the defect. Murmurs at this level may eventually develop into congestive heart failure.
Some murmurs are considered to be congenital birth defects and some puppies are born with heart murmurs. If a heart murmur is found to be hereditary then the dog should not be bred as the condition should not be passed onto future generations. Murmurs can also be noted in older dogs at a routine check-up. Depending on the grade of heart murmur, having this condition doesn't necessarily mean that a dogs quality of life will be affected. It is vital that the advice of a veterinary surgeon is sought and a diagnosis made as some heart murmurs can be due to serious health conditions that require immediate treatment.
Functional Murmur - Also referred to as a "physiologic murmur" it is a heart murmur that is mainly due to physiologic conditions outside the heart, as opposed to structural defects in the heart itself. Functional murmurs may be "innocent murmurs" (benign) but also could be serious.
Pathologic Murmur - This type of murmur can be the result of a narrowing or leaking heart valve. It can also be caused by an abnormal passage through which blood flows in or near the heart.
Dogs Symptoms and Canine Health - Symptoms of Dog Heart Murmur
Dog Heart Murmur symptoms may include the following:
- Dog Heart Murmur symptoms - Fainting
- Dog Heart Murmur symptoms - Laboured Breathing
- Dog Heart Murmur symptoms - Reluctance to exercise
- Dog Heart Murmur symptoms - Tires Easily
- Dog Heart Murmur symptoms - Bluish tinge to gums or tongue
- Dog Heart Murmur symptoms - Chronic hacking cough
- Dog Heart Murmur symptoms - Breathlessness
Treatment and Remedies - Canine Treatment of Dog Heart Murmur
The remedies and treatment of Dog Heart Murmur may include the treatment of dogs as follows. The diagnosis will begin with the veterinary surgeon listening to the dogs heartbeat with a stethoscope. If a murmur is present, the heartbeat will make a softer, longer sound than the steady, short thump of a normal canine heartbeat. If further treatment is necessary then the following are some of the diagnostic tests used to confirm a diagnosis of a heart murmur:
- Canine Heart Murmur treatment - Electrocardiogram - An Electrocardiogram or ECG test can reveal if there is a problem with the dog's heart. An ECG measures the heart rate and determines whether or not there is abnormal heart rhythms.
- Canine Heart Murmur treatment - Echocardiogram - This test determines if there are problems with the valves of the dog's heart and will also determine how well the heart is functioning. This results of this test will allow your veterinary surgeon to access whether any medical treatment is required.
- Canine Heart Murmur treatment - X-Ray - An X-ray will display any abnormalities of the cardio-pulmonary system relating to heart problems being experienced.
- Canine Heart Murmur treatment - Ultrasound exam - This test is evaluates heart murmurs by reporting how much of the blood flow into the heart is being misdirected. The test also identifies exactly where the defect is that is allowing the blood to flow incorrectly and producing a murmur.
The treatment for a canine heart murmur depends on each individual case and the 'grade' of murmur diagnosed. Some murmurs are 'innocent' and do not require any treatment (regular monitoring is however recommended). Other murmurs require immediate surgery to rectify a problem. It is vital that the advice of your Canine health care professional is sought and a diagnosis confirmed to maintain the dogs quality of life.
Dog Symptoms and Canine Health - Canine Insurance / Pet Health Insurance for Dog Heart Murmur
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Disclaimer - Dog Heart Murmur Section of Dogs Symptoms and Canine Health Website
The sole purpose of the Dog Heart Murmur section on the Dog Symptoms and Canine Health website is to act as a reference guide to provide useful information to the owners of dogs and puppies. This article on Dog Heart Murmur is not intended to be used to diagnose or treat sick dogs or as a substitute for obtaining professional veterinary advice. Please remember that if you are in any doubt about your Dog's Health, or problems associated with Dog Heart Murmur, please consult your Canine Veterinary Specialist immediately for professional treatment. Your vet will diagnose whether Dog Heart Murmur is the problem and prescribe appropriate medication and treatment.
Treatment and Symptoms of Dog Heart Murmur
Dog Symptoms and Canine Health