Heart Murmur In Dogs – Do You Need to Worry?
Has your veterinarian recently given you a diagnosis which has your worried? A heart murmur in dogs is a very common diagnosis, and one you need to take seriously, but do you really need to worry?
First you need to be aware a heart murmur in dogs is often found in dogs as young as a year or two old. These dogs often live to full maturity, never experiencing any additional heart conditions. It is possible the heart murmur is a precursor to future problems, but in most cases it is not necessary to start any treatment in younger dogs.
The only person who can give you a good evaluation of your particular dog is your veterinarian. Ask him very specific questions about their suspicions and if they are recommending any treatment. You should discuss the incidence of heart murmurs in your particular breed of dog, and how common heart related problems are with the breed.
The heart murmur is basically indicating a slight leak in blood during the different cycles of the heart. Your vet may recommend having an ultrasound of your canine patient to determine the source of the murmur, and to give a clearer indication if there are any other issues involved.
As in humans, many heart murmurs can be treated with medication and do not require any kind of surgical intervention. Only in extreme situations is a surgical option needed. If this is the case, you will need to make the decision based upon the age of your pet, your families attachment, and your budget, on whether you want to pursue a surgical solution. You can allow your pet to continue on with the heart murmur if it is not creating any other conditions currently. Your pet could have many more years of healthy, lively life without the surgery, before any further decisions are required.
Do you need to worry? You should keep an active interest in your dog’s heart health, but worry is really not going to solve anything. Most likely your pet will be fine and continue to be a healthy part of your life throughout a normal life span. Just use the information to make sure you keep your dog lean, well exercised, and they have regular check-ups with the vet.
Anytime you hear any diagnosis of heart problems your mind instantly jumps to the worst conclusion. This is one time where the most common outcome is good, and you can relax. A heart murmur in dogs is not a death sentence, and is not promising an endless chain of vet bills. You are going to have a good long life with your treasured friend, just with a new air of caution, and attention to health details. You can even choose to never tell your dog he is ill. He will probably just go ahead and play, chase the ball, bark at the cats, and jump on the couch as if everything is normal, because for him, it is.
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