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Hi,

Anyone out there have a BC that is middle aged and diagnosed with a heart murmur? I took my 7 year old female BC to work with me today for her yearly and Vet heard a murmur. About 2/5. She has an appointment with a cardiologist Thursday but I think I just want some reassurance. My previous female BC had a murmur at 10. Was put on enalapryl and passed away from something else three years later. She never was symptomatic.

I'm very upset since Ziva is only 7 and I think her heart rate is a little too fast for a dog that is as fit as she is (about 120 bpm.) She doesn't act like anything is wrong. Thanks.

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My previous BC had a murmur. It would come and go. Sometimes a vet would hear it and other times not. He lived to be 16.5 years old and the murmur wasn't the reason he passed. Your girl's murmur was caught early so hopefully they can put her on some medication to help it out. :)

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My now 10 year old developed a murmur at 7 years old. I sent him to gather the sheep one day and he started to really struggle when they were about 3/4 of the way down the field. I knew something was very wrong because he would rather die than quit. The only thing I could find wrong on exam was a new murmur. Pretty quiet really, about a II/VI. Bloodwork and rads were normal. Off to the cardiologist we went. He was diagnosed with mitral valve disease, the most common type of heart disease in dogs. Apparently it's becoming much more common in our breed.

 

PS, take her heart rate when she is sleeping.

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Our 11 year old has just started meds for a grade 4 heart murmur. Our scale goes up to 6. (Also has HD.)

 

A murmur had been mentioned in the past but just as a "keep an eye on it" issue. It wasn't mentioned again at annual check ups and no obvious symptoms until one evening he had an episode where he just couldn't settle and it was decided it was time to start the meds.

 

Compared with many other dogs of the same age he is very fit. The only modification in the way we treat him is that he doesn't jump as high when competing and training in agility and we have reduced the number of competitive runs he does a day to two, but that's as much because his brain doesn't cope as well as it did as his physical condition. Also, when he's out running with our 2 year old he's put back on lead before he starts slowing down.

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We discovered a murmur on my Darque when she was coming on 7 years old. Not a bad one so no meds prescribed. She continued to run in and win open trials through 10 years old and continues to be healthy, happy, playful and still does some farm work for me, she will be 12 in May. So far I am not aware of any of her pups have being diagnosed with a murmur (3 litters ages 4, 6 & 8 years). Is it unusual to not have to medicate a performance dog or am I just lucky?

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Well, results from the cardiologist. Stage B1 mitral and tricuspid valvular insufficiency. No significant left atrial dilation, no congestive heart failure or pulmonary hypertension at this time. So no limitations, no medications. He called the murmur a grade 3 out of 6. Recommended a thyroid profile due to a lower cardiac contractility (39%, I'm not sure what normal is.) Pretty much good news although I'm still upset that she has a heart murmur at 7. Hopefully, it will not cause an issue but we will certainly return for rechecks when recommended (in one year, unless a problem is seen.) The cardiologist said several times that medication would be overkill at this time since there wasn't any atrial dilation.

Perhaps my other dog had dilation (I'll have to find her report) as she was started on Enalapril and was rechecked in 6 months.

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Lori Perry, maybe you are lucky, but it depends on the cause of the murmur.

 

Some are called innocent murmurs because they really don't affect the dogs. They are caused by non pathologic changes such as those seen in extremely athletic dogs. The heart is a muscle, so athletic dogs will have changes to their heart that can, sometimes, result in a murmur.

 

Some are not innocent but take so long to progress that you can keep working them for many years. One of my other dogs, for example, has a murmur because of scars on her valves. She had a fever of unknown origin, the infection spreading to and damaging the valves of her heart. Nearly 8 years later and she had led a full life with no evidence at this time of decreased heart function.

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One of my last two, Shadow who was also born blind, had a murmur. It was a watch it type of thing that never did progress beyond that. It was diagnosed when she was 6, about the same time she went into treatment for cancer in her liver, and with both against her, she lived a happy, entertaining 7 years beyond that with no drop in physical activity due to the murmur. (She did have about a year of slow-down due to the cancer, but resumed her normal after that.)

 

I hope the best for yours, and for clean re-checks.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Last year, just a few months shy of turning 8 I found out Meg had a murmur. She has had anaplasmosis in the past and last year had another flare up and it was then that the vet found it. He said it was possible that it was due to the tick borne disease. She isn't on any meds, I was told if I noticed any changes to bring her back, but she has been fine. If the vet hadn't found the murmur I'd be none the wiser.

 

Samantha

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