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My vet told me my 4 month old puppy has a heart murmur. She says it is very small, and to come back in 4 weeks. Maybe im just in denial, but i know if i really trust her. Shes told me before that she felt tenderness in my other adult dog and gave me medication for it. I used it on my other dog, but there was no difference in my dog, and she hadnt appeared to have problems. I am just hopeing so badly that there is no murmur in my puppy. I want him to live long and happy, not just 2 to 3 years! Someone told me it could go away when he gets older, could this be true? I'm so scared for my pup!

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Hey, BCdynamite. Absolutely no expertise here, but I thought I?d point you in the direction of some web info (with all the warnings about reliability etc.) just till you can follow up with your vet, or AKDogDoc hops on.


This http://www.vetinfo.com/dmurmur.html seemed to be a useful start. Found it by putting in ?heart murmur puppy? into a search engine. There?s heaps of info out there.


Just a quick scan of some info suggests that the possibilities range from no problem to maybe significant problem. Hoping your pup is at the no problem end of the spectrum.


BTW, you don?t seem very confident about your relationship with your vet. Do you have any other options in your area? I must say I like to have a vet I can discuss things fully and openly with, and who treats me like a sensible person, while accepting that I?m also a panicking doggy momma.

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Don't get too worried just yet, if you can help it (I know this is much easier said than done).


A murmur means is that there is turbulent blood flow that is making extra noise as the blood flows through the heart. This can be for a variety of reasons, some of which have nothing to do with the heart being abnormal. There's something called a physiologic murmur, which means that for non-cardiac physiologic reasons the blood has turbulent flow. As an example, one of my classmates in vet school had a grade one murmur (we grade murmurs one through six). One day we were bored on echo rotation, since we had no patients that week, so we ultrasounded her heart. Because we had a good color-flow doppler we could prove that she had normal cardiac function in all measurable parameters, and zero leakage across her valves. However, she was a body builder, so she was both highly athletic and probably had a higher than average packed cell volume, so she just had noisy blood. A physiologic murmur can be outgrown, or come and go, or persist without negative consequences to the animal. I've quite often found a murmur on a patient who does not have one a year later (and this is with the same vet - me - listening both itmes.)


There ARE murmurs which will be significant to the dog, and ones which worsen and indicate worsening cardiac function. However, I'm not sure you're where you need to worry about that just yet. Having an interval of a month allows time to see if it resolves on its own (puppies and kittens are typically anemic compared to adults, so they can readily have physiologic murmurs, for instance, and there are other things that a pup might outgrow.) If you have any doubts about your vet, by all means go see another vet and get a second opinion. However, I would caution you that if another vet does NOT hear the murmur, it does NOT mean that your current vet is wrong. In my clinic, I'm the most likely to pick up a murmur of all the vets there. This does not mean I'm making it up if I hear a murmur that someone else misses. It *might* be because I'm at least 12 years younger than the other vets and have better hearing, :rolleyes: or that I have a better stethoscope, or that I got luckier or listened longer or harder, but it could also mean I'm picking up a temporary circumstance which will resolve harmlessly. So it could be that your vet is extra sharp and is picking up subtle things that other people are missing. Naturally I can't tell that from here, but I'll point it out as a possibilty, and in general I'd rather have my doc be overcautious than blase` about my cardiac health, so maybe a little extra caution here on your vet's part isn't the worst thing that could happen.


At any rate, unles you're seeing problems of cardiac function, I'd just manage your pup as usual and recheck in a month to see where you are. If one is needed, you can always go see a specialist (I'm sure that you can find one in CA, a populous state). Good luck with this and try not to stress out about it too much.

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