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Thread: Heart Murmur (9 week Y/O)

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    Default Heart Murmur (9 week Y/O)

    Hi there,

    I have a 9 week yearold English Bulldog (Dexter) and we have recently taken him for his second vaccination at the vet.

    Unfortunately the vet believes he has a heart murmur and suggests getting a scan to determine the cause etc.

    I have been researching and it appears that the is different grades/levels of a heart murmur - is this something the vet should be able to advise? We are not hugely confident the vet knew what he was talking about or cared about Dexter - we were the last appointment of the day. It felt the scan would be the easy option for the vet.

    Dexter seems to be healthy and acting like a normal puppy would, lots of energy, good weight, eating well, not short of breath etc.

    Has anyone had experience with this and what would you recommend?

    Cheers

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    Default Re: Heart Murmur (9 week Y/O)

    I have no experience w/heart mummer's, but I will tag some members on here that can help. I do believe that we have some bully parents on here that have dealt w/this before… Good luck, Dexter is really cute!!!

    "What we once enjoyed and deeply loved, we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes a part of us." Helen Keller
    RIP Wellie, Bella, Winston & Roxie

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    Default Re: Heart Murmur (9 week Y/O)

    Hi, I'm sorry you're dealing with this with Dexter, I don't have any experience with heart murmurs either, but I did find this information for you. I hope it helps.

    Heart Murmurs in Dogs

    Murmurs are extra heart vibrations that are produced as a result of a disturbance in the blood flow -- enough, in fact, to produce audible noise. Often, the murmurs are classified according to a variety of characteristics, including their timing. Systolic murmurs, for example, occur when the heart muscle contracts; diastolic murmurs occur when the heart muscle relaxes between beats; and continuous and to-and-fro murmurs occur throughout all or most of the cardiac cycle.

    Heart murmurs can occur in both dogs and cats. If you would like to learn more about how they affect cats, please visit this page in the PetMD health library.

    Symptoms and Types

    The symptoms associated with murmurs depend on a variety of characteristics, including their grade, configuration, and location. If, however, the murmur is associated with structural heart disease, your dog may display signs of congestive heart failure such as coughing, weakness, or exercise intolerance.

    Grading Scale for Murmurs


    Grade I—barely audible
    Grade II—soft, but easily heard with a stethoscope
    Grade III—intermediate loudness; most murmurs which are related to the mechanics of blood circulation are at least grade III
    Grade IV—loud murmur that radiates widely, often including opposite side of chest
    Grade V—very loud, audible with stethoscope barely touching the chest; the vibration is also strong enough to be felt through the animal's chest wall
    Grade VI—very loud, audible with stethoscope barely touching the chest; the vibration is also strong enough to be felt through the animal's chest wall

    Configuration


    Plateau murmurs have uniform loudness and are typical of blood regurgitation through an abnormal valvular orifice (regurgitant murmurs).
    Crescendo-decrescendo murmurs get louder and then softer and are typical of ejection murmurs due to turbulent forward flow.
    Decrescendo murmurs start loud and then get softer and are typical of diastolic murmurs.

    Causes

    Murmurs are caused by the following:

    Disturbed blood flow associated with high flow through normal or abnormal valves or with structures vibrating in the blood flow.
    Flow disturbances associated with outflow obstruction or forward flow through diseased valves or into a dilated great vessel.
    Flow disturbances associated with regurgitant flow due to an incompetent valve, patent ductus arteriosus, or a defect in the septum (the wall that separates the heart's left and right sides).

    More specifically, the following are some conditions and diseases that may bring on murmurs:

    Systolic Murmurs

    AnemiaHeart Murmurs in Dogs



    Murmurs are extra heart vibrations that are produced as a result of a disturbance in the blood flow -- enough, in fact, to produce audible noise. Often, the murmurs are classified according to a variety of characteristics, including their timing. Systolic murmurs, for example, occur when the heart muscle contracts; diastolic murmurs occur when the heart muscle relaxes between beats; and continuous and to-and-fro murmurs occur throughout all or most of the cardiac cycle.

    Heart murmurs can occur in both dogs and cats. If you would like to learn more about how they affect cats, please visit this page in the PetMD health library.

    Symptoms and Types

    The symptoms associated with murmurs depend on a variety of characteristics, including their grade, configuration, and location. If, however, the murmur is associated with structural heart disease, your dog may display signs of congestive heart failure such as coughing, weakness, or exercise intolerance.

    Grading Scale for Murmurs
    Grade I—barely audible
    Grade II—soft, but easily heard with a stethoscope
    Grade III—intermediate loudness; most murmurs which are related to the mechanics of blood circulation are at least grade III
    Grade IV—loud murmur that radiates widely, often including opposite side of chest
    Grade V—very loud, audible with stethoscope barely touching the chest; the vibration is also strong enough to be felt through the animal's chest wall
    Grade VI—very loud, audible with stethoscope barely touching the chest; the vibration is also strong enough to be felt through the animal's chest wall

    Configuration


    Plateau murmurs have uniform loudness and are typical of blood regurgitation through an abnormal valvular orifice (regurgitant murmurs).
    Crescendo-decrescendo murmurs get louder and then softer and are typical of ejection murmurs due to turbulent forward flow.
    Decrescendo murmurs start loud and then get softer and are typical of diastolic murmurs.

    Causes

    Murmurs are caused by the following:

    Disturbed blood flow associated with high flow through normal or abnormal valves or with structures vibrating in the blood flow.
    Flow disturbances associated with outflow obstruction or forward flow through diseased valves or into a dilated great vessel.
    Flow disturbances associated with regurgitant flow due to an incompetent valve, patent ductus arteriosus, or a defect in the septum (the wall that separates the heart's left and right sides).

    More specifically, the following are some conditions and diseases that may bring on murmurs:

    Systolic Murmurs
    Anemia
    Hyperthyroidism
    Heartworm disease
    Mitral and tricuspid valve heart failure
    Cardiomyopathy and aortic valve insufficiency
    Mitral and tricuspid valve dysplasia
    Systolic anterior mitral motion (SAM)
    Dynamic right ventricular outflow obstruction
    Dynamic subaortic stenosis
    Aortic stenosis
    Pulmonic stenosis
    Atrial and ventricular septal defect
    Tetralogy of Fallot
    Mitral and tricuspid valve endocarditis (inflammation of the inner part of the heart)

    Continuous or To-and-Fro Murmurs
    Patent ductus arteriosus
    Ventricular septal defect with aortic regurgitation
    Aortic stenosis with aortic regurgitation

    Diastolic Murmurs
    Mitral and tricuspid valve stenosis
    Aortic and pulmonic valve endocarditis (inflammation of the inner layer of the heart)


    Diagnosis

    In order to determine exactly what is causing the symptoms, your veterinarian must differentiate between a wide range of abnormal heart sounds -- split sounds, ejection sounds, gallop rhythms, and clicks, for example. He or she also must differentiate between abnormal lung and heart sounds, and listen to see if timing of abnormal sound is correlated with respiration or heartbeat.

    The location and radiation of the murmur, as well as the timing during cardiac cycle, is another way to determine the underlying cause. This can be accomplished by conducting a variety of tests, including chest X-rays, Doppler studies, and echocardiography. A complete blood count, meanwhile, is one of the preferred methods for confirming anemic murmurs.


    Hyperthyroidism
    Heartworm disease
    Mitral and tricuspid valve heart failure
    Cardiomyopathy and aortic valve insufficiency
    Mitral and tricuspid valve dysplasia
    Systolic anterior mitral motion (SAM)
    Dynamic right ventricular outflow obstruction
    Dynamic subaortic stenosis
    Aortic stenosis
    Pulmonic stenosis
    Atrial and ventricular septal defect
    Tetralogy of Fallot
    Mitral and tricuspid valve endocarditis (inflammation of the inner part of the heart)

    Continuous or To-and-Fro Murmurs
    Patent ductus arteriosus
    Ventricular septal defect with aortic regurgitation
    Aortic stenosis with aortic regurgitation

    Diastolic Murmurs
    Mitral and tricuspid valve stenosis
    Aortic and pulmonic valve endocarditis (inflammation of the inner layer of the heart)


    Diagnosis

    In order to determine exactly what is causing the symptoms, your veterinarian must differentiate between a wide range of abnormal heart sounds -- split sounds, ejection sounds, gallop rhythms, and clicks, for example. He or she also must differentiate between abnormal lung and heart sounds, and listen to see if timing of abnormal sound is correlated with respiration or heartbeat.

    The location and radiation of the murmur, as well as the timing during cardiac cycle, is another way to determine the underlying cause. This can be accomplished by conducting a variety of tests, including chest X-rays, Doppler studies, and echocardiography. A complete blood count, meanwhile, is one of the preferred methods for confirming anemic murmurs.

    Treatment

    Unless heart failure is evident, your dog will be treated as an outpatient. The course of treatment will be determined based on the associated clinical signs. Puppies with low grade murmurs, for example, may require little or no treatment and the murmur may resolve itself within six months. Routine diagnostic imaging is recommended for dogs with murmurs.
    LEARN A LESSON FROM YOUR DOG, NO MATTER WHAT LIFE BRINGS YOU, KICK SOME GRASS OVER THAT AND MOVE ON.

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    Default Re: Heart Murmur (9 week Y/O)

    At that young depending on the grade it could go away. If your vet is not very knowledgeable about bulldogs he may not know if it is for sure or not according to my vet (who is very bulldog knowledgeable ) it is very hard to hear the low grade heart murmurs in bulldog if you don't know what to listen for because they make a lot of noise all on there own . As far as acting normal I have a female that has had a grade 4 along with some other heart issue (according to my vet and a cardiologist he had sent us to when she was a puppy) they didn't expect her to live to see a year old but since she was in no pain and they only gave her a 20 percent chance of surviving a surgery the breeder and I decide to focus on quality of her life in stead of quantity and I am happy to say she turned 4 on valentines day and she still gets around great. She doesn't play as long as everyone else and I do watch her to make sure she doesn't get over exerted or over heated at all. Otherwise she is a normal loving silly bulldog My suggestion would be to speak to the breeder and see what they say and to talk to the vet to see if they can tell you what grade it was. And if you don't feel comfortable find a different vet or a cardiologist that knows bulldogs

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    Default Re: Heart Murmur (9 week Y/O)

    to EBN .... yes, there are different levels -- I have no experience, but I tagged a member that has two bulldogs with murmurs and they live full and happy lives. I think you have to get a test done to give the level it is

    Best of luck.... keep us posted. Dexter is one adorable little bully boy!
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    Default Re: Heart Murmur (9 week Y/O)

    From my experience you really need to find out what grade the murmur is. There is a murmur that is called an 'innocent' murmur that will close over time, and is very common in puppies. The valve just has not closed all the way. This is usually a mild murmur (probably like a 1-2). 3 is borderline as to weather it will improve, and 4,5,& 6 are a big concern. I would recommend going to a specialist and getting a grade before you worry yourself to death about your new baby.

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    Default Re: Heart Murmur (9 week Y/O)

    Everyone has you covered advice wise. I just wanted to welcome you and adorable Dexter to EBN.
    My smooshy face boy!

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    Default Re: Heart Murmur (9 week Y/O)

    I highly recommend getting a second opinion from a specialist vet if you can. A vet diagnosed my bulldog around the exact same age as yours with a heart murmur. Then I went and got a second opinion from a bulldog specialist vet and she did not pick up any murmur. She also pulled the other vet in the room and she could not detect any murmur either. 1 year later, I have a perfectly healthy dog.

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    Default Re: Heart Murmur (9 week Y/O)

    When I first got Raven our very bully savvy vet mentioned he thought he heard a murmur. He said a lot of times they outgrow them. He did tell me to keep an eye and see if I saw any easy fatigue, breating issues etc. He continued to monitor it. He would have me come by every two weeks to keep an ear on it, free of charge. By the time she hit four months he said he no longer heard it. Not sure what anyone elses experience is with the issue but this is what happened with us. She is almost four years old and fit as a fiddle. Good luck and I hope your baby outgrows it.
    Always in my heart and never far from my thoughts. See you at the rainbow bridge my sweet little Monkey. R.I.P. Raven.

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    Default Re: Heart Murmur (9 week Y/O)

    A friend of mine took their dog to a doggy cardiologist at the recommendation of the vet and his dog's (though not a bully) heart murmur is a low grade and he said it likely wouldn't ever be an issue. But my friend was glad it's been checked and settled. I'd think of getting a specialist's opinion.

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