Many people walk around with a murmur and have no problems with it, but it can indicate something serious if it starts suddenly.
A sudden onset murmur can indicate heart failure, shock, or a ruptured papillary muscle. Many cardiologists and cardiac nurses can pinpoint which valve the murmur comes from, when in the heart cycle it starts, and what grade the murmur rates.
For those who are not so specialised, identifying that a murmur is present and calling it to the attention of the physician is likely all you need. Lynda is a registered nurse with three years experience on a busy surgical floor in a city hospital. In her work, she took care of patients post operatively from open heart surgery, immediately post-operatively from gastric bypass, gastric banding surgery and post abdominal surgery.
She also dealt with patient populations that experienced active chest pain, congestive heart failure, end stage renal disease, uncontrolled diabetes and a variety of other chronic, mental and surgical conditions. See Educator Profile. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: Verify here. Log In Join Ausmed.
The heart may have a hole in it, a heart valve may leak, or a valve may not open all the way. If your doctor thinks your heart murmur could be due to a heart problem, you will need to see a pediatric cardiologist say: pee-dee-AT-rik car-dee-OL-uh-jist. This kind of doctor knows a lot about children's hearts. A pediatric cardiologist will ask questions to see if you've ever been short of breath, had chest pain, felt dizzy, or fainted.
The doctor also will listen to your heart with a stethoscope, check your pulse, and listen to your lungs. Sometimes the doctor might want you to get a chest X-ray to see if the heart looks bigger than normal. You also might get an electrocardiogram EKG , which measures electrical activity of the heart.
None of these tests hurt. Another test the cardiologist might do is an echocardiogram. This test uses sound waves to make a picture of the heart as blood is pumped through its chambers and valves. It takes about 20 minutes and it doesn't hurt either. Inside each of those chambers are a series of flaps and valves that keep the blood moving in the correct direction.
When these valves develop problems, either from age-related changes or infections, they may start to leak. A leaky mitral valve is a common cause of a heart murmur, for instance. Structural problems in the heart include leaking valves, thickening or narrowing of valves or blood vessels or thickening of the heart muscle itself.
These changes can be minor or major, and are often but not always progressive. A heart murmur diagnosis in an older dog may or may not affect their life expectancy. It depends on what is causing the murmur. Not all murmurs in puppies are innocent murmurs. If your puppy has an intense murmur or one that does not improve as they grow your vet may start to suspect they have a congenital heart defect.
Congenital heart defects are structural defects in the heart that your dog is born with. They may be mild or severe, and are fairly common in some breeds of small dogs. Some congenital heart defects are surgically-repairable but many are not. If your dog has a congenital heart defect, it is important to get an early diagnosis and have a cardiologist involved. While medications can often reduce the impact of a congenital heart defect, without surgery most dog with a defect like this will go into heart failure at a young age.
So when do you need to be worried about a heart murmur? Generally, if your dog has a low-grade murmur grade 1 or 2 and has no other symptoms of heart disease your vet may recommend a wait-and-watch approach.
Heart murmurs can be a serious sign of other medical problems, however. If your dog is sick or showing signs of heart disease then your vet will likely want you to consult with a specialist. Honestly, having a dog with a heart murmur evaluated by a cardiologist is never a bad idea if you can afford the expense. Many cardiologists are covered under pet insurance plans too.
This will allow them to view the chambers, valves and arteries and check the thickness of the heart wall. You will get a specific diagnosis and treatment plan from your cardiologist and you will have the benefit of knowing exactly what your dog faces.
The most important thing to do if your dog has a heart murmur is to be aware of the signs of cardiac distress. A dog can have a heart murmur for years before they develop signs of heart disease. If you know what to watch for, you can get your dog into a vet before they go into a crisis. As you can see, heart murmurs are difficult to predict.
The life expectancy of a dog with a murmur will vary a lot and will depend on what is causing the murmur. Many dogs have murmurs for years and never develop any signs of heart disease, while others slip into CHF rapidly. Some breeds are more prone to developing heart disease. The good news is that many dogs with murmurs never develop active heart disease, and even those that do often do well with treatment. Also could it be heart problems and not asthma as they diagnosed? Can human asthma inhalers be used on cats?
We bought the inhaler chamber. My cat was diagnosed with a grade 2 mumur at vet consultation prior to tooth extraction surgery. The vet advised blood tests be taken but not a pro BNP test? His Blood results came back with no red flags and surgery went ahead. Two day's later I found my cat collapsed with rapid breathing and drooling. I rushed him to Emergency and vet diagnosed CHF secondary to heart disease. He recovered after fluid drainage and oxygen and 2 days later I took him home with diuretics.
Two day's later he collapsed again and vet said cardiac arrest was likely and it was kindest to send him to sleep. I am devastated and cannot understand how his heart condition lay undetected and whether the BNP test would have shown some issue? I brought my cat to the vet this past November and was told he has a slight heart murmur! I have been bringing him to the vet for yearly vaccinations and wellness exams since adopting him in We go back for tests early I feel like his symptoms are becoming more frequent and am worried if this murmur can become worse before getting it fully checked.
My husband and I recently adopted another kitten June , can the stress of the kitten cause a heart murmur? She seems perfectly healthy, active and has an excellent appetite, although she is two pounds lighter than my other male kitten.
The vet says she is too small to medicate 4. Is there any hope for her? What should I do? All rights reserved. In-Home Training. Digital Training. Community Guidelines.
Help Center. Become Wag! Log in. What are Heart Murmurs? Symptoms of Heart Murmurs in Cats Symptoms of a heart murmur can vary widely depending on several characteristics.
Congenital: This type is present at birth, and is commonly caused by heart defects or diseases. Acquired: Cats with this type develop it later in life. Causes of Heart Murmurs in Cats There are a number of conditions that can disrupt blood flow, thus causing heart murmurs.
Common causes include: Hypertension high blood pressure Hypoproteinemia low protein levels in the blood Hyperthyroidism excess thyroid hormone Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy heart walls thicken and restrict blood flow Anemia Blood clots in the heart Increased heart rate in nervous cats Obesity Pregnancy Emaciation. Diagnosis of Heart Murmurs in Cats Heart murmurs are mainly discovered during a physical examination as your veterinarian listens to your cat's heart.
Treatment of Heart Murmurs in Cats Any type of treatment always depends on what exactly is the underlying cause of the heart murmurs. Monitor In the event that heart murmurs are innocent, then your vet may wish only to monitor your cat.
Medication Depending on the cause, specific medication may be given to treat whatever condition that has been discovered. Surgery If the murmurs are caused by a congenital disease, then your vet may recommend surgery. Recovery of Heart Murmurs in Cats Depending on the cause of the heart murmurs, the outlook ranges.
Has Symptoms Heart Flutter. My cousin says it could be a murmur but I don't have no money to take it to the vet and I'm afraid I'll lose him April 19, Little Karma's Owner.The sound that this makes is called a heart murmur. In the case of MMVD, the murmur occurs between the normal “lub” and “dub” heart sounds. Murmurs can be heard most clearly at a particular point on the left side of the dog’s chest. Diagnosing the Cause of a Dog’s Heart Murmur.