+44(0)1189 842871 9am-5pm weekdays support@ace-canine.com

Our Library of Dog Health Articles

Heart Murmurs

 

It often comes as a surprise to owners to be told by the Vet that their dog has a heart murmur. The news often comes as a result of a routine check by the Vet when your dog  is in the clinic for something else. This is because vet will use a stethoscope to listen to the heart as part of his routine examination.

It can be distressing and worrying news especially as many dogs with heart murmurs appear normal to their owners and have no obvious symptoms of heart disease.

A heart murmur is a specific sound detected when listening to the heart with a stethoscope. This sound is a result of the blood flowing faster than normal within the heart itself or in one of the two major arteries leaving the heart (the aorta and pulmonary artery). Instead of the normal Lubb Dupp, an additional sound is present that can vary from a mild pshhh to a loud whoosh!

Your vet will use a grading system from 1 to 6 to describe how loud the murmur is e.g. a grade 1 murmur is very soft and a grade 6 murmur is very loud. You should ask your Vet for this assessment.

Heart murmurs in puppies

 

If a heart murmur is present from birth or develops shortly after birth, it will probably be noticed by your veterinary surgeon at the time of  vaccinations.  The most common type is called an innocent“flow murmur”. This type of murmur is soft (typically a grade 2 or softer) and is not caused by underlying heart disease and will generally disappear in the first year.

However if a puppy has a loud murmur (grade 3 or louder), or if the heart murmur is still easily heard with a stethoscope after 4-5 months of age, the likelihood of an underlying congenital heart problem (i.e. heart disease that the puppy was born with) becomes much higher. Examples of congenital heart problems in dogs are patent ductus arteriosus, aortic stenosis and pulmonic stenosis.

Heart murmurs in adult dogs

 

This type of  heart murmur is usually due to heart disease that develops with age and was not present when a puppy.

In toy and small breeds of dog, a heart murmur may develop due to thickening and degeneration of the mitral valve in the heart, preventing it from closing properly and consequently leaking. The heart then has to work harder to compensate for this pumping inefficiency 

Large and giant breeds of dog typically do not suffer from mitral valve disease to the same extent and the usual heart disease affecting older larger dogs is called Dilated Cardiomyopathy or DCM.

The heart muscle has enlarged and can distort the mitral valve so that it cannot close properly. The resultant leak across the valve will cause a heart murmur.

How is a heart murmur treated?

 

If the heart murmur is caused by an underlying problem, the treatment will be based on the diagnosis, and may include a combination of specialized diets, medications and supportive care. Only a few congenital heart defects can be surgically corrected. Treatment and Care may well be required throughout your pet’s life.

Factors outside of the heart can cause murmurs

 

Not all murmurs are the result of a problem in the heart. Blood disorders, obesity, emaciation and parasitic conditions can create the conditions necessary to initiate a heart murmur.

What is the outlook?

 

The prognosis ranges depending on the cause of the murmur. If the murmur is not strong and the dog is a puppy the your vet will probably just keep and eye on the situation and offer no treatment.

The long-term prognosis for a dog with a murmur caused by congenital heart disease is extremely variable, depending on the specific type of defect that is present; if the defect can be surgically corrected the prognosis is very good. A dog with mitral valve problems can usually be managed with long-term medications.

The outlook for a dog with dilated cardiomyopathy varies – in the later stage the disease develops to ‘heart failure’ and then the prognosis will be grave though you may still enjoy your pet’s company for years to come. Treatment again includes a package of medication and dietary supplementation and control.

ace-canine healthcare

Animal Health Supplements For Dogs; We Believe Nature and Science Go Hand in Hand

 

 

© 2018 March Laboratories Ltd.


Latest Reviews

Trustpilot & Judge.me

Verified Reviews

Chris Wakeham 14/1/21

Judge.me
Great company very helpful and knowledgeable. After a long chat on the phone I placed an order just before Christmas and it arrived next day. My 2 labradors love the Flex sprinkle and are showing signs of the benefits by moving more freely. Just placed my second order.

Su Brown 1/1/21

Judge.me
You can't beat the best.
My little papillon has been on the Flex Jointcare for a number of years due to various life-long joint and ligament problems. Just recently it was really to prove its worth to me all over again! Buddy has been pretty poorly over a number of months and despite a CT scan nothing conclusive could be found. He was on pretty heavy drugs which I have now weaned him off and onto a natural oil. He was doing really well but then out of the blue started to show signs of distress! Realised that due to him not wanting to eat when he was poorly he had missed out on his Flex Sprinkle for nearly a month! Immediately started him back on a half dose to restart the routine he has been on for a number of years, and to which I have no doubts I owe the fact he is now approaching his 11th birthday and is still with me. Literally within 3 days my little Buddy started to perk up again, and now a week down the line and now back on his full dose of Flex Sprinkle, I have my adored bouncing Buddy back to his old self. I honestly cannot thank Ace-Canine enough for producing this miracle in a tub. I have recommended to so many friends, I have lost count.

John 19/11/20

Trustpilot
Flex Sprinkle
I've used Ace-Canine's Flex Sprinkle for my Goldie for years; ensuring she stays as supple and mobile as possible.
From ordering to delivery, within 24 hrs!!! Excellent service.

Nathalie S 19/11/20

Trustpilot
Instant relief for our dog
Our 11 years old Keeshond started having joint issues and has an early stage of cataract. I contacted Ace Canine through their social media, asked for more information on which medication was best for our dog. Not only were they very helpful, I also got a discount code.
Our dog is relieving through her medication although if it's not given on time, she can relapse with fatigue and limping.
I've been giving her Clarifye for her cataract 4 times a day for a month, I think it helps but can't really tell for sure, also no changes on her eyes discolouration.
She's also taking Trimega as a multivitamin, Flex Celadrin and Flex Sprinkle Joincare. Now this combo has made a huge change on her overall health. She's back to being playful, even runs, seems more happy and has good appetite.
I used to give her as well Plaque Away, that definitely worked especially with foul breath but I stopped it as I didn't want to overload her with supplements.
All in all, would highly recommend Ace Canine products, it sure works on our dog.

Rachel 15/11/20

Flex Sprinkle Jointcare
Love the stuff ! The dogs do really well on it rate it. The company staff really helpfully and delivered without delay. One of the best company’s I have dealt with

Kevin Preston 4/11/20

Flex Celadrin
I bought the Flex Celadrin capsules as one of my older dogs was suffering with his back legs. Have to say it seems to have made a great difference in his walking now. Much better to use this then the injection he was getting every 6 months. I will definitely continue to use these capsules. Thank you.

Janice Dexter 13/11/20

Clarifye Eye Drops
THEY HAVE BEEN REALLY HELPFUL WITH ADVICE AND WITH THE EYE DROPS MY DOG NEEDS AT A REASONABLE PRICE AS BEING AN OAP I COULD NOT AFFORD THE VET, BUT ACE HEALTH HAVE REALLY HELPED MY DOGS EYESIGHT.

Katy Fenton 11/11/20

Flex Sprinkle Jointcare
Wouldn't be without it. Tried cheaper but it's just NOT the same. 100% Recommended !!

Nicola 27/10/20

Flex Sprinkle Jointcare
Literally a miracle in a pot, our 16 year old staffy has a spring in his step and is moving about a lot more easier. Fantastic results, the loading dose has literally given him a new lease of life within 48 hours. We will be putting our 8 year old on it next. Amazing product that I wish we had known about sooner.

Karen Winter 14/11/2020

Clarifye Eye Drops
Excellent product - Clarifye. Has made an amazing improvement in my jack russells cataracts already even when she is 16 years old. It has given her a quality of life back and she is much happier in herself and enjoying her walks again. She can now see much longer distances and manages well in the dark.Product arrived promptly and well packaged. Thank you Ace Canine!!