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Q. We are picking up a rescue dog which has a slight heart murmer she is 4 years old. Any advice please.

Answered By
DAVID ELBEZE, DVM, MRCVS

A. Heart murmur doesn't essentially mean heart problem or heart failure, it might be an accidental finding during a physical examination without any actual symptoms. If she is indeed healthy just make sure she doesn't gain too much weight as this can affect the cardio vascular system on the long run. Don't walk with her too long on hot days and don't over exercise her either. If she start showing symptoms of shortness of breath, coughing, swollen belly, lethargy or lack of appetite - take her to the vet and mention the heart murmur as these symptoms might be connected to her possible heart condition.

Answered By
DR. MASSIMO ORIOLES, DVM, MRCVS

A. A low grade heart murmur does not mean necessarily that an hert disease is present. If your dog is showing signs of possible heart disease such as cough/ sneezing, exercise intolerance, lethargy I would recommend to investigate the problem further. Chest radiographs and heart ultrasound are the next steps to define the heart problem. A cardiology consultation and ECG would be useful as well.


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