View Full Version : Possible heart murmur

28th February 2006, 06:21 PM
Hi everyone,

Well, we took Riley for his first exam with our vet and she detected a heart murmur!! :( We don't know if it is a "innocent" murmur (puppy murmur that he will grow out of) or a more serious murmur. He will be getting checked out by a cardiologist, but right now we don't know when that will be.

I am just so torn right now :cry: Here we finally get our puppy and he may have a bad heart. He's just 11 weeks old today. I really hate that this has happened, i so hope that the cardiologist can see him really soon. At least then we will know what is really going on with his heart.
Has anyone else had to deal with this in a puppy?


28th February 2006, 08:03 PM
I'm sure you'll find out more from the cardiologist.

But, to give hope, there was a post a while back--and I'm sure Karlin will be able to remember the details and share -- about puppies having murmurs. Usually, since MVD is a progressive disesase, it doesnt show up in puppies. If there's a murmur, it could be the kind that will correct itself as your puppy grows.

I'm sure someone with more academic/scientific details can add to this idea.

28th February 2006, 08:11 PM
Thank you Moviedust. Still, it's nice to hear the good thoughts.

28th February 2006, 08:31 PM
Here's some more info on flow murmurs:


28th February 2006, 11:38 PM
Laura, how scary. i just recently got my puppy too, one month ago, and when i was researching, i read several times that the hereditary mitral valve disease doesn't show up in the first year. That may be why most dog sellers give a guarantee that the puppy wont have mvd in the first year, because it's so rare. good luck! when did you get your puppy?

1st March 2006, 04:16 AM
We just picked him up this past Saturday. We've only had him for 4 days. I really hope that this is not MVD related. Thanks for the information.

1st March 2006, 04:46 AM
I am sure Riley will be fine, Laura. :) I would have your vet recheck for the murmur in a couple of weeks rather than go to a cardiologist right away.

The murmur, if it is an actual murmur, won't be MVD related as MVD is progressive and therefore wouldn't appear in a puppy so young. MVD takes time to develop as the valve gradually begins to deteriorate. For this reason, usually people don't have a cardiologist test for possible MVD-related murmurs until the dog is two or older (some start at one). It's also the reason for the heart protocols for breeding -- why cavaliers shouldn't be bred til they are at least 2.5 years old (with heart clear parents of 5 or older) as a murmur would be very unlikely before that age so you wouldn't know if you were using a dog prone to MVD unless you wait.

Most likely the vet heard a flow murmur; they are not that uncommon and almost always are nothing to worry about. Just the puppy being excited can be enough to cause the sound of a flow murmur and most likely the next time the vet listens, she will hear nothing.

Very rarely there's some type of murmur present and that is why your vet will want to listen again and then, if she hears a murmur still, you'd want to see a cardio. Be aware that vets are generally very poor at hearing actual murmurs *anyway*, for MVD or otherwise -- http://www.cavaliertalk.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=64 -- which is why it is a good idea to have a cardiologist check annually for murmurs after about age 2 or so. Many cavalier clubs have low cost heart clinics ate their club events.

Check out Laura Lang's site below with lots of good background on MVD -- and proof that any breeder who tells you they use Irish/UK/US/Australian lines because cavaliers from that part of the world 'are healthier/don't have MVD'... they are lying (or worryingly ignorant and shouldn't be breeding)! MVD is equally prevalent everywhere, all colours. It is so prevalent in the breed that cavalier owners should all know what to watch for and be sure to get cardiac checks once the dog is old enough. icon_thumbsup


We did have a long discussion on flow murmurs back before Christmas but I can't find the thread! :|

1st March 2006, 06:56 AM
My vet heard a murmur in Monty's heart four days after we brought him home. He was checked by a second vet who also heard the murmur. We took him to the cardiologist who determined that he has a pulmonary stenosis. He will need to be checked every year. Three different cardiologists have told me that dogs tend to tolerate this condition well. Right now he has no activity restrictions. Good luck with the cardiologist visit. I hope it is an innocent puppy murmur. Keep us posted. Pulmonary stenosis and patent ductus arteriosis are two congenital heart conditions that can occur in puppies.

1st March 2006, 02:59 PM
Thank you Karlin and J. and everyone for your input. I really hope that it is only an innocent flow murmur. I read the information on flow murmurs (thanks for that link). The breeder is going to pay to have Riley's heart checked by a cardiologist on Friday. So, i'm hoping we will get a definite answer and it will be just a flow murmur that he will grow out of. icon_crssedfingers

Cathy T
1st March 2006, 04:32 PM
Fingers crossed for you Laura. An innocent murmur in a puppy isn't unusual. Shelby, at 2 years old, was diagnosed with a mildly prolapsed valve and leakage. I wasn't shocked. Getting this breed I knew at some point, having two, I would have a heart issue of some type. There are so many good stories that I don't let myself get upset.

Keep us posted. So glad your breeder is so involved. That's a great sign.