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Janine
11th April 2007, 10:38 PM
Hi everyone

Having taken my seven year old cavalier, Katy, to the vet last week we got the news I had been hoping not to hear just yet - she has a slight murmur. Because Katy has been showing reluctance to exercise our vet did an X-ray and various other tests to see what stage she is at. The results showed she is in the very early stages of MVD - some changes to the valve but no enlargement of the heart as yet. I have been through this before with my previous cavalier, but that was some years ago and treatments have changed since then. Our vet has said that she could start Katy on an Ace inhibitor now, but that opinions among cardiologists are divided as to whether this is of any benefit at this early stage of the disease. She seems to favour not treating Katy yet, but I think she will leave the decision on this up to us. My feeling is that if there is any possibility that an Ace inhibitor given now would help Katy then I would prefer to start treatment immediately and not wait until the MVD has progressed. I assume that at least it would not do her any harm? I wondered whether anyone had any info/experience on this that might help me make a decision.

Best wishes
Janine UK

Karlin
11th April 2007, 11:12 PM
Did your vet give you a grade for the murmur? It sounds fairly low, like a 1 or a 2.

Seven would be considered generally to be getting around the age when one would be expected; half have them by age 5 so your girl is already doing fairly well. Onset is so variable that she could easily remain at a low grade all her life or even a medium grade and lead a normal life. What you do want to do is monitor it, and to do that adequately you really need a cardiologist to assess the murmur. Vets typically are fairly poor at hearing murmurs and giving them correct grades when they do hear them, generally they think them worse than they are (this is to be expected -- they are GPs, not specialists in cardiology). I'd contact the UK breed club to find out when the next event in your region is with a low cost cardiac clinic as you could get her assessed there. Or plan a visit to a cardiologist.

Also this is probably the most thorough and informed piece of information I have read on approaches to treatment (which is why I asked the writer if I could condense several of her emails into one informative post to benefit others).

http://board.cavaliertalk.com/showthread.php?t=9214

She gives the two viewpoints -- to treat or not to treat prior to CHF, and when and with what -- as well as suggestions on how to make sure your cavalier is likely to stay as healthy as possible (keeping her TRIM is number one -- any excess weight puts more work on that heart and valve and WILL shorten her life. Many suggest keeping an MVD cavalier at slightly under weight).

I am sure others will have good suggestions and note there is a UK based MVD email list: http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/mvdincavaliers/

Cathryn
27th April 2007, 11:09 AM
Hello!

Chanced upon this when I was looking around, and thought you might be interested to know that in Norma Inglis's breed notes in this weeks Dog World she reports of a CKCS club run Heart and Eye clinic on May 13 2007 at The Grange Hall, Coventry Road , Southam, Warwickshire, CV47 1QA.
Testing will start at 9.30 and the last dogs will be seen at 3.30.p.m. Heart testing is free and eye-testing will be £23, every-one is welcome, for more details email Sylvia Lymer on lymrey@lineone.net

Hope this will be of use to some of you?

Cathryn

sramirez
27th April 2007, 03:51 PM
both of my girls have recently been diagnosed with heart murmurs as well. Sophie last year at age 8 (she is from England) and Sasha this year at age 9 (she is from a local breeder). Only Sophie is on medication at this point - she was obviously having troubles so started her on medication. Sasha remains asymptomatic at this point.

I would think that depending on the murmur grade and whether you are seeing any effects, it would be a decision you and your vet should make together.

Sheri