View Full Version : Back from the vet - not so good news

4th August 2007, 06:17 PM
UPDATE - See end of thread

We took the boys for their annual appointments this morning and unfortunately were told that our vet heard a very slight murmur on Arthur. She had to take him to a quiet room to make sure she heard it. I guess it is very faint. That said, we will be going to the cardiologist this week.

I am trying not to be too dramatic about all of this but I am scared that with on set this early we are headed down a rocky road. Artie is only 15 months old.

Any advice, anything to calm me down?
I know I haven't been around in awhile and I am sorry.

4th August 2007, 06:39 PM

I am sorry to hear that, but personnally I would wait to hear what the cardiologist has to say first, your vet is only the equivalant of a GP and is not specialised in cardiology. The fact that she had to take him into a quiter room to even hear it would make me assume it is a very mild one indeed.

Years ago I had one of my boys sounded by a cardiologist at a club show, it was a red hot day and he had to hold my boys mouth shut to stop him panting, he was given a Grade 1 murmur that day which I found hard to believe, I had him retested 6 weeks later at another show, SAME cardiologist, and he was CLEAR!!

Sometimes their breathing can mimic a murmur, I also know of a well known show dog from way back who was graded as having an intermittant grade 1 murmur, yet when his owners cardiologist received newer more sensitive equipment it turned out that he was a very deep breather and had never had a murmur at all!!

I hope that this can set your mind at rest, try not to worry (I know! easier said than done!) and wait for the cardiologists examination.

Barbara Nixon
4th August 2007, 06:39 PM
This , if indeed there is a murmur (Cathryn will tell you of one her dog supposedly had, as some vets expect to hear so do), could be a juvenile one that hasn't sorted itself yet and is nothing t do with mvd.

It is quite a shock, being told there is a murmur, but even with mvd, you get used to it. Monty has a middling murmur, which began as a faint one at age 9, but he is fine and still needs no medication. Even izzy, who was really bad, had two good years even when his mumur hit the top of the scale.

My vet says that Monty is coping well, in fact Izzy did , too, and it's the coping that is more impotant than the actual intensity of the murmur. Many dogs cope for years and years , with no obvious symptoms.

4th August 2007, 08:09 PM
I have a heart murmor. It's no biggie.

Cathy T
5th August 2007, 01:27 AM
Don't even begin to get upset at this point. You absolutely have to see a cardiologist to get confirmation...and even then it doesn't necessarily mean anything. At Shelby's first health clinic at 2 years old the cardiologist heard a slight murmur. She had an echo done and it showed a slightly prolapsed valve. At her clinic visits at 3 and almost 4 years old....nothing!! At 15 months it may not be anything. Keep us posted on what the cardiologist says. I was totally freaked out when Shelby was diagnosed but realized there was nothing to do about it and knew that at some point we would probably have to deal with a heart issue. Dr. said there was nothing to do as it was so minor (no meds, no restrictions). Keep you chin up and keep positive thoughts.:xfngr:

Cathy Moon
5th August 2007, 12:52 PM
Sorry for your news about Artie. I have been there too.

My reaction to learning that Geordie has a heart murmur was similar to yours. But when the cardiologist said there were no restrictions on him, that sinking feeling slowly went away.

We decided to just celebrate and enjoy each day we have with our cavs - living in the moment, as dogs do, really helps. :flwr:

5th August 2007, 01:14 PM
I'm really sorry you got this news as a possibilityfrom your vet. My thoughts are along the lines of what others have said -- first, don't worry yourself til an expert listens to his heart as vets are very poor at hearing early murmurs and tend to hear murmurs that aren;t there, or vice versa when they are mild. Second, that at his age, this is very, very unlikely to be a murmur. A lot of dogs sound like they have murmurs just as they get a bit anxious when at the vets -- this is very well documented. Finally, even if it is a murmur, there are so many options now that I wouldn't worry, you will have all sorts of options and probably will not need to do anything for years. :flwr:

5th August 2007, 02:36 PM
Oh I am sorry. Don't get too upset at this point. I know it is easy for me too say that.;) :)

5th August 2007, 05:21 PM
Thank you for all of your kind words. It is so hard sometimes to love these boys so much :) I hate to think of them as in any sort of pain.

We are keeping our thoughts positive here and trying our best to go one step at a time (despite my nature to jump 40 steps ahead)

I will keep you all posted. :luv:

15th August 2007, 01:32 PM
Gone to the cardiologist and it looks like we still have a very healthy heart with a managable problem.

Many of you remember that Arthur is prone to stomach problems and we have been back and forth on food and meds. Well it looks like the most recent bacterial explosion and subsequent course of steriods may have weakened his immune system enough to allow for a small infection to make its way to his mitral valve. This is the reason that we heard a murmur. The cardiologist is hopeful that once the endocarditis is treated that the valve will be fine although has warned that she suspects a small murmur to remain.

The good news is we are on 6 weeks of antibiotics for the endocardits, have another visit with the cardiologist in November and then maybe not but once a year after that. The rest of Arthur's heart looks to be very healthy.

My father-in-law, a doctor, has said that this is good news because it is manageable. There is a good chance that this infection in his heart can always come back but that just means if were ever to question a course of antibiotics the answer, for Arthur, is yes,

A problem, not the best news, but a manageable system to keep my sweet baby as healthy as I can.

Does anyone here have any experience with this?

15th August 2007, 01:41 PM

Its wonderful ti hear your good news! Any problem that is manageable is not a problem in my book! I just know you and Artie will have years of adventures together.

15th August 2007, 02:04 PM
I think this is very good news! So glad his condition can be managed. He's lucky to have a mum who takes such good care of him.:flwr:

15th August 2007, 02:50 PM
great news.:D

Cathy T
15th August 2007, 03:21 PM
I'm so glad you got him to a cardiologist and got to the bottom of the problem. Also relieved it is a mangeable problem.

15th August 2007, 04:05 PM
Wow Ashley, that is such good fortune that you went to the vet at this time and that she picked this up -- file her away as being a good one for accurately hearing murmurs! I've heard of people having their hearts affected by very bad infections but this is the first time I've heard about a dog having this happen. That is just great that you caught it at this time and can take action right away. It sounds like the murmur is pretty inconsequential. Hope all goes well for him from now on. :)

Cathy Moon
16th August 2007, 01:53 AM
I'm glad this was discovered in time to treat it! :flwr:

16th August 2007, 02:49 AM
I have a heart murmor. It's no biggie.

A lot of women over 40 have a heart murmur. A murmur is a sound-- being dehydrated can cause the heart to work harder and make a murmur. I would NEVER panic over a grade 1 murmur (especially by a regular vet). I have a three year old that was graded a 1(the only cavalier the cardio heard a murmur --of the 12 I brought)-- I will give her heart suppliments and retest her. I was never planning on breeding this girl- she is my daughters pet first and foremost.
I know someone whose 4 year old got a murmur-- he passed on at 14 of kidney failure.

I just caught up on the posts-- great catch mom!

16th August 2007, 07:35 AM
Ashley I don't have any sage words of advice, but I sure am happy to hear that this problem is considered managable. :flwr:

16th August 2007, 12:23 PM
oh that's good news Ashley - sounds like it is going to be very manageable.

Heart infections are one reason why we all need to be very proactive in keeping our dogs' teeth clean, as the bacteria can enter the bloodstream and track to the heart - not sure if the cardiologist will have said anything to you about that, but it would be well worth getting into a tooth cleaning routine if you are not already doing so.

Really hope he will keep well - I have known of quite a few dogs have low grade murmurs which never change throughout their lives.