View Full Version : Rio has a heart murmur

23rd October 2007, 09:57 PM
Hi All

Well, Rio was going for his yearly booster as he is now a year old. Its been a heck of a year with constant trips to the vets for viral infections and him getting his paws on a bar of chocolate, long story.....

Anyway his vet Kate, was listening to his heart as usual as she does with every checkup. This time she listened to his heart for a good while and then listened again. The room was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. She then told us that in Rio's heart there seemed to be a slight murmur. She then said his weight was a little high he was 11.1kg 2-3 months ago. However he is now 12.3kg, so we will be reducing his food intake, which we do watch, but now that he has been neutered we will be watching it even more.

I was just wondering if anyone else's Cav's on the forum were diagnosed this young as Rio ?

Thanks for listening :)

23rd October 2007, 10:11 PM
It would be very unlikely for him to have a murmur at his age. Vets are not usually very good at hearing murmurs, especially mild ones, and some dogs will get what sounds like a murmur just due to the anxiety/excitement of being at the vet.

I would have him checked by a cardiologist and not worry about it til you have a cardio's opinion. Check local club events as you can get a cardiac check for much less than usual at shows.

I know this wll feel very worrying but try not to get overly concerned before you know if you have anything to be concerned about. :flwr:

23rd October 2007, 10:13 PM
Here's a chart that shows why it is better to see a cardiologist. :thmbsup:


23rd October 2007, 10:21 PM
Hi Melissa!

I understand how you are feeling right now, first course of action, get him checked by a cardiologist, I have had a general vet (they are the equivalant to a G.P Doctor) give my dogs a grade 2-3 murmur yet when they were taken to my regular cardiologist they have been an intermitant grade 1!!:eek:

Next thing, and I know this is hard right now, but TRY NOT to worry too much, this is not as bad as it sounds! I had a Tri girl, ironically called Melissa! When she was 13 months old she too was diagnosed with a Grade 1 murmur by Simon Swift, pioneer of the British Parent Club Heart Program, I was devastated! As the years went by her heart murmur never worsened, it was always there at a grade 1 right up until she passed away aged 12.

Sometimes a mild murmur can onset very early in life and never worsen, other times heart murmurs onset much later in life and seem to "snowball" from there on in.

Don't look on this as a bad thing, also try giving Rio Vitamin E, as high a dose (1000 IU if you can) as possible, this can really make a difference.

Hope this is of help??

25th October 2007, 12:18 AM
I am so sorry Rio! On Saturday we had just the same expereince with our 15 month old, Isabelle. I hope that it is nothing and stays that way for both of our babies. Can someone tell me more about vitamin e?

25th October 2007, 12:55 PM
We're on our third Cav now and each one has at some stage been diagnosed with the 'murmour'. Unfortunately our current 4 year old was diagnosed on his first trip to the vet after receiving all his innoculations via the breeder- who at the time assured us of a clean bill of health.
He is perfectly healthy and his murmour is nothing more that that right now- no coughing as yet. Our last cav- started when he was about 7 or 8 and eventually was on tablets but not until he was about 10. Its not as bad as it sounds!:)

25th October 2007, 10:27 PM
I am so sorry Rio! On Saturday we had just the same expereince with our 15 month old, Isabelle. I hope that it is nothing and stays that way for both of our babies. Can someone tell me more about vitamin e?


Vitamin E is a wonderful vitamin! Have a look here http://www.vitaminuk.com/pages/articles/vitamine.htm

for a better explanation!!

Hope this is of use?

25th October 2007, 10:33 PM

Just wanted to say a few words here on this.

"The Cough" is a direct result of the enlargement of the heart due to MVD, initially only the left side of the heart will begin to enlarge due to the inefficiency of the Mitral Valve to pump blood forwards. Over time the right side of the heart will also become affected, this in turn pushes the windpipe up onto the base of the neck vertebrae' causing "The Cough"! You will generally only hear "The Cough" in a dog who is at an advanced stage of MVD, I.E grade 4-5.

Hoping this is of use to any of you out there with dogs diagnosed with MVD??

Debby with a Y
25th October 2007, 10:39 PM
My dear old Cornish Rex cat Margo, rest in peace, had a heart murmur and at about age 7 she developed a "smoker's cough". The vet diagnosed it as asthma but now I am thinking it was from her heart murmur. She got a prednisone shot every three months which seemed to help the cough, and she passed at age 15.

25th October 2007, 10:49 PM
Our very first Cavalier had a bad heart, he had the cough and our then vet, after countless courses of treatment had failed to rid him of the cough, we did not know about MVD at that stage, diagnosed him as being "asthmatic" or being prone to bronchitis, it wasn't until I swapped him to my horse vet that we discovered that he had a very bad heart condition as well as emphasyma (sp?) He did live to be 13 however!! He was even given 48 hours to live at the age of 11, amazing what the introduction of a new puppy can do, his 2 days lasted him 2 years!!

25th October 2007, 10:49 PM
One of our charlies was diagnosed with a murmer when we got him , He very nearly went back to the breeder ( we had lost our first charlie to heart failure 2 weeks before)

Luckily we took him to another vet who found nothing wrong with him , apart from a bit of a snorty nose. He is now 10 & his heart is still ok.

I now take anything vets say with a pinch of salt & don't worry until they show obvious symptoms of a problem

Another of our chalies had a high grade murmer from the age of 2 & lived an active life until he died suddenly at 11

Debby with a Y
25th October 2007, 11:53 PM
I forgot to mention that three years before she passed, her vet gave her two weeks to live...he was wrong and we had a wonderful few extra years of love together.

22nd December 2007, 01:32 PM
Sally was at the vet earlier in the week for a check up as she had been generally not herself and not eating. The vet checked her over. I asked after she had listened to her heart if it was ok. The vet could hear a heart murmur and graded it at 1. At first I didn't think too much about it as I have heard general vets are often not too good at grading murmurs. I think it has had time to sink in and now I can't stop worrying about it. She's only 10months old and I would be devastated if she had a bad heart. I know we can only do our best for them. I was wondering whether I should take her to a cardiologist and would the insurance pay? Also how do I find a reputable cardiologist in the UK?

26th December 2007, 02:12 PM
Hi, My first Cav was diagnosed with a slight murmur at her 1st year check up. She is five now and it has not progressed and she has no signs of any problems. Unfortunately, this is something that we have to be willing to deal with as Cav owners. We can't get too serious until we need to. Love her and don't think she will die tomorrow. She will most likely live a long healthy life!

The beauty and love of a Cavalier, for me, far outweigh the medical problems that come with this amazing breed.

26th December 2007, 04:44 PM
I agree with the cardiologist, I'm sorry to hear this :( Although with my Italians, sadly I've had a few good scares by vets that just didn't know about sighthounds - I was once told one of my IGs had a grade 3-4 murmer and he was amazed she wasn't showing any symptoms, I freaked out and got her into a cardiologist fast only to find out her heart was perfectly healthy - My IGs just have deep chests and murmers are a very common misdiagnosis in this breed. Most vets I pay little mind to if they say my dog has a mild murmer, I'll just get them into a cardiologist to be on the safe side. My cavalier I've already got an appt for to have her heart checked just to be safe even though the vet didn't say anything when I had her physical done right after I got her - But I figure it's better safe then sorry, alot of things are easier to slow down when they're caught early!!!!