View Full Version : Heart Murmurs and Medication

9th April 2008, 10:25 AM

My eldest cavalier 4 years old has a grade 3/4 heart murmur which was diagnosed last May when I got him from rescue. My vet listened with the stethoscope and took chest x rays to come up with his diagnosis I havent actually seen a cardiologist.

He is on fortekor for the heart murmur - he seems generally fine and happy but he does cough when he's sleeping not constantly but every so often. I just wondered if this is a symptom of it progressing more or to be expected......

any thoughts


9th April 2008, 12:53 PM

Coughing is to be expected, I will try to explain it a little bit although I daresay Karlin will post something on this too.

Basically what happens is the Mitral Valve in the left side of the heart becomes weaker and stops pushing so much blood through, a little bit leaks backwards, this is the murmur the vets pick up. To compensate the heart enlarges itself, the left hand side initially until things become worse and then both sides of the heart will enlarge. As the heart gradually becomes bigger, it starts to push the windpipe higher and onto the spine which in turn irritates the windpipe hence the cough! Hope that makes sense?? :confused:

My cardiologist showed me an incredible X-Ray of an unaffected then an affected dog to illustrate this, it sure gave me a better picture/idea of what was happening.

Fortekor tablets are commonly used to help reduce the fluid build up in MVD affected dogs. If you are concerned about your dog it might be worth asking your vet to refer you to a cardiologist for further assesment??


Barbara Nixon
9th April 2008, 02:04 PM
Monty is 12 and I've known about his murmur, since he was about nine, when it was barely noticeable. At 12 it is just above middling and he has since Christmas given a single cough on some mornings, though this could partly be due to his licking his long coat .

The vet said he was borderline for medication, so gave me the option and I went for it. he has Fortekor and Frusemide and had his second consultation last week. His heart rate, which was slightly above normal, is even nearer to normal, now and his gum response is good, so the drugs were worth it.

Modern drugs are very good as these two plus Vetmedin, gave Izzy over two years of quality life and he had a a very severe murmur.

The important thing is the way a dog's body copes with the problem, rather than the actual severity of the murmur.

11th April 2008, 11:17 AM
Well I am seeing my vet again tonight to get a repeat prescription so I will ask him as it is a year how he thinks Bobby is coping. I feel he is happy and is enjoying his runs and his rests so as long as he is happy and not showing any signs of distress I'm thankful.

thanks for the info on the cough,