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View Full Version : help please: tucker and mvd



ls287301
1st October 2009, 10:58 AM
Hi all,
I am new to this website. I joined bc not only do I love my dog but I found out on Monday that he has a grade 2 heart murmur. I am sure being that there are many cavalier owners on here, I am not the first person to deal with this. My dog is only 4 years old! I cannot believe he has a heart murmur already. I am devistated that my baby will have a shorter life span due to this condition. I am asking for help please. Does anyone have any suggestions on dealing with this? I was wondering what would a good diet or medication to put him on for this. Can anyone tell me their story in dealing with this condition. Thank you so much. Anything helps...I am heartbroken

cy1266
1st October 2009, 08:32 PM
Hi, I'm sorry to hear that your dog has a heart murmer :( Was it detected by a cardiologist or vet? If it was a vet, you should have it confirmed by a cardiologist. The cardiologist will probably be able to tell you what meds, if any, your dog should be on. I would also let your breeder know; he/she will want to know...I don't have any experience with murmers, but I know that many people on here have dogs that have them and are doing just fine :) Keep us posted on how he is doing, and post some pictures! :flwr:

Karen and Ruby
1st October 2009, 08:37 PM
Oh I understand completely how you feel- I was told when Ruby was 1 that she had a murmor- grade 1 and I worried myself sick reading up on MVD all over the internet.
I started giving her Vitamin E and CoEnzyme Q10 supplements and put her on a diet strait away- keeping her fit is my number 1 priority, however she is now 3 and her murmor is still a grade 1 (sometimes they cant even hear it!) and since then I have found out she has SM. When I look back at how devastated I was when the vet told me about the murmor I realised that I over reacted slightly as a murmor doesnt always end up as MVD and many dogs live with the murmor their whole lives and it never turns in to anything more.
For your little one to be 4 yrs and have a grade 2 is actually quite good , beleive it or not!
My new boy of 9 months has a grade 3 murmor already and I am more worried about that and will be getting him seen by a specialist soon.

I really wouldnt worry too much (easier said than done, I know!!) and he wont be put on any medication at this stage. keep him as fit as possible and his weight is better off on the lean side than over!! Im sure he will be fine and just dont panic!

karen, ruby and charlie x

WoodHaven
1st October 2009, 08:57 PM
Breeders strive for over 5 and heart clear. I've have one cavalier get a grade I murmur at age 3, she was cleared at age four, now she has a 1 murmur at over age 5. I just had 9 cardio checks done-- two had murmurs (the one five year old and one over 9 years old).
IMO,a grade II at age 4 is worth seeing a cardiologist, many places have low cost cardio clinics.
I have a friend that had a wonderful cavalier get a murmur at 4-- she neutered him asap and he passed away at age 14 of a kidney aliment.
I have another breeder friend that had a dog get a murmur after 5 1/2 and that dog passed away of MVD at 6 1/2.
When a dog gets a murmur is less important than how fast it progresses.

Karen and Ruby
1st October 2009, 09:11 PM
Competely agree with Sandy,
Any dog can change very quickly from being clear to not or being a low grade to a high grade.
Its important to keep a eye on it (or an ear :rolleyes:) and act accordingly. My vet wasnt very quick to react and all they kept saying was "oh its very common for this breed and not to worry"- well I think thats my desision to make!! Needless to say they arent my vet anymore!
Let the vet know what steps YOU want to take and dont let them tell you otherwise :)

Kate H
1st October 2009, 10:57 PM
I think most people would say that a Grade 2 murmur is too soon to start medication - if you start it too soon, you run out of options if it gets worse later on. And heart medication is not a preventive - it's used to treat symptoms such as breathlessness if and when they appear. But the ordinary stethescopes used by vets aren't specialised enough to diagnose murmurs with real accuracy, so do get the diagnosis confirmed by a cardiologist. I don't know where you live, but in the UK the Cavalier Clubs run regular heart clinics (often in connection with their shows), either free or very reasonably priced - I take my two to the spring championship show each year to get their hearts checked by a cardiologist. The vital thing at this stage, as others have already said, is to get your dog's weight down and keep him as fit as possible. Lots of exercise - but at the same time be very cautious in very hot weather, which puts extra strain on the heart. Aled, my 2-year-old rescue, also has a Grade 2 murmur but shows no ill-effects; he's neutered, so I have to work hard (and walk a lot!) to keep his weight down, but he seems very fit. That's really all you can do at the moment - besides enjoying life with your Cavalier, of course!

Kate, Oliver (with Grade 2 murmur at 8 years old) and Aled

jacies
1st October 2009, 11:45 PM
Hi, sorry to hear that Tucker has a heart murmer but I would try not to panic too much at the moment. My Chihuahua X Peke dog Impie was diagnosed with a grade 5 heart murmer two years ago when he was 11 years old which was quite a surprise as he had not been diagnosed with any problem before. He will be 13 at the end of this month and he is not on any medication and still goes on a mile walk every day. When he gets a check up the Vet says not to worry unless he is showing any symptoms like coughing and that as long as his lungs are clear just to carry on as normal.
Best wishes to you and Tucker.
Judy:hug:

Love my Cavaliers
2nd October 2009, 02:41 AM
Oz was diagnosed with a grade 1 murmur and second degree heart block at age 4 months. He's two now and is doing great. Still a grade 1. I give him Fish oil with Omega 3 and 30 mg CoQ 10 every day. Once a week I give him two sprinkles of finely ground rosemary on top of his food. I hope to keep his at a grade 1 forever!!

Karen and Ruby
2nd October 2009, 08:37 PM
Oz was diagnosed with a grade 1 murmur and second degree heart block at age 4 months. He's two now and is doing great. Still a grade 1. I give him Fish oil with Omega 3 and 30 mg CoQ 10 every day. Once a week I give him two sprinkles of finely ground rosemary on top of his food. I hope to keep his at a grade 1 forever!!


Hi Bev

Just interested to know what it is that the Rosmary does? Im interested in doing anything I can at the momment for my 10 month old (grade 3)
He has 50 mg Coenzyme every other day and vitamin E and cod liver oil every day?

Karen x

RodRussell
3rd October 2009, 04:00 AM
I joined bc not only do I love my dog but I found out on Monday that he has a grade 2 heart murmur. ... My dog is only 4 years old! I cannot believe he has a heart murmur already. I am devistated that my baby will have a shorter life span due to this condition. I am asking for help please. Does anyone have any suggestions on dealing with this? ...

I suggest that you take a look at http://cavalierhealth.org/mitral_valve_disease.htm There is nothing unusual about a Cavalier developing a mitral valve murmur at 4 years of age. Statistically, about 40% of Cavaliers are expected to develop murmurs by that age.

Bet
3rd October 2009, 10:38 AM
Just to say ,that if Tucker has a Murmur, not all is gloom and doom , I have collected the ages for many years of Long Lived Cavaliers, also about 400 pedigrees of Cavaliers suffering from Heart Trouble,

Quite a number of those Cavaliers with an early Heart Murmur ,lived onto a good age , what was noticeable ,was how often those Cavaliers had Long Lived Ancestors in their Pedigree Background.

WoodHaven
3rd October 2009, 04:30 PM
I suggest that you take a look at http://cavalierhealth.org/mitral_valve_disease.htm There is nothing unusual about a Cavalier developing a mitral valve murmur at 4 years of age. Statistically, about 40% of Cavaliers are expected to develop murmurs by that age.

Quite a few people keep bringing this old % up.
It didn't reflect that way in a recent UK heart clinic and it didn't at our heart clinic.
While I had the poor board certified cardiologists at my whim, I grilled him about what he's seen in the last few years in terms of cavalier heart health and he said he has seen some positive improvement. This doctor has kept records for at least the seven years I've had him at our clinics. He is doing the CMW clinic next week.

Bet
3rd October 2009, 05:52 PM
Sandy, but you must know that at the recent UK CKCS CLUB AGM the Cardiologist mentioned that 50% of Cavaliers will have a Heart Murmur at 5 years of age ,that this is no better than it was 18 years ago. This is here in Britain.

Also the UK CKCS CLUB have said recently that MVD is the NO 1 Health Priority in the Cavalier Breed ,that the Kennel Club, have also recently mentioned that MVD is the Biggest Killer of Cavaliers.

That the UK CKCS CLUB have just announced on the UK CKCS CLUB Web Site, that NO Cavalier Puppy can be being Advertised on the Cavalier Puppy Register if the Parents have not been Heart or Eye Tested

This Form can be seen at.

www.thecavalierclub.co.uk

I still feel there is an attitude amongst some Cavalier Breeders , particularly after reading a Post on another List, that the Cavaliers are not an Unhealthy Breed as some would have the Public believe.

Why do some Cavalier Breeders not face up to the Facts. ?

Karlin
3rd October 2009, 06:05 PM
I think anecdotal evidence from a cardiologist probably is skewed towards results from the breeders who actually bother to cardio test and are already working for better heart stats. I wish cardio testing was standard for all cavaliers, or that someone would do a clinical sample study... to procuce some accurate figures. It would be wonderful if there were real improvements.

But certainly taking my own anecdotal evidence from rescue, at least half of the dogs I get in that are age 5-up have murmurs strong enough for a vet to easily pick them up. I've had dogs as young as three with serious murmurs. :(

However, if the UK club is now claiming much better results at cardio clinics, consider on the other hand that some key people, including the club secretary, is noting elsewhere the neurologists doing the majority of the club MRI scanning are telling them that 50% of cavaliers on club-organised days have syrinxes... so perhaps the club needs to be noting that syringomyelia is the breed's leading health problem, not MVD? Indeed those statistics are particularly alarming, because (unlike with hearts) breeders in the UK are by and large testing only relatively young dogs for this progressive disease, eg their breeding dogs and even younger. There's very few MRId that would be over 5 and thus a 50% affected rate for dogs under 5 is pretty shocking -- as bad as what they are now saying are outdated statistics for MVD...

So therefore: shouldn't they be changing their health concern emphasis to syringomyelia if there's truly such improvement in MVD...? icon_nwunsure

Bet
3rd October 2009, 06:21 PM
As Karlin has mentioned SM is Problem in our Breed ,let's hope that at the next UK CKCS CLUB AGM ,it will be passed that there will be Breeding Guide-lines for this Insidious Disease. .

WoodHaven
3rd October 2009, 07:13 PM
I think anecdotal evidence from a cardiologist probably is skewed towards results from the breeders who actually bother to cardio test and are already working for better heart stats. I wish cardio testing was standard for all cavaliers, or that someone would do a clinical sample study... to procuce some accurate figures. It would be wonderful if there were real improvements.

But certainly taking my own anecdotal evidence from rescue, at least half of the dogs I get in that are age 5-up have murmurs strong enough for a vet to easily pick them up. I've had dogs as young as three with serious murmurs. :(

However, if the UK club is now claiming much better results at cardio clinics, consider on the other hand that some key people, including the club secretary, is noting elsewhere the neurologists doing the majority of the club MRI scanning are telling them that 50% of cavaliers on club-organised days have syrinxes... so perhaps the club needs to be noting that syringomyelia is the breed's leading health problem, not MVD? Indeed those statistics are particularly alarming, because (unlike with hearts) breeders in the UK are by and large testing only relatively young dogs for this progressive disease, eg their breeding dogs and even younger. There's very few MRId that would be over 5 and thus a 50% affected rate for dogs under 5 is pretty shocking -- as bad as what they are now saying are outdated statistics for MVD...

So therefore: shouldn't they be changing their health concern emphasis to syringomyelia if there's truly such improvement in MVD...? icon_nwunsure

I brought in pets, show dogs, older dogs and a rescue. The 8 year old rescue was cleared AGAIN. Our club has a number of people with pets that bring them every other year to get their hearts checked.

You are right-- dogs bred on puppy farms aren't going to have the most stellar background. We have once taken in a pregnant 10 year old that had a terrible murmur. Some people just don't care.

I know someone that helped the club show out east asked their cardio if HE had seen improvement and HE said yes.

The MRI for SM is very invasive. I'd do all mine (not just breeding potentials)-- and multiple times if they could figure out a way to do it and make it easier on the dogs. My neuro does a 15-20 minute work up on the dog before the test-- he wants a full blood screening (they are out for about an hour) - he will only do a maximum of 4 in a day. All said and done the cost is now about 2000.00USD. I do know the neuro they used on Denali only charges about half that.

We are never going to cure MVD--we are working on delaying the onset and slowing the progression. IT may always be the number one thing that finally kills a cavalier.

Back to bathing dogs..

Love my Cavaliers
4th October 2009, 10:00 PM
Hi Karen. I was out of town all weekend so couldn't respond earlier. I don't know what the rosemary does, but that was one of the first things Oz's breeder suggested for him. You have to grind it fine with a mortar and pestle otherwise it just goes right through them (or so I've been told). Don't know if there is anything to it, but it's a simple thing to do, so I do it.

diddy
5th October 2009, 12:40 AM
Hi Bev. Rosemary is used as an aid to digestion, and improving liver function. Its also used for strengthening the heart and calming palpitations. It strengthens the memory by improving the blood flow to the head and stimulatring the nervous system.

Love my Cavaliers
5th October 2009, 01:04 AM
Thank you Diddy. I appreciate your response. Now I feel a little less of a dummy!

Karen and Ruby
5th October 2009, 09:36 PM
Hi Bev. Rosemary is used as an aid to digestion, and improving liver function. Its also used for strengthening the heart and calming palpitations. It strengthens the memory by improving the blood flow to the head and stimulatring the nervous system.

Oh great thanks diddy!!
Ill definatly try that then!

Karen