View Full Version : puppy with heart murmur
3rd August 2010, 11:05 AM
we took our 9 week old puppy to the vets yesterday and they picked up a heart murmur. they were worried about MVD, but i came home and read up on it on the internet about MVD and it said puppies cannot be born with it and if a puppy has a heart murmur it will probably grow out of it.
I know we will bear the cost of any treatment in the future as insurance wont cover a preexisting condition, and we could return him to the breeder, but there is no way i am doing that as i love him already.
Has anyone had a puppy with a heart murmur or does anyone have any other advise please?
3rd August 2010, 01:18 PM
Hmmm -- surprised a vet would think this was MVD (which would suggest perhaps seeing a different vet for a second opinion or ideally, a cardiologist...). You are right that MVD is a progressive condition and a murmur in a puppy this young is almost certainly a benign 'flow murmur' which will probably disappear by about 6 months of age. The other alternative is some other heart condition which could be serious.
You should inform the breeder of this diagnosis as any health-focused, reputable breeder will be quite concerned and can give you proper information and support (and would likely have calmed your fears by explaining about flow murmurs :) ). Knowing health diagnoses helps a breeder shape his/her breeding program ethically.
Seeing a cardiologist would really be the best option as vets are GPs -- and if this is a serious heart issue you need cardiologist advice anyway; if a flow murmur, the cardio can probably pretty much tell that is the issue and give you more detailed information.
However all that said: you will unfortunately be sitting and waiting for a bit probably to see what develops. Be assured though that many here have had puppies that have flow murmurs that eventually disappeared.
Here's more info on flow murmurs:
3rd August 2010, 01:52 PM
thank you, that has really set my mind at ease. the article you posted a link to was also very informative and i think i am going to wait until his next injections in 2 weeks and see what they say then, will think about changing vets as well, they didnt actually say the words MVD they were just saying how concerned they were because of the breed being prone to heart problems. they even suggested i think about returning him to the breeder.
i will contact the breeder to let them know.
As a new CKCS owner and having never had a dog before I think this forum is wonderful and i am sure i will be using it loads in the future. Thank you!
3rd August 2010, 02:13 PM
Hi, try not to panic...Barney when checked at eight weeks had a similar thing going on...The vet was very laid back about it and said it would probably disappear on its own. By the next jab it was gone. At eight years old Barney's heart is fine, vets can't hear anything wrong at all and when checked by the cardiologist for other reasons he said only a grade one!!
If at the next jab it still shows maybe ask for a referral as Karlin says...Most of all enjoy your puppy :))
3rd August 2010, 03:32 PM
Karlin is correct, if your vet heard a murmur and was worried about MVD, I think you need a new vet - at least for your Cavalier. You will want a "lifetime" vet for your Cavalier that knows the basics of heart disease, and a vet that would suspect MVD in a 9 week old puppy does not know the basics. MVD (called acquired chronic valvular disease or endocardiosis or degenerative valve disease) is not present at birth but is an acquired degenerative disease (of an inherited nature) so you are right that it takes TIME to develop to the point where a murmur is heard.
Vets can tell a lot about what a heart murmur means by the timing, location and PMI (point of maximal intensity). There can also be other heart sounds such as a click, a gallop, or there can be split heart sounds. All of this information can help to determine if it could be an innocent flow murmur or a murmur from a congenital heart abnormality such as a PDA (patent ductus arteriosus) which is a problem sometimes found in Cavaliers. There are other congenital heart abnormalities also. This is most likely an innocent flow murmur, but you need someone who knows enough to interpret murmurs to give you an opinion.
You can read more here - scroll down to numbers 11 through 14 which tells all about heart murmurs:
3rd August 2010, 03:47 PM
Forgot to say - I don't know if you are in US or UK, but there is no reason that you cannot get him insured to include future heart disease with one of the good companies even if he has a flow murmur. Best would be to get a written report from a cardiologist and talk with the insurance company directly about this - I know that PetPlan in the US would deal with this correctly. You may have to jump through a few hoops to get there (vs sign up on their website) but it could be done if you approach this correctly. Your current vet's report though would certainly not help your cause since he is so tentative about the etiology of the murmur.
Love my Cavaliers
3rd August 2010, 04:27 PM
At 4 months of age, Oz had a one time bout of episodic falling syndrome. When at the vet immediately after it happened, he detected a heart murmur and referred me to a cardiologist. The cardiologist did an ultrasound and whatever other testing they do and had him wear a holter monitor for 24 hours (He was so little he had to wear the one they use for cats!!). He was diagnosed at that point with early onset MVD with intermittent 2nd degree A-V heart block. Three years later his heart disease has not progressed. He has an ultrasound and cardio check once a year. I give him 30 mg CoQ 10 and 1000 mg salmon oil every day.
I agree with everyone else's advice - get a second opinion, get a cardiologist's opinion. they are the experts. Good luck.
3rd August 2010, 08:10 PM
we had an aussie cross the vet said had a heart murmur at 10 weeks old. "scrappy" lived to be 14 or 15 yrs. old. hopefully your dog will outgrow her murmur. try not to worry too much
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