View Full Version : Heart Murmur.

5th October 2010, 01:19 PM
Hi there, I haven't posted on this site for such a long time. Just to recap, Maddy came to me as a stray in Oct 2007 & was thought to be between 2 & 4 years old. She is truly the perfect dog & we love her so much (as do our 2 cats). She had a dental in March & was deemed to be in good health, however, I took her to the vet for her booster jab last week & she the vet said she now had a heart murmur & was about grade 3 (I gather grade 6 is the highest?) Vet has given me a spray to put on her food (Cardiguard) & I have to take her back in 3 months just to monitor her. Should I be worried? Maddy is not a lively dog at the best of times - laid back I think you could call her - but the vet has told me to look out for changes like coughing & off her food etc... I just want her to have the best life possible & just don't know what to expect. Judy.

Kate H
5th October 2010, 07:32 PM
Hi Judy

Sorry you've got heart problems to cope with, but two points that might cheer you up a bit! First, the stethescopes used for ordinary veterinary examinations are not really sensitive enough to diagnose a heart murmur with real accuracy. You really need to get Maddy checked out by a cardiologist. I don't know where you live but the Cavalier clubs in the UK run regular health clinics where you can get your dog checked out by a cardiologist - a basic examination, but at least a way of getting an accurate grading for her murmur. And they are usually free.

Secondly, Grade 3 is actually not too bad, especially for a Cavalier who may be as old as 7. If Maddy is 5, that is a very usual age for Cavaliers to develop a murmur. Serious symptoms such as coughing and breathlessness don't usually appear until Grade 5 or 6, and many Cavaliers never get to that level - murmurs don't necessarily progress, so Maddy could stay a Grade 3 for the rest of a long life. The best thing you can do at the moment is keep Maddy fit, keep her weight down, and be specially cautious in very hot weather, or in situations that stress her. My rescue Aled is 3 years old and has a Grade 3 murmur, but is very fit and active, and is gradually shedding some weight - he's now down to 9.4kg from over 10kg.

So please don't panic - get a more accurate diagnosis from a cardiologist, and enjoy Maddy - and fingers crossed that you'll be able to do that for a good few years yet! :xfngr::xfngr:

Kate, Oliver and Aled

5th October 2010, 08:41 PM
Thank you Kate, your post is very reasuring. I have always known that this is a problem many Cavs have but it has still came as a bit of a shock. Maddy is 10kg, she used to be 12kg but I started giving her carrots for her treats which seemed to have done the trick. We did have another rescue Cav many years ago who also had a mumur but our old vet didn't seem to think it was a problem & we were very naive & so largely ignored it, Ollie lived until he was 12 years old, which I think is pretty good? I will keep a very good eye on Maddy & will definitely consider a cardiologist, I'll contact the Cavalier club asap. I live in Cheltenham, UK by the way.

Kate H
5th October 2010, 10:04 PM
Aled too loves his carrots! And his broccoli, courgettes and sprouts - all great for slimming!

We're going to be in Shurdington this weekend, at a dog training weekend, and then camping from Monday to Friday at Hayles Fruit Farm, near Winchcombe. We go to Shurdington once a month (getting a lift with a friend) all through the year for a training day, as both of mine do competition obedience. So Cheltenham is a place where I change trains and catch buses from time to time!

All the best

Kate, Oliver and Aled