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Thread: heart murmur?? :(

  1. #1
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    Question heart murmur?? :(

    Emma saw a specialist for her CM last week who listened to her heart and said she heard a slight murmur. She didnt even give it a rating it was so slight. So i brought her to my vet the following day and two of the doctors there checked her heart and both said that they didnt hear one and that its possible that because she is a cavalier, the doctor was expecting to hear one. That being said, I do want to be preventitive with her health because i know cavaliers are so prone to MVD. I bought Emma fish oil today and the doctor said to give her between 300mg and 500mg. I also bought her a new food, the new taste of the wild flavor that is made with beed and lamb. I know higher animal protein is good for heart health. Does anyone else have any other suggestions? Supplements, heart healthy treats or food, etc?

    Thanks!
    Cavalier Lover

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    Lucky just got diagnosed with a grade 2. I have been giving him CoQ10 and just ordered some Taurine to supplement. People also say Vitamin E. I am adding one supplement at a time since Lucky has tummy issues.

    I'm also changing Lucky to a fish based food so hopefully he can get a lot of his Omega 3's from the food - he has not done great in the past when I have tried to supplement fish oil (diarrhea). I posted when Lucky was diagnosed last month and got some great tips. I also posted on MonicaSegal.com's Facebook page and she gave some suggestions.

    Good luck. Glad it is slight. My normal vet missed Lucky's murmur too - I'm also in NJ. Lucky got diagnosed at the show in October. There is a heart clinic in Clinton NJ in January. YOu might want to take him there to have the cardiologist listen again. You could also have a heart echo done there for a discounted price so you have a baseline and can monitor progression. The cardiologist at Lucky's clinic also recommended baseline blood pressure & bloodwork.
    Lani
    (a.k.a. Lucky's & Sparky's mom!)

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lani View Post
    Lucky just got diagnosed with a grade 2. I have been giving him CoQ10 and just ordered some Taurine to supplement. People also say Vitamin E. I am adding one supplement at a time since Lucky has tummy issues.

    I'm also changing Lucky to a fish based food so hopefully he can get a lot of his Omega 3's from the food - he has not done great in the past when I have tried to supplement fish oil (diarrhea). ...
    I'm all for the CoQ10 and vitamin E, but I see no value in giving taurine for dogs with MVD. Sardines once in a while are good as a fish food.
    Rod Russell

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    Quote Originally Posted by emmaK11 View Post
    ... Does anyone else have any other suggestions? Supplements, heart healthy treats or food, etc?
    I suggest the cardiac supplements listed here: http://cavalierhealth.org/diets.htm#Cardiac_Supplements
    Rod Russell

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    I think the most important baseline test to have performed for a dog with a low grade murmur is a two view chest radiograph (x-ray). This is done so that you have a record of the dog's normal heart size to use for comparison later to see about changes in heart size, etc. It's important to use a vet who is good at taking x-rays because they will look different depending on whether the dog is inhaling or exhaling. I've even done baseline chest x-rays for Tucker (who is still murmur free) when he was 9 years old just so I had a "record" of heart size since he was past middle age. I'm taking him in next week to see if he is still clear at 10 years old. I keep all my pets' x-rays at home so that I can take them to visits with specialists and I have them accessible in case of an ER visit, etc. I also keep copies of blood chemistry reports and other test reports at home for the same reason.

    Pat
    Pat B
    Atlanta, GA

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat View Post
    I think the most important baseline test to have performed for a dog with a low grade murmur is a two view chest radiograph (x-ray). This is done so that you have a record of the dog's normal heart size to use for comparison later to see about changes in heart size, etc. It's important to use a vet who is good at taking x-rays because they will look different depending on whether the dog is inhaling or exhaling. I've even done baseline chest x-rays for Tucker (who is still murmur free) when he was 9 years old just so I had a "record" of heart size since he was past middle age. I'm taking him in next week to see if he is still clear at 10 years old. I keep all my pets' x-rays at home so that I can take them to visits with specialists and I have them accessible in case of an ER visit, etc. I also keep copies of blood chemistry reports and other test reports at home for the same reason.
    Dr. Mark Oyama of Penn Vet School gave a talk to a group of general practice vets recently, and he concurred with Pat's recommendation of baseline x-rays of the cavalier's heart ("baseline" meaning before enlargement). He told the group that comparing the baseline x-rays with future sets better enables the vets to predict when the dog is about to enter congestive heart failure.
    Rod Russell

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    Baseline chest x-rays are what I forgot to mention. I had those done too after the murmur was detected - Heart Echo, baseline chest X-rays, blood pressure and then also blood work (although Lucky had a dental done the week prior and had blood work for that so we didn't repeat as it would not have changed in a week).
    Lani
    (a.k.a. Lucky's & Sparky's mom!)

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    FWIW, I don't do "baseline" echocardiograms - not enough value to cost benefit. Unless there is some specific reason (such as a question about whether the heart disease is not chronic degenerative valve disease and is rather a congenital defect or some other acquired disease like endocarditis), I don't have an echo done until the murmur is more significant - grade III or IV - or there are notable changes on radiographs or overt symptoms. I generally will do follow up radiographs every six months after that first baseline x-ray, particularly at first, so that I can monitor whether progression is slow or rapid. (I actually had one Cavalier develop a murmur at 18 months and die at 15 without ever having gone into heart failure, so it's possible to have a long period of very slow progression. He had a grade IV murmur at the time of death. Over that 12.5 year period he had yearly sets of x-rays taken but probably only 2 or 3 echos during his lifetime.) If progression is slow over that first year or two, I'll back down to yearly x-rays. If progression is rapid, I'd be more likely to do an echo sooner than later. Echos are particularly important when you are at the point of considering when to start medications. But for "garden variety" degenerative valve disease, there is no compelling reason to spend that money in the presence of normal radiographs and no symptoms, esp. when a cardiologist has done the murmur grading. Save that money, because you'll need it in the future when diagnostics and medications become essential.

    Pat
    Pat B
    Atlanta, GA

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    One other recommendation is to manage the dogs weight carefully, to put minimum strain on the heart. I go by this chart, and try to keep all my dogs on the lean side: http://www.purinaveterinarydiets.com.../dog_chart.pdf

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