Hi, I'm a mom to 2 Cavaliers, Sammy, tricolor and Charlie, blenheim. Both are 7 years old and were rehomed to me at age 2. They're both from a pet store, but different "breeders" (if you can call them that) and litters. We live in San Diego, CA.

On Friday night Charlie suffered some sort of collapse - couldn't stand on his back legs, and was dazed and out of it. He was rushed to the emergency vet; I thought he had a seizure but they found a level 4 heart murmur. An echocardiogram confirmed MVD. They're still not sure what happened to him; possibly he fainted. His body temperature was also low, so they kept him overnight, then sent him home with no medications. He's doing fine now, but obviously I'm concerned for the long term.

I have to call my regular vet when they open tomorrow to confirm when his last visit was, but I don't think it's been over a year. Certainly not more than a year and a half. (My dogs rarely leave the house/yard and I do vaccine titers, so I may have held off a bit on his yearly checkup.) At his last exam he had no murmur, obviously if he had I would be taking him in much more often! That's also why I'm really concerned...is it common to go from healthy to a level 4 in such a short time? He has had no symptoms at all until Saturday. No coughing or excessive panting. He's acting fine again now, too.

I don't have a sense of what the long term prognosis is here. The emergency vet said that medications typically aren't used unless/until the dog has congestive heart failure. Is that true? Isn't there something more I can do before it gets that bad? Realistically, how long will my little guy be with me? I anticipated having to deal with this at some point because I know how common MVD is, but he's only 7. I was thinking if anything he might be just starting to get a murmur now. I'm scared and really need answers...even if they're not what I want to hear. Any advice will be really appreciated.