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Thread: Heart murmur development

  1. #1

    Default Heart murmur development

    Don't know if I should have posted this with my previous posts or not.

    At the recent visit to the vet for the schnauzers annual check up I was shocked to learn that she has a heart murmur. I knew something was wrong because the vet was taking so long to check her. He has graded it as a two. She is a few weeks off turning 7. I wasn't expecting something like this at this stage but when she is older.
    She was given an anti histamine shot prior to her vaccinations to try to stop/reduce any reactions which we have had previously. He checked her about 15 minutes after giving the anti histamine. I did query whether this could have caused an issue and he did not think so. She is a nervous dog and always shakes and is on edge when we enter the vets. On the table being examined she was not shaking but not happy although she behaved herself and let the vet do his work.

    We have never had a sign of a heart murmur prior to this. We will go back early next year and see if it is any worse which then will probably need further tests.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Heart murmur usually means something wrong with the valves and blood can burble back the wrong way... which means it's hard for the dog to get enough oxygen if it gets really turbulent.

    I don't think antihistamines would make much difference to how the blood vessels and valves are working - but I could be wrong.

    It's probably always been there. Dog shaking is more likely anxiety than heart murmur too. Anxiety might up the heart rate - which would probably make hearing any back flow harder (too much going on too fast)... so if she was a bit calmer this time - maybe it was easier to hear.

    Usually heart murmur isn't much of a big deal unless you're planning to sprint up the empire state building stairs. But even then I think there is a key hole surgery that can be done (on humans) to strengthen the valve.

  3. #3

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    In 6 years of annual check ups nothing was ever noticed. Last year the schnautz had to go and have her legs shaved because she is really thingy about her legs being touched. I have spent the past year de-sensitising her to this. The vet had to sedate her to do it and kept checking her heart and a murmur was not mentioned at all. I also went to an alternate practice and the vet there did not mention anything after checking her.
    Fingers crossed that it's not a murmur on next check up but if it is hopefully no worse. The vet has talked about doing a teeth clean. I have read that not cleaning the teeth can have bacteria go to the heart so not sure which way to go with this. If the teeth cleaning is done blood tests can be done while she is knocked out. Age gets to us all but I am shocked by this and something I would have expected when she is older.
    mymatejack - If things require intervention I would go option 2. Unfortunately for most of us surgery is not an option.

  4. #4
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    I think the teeth would have to be gangrenous for bacteria to go from them to the heart, and fixing the heart murmur probably wouldn't make much difference. It is possible to have a teeny weeny heart murmur (back flow) that makes no difference to the quality of life of the dog - so vets might not notice or choose not to mention this.

    eg if a vet chooses to mention a very slight heart murmur - they risk creating a slightly panicked owner who insists on getting their dog operated on when the dog doesn't need it.

    Not sure about the teeth bacteria - if they are that bad and the dog gets gum disease - the vet will want to start pulling teeth (another general anaesthetic). Several of my friends with small back yard / puppy mill specials - as their dogs hit the 9 or 10 years of age - lots of their teeth need removing - one of these had 17 teeth out...

    Dog seems fine now but isn't too keen on hard kibble.

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