Hi folks :-)
I'm wondering if anyone has or has had a dog with a heart murmur. Our 10 year old cross bred (staffy, kelpie, cattle dog... who knows - she's a lovely bitsa though) has developed a heart murmur. Here's the story....
In December 2014, 3 months after her life long friend passed away, we were thinking about getting another dog, so we took her to the vet for a check up, so that we could be sure she was in good enough health to deal with a boisterous puppy. She was fine, but needed a tiny lump on her lower eyelid and another on her gum removed, which we booked in for the following month. A couple of weeks later we got a puppy, and the two get along quite well, although the youngster is now bigger than her and it's quite obvious he makes her cranky from time to time.
Fast forward 6 weeks, to the day of her surgery. I turn up at the vet, she checks her over pre-surgery, has a really good listen to her heart. She gets another vet in and they listen very carefully to her heart and decide they can't do the surgery due to a slight heart murmur and 'click'. Instead, they do an ECG which confirms what they think and refer me to a cardiologist.
6 weeks later I managed to get in to see the cardiologist, who listens, says there is a definite murmur but isn't sure what the clicking noise is, and what exactly is going on. Decides to book her in for an Echocardiogram a couple of weeks later, to see what's going on. The result of the ECG is that it's mitral valve insufficiency (very low grade 1 murmur) very common in smaller dogs and very common in older dogs. He was confident that she'd live a long and satisfying life and that it wasn't anything to worry about until it was at least a grade 3 murmur.
Fast forward a month or so and I'm at a new vet having the puppy desexed. Because it was less than half the price of what my regular vet quoted ($200 versus $430), I decided to ask them about the cost to do the old girl's surgery with them instead. So I brought her in later that day, when I was picking up the pup, and he had a look at what needed to be done. He asked me if I knew that she had a heart murmur, and I told him that yes I did and we had been to a cardiologist, that it was a low grade 1 murmur. His response was that it was now well and truly a grade 2 now.
So my question is this... has anyone had an older dog with a heart murmur, and what did the progress look like, how long did they live for etc? The cardiologist was quite adamant that heart disease isn't painful, but I can't help but feel a bit divided, as I can't help but imagine it would be very uncomfortable. Apparently they develop a cough around grade 3 - 4 and that's when exercise needs to start being limited. Currently she's walking 45 minutes or so most days and has no trouble doing so. She's healthy otherwise, i.e. no arthritis or other issues.
Would love to hear what others have experienced... Thanks in advance :-)