When a dog has a heart murmur, what this indicates is that there is abnormal blood flow within the dog’s heart. This can be caused by a change in the heart valves and their function, or a number of other potential causes. Dog heart murmur symptoms may be caused by an abnormal communication between the left side and the right side of the heart. There are a number of things that may cause this, as they may be congenital or present from birth, or acquired which means the heart was affected after birth because of age or disease. There are two types of heart murmurs in dogs, benign murmurs which do not concern the health of the dog, and much more serious heart murmurs which may indicate the development of congestive heart failure in dogs.
Dog heart murmur symptoms often include coughing, poor exercise ability, bluish tinge to the gums or tongue, labored breathing and even fainting. While some of these symptoms can be linked to other health issues, and the symptoms are the same between benign heart murmurs and the more severe forms, you should consult a veterinarian any time you have a concern about your dog’s health. Some of these symptoms can be easily missed, including poor exercise ability and even a bluish tinge to the gums. If you have any suspicion that your dog may be suffering from issues relating to a heart murmur, canine heart disease or the development of congestive heart failure, contact your vet immediately for an official diagnosis.
There are a number of symptoms that are indicative that your dog may have serious health problems. The best way to identify the source and severity of your pooch’s heart murmur is to have your dog checked out thoroughly by a veterinarian. Some additional tests may be required such as an EKG, chest x-rays, a heart ultrasound and blood testing. The ultrasound may be of a particular benefit because your vet will be able to measure the extent of your dog’s heart murmur. It will be a definitive test to see what the cause of the underlying heart disease may be. It is extremely important to have the cause of your pooch’s heart condition diagnose because there are some instances where heart murmurs are treatable by either surgery or medication. You will have to find out just how expensive these various treatments may be so that you will not be surprised by a very high vet bill. You may be pleasantly surprised at the prices some vets have.
If your dog has a congenital heart murmur, surgery may be a viable solution to eliminate the problems it creates. On the other hand, specific types of medication may be necessary because non congenital heart murmurs are often an underlying symptom of congestive heart failure in dogs. You cannot be sure about which treatment is going to be the right path to proceed with until you have consulted the right veterinarian and received advice regarding the health of your dog. You should never leave symptoms like these to chance, because not every heart murmur is benign, and serious changes could be occurring in your dog’s heart.
It is very important that you share any questions or concerns with your vet especially when it comes to your pooch’s lifestyle and physical condition. If the diagnosis from your general veterinarian does not suit you, perhaps you should seek out a specialist for your dog. You could either go to an internist or a veterinary cardiologist. These vets have specialized training and they probably have a great deal of expertise in this field and other issues that you may have with your dog.