Dog heart murmur is cause by abnormal blood flow inside the heart which is usually related to heart valves function change, abnormal communications between the left side and right side of canine heart. This disease can be serious and able to lead to heart failure over time.
If the sound of your dog’s heartbeat doesn’t seem like the way it used to be then there is a chance that your pet may has a canine heart murmur.
Dog heart murmur symptoms
- chronic hacking cough
- labored breathing
- poor exercise ability
- a bluish tinge to the tongue or gums
- trying to clear the throat
- lack of stamina
Causes of heart murmurs in dogs
- age – dogs may develop this disease when they get older
- birth defect – some puppies are born along with heart murmurs
- deficiency of hemoglobin found inside red blood cells (anemia)
- high blood pressure
- diseases that involve the heart or blood vessels (cardiovascular disease)
- heart valve that regulates the flow of blood between the chambers (mitral valve disease)
- blood leakage from valves to the atrium
Dog heart murmur diagnosis
Vet will do the initial examination by listening to the heartbeat with a stethoscope. This will allow vet to detect abnormal rhythms of the heart (cardiac arrhythmia or dysrhythmia) then evaluate lung sounds. Your dog heatbeat will make soft and long sound then follow by normal canine heartbeat if murmur is present. There are also some case murmurs are very faint and required further testing to confirm the presence of this disease.
Blood and urine test
This test is perform to detect abnormality of liver and kidney function because failure of these organs can lead to heart disease.
Electrocardiogram (ECG) or Elektrokardiogramm (EKG) in Germany
This is an assessment based on the records of heart electrical activity over time. It is used when murmur is suspected to determine the accurate heart rate, extended problems or damage and diagnose any other type of diseases that can cause abnormal rhythms.
Cardiac ultrasound (echocardiogram)
This is the standard ultrasound techniques that can slices the image of the heart into 2D or 3D real-time imaging. This procedure allows vet to determine valves problems, functions, contractions, pumping efficiency, chamber’s size and thickness of your dog heart walls.
Veterinarian can examine the lungs and diagnose abnormalities of heart problems when viewing radiographic images. Many types of heart diseases have the potential to enlarge the size particularly the left side of the heart.