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Hi Everyone,

We have a 6-month old Golden Retriever. She was first diagnosed with a Grade 2 heart murmur at 8 weeks. It is now at a Grade 3. She had a cardiologist appointment this week. The ultrasound revealed multiple heart abnormalities. Three of her valves are defective, and her left ventricular wall is weak with a >50% reduction in pumping. I have listed the report details below:

Aortic valvular insufficiency
Mitral valvular insufficiency
Tricuspid valvular insufficiency
Left ventricular myocardial failure (reduced contractility)

Additionally, there were some abnormalities in her ECG results as well (electrical ventricular preexcitation).

She seems outwardly healthy so far. But the doctor indicated that she will start showing symptoms before she turns one. Surgery is not an option given her complicated condition. Medications have been suggested for when she starts showing symptoms. Her regular vet has recommended we leave her intact as the anesthesia might kill her.

We as a family have grown to love her, and are devastated by the prognosis. Does anyone have any experience with this condition?

Also, any recommendations on how to keep an intact female at home? We live in a neighborhood with lots of dogs, and some seem to be intact males. We are concerned she might get pregnant (which will be fatal with her weak heart).

Thank you!
 

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I am so, so sorry to read about your poor pup. What a devastating diagnosis.



I have no advice re. an intact female in a dense neighbourhood - I know how hard that would be (it would be near impossible where I am, too), but I agree, it is probably better not to put her under to spay her. Lots of others here will be able to offer advice about keeping intact females. You will definitely need to be extra careful.


Wishing you the best..
 

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I'm so sorry.
Intact girls are not hard to keep as long as you are vigilant. If you can pee her outside your yard when she's in season, that would be best. You can try chlorophyll capsules, first day you notice even a little color or see a drop of blood, give her 5-6 of them. And twice a day thereafter till 21 days have passed, give her 3 AM and 3 PM. It won't make the attractive odor go away but I hear it keeps it down. I admit I do not do this, most of the time, but sometimes I do if we're @ a show during a heat, and it (at least in my imagination) does seem to make the girls less noticeable to the boys. Get her some cute panties and put mini pads in them for when she's in the house, or if you are of the disposable mindset, Dollar General boys undies size 6 or so turned backwards (tail out the fly) w pad in them and then throw those away.
If she happens on a boy who is interested go back home immediately and don't even think about giving him a change to hop up on her- it only takes a second and you have babies coming.
 

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Thanks, SweetGirl and Prism Goldens. She is a sweet girl with a big heart. We really hope she has a happy (pain-free) life.. whatever little she has left.
@Prism Goldens: Thank you very much for your input on handling an intact dog. We will try it on her.
 
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