Golden Retriever Dog Forums banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I recently adopted a 12 month old female golden from an owner who could no longer afford to take care of her. Supposedly, she was "healthy," UTD on shots, and was receiving heartworm treatment, and seemed to be in good health. I took her to the vet this morning for her initial exam and thee vet informed me she had a grade 3 heart murmur and seemed quite concerned. She said it could be caused by either being heartworm positive (which could be possible, and I'll find out tmrw), or by a congenital heart defect that could require major cardiac surgery. Has anyone experienced this before? From what I've read, some dogs can live with a grade 3 heart murmur, but my vet seems to be quite concerned.
Thanks for your help!
Katelyn
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
820 Posts
I am so sorry for your pup! I do not have any advice but wanted to say welcome! I will keep your baby in my thoughts and hope she is feeling better soon.
 

·
Old Gold is the Best Gold
Joined
·
18,122 Posts
Hi Kate, I am so glad you joined (I told her to join!). Callie is STUNNING.

I am SO sorry you are dealing with this. Many dogs do live long, healthy lives with a heart murmur, and they don't all need surgery. The vet hospital by you (the college) is one of the best in the country for this type of stuff! I'd consider taking her there for a full evaluation.

My stolen dog came back to me after two years, and now has heartworms, and his heart sounds completely normal, no murmur. Not sure if that means anything. She is so young, I doubt she has heartworms, especially if she's been on treatment.

I know how excited you were to get a dog, and I'm so sorry you've gotten this news. Some Goldens do pass on suddenly or in youth with heart conditions, while others live many years.

There are members here with dogs with high grade murmurs who can give you more advice.

Glad to see you here, though sad to see this news. Please share some pics of your baby with us, too- trust me everyone, she's GORGEOUS!

Kate was going to adopt LINDSAY (now Casey) and ending up saving Callie instead. I told her she should join! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,537 Posts
Is your vet a specialist in veterinary cardiology? If so, then I would listen to any recommendations regarding treatment/care. But if not, I would seek one out for another opinion--they have add'l training and expertise (and equipment) to provide what I would consider to be a definitive diagnosis.

Personally, I would not accept a diagnosis of a heart murmur, nor it's grade, unless my vet was a cardiologist--JMHO. That's not to say your vet is wrong, but the ones with cardiology training deal with this all the time, and I see them as the experts.
 

·
Momma to angel Cody
Joined
·
5,044 Posts
I agree that getting a complete exam from a veterinary cardiologist would give you the best information. I'm sorry that your new family member isn't totally healthy....that's a bummer. Congratulations on adopting her, and fingers crossed this is easily treatable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
165 Posts
Our dog was diagnosed with a murmur as a puppy. After a few months we took him to a cardiologist. The cardiologist diagnosed him with Mild Mitral Valve Dysplasia. She said it won't effect him until his senior years, and even then medications will help. He doesn't need to be on meds and doesn't need any special restrictions. He can live a normal dog life, and is full of energy and stamina. At the time the Vet said it was a grade 1 murmur, while the cardiologist said more of a grade 3.

I know where your coming from, and know your heartache. Don't fret and enjoy your new dog. You did a wonderful thing by adopting her and giving her the life she deserves. Treat her as you would without the heart murmur, let her have fun and enjoy life.

Murmurs are usually caused by an underlying issue. Make an appointment with a board certified cardiologist. They will tell you exactly what the problem is and how to handle it. Regular vets are not speciliazed in diagnosing heart issues. Even if there is some sort of issue don't fret. Many many dogs live long normal lives with defects.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
958 Posts
Welcome Katelyn,

Our last golden was diagnosed with a Grade 3 murmur as a puppy. His murmur remained a 3 through out his life until his final year when our vets down graded it to a 3.5. His murmur never caused any problems and never required medication. We lost him to cancer at 9 years in January. Until he was stricken with cancer he led a perfectly normal golden life.
 

·
The Missouri Crew
Joined
·
13,683 Posts
My Cruiser has a grade 3/6 left basilar systolic murmur,has had it since he was 3 months old. The echocardiograph was done at 6 months old and the findings included mild subaortic stenosis(sas) and regurgitation at the aortic valve. His pressure gradients across the stenosis was less than 35mm which is very mild. He is on No meds and lives a normal life with my other goldens. and I dont put any restrictions on him. I do keep him on the slender side, to keep him from being over weight and adding stress to his heart. They eat Taste of Wild with added green beans and carrots and fruits. Here he is chasing one of my other dogs.


__________________
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thank you SO much! I'm very relieved to know that there are other dogs out there living a normal life with similar conditions that my Callie girl may have, even though she doesn't even realize she could be sick! She runs around like crazy, has so much energy, and loves to play, which is why I was initially upset that limitations on her activity was a possibility. I'm going to be making an appointment with a cardiologist shortly, and will most likely be making more posts when I find out additional information. Thank you again! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,035 Posts
I'm sorry for your news but I agree with others about needing to see a cardiologist. My Tinkerbell was diagnosed with a grade 2-3 heart murmur at 9 weeks. it was confirmed by a cardiologist at 6 months as a 4.5 -5 heart murmur caused by severe subaortic stenosis. Let me tell ya even expecting that news it was devastating. But I have her on Wellness Core reduced fat, and she gets a lot of fresh and frozen fruits and veggies. I don't limit what she does, though she does limit herself at times. She has been on heart meds since her diagnosis at 6 months. They gave us a prescription for 6 months and honestly never expected us to need another. but I am thrilled to say she turned 3 in June and is still going strong. most people that meet her have no idea she has such a severe problem.
 

·
Tracer, Rumor & Cady
Joined
·
10,683 Posts
....Liberty has had a Grade 3 murmur since she was 6 months old. We took her to a cardiologist for her diagnosis. She doses not have SAS, but rather a weird structural abnormality.

Definitely see a cardiologist - they will likely do an echocardiogram of her heart.
It is a pricey visit, but accurate information is what I needed to have peace of mine - even if the news was bad.


One of the most valuable things that came from the cardiologist was an anethesia protocol for her should she need anesthesia.

She is still very active and on no meds.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
16,435 Posts
Tinkerbell and Cruiser are really inspiring dogs, right along with Meggie.

A 3 is right wear I'd be concerned too as a vet. A cardiologist's supersonic, high power equipment can measure and diagnos much better than a regular vet.

We had a pup who went back to his breeder with a grade 4/5 murmur. I was able to hear it myself- the wooosh noise like a waterfall and contrast the sopund to the crisp, distinct beat of our other dogs heart- what a lesson. Even the cardiologist jumped to the conclusion the pup had SAS- but he did not. He had a much more rare( and more dangerous) defect- but one that was not genetic in nature.

It is important to follow through with an accurate diagnosis since different conditions call for different handling/ medicine, and the exact location of the murmur is key.

I am so sorry about your new girl, but also extremely hopeful she'll be fine.

Edit: I sent this before reading LibertyMe's response, and I completely agree with her.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top