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Discussion Starter #1
That's how it happens I guess, go for a 1 year shot and checkup and the vet comes out with a referal card to a canine cardiologist!

She said she detected a heart murmer. She explained that it is somewhat common in older dogs and even seen in younger dogs like puppies where heart development may be a bit "slow" but at 1 it is indicitive of a problem and has recommended the full battery of tests from a specialist.

I did a bit of research and some information indicates it is something that can he can live with and may never present any issues. Other sites indicate its time to start researching breeders and shop for a new puppy since this is the beginnning of the end.

My thoughts were to turn to this forum for any experience you all may have had.

Hopefully the replies will be full of optimistic news!
 

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I'm so sorry to hear about your golden's heart murmur, but I am hopeful too since many goldens here on the forum do beautifully despite that slight "waterfall" sound in the stethescope. Did you get any idea of the murmur's grade from your vet?
 

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Since I havent dealt with this I just called back (although not sure why they didnt tell me) but it is a 3-4 out of 6.

Not sure what that means though...
 

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I think it depends on what is causing the heart murmur. When Danny came in as my foster pup, he was 5 months old and in congestive heart failure. He had two heart defects, PDA (Patent ductus arteriosis) which is the second most common heart defect in dogs and SAS (Sub aortic stenosis) which is the most common heart defect in dogs. His SAS was a level 5+, but it was exacerbated by the PDA. Once the surgery was done to repair the PDA, his SAS dropped to a 1 (or less). He is now 3 years old, we adopted him, and one of my loves of my life!
 

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In the Moment
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A cardiologist will need to determine the grade (or severity) of the murmur. Many dogs live completely normal long lives with a low grade to moderate murmur. Some may require medication and some of the severest will have shortened lives. I would definitely follow up with a cardiologist.... your regular vet could be spot on or way off... they aren't a specialist. There is much hope that your friend will be able to live a normal life, but making sure you're doing everything you can to ensure that will be important. Please keep us posted.
 

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Chantilly Goldens
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I would go and see what the cardiologist says. You may also want to contact the breeder/person you got your dog from and let them know. I will be hoping the best. Please keep us posted.
 

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Misty & Holly's Mom :)
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Im sorry to hear this but it may not be that bad. I think you should go see the cardiologist and see what they say, My thoughts and prayers are with you. Please let us know what you find out...we are here for you.
 

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I would be concerned but not worry until you speak to the cardiologist. There are several members here that have goldens with severe heart murmur (MaggiesMom and MarshaB) and their goldens are doing great. One thing I would do is once you speak to the cardiologist is to contact your breeder and let them know. Good luck and hopefully it is minor. Please keep us updated.
 

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Our last golden had a grade 3 murmur. It was first noticed at about 1 year. It remained a grade 3 throughout his life until we lost him to cancer in January at age 9. He led a normal life without the need for any medication.
 

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The Missouri Crew
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If in fact it is a grade 3 or 4, I think its odd they didnt detect it before now....My Cruiser has had a grade 3 since he was 8 weeks old, he will be 3 in March. He is on no meds and lives a normal life with my other 3 goldens. The cardiologist said Cruiser has a very mild case of SAS, and should live a normal long life. Dont panick, and think its a death sentence, Many dogs have heart murmurs and never have any problems. here is Cruiser doing what he loves to do..which is chasing one of my other goldens Abbie.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks everyone! I definitely feel like there is much more hope for him. The way the vet gave me the news she didn't sound very hopeful so we were very worried.

He seems so normal and active.

The only thing I have noticed over the past several weeks is that his appetite has dimished a bit. He still eats the same amount but doesn't devour his meals as soon as they are placed down although I am not sure if that is related.

I contacted the breeded yesterday, she is a wonderful person and I am suer she will call me back to discuss. I will make the appointment for him to visit the cardiologist first thing Monday.

Thanks for all the well wishes!
 

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In the Moment
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Please keep us posted. You'll find lots of continued support here.
 

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The Missouri Crew
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The other thing I would do is keep his weight down, so it doesnt add stress to his heart. Cruiser could carry 90 pounds and be fine, but I keep him between 80-85 pounds. I was told that 90 pounds would be a max for him and still be fine on his heart.
 

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I can fully understand this one. My Tinkerbell was 9 weeks old when her heart murmer was discovered and was suspected to be SAS and the vet offered to put her down. Talk about having no hope! I switched vets immediately. The new vet said lets take a wait see and attitude til 6 months of age. At 6 months we went to the cardiologist. The heart murmur is a 4.5 -5 so not good. And it is caused by Severe SAS. tehy offred to put her down for us. Said if we changed our mind to just let them or my regualr vet know and their would be no questions asked. They prescribed us 6 months worth of heart meds that they "knew" we would not need.

I'm happy to say Tinkerbell turned 3 in June, she is still on meds, I watch what she eats, and limit her excercise to what she wants to do. Which means I don't have to take 2 mile walks int he middle of the winter when it is freezing outside or when it is blistering hot. People that meet her have no idea she has a heart condition.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Again, thanks to all for their help. I have spent the last few hours on the registration sites trying to find at least 1 in his pedigree that did not have a normal clearance for cardio but each dog for 5 generations was fine.

Of course it will take a bit to see the cardiologist as I am sure his days are full so in the meantime I have been recommended to a local vet here that many respected golden owners and breeders use. I am going to take him there tomorrow for a sort of second opinion.

We at this point don't even know what is causing the murmor although is seems the SAS is a likely candidate.

The one thing I am scratching my head about is that he has had all of his checkups including the ones from the breeder and I am surprised that a murmor at the "3-4" out of 6 was undetected for so long.

This causes me to second guess this vet's opinion to some extent since much of my research indicates that a murmor would be detected months ago.

Does this make sense to anyone or is it possible that it just materialized to the extend the murmor was detected at this time?

Thanks again!
 

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In the Moment
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Makes perfect sense to me. I definitely would want a second opinion by a cardiologist and I think the idea of a second opinion by a respected vet while you're waiting to get in to the cardiologist is a great idea. It is certainly something I would do too.... if nothing else hoping it would ease my mind.
 

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The Missouri Crew
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Makes perfect sense to me. I definitely would want a second opinion by a cardiologist and I think the idea of a second opinion by a respected vet while you're waiting to get in to the cardiologist is a great idea. It is certainly something I would do too.... if nothing else hoping it would ease my mind.
I agree with you and the OP, it wouldnt hurt to get a second opinion, My vet does very well with grading heart murmurs, With Cruiser and any of our rescue dogs that have came in with murmurs, she has never been wrong on the grade. She does send anything over a 2 to a cardiologist to reconfirm what she thinks.
 

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I think a second opinion is a good idea! With Danny, it was obvious he had his defects. You could literally see his heart swooshing in his chest. His heart would beat so hard, too because his blood pressure was so high. It was obvious to even someone who doesn't know dogs that well (my mom).
 

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Dog Lover
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I think a second opinion would be a good idea, but I wouldn't worry myself sick about it.

I was told I had a heart murmur at the age of 18 and forty some years later I am fine-maybe I shouldn't have said that.

I have read about many dogs with heart murmurs that live a normal life.
 
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