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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,
I recently acquired a golden from some individuals who were unable to care for him properly. I am quite certain that the breeder was a BYB, but I don't have much information, as this poor pup has been shifted around quite a bit. I took him to the vet for his first wellness checkup at 12 weeks, and all was good! This past weekend, he started acting lethargic and was having diarrhea so I took him in again. The office was very busy, and they took him back without me with him and did all the physical examination. They then brought him out, saying his intestinal screening was clear, but that they checked his heart and he had a grade 3-4 heart murmur, and that I needed to get an ECG. I am new at this, as this is the first dog I will have away from my parents, but I am just trying to see what I can do for my sweet pup. I am taking him for a second opinion, as the fact that they didn't hear anything just three weeks ago and now all of a sudden its a grade three to four seems suspicious.

Any thoughts on how to best care for my golden? I am freaking out.
 

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You will need to see a cardiologist to determine what kind and the severity. A lot of times they will grow out of it. But you won't know until tests are done and a cardiologist sees him.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I really hope it's something along those lines! She tried to act as if his lethargy was due to the murmur, but as soon as I gave him the medicine to make his stomach feel better and clear up his diarrhea, he started acting more normal and is now as energetic as ever.
 

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Welcome to the forum.
I'm glad to hear you're puppy is feeling better but for your own peace of mind and to rule out anything serious with your pup, I think I would get a referral to have a Cardiologist exam your little one.

Hope you'll share pictures too.
 

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Dr. Rainheart
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Did they find a cause of the diarrhea? Anemia can cause a heart murmur sometimes (wanna be sure they did a fecal to check for hookworms...)
But if that has been checked, I agree, cardiologist visit is in order.
 
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From what I understand a murmur in a pup that young probably wouldn't show any symptoms. You defiantly need a specialist as most vets don't have the background to diagnose them correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
They did a full intestinal screen and he came back clean, but they did not check for either anemia or heartworms, which I found quite off, but when I asked they said that they were really busy and would do it at a follow up appointment. I have made another appointment with my vet that my family has used for years back in my hometown to take him to, as I trust that he will be honest with me and do all of the tests I ask him to.
I plan on taking him to a cardiologist after I get a second opinion, as I would prefer to have the murmur confirmed before spending all of that money!
And his name is Rex. He's such a sweet, gently puppy.
 

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Defiantly get checked for heart worms. Rex is a cutie. It is probably a good idea to get a second opinion. Keep us posted how it goes.
 

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Mandy's Mom
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Rex is adorable! Keep us posted.
 

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Rex is absolutely adorable, he's going to be a handsome golden boy.

I think a second opinion is a very good idea, especially with a Vet you are comfortable with and trust.

Keep us posted, hope his exam brings good news.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Alright here's an update: I spoke to my vet, and he confirmed that the murmur was very obvious and quite there.
However, he said from the symptoms, as well as location of the murmur and the sound, it seems like a mitral valve murmur. With regards to those, he says grade, which refers to loudness, is not necessarily a bad thing, as mitral valve murmurs are louder when the hole is smaller. He says he would recommend just watching Rex for symptoms ( coughing, excercise intolerance) while not engaging in any strenuous over-exertion and then bringing him back at 6 months to see if his heart has healed itself.
He even said most dogs can live relatively normal lives with this one.
So, not the best news but maybe not the worst? Thoughts?
 

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Definitely not the worst news. I've heard of young dogs with stage 3-4 murmurs with a life expectancy of only about 2 years. It's tragic, but hopefully he'll grow completely out of it and have a long happy life.
 

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Not the worst news. If he was my pup though I would still go to a cardiologist get some testing just to have a clear understanding of what it is. I could be wrong though and maybe waiting is what they usually do.
 

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Dr. Rainheart
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So, you are saying he has a ventricular septal defect then?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
No, he does not have a septal defect in either the ventricles or the atria, as can be ascertained by the vet. Of course, nothing is certain without an ultrasound, however my vet says that he would be exhibiting blue tented gums and ears if the valve causing the murmur is the pulmonary or aortic, and would be a lot less energetic. These symptoms would be even more exacerbated if there is some sort of a septal defect. Of course Rex could just have a very mild case, but it is much more likely that it is mitral valve stenosis, which is what my vet thinks.
 
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