neutering with a heart murmur.

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neutering with a heart murmur.

Postby bully_mama » Sat May 04, 2013 1:11 pm

Yesterday, Loki had pre-opt blood work and exam before his neuter. During the exam, the vet found a heart murmur, she graded it as a 3 and asked if anyone's ever told me he's had a murmur. Sitting there dumb founded, I told her no. So she checked the heart worm test, it was negative. And tried to come up with an explanation for the murmur. As far as she can tell without seeing a specialist, she thinks it may be a valve leak on the left side of his heart. Other than that, he's healthy and should be just fine thru the surgery.
She reassured me that his risk is only increased to about 5%, compared to a completely healthy dog's 1%. Told her i'd take the weekend to discuss it with my bf and weigh the options. I still have some research to do, but wanted to ask if anyone else has had their dog's with murmurs spayed/neutered without any issues? Even though the risk is still small, its a big risk if it could kill him, or damage his heart further. And if anyone has any awesome articles on dog heart murmurs, I'd be greatful if you'd share them. Thanks in advance.
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Re: neutering with a heart murmur.

Postby Misskiwi67 » Sun May 05, 2013 12:27 pm

A murmur is a sound and has no bearing whatsoever on the level of heart disease. That very loud murmur could be a sign of something really bad, or nothing at all.

The leaky valve on the left side is predominantly a condition of older, small breed dogs. If this is not a description of your dog, I would't bet on statistics for a diagnosis. I commonly anesthetize pets with valve disease without any issues, although they are all monitored with an EKG and blood pressure throughout surgery. Just because this is a common type of heart disease does not mean this is what is wrong with your dog. Your dog doesn't fit the "typical" presentation and could have any number of other heart problems which may or may not increase risk 2%, or possibly more.

I would not anesthetize this pet without a heart ultrasound to evaluate for congenital defects and function. $500 could save your pets life.
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Re: neutering with a heart murmur.

Postby Misskiwi67 » Sun May 05, 2013 12:32 pm

Here is a link to an article about heart murmurs. It has some neat sound clips too...

http://www.VeterinaryPartner.com/Conten ... C=0&A=2488
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Re: neutering with a heart murmur.

Postby bully_mama » Sun May 05, 2013 1:05 pm

Thanks Kiwi. I'm also going to our regular vet for a second opinion, and having. him tested for parasites. I've read in a few articles they can be caused by anemia due to parasites. He did have hookworms, but it was resolved. Although we don't know if he was infected here at home, or in FL. If he was infected here, he could have easily been reinfected.
The vet in Taylorsville acted as if going under anesthesia wasn't a big deal because its for such a short period of time. Regardless it scares me and i'm not willing to risk his life.
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Re: neutering with a heart murmur.

Postby Misskiwi67 » Sun May 05, 2013 9:47 pm

bully_mama wrote:Thanks Kiwi. I'm also going to our regular vet for a second opinion, and having. him tested for parasites. I've read in a few articles they can be caused by anemia due to parasites. He did have hookworms, but it was resolved. Although we don't know if he was infected here at home, or in FL. If he was infected here, he could have easily been reinfected.
The vet in Taylorsville acted as if going under anesthesia wasn't a big deal because its for such a short period of time. Regardless it scares me and i'm not willing to risk his life.


More likely than not its nothing, but in a young dog, I wouldn't proceed without more information. If he was an 8 year old small breed dog my advice would be different.

You will probably need to see a specialist that can ultrasound the heart in order to find out exactly what is causing the murmur and if its a problem or not.
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Re: neutering with a heart murmur.

Postby bully_mama » Sun May 05, 2013 10:54 pm

That's how I felt about it. He's only 3 years old, hasn't been diagnosed with a murmur before now, and it seems like she should have showed a lil more concern about it.
Also, in the article you provided, it stated somewhere that if they're anxious or excited breathing could sound similar to a murmur. So I'm also curious if that's what she heard, another reason I want a 2nd opinion.
Thank you for all the info you've provided. =)
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Re: neutering with a heart murmur.

Postby heartbullies » Tue May 07, 2013 2:05 am

Just for your possible peace of mind, the shelter has speutered stray dogs with heart murmurs of various grades, all of them survived their operations; none were seen by a cardiologist before surgery or had additional diagnostics. Obviously I'd want to get as much information as possible for my dog beforehand, as MissKiwi has said, especially since our resources as private owners are going to likely be at least a little more expansive than a shelter. But just a little anecdote that might soothe your nerves. :)

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Re: neutering with a heart murmur.

Postby bully_mama » Fri May 10, 2013 9:44 am

I doubt all there speuters make it thru fine. Maybe a high percentage. But a 100% outcome is a little hard to believe, murmurs or not.
But it does make me feel slightly better.
As an update, Loki had his 2nd opinion exam today. He does have a murmur. The vet has given me two options, either xrays or see a cardiologist. As we all know, xrays only show so much, but a cardiologist is a bit expensive. As long as he's not showing symptoms, he should be ok til we decide or have saved up for the cardiologist. (Which shouldn't take too long).
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Re: neutering with a heart murmur.

Postby Misskiwi67 » Sat May 11, 2013 10:28 pm

bully_mama wrote:I doubt all there speuters make it thru fine. Maybe a high percentage. But a 100% outcome is a little hard to believe, murmurs or not.
But it does make me feel slightly better.
As an update, Loki had his 2nd opinion exam today. He does have a murmur. The vet has given me two options, either xrays or see a cardiologist. As we all know, xrays only show so much, but a cardiologist is a bit expensive. As long as he's not showing symptoms, he should be ok til we decide or have saved up for the cardiologist. (Which shouldn't take too long).


I'd just wait on the neuter and save up for cardiologist. The nice thing about Loki being a boy is you have time without risking any more medical side effects. Girl dogs have a much more limited time frame for prevention of other medical issues.
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Re: neutering with a heart murmur.

Postby heartbullies » Sat May 11, 2013 11:55 pm

Yes, I'd personally wait as well if he were my dog, and see the cardiologist. Especially since he's a male vs female; good point there. I was just saying that all of our neuters that we've done on shelter dogs with murmurs have been OK. Now, not all speuters/anesthesia on all animals has gone in perfectly desirable ways, though no animals have yet died during or as a result of surgery in our clinic. So hopefully this makes you feel a little better, and yours of course has even better odds since you'll be getting a specialist exam & opinion before any surgery is done.



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Re: neutering with a heart murmur.

Postby bully_mama » Mon May 13, 2013 12:31 am

Kiwi - that's exactly what we're doing. And thankfully he's never escaped and wandered off to find a gf.

He's a pretty chill dog, one of the best house dogs I've ever met. But with all this going on, I've started to wonder if he laid back attitude may be symptoms of the murmur. He doesn't really get hyper or excited in the house. He mostly just stays to himself. But when he's outside, he's always running and playing. Though he doesn't seem to get short winded or lethargic afterwards. So maybe its just his style.

Heart - I thought you meant generally, my bad lol. But that's really cool, and does make me feel better. =)

Also as a lil update, Saturday the vet's office called and confirmed he does indeed have hookworms again. Unfortunately, when I got the vmail they were already closed. >.< So in the morning, I'll be calling to arrange medication and starting it asap. I'm slightly worried that Mya may have hookworms as well, so she'll be getting tested. Is there any type of yard treatment I could do for hookworms? Or maybe preventative measure for it? I do live in an apartment building with a huge yard, and my neighbors have a dog, so I can't control his feces out there even though I clean up after mine. Also I'll be asking the vet if the infestation may be contributing to his murmur thru aniema.
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Re: neutering with a heart murmur.

Postby Misskiwi67 » Mon May 13, 2013 1:31 am

bully_mama wrote:Kiwi - that's exactly what we're doing. And thankfully he's never escaped and wandered off to find a gf.

He's a pretty chill dog, one of the best house dogs I've ever met. But with all this going on, I've started to wonder if he laid back attitude may be symptoms of the murmur. He doesn't really get hyper or excited in the house. He mostly just stays to himself. But when he's outside, he's always running and playing. Though he doesn't seem to get short winded or lethargic afterwards. So maybe its just his style.

Heart - I thought you meant generally, my bad lol. But that's really cool, and does make me feel better. =)

Also as a lil update, Saturday the vet's office called and confirmed he does indeed have hookworms again. Unfortunately, when I got the vmail they were already closed. >.< So in the morning, I'll be calling to arrange medication and starting it asap. I'm slightly worried that Mya may have hookworms as well, so she'll be getting tested. Is there any type of yard treatment I could do for hookworms? Or maybe preventative measure for it? I do live in an apartment building with a huge yard, and my neighbors have a dog, so I can't control his feces out there even though I clean up after mine. Also I'll be asking the vet if the infestation may be contributing to his murmur thru aniema.


Heartguard is supposed to prevent hookworms. We have had the company pay for treatment of our clients dogs that came up positive while on heart guard year-round.
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Re: neutering with a heart murmur.

Postby bully_mama » Mon May 13, 2013 11:30 pm

I didn't treat all year-round in the past. Just late April or early May-Oct. Or til the first really good frost. But I'm going to use it year round this year. Same with the flea drops. My vet offers pretty good prices/deals on heart guard. If you buy so many, you get so many free. And with the 6 month pack or so and you get the mail in rebate. In the past my budget has been a lil shaky due to my own medical issues. But thankfully things are turning around.
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