Senior dog with heart murmur, second opinion?

Kelly LawKelly Law BuffaloPosts: 10,563Member
edited 12 January, 2016 in Dog Health
We found out recently that Gypsy Road may have a heart murmur. The vet said definitely but we're saying maybe, only because of recent experiences with this vet. Gypsy Road turned 10 in August. He is NOT showing any other signs of any heart issues. He's running around, he's eating normally, he wants to walk and play. He had blood work done and it all came back normal. Like I said, we are questioning that "diagnosis" because Gypsy Road tends to get excited/scared when he sees the vet. I felt his heart beating, in fact, and warned the doctor that he gets nervous like this. Plus, he needs to be muzzled. Is it possible that the vet mistook his fear, as a murmur instead? There are a lot of other issues that is making us look for a new vet snyway, because of my own health issues, but I won't get into that now. We definitely want a second opinion on his supposed murmur though. Do we have that right?

Comments

  • Ash SmithAsh Smith Posts: 28Member
    edited 22 September, 2015
    You always have that right. When you find a new vet tell him/her that "Hey listen my former vet said my dog may have a heart murmur but I would like to redo the test." Fear/excitement wouldn't be easily mistaken as a heart murmur--at least not in humans. In dogs, though? Best to ask your new veterinarian.
  • Jordan DuncanJordan Duncan ClaremontPosts: 1,008Member
    edited 23 September, 2015
    Sweet Caroline has a grade 2-3 heart murmur since the day I adopted her a little over 2 years ago now. She's roughly 11-13 years old and a basset hound. The first time I heard she had a heart murmur I freaked out and paid for the expensive EKG and what not. But in all our time together she's only coughed 2x and both those times were from inhaling food not from her heart. I would take her to various vets knowing all her ailments in advance and let the vet tell me what they thought was wrong with her. Carolines murmur is pretty loud l, I've heard it with a stethoscope. And out of the 6 vets I've had in the last 2 years only 1 gave her a clean bill of health aka no heart murmur. I never stepped foot in that clinic again. Even the shot clinics vets could heart it. My best advice to you is see another vet but don't mention the heart murmur. Let them do a physical which includes listening to the heart and lungs and see what they tell you unprompted and unbiased. Fyi: Caroline has a murmur and still runs around, eats a lot including weird things from time to time, and doesn't cough or have fluid build up.
  • DeaDea NHPosts: 7,176Member ✭✭✭
    edited 23 September, 2015
    Depending on the grade of heart murmur, they can live a long life. My friend has a dog with one that he's had for many years and now he's 15. :)
  • Kelly LawKelly Law BuffaloPosts: 10,563Member
    edited 23 September, 2015
    Thank you all. We don't know the grade but his vet said that since he wasn't showing any signs, we may have caught it early. Yes, I freaked out too. He's coughed a few times...like a hacking/chocking kind of thing but we give him milk (Lactaid) and he instantly relaxes. We did that because he gets fur caught in his throat and water doesn't loosen it up for him. The milk gets it down. I like the idea of not mentioning to the new vet the murmur but we would have his records because he's getting the lepto shots. According to the current vet, it's major around here this year. I can relax a little then?
  • Aleasha CasarettoAleasha Casaretto ColleyvillePosts: 512Member
    edited 31 October, 2015
    For any dog with a heart murmur, I would recommend a chest x-ray. It’s not very hard for trained veterinarian to hear a heart murmur, but if you feel you need a second opinion, go for it. I would also recommend getting Doppler studies done. Echocardiography is another test you should have done. I’m glad to hear you had blood work done. Murmurs can be caused by many things, including hyperthyroidism, heartworm disease, Mitral and tricuspid valve dysplasia, Systolic anterior mitral motion (SAM), Dynamic subaortic stenosis, Pulmonic stenosis, Atrial and ventricular septal defect or Mitral and tricuspid valve endocarditis (inflammation of the inner part of the heart). Dogs don’t get heart murmurs just because they get excited or scared. I’m not sure if you know what a murmur is, but it is extra heart vibrations. Patent ductus arteriosus will also cause heart murmurs. I highly doubt a veterinarian would mistake a fast heart beat for extra heart vibrations. If you want a second opinion, I say you should go for it. Although, heart murmurs are not difficult to diagnose. You have the right to get as many opinions as you want. Ideally, you need to find out the grade of the heart murmur. You need to know the configuration of the heart murmur. You also need to find out what is causing it. A main cause of coughing in dogs is Aspiration pneumonia (pneumonia due to entrance of stomach contents or ingested food particles in the respiratory tract). Lactaid is probably the best for a dog if you are going to give them dairy products. However, with coughing, I would recommend having a biochemistry profile done. Anytime you give dairy products, watch for gas, diarrhea or vomiting, as they can and often do cause gastrointestinal upset. I think it would be a good idea to mention the murmur to the new vet. I vaccinate for leptospirosis every year, as the mice, rats, coyotes, raccoons and beavers around here all carry it. In all honesty, I think you need to find out what is causing the murmur before you can relax.
  • Kelly LawKelly Law BuffaloPosts: 10,563Member
    edited 1 December, 2015
    Jasper, I know what a murmur is. My partner works in a hospital. We took him to his new vet, and didn't tell them about the supposed murmur and they didn't hear if, so we're relaxing. Don't assume that I don't know what I'm talking about, when you don't even know me. We are more concerned about his anal sac, which hasn't gone down yet and before you get on my case about having him tested for cancer..,we've been there, done that, with another dog. His vet felt around...yes..proved him...and she feels it isn't cancer. She feels it's just an anal sac issue and he was put on an antibiotic. He may need another course and since we are going this week, with another dog (to get her second lepto shot) we will be scheduling him for another visit. I grew up with dogs. I lived with a dog warden and I sure as heck, am not going to trust a former vet, who is in the business to scare clients into unnecessary treatments, procedures, etc, just to receive money from it. By the way, all dogs are vaccinated, including lepto. I'm not an idiot!
  • DeaDea NHPosts: 7,176Member ✭✭✭
    edited 1 December, 2015
    Gypsy Road, Jasper "appears" to be a "Vet Tech Wanna-Be" who copies and pasts info from the internet, assumes that everyone else on this site is $!#p!&, and "Pontificates" using big words I'm not sure even they understand. I wouldn't take what they say with a grain of salt. I'm glad you got a second opinion. Good luck and please keep us posted.
  • Scooter_Trudy_BillyScooter_Trudy_Billy SevernPosts: 84,783Member ✭✭✭
    edited 2 December, 2015
    Glad to hear Gypsys heart murmur has been quiet! As for the anal gland issues, I hope they get resolved soon. I get that Jasper is trying to be helpful, but honestly, you are trying to steer folks in a direction or give a great deal of advice. Think about it...if I were to call a vets office and ask for advice over the phone, they would never provide all that information. The advice would be to bring your pet in. I think folks come here seeking comfort and similar experiences. So, maybe just tone it down a bit and I do agree with Kali that it sounds like you are copying and pasting. Anyway, it may not be what you want to hear, but I do get you are trying to be helpful. It's just sort of backfiring :?
  • Cristina AbdalaCristina Abdala Aliso ViejoPosts: 102Member
    edited 9 January, 2016
    Hi, just wanted to add my two cents, my dog Murphy who is 12 1/2 was just diagnosed with DCM Dialated Cardiomyopathy which first sign is usually a heart murmur. My Vet didn't hear a murmur ever and even before the Echo but the cardiologist did, and Murphy had no other signs of hearts disease other than coughing especially after drinking water. He is diabetic also so sometimes symptons get mixed up but when he started coughing and gagging more I got worried and took him in for XRays and they did a EchoCardiogram and they did hear a small murmur and saw enlarged heart. DCM comes out of nowhere and when the symptons get worse is when it is usually diagnosed. I would suggest keeping a close eye on him for changes and if gagging continues or gets worse maybe consider XRays or Echo. I am not an expert just sharing my story with you. Good Luck!
  • Cristina AbdalaCristina Abdala Aliso ViejoPosts: 102Member
    edited 9 January, 2016
    Hi, just wanted to add my two cents, my dog Murphy who is 12 1/2 was just diagnosed with DCM Dialated Cardiomyopathy which first sign is usually a heart murmur. My Vet didn't hear a murmur ever and even before the Echo but the cardiologist did, and Murphy had no other signs of hearts disease other than coughing especially after drinking water. He is diabetic also so sometimes symptons get mixed up but when he started coughing and gagging more I got worried and took him in for XRays and they did a EchoCardiogram and they did hear a small murmur and saw enlarged heart. DCM comes out of nowhere and when the symptons get worse is when it is usually diagnosed. I would suggest keeping a close eye on him for changes and if gagging continues or gets worse maybe consider XRays or Echo. I am not an expert just sharing my story with you. Good Luck!
  • FlickaLucasClNerysCeltSaxonFlickaLucasClNerysCeltSaxon Norman OKPosts: 56,662Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited 12 January, 2016
    Thanks Murphy....... I lost Lucas on 1st July last year... first signs were from nowhere in mid April. You rack yourself with "what did i miss"... but I know we acted as soon as it was apparent. He was just 8 ... we miss him beyond words. His story of the collapsing mitral valve is in the last 2-3 diaries. |:||:||:||:||:||:||:||:||:||:|

    Flicka (My Beautiful Angel) & Lucas (My Gentle Angel) & Cleo (My Beloved Angel) Nerys, Celt & Saxon
    Flicka's Page
    Lucas's Page
    Cleo's Page
    Nerys's Page
    Celt's Page
    Saxon's Page

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