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Heart Murmur

Description: Murmurs of the heart are extra sounds heard during the heartbeat. Some animals are born with this defect. Heart murmur may also arise from anemia which can be caused by parasites. Other cases are caused by mitral valve disease. In mild cases, the animal will continue to live a normal life.

Diagnosis: Heart murmurs can be diagnosed by listening to the heartbeat and in some cases it can be detected at birth. If heart murmur is suspected, the veterinarian will continue with further diagnostics tests including electrocardiogram, x-ray, and echocardiogram.

Treatment: There are six  grades of heart murmur. The first 2are minor and do not require immediate treatment, however your veterinarian will typically ask you to keep an eye on the animal. At grades 3 and 4, the animal may tire easily and cough frequently. Heart murmurs at grades 3 and 4 typically require medication to help regulate the condition. Grades 5 and 6 are the most serious types which require medication and surgery to repair the defective mitral valve. Animals with grades 5 or 6 heart murmurs are at risk for congestive heart failure.

Breeds prone to Heart Murmur include: