5 Things to Watch Out For If Your Pet Has A Heart Murmur

5 Things to Watch Out For If Your Pet Has A Heart MurmurFrom the moment your pet is diagnosed with a heart murmur, you’ll probably consider it the worst. However, for most pets that have a heart murmur, there are no deteriorating heart health problems. In most cases, it does not affect your pet’s quality of life or how long they live. The prognosis is therefore not for the murmur but for the underlying condition that is causing the heart murmur. This can vary according to the severity of the issue.

A heart murmur is an abnormal sound a veterinarian hears when they listen to your pet’s heart with a stethoscope. The sound of a heart is similar to a “lubb” and a “dubb”, which are the sounds of the heart valve opening and closing. With a heart murmur an additional “whooshing” sound can be heard, which indicates a disturbance of the smooth flow of blood through the heart.

A heart murmur can be ranked by intensity from grades one to six, with one being barely audible to six being the loudest. This grading system is a way for veterinarians to characterize the heart murmur and it doesn’t necessarily correlate with the severity of the heart murmur.

Although some pets with a heart condition don’t show outwardly signs, if you’ve been told your pet has a heart murmur, here are 5 signs to watch out for:

  • Coughing
  • Difficulty or rapid breathing
  • Congestion
  • Weakness or lethargy
  • Abdominal distention
  • If you notice any of these signs in your pet, you should call your veterinarian and schedule an exam. Aside from monitoring his heartbeat, your vet will also have your pet undertake several tests to accurately determine their condition. Electrocardiogram, chest x-rays, heart ultrasound, and blood and urine tests will be administered. Once your pet’s condition is determined, you can proceed to plan out the best course of treatment to take for them.

    Unfortunately, you can’t do anything if your pet has a murmur, but you can take steps to make sure their heart gets the best possible chance of staying strong and healthy. A heart murmur is a fairly common condition that occurs in pets. It can be frightening to learn that your pet has a murmur. Fortunately, the condition itself is not a grave cause for concern. It does however mean that there may be an existence of a problem in the heart or externally in your pet’s body that needs attention. Many pet owners have very caring and observant vets that will provide the necessary guidance in how to treat the condition.

    Please contact Veterinary Sports Rehab & Integrative Wellness if you have any questions.


    Vet Sports Rehab and Dr. Adams
    2338 S Yukon CT , Lakewood CO 80227

    Appointments Monday through Friday
    Monday: 8:30 am - 6:00pm
    Tuesday: 8:30 am - 6:00pm
    Wednesday: 8:30 am - 6:00pm
    Thursday: 8:30 am - 6:00pm
    Friday: 9:00 am - 12:00pm

    Services provided include western and eastern examinations, lab work, ultrasounds, animal chiropractic, acupuncture, laser, medications, herbs, supplements , PRP and stem cell treatments. At this time x-rays and major surgeries are not available but will be in the future. If you have questions or your pet needs to be seen before the first available appointment please contact Dr. Adams at adamsdvm@protonmail.com and someone will get back to you during business hours. If you leave message during the week within 24 hours, during the weekend or holidays you will be contacted on the next business day.

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