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Shitzu with heart murmur

my440
Explorer III
Explorer III
Hi my 7 year old Shitzu has a heart murmur.
Wondering if anyone here has had any experience with their dog having a heart murmur and what they did for treatment of the murmur.
We would much rather put him on a natural homeopathic treatment as the reviews I have seen on the internet seem positive, but its the internet, rather here from some of you folks here.
Thanks for any advice!
10 REPLIES 10

ReneeG
Explorer
Explorer
Did your vet recommend meds? We had a Maltese with a heart murmur. She was never on meds, but our vet checked it every year and it never worsened. We were aware of symptoms to alert him, but eventually she passed at 18 years of age and it wasn't from her heart.
2011 Bighorn 3055RL, 2011 F350 DRW 6.7L 4x4 Diesel Lariat and Hensley TrailerSaver BD3, 1992 Jeep ZJ and 1978 Coleman Concord Pop-Up for remote camping
Dave & Renee plus (Champ, Molly, Paris, Missy, and Maggie in spirit), Mica, Mabel, and Melton

LadyRVer
Explorer
Explorer
My cocker spaniel was diagnosed at about age 5 with a heart murmur. No meds, no prescriptions. At about 12.5 years old, murmur got worse, heart enlarged and had CHF. Lived about 10 more months. Meds started at age 12.5.

Bionic_Man
Explorer
Explorer
One of our rescue Weim's has a class 4 (we think she is probably 12ish). She is currently taking Vetmedin (expensive and hard to find), and we just added Furosemide.

She was diagnosed and put on the meds about 6 months ago, and is on the 6 month check up regimen. We are going to a new cardiologist now that said once we run out of the Vetmedin, that there is something that works equally well, and a fraction of the cost. I'll see if I can find what that new med is.....

As far as the effects of the murmur, you really wouldn't know she has it. She is still able to go on long walks with us, and can play.
2012 RAM 3500 Laramie Longhorn DRW CC 4x4 Max Tow, Cummins HO, 60 gallon RDS aux fuel tank, Reese 18k Elite hitch
2003 Dodge Ram 3500 QC SB 4x4 Cummins HO NV5600 with Smarty JR, Jacobs EB (sold)
2002 Gulf Stream Sea Hawk 29FRB with Honda EV6010

my440
Explorer III
Explorer III
downtheroad wrote:
For what it is worth....and maybe some encouragement....We had a 5 year old Dalmatian that was diagnosed with a heart murmur. We were devastated.
But, she lived a solid life to the age of 14 1/2.

Wishing for the best for you.

That's worth a lot...a whole lot, thank you!

dturm
Moderator
Moderator
Taurine is not a treatment for all heart conditions. Most dog foods have adequate supplies. Taurine is used to treat cardiomyopathy (a specific heart issue) and has been found useful in cardiomyopathy caused by or associated with grain free diets.

Some heart murmurs are innocent, I've heard a few while an animal was under anesthetic but not when awake. Further testing - echocardiogram is probably the best course to get the information necessary to make informed decisions.

As Bob/Olallawa said "Better to get her on the meds soon to help keep the progression at a slower rate." This is the current thinking most veterinary cardiologists ascribe to.

I've had patients diagnosed at this age and go on to 15+ years of age, with the cause of death unrelated to the heart condition. But there are some that deteriorate fairly rapidly (within years). It all depends on cause.

Doug, DVM
Doug & Sandy
Kaylee
Winnie 6 1/2 year old golden
2008 Southwind 2009 Honda CRV

downtheroad
Explorer
Explorer
For what it is worth....and maybe some encouragement....We had a 5 year old Dalmatian that was diagnosed with a heart murmur. We were devastated.
But, she lived a solid life to the age of 14 1/2.

Wishing for the best for you.
"If we couldn't laugh we would all go insane."

Arctic Fox 25Y
GMC Duramax
Blue Ox SwayPro

my440
Explorer III
Explorer III
Bob/Olallawa wrote:
We had to put ours down this past summer after keeping her going for 4 years with the same problem. The vet did check-ups every 6 months or so and we put her on prescription meds. As the murmur got worse we had to increase the dose. Towards the end we had to also add a water pill to help keep the lungs clear. Better to get her on the meds soon to help keep the progression at a slower rate. As the leakage got worse we had to keep her really calm or she would go into a seizure.

Bob, so very sorry to hear this.

my440
Explorer III
Explorer III
Son of Norway wrote:
We also had that diagnosed in our golden retriever recently. Diagnosed as a grade 2. She had an echocardiogram that found a slight narrowing in a heart vessel. No treatment or restrictions needed at this time. We did start her on a Taurine supplement. What grade was found in your dog? That will determine the treatment and any restrictions.

Hi thanks for your response and sorry your retriever has such a condition.
We just got our Shitzu (Pasqually) back from the vet today where hes been treated for an abscess on his leg.
The vet found the murmur but we have yet to get the testing for it.
We feel the estimate of $915.00 to be rather high and are looking for a different price. {Radiology, Ultrasound)
We have also read positive reviews on Taurine. Thanks
So unsure at this time, affordability for one.

Bob_Olallawa
Explorer
Explorer
We had to put ours down this past summer after keeping her going for 4 years with the same problem. The vet did check-ups every 6 months or so and we put her on prescription meds. As the murmur got worse we had to increase the dose. Towards the end we had to also add a water pill to help keep the lungs clear. Better to get her on the meds soon to help keep the progression at a slower rate. As the leakage got worse we had to keep her really calm or she would go into a seizure.
Welcome to my home, that door you just broke down was there for your protection not mine.

Son_of_Norway
Explorer
Explorer
We also had that diagnosed in our golden retriever recently. Diagnosed as a grade 2. She had an echocardiogram that found a slight narrowing in a heart vessel. No treatment or restrictions needed at this time. We did start her on a Taurine supplement. What grade was found in your dog? That will determine the treatment and any restrictions.
Miles and Darcey
1989 Holiday Rambler Crown Imperial
Denver, CO