Can Heart Murmurs in Dogs Cause Breathing Problems?

It can be scary when your dog has a heart murmur. Heart murmurs affect 60% of dogs over 5 years of age. There are so many types of heart murmurs.

Some are more severe than others, and can treat most heart murmurs and the underlying conditions that cause them.

What is a heart murmur?

When your dog listens to the heart through your vet stethoscope, they can hear the rhythmic lab-dub. This noise is made from the normal opening and closing of the heart valves.

Heart Murmurs

When there is any turbulence in the bloodstream, the lub-dub is replaced by a swoosh sound – swoosh-dub, swoosh-swoosh, etc. This is what we call heart murmur.

It is important to know that heart murmur is not a name for a disease, it is a name for what we hear – and heart murmur words can occur from many different conditions.

What is the grading scale for heart murmur in dogs?

Not all heart murmurs are the same. Some have different intensities, positions and times. The severity of the murmur is usually not related to the severity of the heart disease. Veterinarians grade the severity of heart murmur into 6 different classes.

  • Grade I – just an audible murmur
  • Grade II – soft murmur
  • Grade III – Intermediate Loudness murmur; Most murmurs about the mechanics of blood circulation are at least grade III
  • Grade IV – loud murmur
  • Grade V – very loud murmur
  • Grade VI the animal’s chest vibrates very loudly with a strong vibration that can be seen

What causes heart murmurs in dogs?

As noted, murmur is caused by blood flow inside the heart. Heart murmur can also be classified as innocent / physical murmur. Innocent heart murmur has no effect on dog health.

It most often occurs in young puppies and eventually they overcome the murmur by the age of 5 months.

If your veterinarian detects an innocent heart murmur in your little puppy, your vet recommends listening to the heart again when your puppy is 4-5 months old. If the heart murmur is still present, cardiac workup is guaranteed.

Most commonly, heart murmur in older dogs is caused by heart disease (pathological murmur words) or a problem outside the heart.

What types of heart disease cause heart murmurs?

Heart disease caused by heart disease can be congenital or acquired.

Congenital heart disease in puppies is hereditary and includes:

  • Patent Ductus Arteriosis (PDA)
  • Pulmonary stenosis
  • Subarachnoid stenosis

Acquired heart disease develops in heart disease and adult dogs. These include:

Myxomatous mitral valve degeneration is also known as mitral regurgitation, mitral regurgitation or MMVD. It is a hereditary disease found in species including the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Cocker Spaniel, Chihuahua, Miniature Poodle, Boston Terrier and Miniature Schnazer.

Dilated cardiomyopathy is also known as DCM. It is a hereditary disease of species such as Doberman Pinscher, Great Dane, Boxer and Cocker Spaniel.

Endocarditis – An infection of the heart valves that occurs when bacteria, such as dental disease, spread to other parts of your dog’s body and spread to other parts of your dog’s heart.

How to detect heart murmur?

If your vet detects a heart murmur during your dog’s physical examination, some tests may be recommended depending on the grading, location and timing of the murmur.

The first test your vet recommends is an echocardiogram to investigate your dog’s heart murmur. It is an ultrasound of the heart done by a specialist.

An echocardiogram is very valuable because it gives a diagnosis of what causes a heart murmur.

It also monitors the health of the heart valves, measures blood pressure to the pressure lungs and examines any secondary changes in the heart, including abnormal thickness.

A chest X-ray to see the chest may also be recommended.

Chest X-ray provides valuable information about the chest cavity. It involves looking at the lungs to see if there is any fluid if the heart is putting any pressure on the windpipe and measuring how big the heart is in the chest cavity.

What are the signs of a heart murmur?

There are no signs if we detect heart murmur in advance. Every year your vet listens to your furbaby heart for any murmurs during their annual health checkup.

Does my dog get a heart attack?

Heart murmur with symptomatic heart disease usually stops the circulatory heart. It can be a serious condition and fatal. In general, fluid builds up in the lungs of dogs with heart failure. Dogs with heart failure may also have mild cough, shows intolerance, or difficulty in breathing.

Early Signs of Heart failure in Dogs

  • Laziness
  • Epilepsy
  • Collapsing
  • Cough
  • Gagging
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Exercise impatience
  • Decreased appetite
  • Swelling in the abdomen
  • Muscle damage

Cough from heart disease comes from two causes.

Expansion of the heart size leads to compression of the wind pipe and the potential backflow of blood leads to an increase in fluid in the lungs.

Cough is a sign of respiratory diseases such as bronchitis, allergies, pneumonia, asthma or kennel cough. Therefore, it is important for your vet to maintain a comprehensive performance.

How do you treat heart murmur?

Treating your dog’s heart murmur depends on the root cause. Innocent murmur does not require treatment, but regular monitoring of your dog’s heart condition should prevent other problems.

Heart disease causes heart murmurs (s) and requires a special diet. Your dog needs a regular vet visit for regular monitoring every 6 months. This may include repeated echograms and / or x-rays depending on your dog’s condition.

Your veterinarian will advise you on the best method to treat and monitor your dog’s heart murmur.

Can anesthesia cause heart murmur in dogs?

Most dogs have heart murmurs that never cause a problem, but if those pets are going to have anesthesia, doctors would like to investigate further on this, For example, testing often reveals that cats with heart murmurs suffer from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the hardening of the heart muscle impedes its ability to pump blood.

For those dogs, narcotics are not available at basic medical spots, which are not available in the most common methods, which make the heart very hard when giving narcotics to the animal.

Some breeds may also be given highly customized anesthesia.

Bulldogs and pugs often have narrow airways. They don’t really look like other dogs, they want the depth of unconsciousness to be right. If they sleep too much, they will not be able to breathe. If they are not properly intoxicated and very strange, they will become hyperventilated and unable to breathe.

Many other dog breeds have genetic problems or anatomical factors that require special anesthesia planning, including sighthounds, livestock breeds, toy breeds, large breeds, and Doberman pinchers.