Heart Murmur In Dogs: What Does It Mean And Should You Be Worried?
Heart murmurs in dogs are the extra sounds that are heard from your pet's chest wall while your vet listens with the help of a stethoscope. Read more to know the causes and grades of the heart murmur.
When we hear the word heart murmur, it sounds scary and any pet parent would be worried. What is heart murmur in dogs, what causes it and what are the signs and symptoms of a heart murmur?
What Is Heart Murmur In Dogs?
The heart pumps blood throughout the whole body and if there is a disturbance in the blood flow, it may produce an abnormal sound. This is called a heart murmur. These sounds may be heard when your vet listens to your pet’s heart with a stethoscope. Some heart murmurs may be harmless whereas others may occur due to something more serious.
Grades Of Heart Murmur In Dogs:
Heart murmur in pets is classified into six grades.
Grade I: Hardly detectable and incredibly soft.
Grade II: Very soft but can be heard with a stethoscope.
Grade III: Easily detectible but cannot be felt through the chest by hand.
Grade IV: Loud with a stethoscope but no noticeable vibrations.
Grade V: Loud with noticeable vibrations but cannot be heard with the naked ear.
Grade VI: Loud enough to be heard without a stethoscope and very significant vibration through the chest.
What Causes Heart Murmur In Dogs?
The most common reasons for heart murmur in dogs are:
- Blockages in heart
- The weakening of the heart muscle
- Heartworm disease
- Valve defects
Treatment For Heart Murmur In Dogs:
Not all heart murmurs are severe. Some are harmless and may resolve themselves over time. These murmurs are usually Grade III or below.
Once your vet determines the grade of the murmur, they might suggest additional tests such as radiographs and EKG to find out the underlying problem causing the heart murmur. Treating the underlying cause could help resolve heart murmurs.
We understand that heart murmurs might seems scary to you and your pets. Consult your veterinarian and follow the advice and medications carefully.