When we hear the word heart murmur, it sounds big and any pet parent will be worried. What is heart murmur in dogs, what causes it and what are the signs and symptoms of a heart murmur? Let us look into more details.

What Is Heart Murmur In Dogs?

The heart pumps blood to the whole body. If there is any disturbance in the blood flow, it may produce certain abnormal sounds. This is called heart murmur. These sounds may be heard when your dog’s vet listens over your pet’s chest with a stethoscope. Some heart murmurs may be innocent whereas some may occur due to a pathologic reason which lies behind.

Grades Of Heart Murmur In Dogs:

Heart murmur in pets is classified into six grades. 

Grade I: These can be hardly detectable and are not serious at all.

Grade II: Grade II murmurs are soft and can be heard with a stethoscope.

Grade III: In this,  sounds are a little louder than Grade II and may be due to significant problems.

Grade IV: Sounds will be heard on either side of the chest wall.

Grade V: Murmurs are very audible and can be heard by barely touching the chest with a stethoscope.

Grade VI: This is the most severe form of murmurs and is very loud.

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 wall.
  • Heartworm disease
  • Valve defects in the heart
  • Anemia
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Endocarditis

Treatment For Heart Murmur In Dogs:

Not all heart murmurs are severe. Some are innocent and may resolve 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 ECG to find out the underlying problem causing the heart murmur. Treating the underlying cause will usually 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.