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been told today my shih tzu puppy has a heart murmur

(11 Posts)
pandagirl03 Mon 27-Oct-08 23:30:48

Hello

Took my shih tzu puppy to the vets today for his 2nd lot of injections and the vet has said he has a heart murmur. She said on a scale 1-6 it is a 2. Has anyone got any experience on this. He is only 10 weeks old. sad

Joolyjoolyjoo Mon 27-Oct-08 23:41:26

Hi, I'm a vet, and I wouldn't worry too much. Many many puppies grow out of heart murmurs, but your vet has an obligation to tell you that they have heard one- which we hate having to do!

It's really up to you. You would be within your rights to take the puppy back to the breeder and ask for a different one/ refund- in practice this rarely happens, as people are usually already attached to their puppy by the time they get this info.

One of the biggest factors is whether or not the puppy is currently insured, either by yourselves, or still covered by the breeder. If it is (or if the breeder offers to pay! You can but ask!) and the murmur hasn't disappeared in a couple of weeks, you can ask for a referral to a cardiac specialist who can do a special ultrasound of the heart, diagnose specifically the cause of the murmur and tell you the potential likeliehood of it affecting your puppy or not.

The vast majority of murmurs are benighn, but if your puppy's isn't there are all sorts of different options, depending on the cause of the murmur- surgery (not usually invasive, often inserting a balloon into the heart via a blood vessel), medication or just "watch-and-see"

Can I just stress again that most of the murmurs I see in puppies are developmental, and they disappear, leaving the dog to go on and live a long and happy life smile But if your pup is insured and you are worried, no harm in checking it out fully. Good luck! Let me know how you get on

Joolyjoolyjoo Mon 27-Oct-08 23:42:24

PS "benighn" should read benign blush

kormAaaarrrggghhhchameleon Mon 27-Oct-08 23:45:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sazisi Mon 27-Oct-08 23:47:56

I'm not a vet, but I had a murmur as a baby and it 'grew out' and I've been fine since; they are very common and from what Jooly says it's the same with dogs

salsmum Mon 27-Oct-08 23:49:21

Korma,
sori to hijak too, hope your o.a.p. o.k. I have a 15 yr old too who has cancer of lymph node hope all is o.k.
please let us know.
x

kormAaaarrrggghhhchameleon Mon 27-Oct-08 23:51:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pandagirl03 Mon 27-Oct-08 23:55:22

Thank you so much joolyjoolyjoo. We have a free 4 week insurance when we got him. But obviously have to take out another lot of insurance soon. Not really sure who to go with, there are so many companys out there. Our vet told us to get a lifelong policy. We can not take him back as we and especially dd is vey attached to him. We got him when he was 8 weeks old. I was thinking of calling the breeder to inform her, see what she suggests. But dh has said not too as it might cause a arguement.

I do know when we went to look at the puppys the lady said she had 7 puppys but 1 died due to a heart problem. She did say and had a letter from her vets saying all the other's had been checked out and given the ok.

oops Tue 28-Oct-08 00:00:49

Message withdrawn

Joolyjoolyjoo Tue 28-Oct-08 00:08:08

Re fitting dog- I agree with oops re poor outlook. I think you did the right thing letting him go, hard as it must have been sad

Pandagirl- no harm in informing the breeder and keeping him/ her updated- most good breeders would want to know, as long as you are not being confrontational or antagonistic no reason why it would cause a ruck. it's not something the breeder has done wrong or could have known.

As for insurance policies, just be careful that you don't choose a new insurer who might see your pup's heart murmur as a pre-existing condition, for which they wouldn't provide cover. Might be best to try to move quickly and get this investigated under your present cover before making arrangements to reinsure

Pandagirl - Hi I replied to your earlier post some time ago about shih tzus and mentioned there that they can be prone to heart problems.

Both my 2 that I had when I was a teenager had heart murmers, both lived to a fairly good age - about 10 and 11. As they got older they did struggle a bit - one more so. If it was hot and you took him for a walk his tongue would go blue. But this only started when he was about 8. They both had good, happy lives. Hopefully your dog may grow out of it, but if he doesn't then I don'tthink its the end of the world. smile

Definetly get insurance sorted asap. M&S are good and do life long cover.

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