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I know this is none of my business but it's worrying me!

(16 Posts)
Melilita Mon 23-May-16 10:50:54

my dd had an xc lesson yesterday and one of the girls had a very good pony who is now 23 years old. The mum was talking to us and saying how amazing he was (he was a lovely pony) and then said especially considering he has a heart murmur.

I can't help thinking it's madness to put a 10 year old on a 23 year old pony with a heart murmur and expect it to jump round an xc course (they are planning to event at 80cm).

Am I worrying unnecessarily? We had our own pony who was fab who developed a heart problem and nearly collapsed taking my dd SJ (pony died a few weeks later sad sad) so I am probably oversensitive?

mrslaughan Mon 23-May-16 16:17:38

I am no expert - that's my first thing, but I thought it depended what sort of heart murmur it was? As to whether they are at risk of dropping dead of a heart attack - I presume that's what your worried about?

horseylady Mon 23-May-16 21:19:47

I know plenty of horses with heart murmurs who've competed to a high level. I guess a lot of it depends on the severity of the murmur.

expatvet Tue 24-May-16 18:54:49

completely depends on the type of murmur... I assume she had him vetted when she bought him - or has had a vet to see him which is how she knows about the murmur and they will have advised her accordingly. If you are worried though do just check with her that a vet has given him the all clear for eventing. sorry about your dd's pony - very sad

Booboostwo Wed 25-May-16 19:18:20

There are many different types of heart murmurs and you need a vet to diagnose. I'd assume this family have had the all clear from the vet as some types of heart murmur do not affect performance and don't pose a risk.

MrsDaffs Thu 26-May-16 13:24:17

My horse has a murmur. There are different grades.

When the vet first told me I was like 'oh shit' but the she said a high percentage of horses and ponies have them (especially performance horses or racers) and not to worry unless it's a high grade.

It's something that iirc actually is better if they are fit and in work...not sure why as I've never really worries about it enough to look into it.

Puppymouse Thu 26-May-16 20:53:27

I had heart murmur come up in a vetting recently and my vet explained that if it's a resting murmur that's always there it's often not an issue. The problem is if it appears after or during work as it shows the heart is under strain?

Moanranger Mon 30-May-16 14:30:58

Cautionary tale here: when my DD was in PC & regularly Eventing, she was on a team with 3 others, one of which had a heart murmur. The vet had given it the all-clear & I was walking back along the course after having watched my DD finish. Heart murmur horse passed, travelling well, & less than a minute later crashed to the ground dead. Fortunately rider not hurt, but obviously traumatic for a 14YO girl.
Following this, I would personally never compete (X-C or s-j) any horse with a heart murmur, but as it is not your horse, keep your own counsel.

froubylou Mon 30-May-16 14:37:18

It is something I would be incredibly cautious about. My bil is a slaughter man with an off site licence which means he is able to travel to fallen stock and destroy if necessary. They also recover fallen stock.

Some years ago he was called to recover a dead horse roadside. The horse had dropped dead but pitched forward. The teenage girl riding it had been killed at the scene from a broken neck. There was a post mortem on the horse and it was found to have died from a heart attack. The owners knew it had a heart murmur but had been given the all clear.

A tragic accident obviously but it's always stayed with me.

Booboostwo Mon 30-May-16 19:32:05

These two tales are completely misleading. Some horses die from heart attacks, it's well known and not in any way rare. You don't seem to have any evidence linking the heart murmur to the heart attack and there are many types of heart murmurs that do not cause a heart attack. I have a horse with a non-problematic heart murmur notes at his vetting at 5yo, now 13 and in full work with no problems. My friend's horse had a heart attack due to a viral infection. It really does matter what causes what effect.

Moanranger Mon 30-May-16 23:38:56

Agreed, an asymptomatic horse can have a heart attack & a horse with a murmur may never have one, but logic would le argue that a horse with a murmur has a higher probability of one. I personally would not risk It, especially with a child, but each to his own

Booboostwo Tue 31-May-16 06:19:30

Logic argues nothing of the kind. As has been mentioned before there are different kinds of murmurs. I am not a vet so can't give you full details but where the murmur is situated, how strong it is and what it sounds like will all be features of different types of murmurs. In clinical examination the vet will listed to the heart, assign the murmur a number according to its severity and look at what happens to it, e.g. does it get worse after exercise. Further tests, like an ultrasound, can be performed for a clearer clinical picture, after which the vet can tell you whether there is any risk that this type of murmur may cause a heart attack.

No one should ride a horse with a heart murmur which may cause a heart attack. It's not a risk an adult might take but you'd want to be overcautious with a child, but rather a situation no one should risk. A horse having a heart attack will collapse with no warning, potentially causing a crashing fall for he rider.

Gabilan Tue 31-May-16 08:21:10

The showjumper Hicksted collapsed and died from a heart attack. His rider thought the horse tried to fall in such a way the rider was unharmed. No heart murmur I'm aware of.

Moanranger Tue 31-May-16 17:30:28

Point is, in the case I witnessed, the vet had cleared the horse to compete & v clearly, got it wrong. Vets aren't God. As I said, MY view is that I would not put a child on a horse with a heart murmur, and take it out Eventing in hot weather (situation I witnessed).
It's a free country, you can do or think as you like

Moanranger Tue 31-May-16 17:32:44

Boo In point of fact The Merck vet manual DOES link the type of murmur the horse in my case had to sudden heart failure.

Booboostwo Tue 31-May-16 22:49:42

Moonranger the correct conclusion of that case is that vets can make mistakes not that all heart murmurs cause heart attacks and therefore children should not ride horses with heart murmurs.

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