A heart noise is almost always caused by a leaky heart valve in the adult dog. A treatment is often only necessary if the dog suffers from
– A reduced endurance
– Tightness due to fluid in the lungs
– Moisture in the abdomen
Starting a treatment earlier is not always better for the dog, but worse for the wallet.
A heart murmur in the puppy to young adults may need to be treated immediately
Normal heart noise in the puppy
Until the age of 3-4 months, many pups have a (very) soft systolic heart noise. Systolic means that the heart noise can be heard during the contraction of the heart, the active phase.
This heart noise disappears when the dog grows and needs no treatment.
A heart noise in a puppy can be very innocent, but we have to keep an eye on whether the noise changes when the pup gets bigger.
Abnormal heart noise in the puppy
Further research into the cause of a heart noise is recommended:
– With a hard heart noise
– A heart noise that does not disappear
– A heart noise that can also be heard in the resting phase of the cardiac actions (diastolic heart noise).
– In puppies with clinical symptoms (quickly tired)
In the two most common abnormal heart defects in the dog (ductus arteriosus and pulmonary stenosis), early intervention can prevent heart failure.
Heart noise in middle-aged dog
In many small dogs of middle age, a heart noise is found for the first time in a routine examination. In almost all cases it is caused by a leakage of the valves between the bosom and the chamber of the left heart.
It is often only years after the heart noise has been established for the first time, only when the heart is X-ray and / or ultrasound, treatment is needed.
Heart failure due to a leaky heart valve
The first symptom in heart failure is usually getting tired and coughing faster. Some dogs are faint, seem somewhat depressed or eat worse. At a later stage, the dog can retain fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema), making him anxious.
If there is pulmonary edema, you must start with cardiac medication. From recent research (Oct 2016) there may seem to be benefits to start with cardiac mediation if the heart is enlarged ultrasound.
Coughing through heart complaints or bronchitis?
Many middle-aged dogs have both heart and bronchitis. Plaspillen (furosemide) can suppress the cough in both diseases.
If a dog with a heart noise starts to cough less after giving a diarrhea, that does not always mean that the dog really needs heart medications.
Before you start with expensive heart medications, we advise you to check whether these medicines are needed. Maybe we should only treat the bronchitis.
At the MCD we give independent advice whether your dog needs heart medication or not. Make an appointment for an ultrasound and for a consultation with the internist.
If your dog needs medication, we provide it once. You can go to your own vet for the repeat prescription.