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Hi im new here and need some advice about heart murmurs.
My oldest chihuahua has a heart murmur she is around 7/8 we think as we bought her when she was around 3 or 4 so we were told.
Our vet says its grade 3 and for the last few months she has been put on Fortekor tablets half once daily. When she goes back for a check up in a month or so they want to do a heart scan. Im always checking she is still breathing and really worried about leaving her to go to work. Tonight she had been coughing a little bit bring up a bit of while bile i dont know if she just has a cough or it is something to do with her heart so i have given her a bit of warm milk and honey which seems to have settled her down now. I have been reading on the internet coughing is a bad sign and they are near the end of their life is this true? my vet never mentioned it. Can anybody tell me any signs to watch out for or any advice would be great just to maybe put my mind at rest thank you
 

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Not true at all about the coughing,my last chi had a heart murmur for years,(think he was about 6-7 when it started )i mean years and he lived to 17,he was on Fortekor in those days it was called Forticall,he would cough,that's how the vet suspected heart.So as you can see it doesn't mean a death sentence,your vet may up the meds but if your worried take her back to the vets .Hope she lives as long as my old chi
 

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Milk isn't a good idea, dogs are lactose intolerant. The honey will help soothe her throat though. If she is coughing & vomiting up bile I would have her checked by the vet ASAP. We have several clients who have dogs or cats who have murmurs all their lives and live normally with medications. It depends on the cause of the murmur, if it is because of damage to the heart because of bacteria spread from bad teeth, it will get worse, if it's congenital (she was born with it) sometimes they get worse, sometimes they don't. It all depends on the cause of it, which is one reason your vet wants to do the scan to see exactly what's going on in there. My hubby has a heart murmur, and has had scans done etc, his heart grew too large to compensate for his size. He doesn't have any problems with it other than occassionally it will skip a beat here and there, mostly when he's tired.
 

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myself having experienced this just before xmas last yr , coughing is part of a heart murmur , make sure you keep her cool as the heat will make her heart work harder , i also found that excitement would make my girl pass out .
the day i gave my girl her wings she was coughing constantly and had fluid in her chest and legs .

Things to watch for -
weight loss
wobbly unbalanced walking
passing out
constant coughing
panting a lot
swollen tummy
swollen legs


These are all the things i noticed with my girl , she was a grade 4 when diagnosed 2 weeks beforehand she was running ,swimming and playing ball at the beach , we had one really hot day when i was at work , when i came home she was all wobbly drunk like , it came on very sudden she had always had a clean bill of health , she was diagnosed that day , i got to spend 6 more weeks with her , the main thing i noticed near the end was the fluid build up , i do feel i left her a little to long , if i could turn back time i would have given her wings when her tummy started to swell ,a week after her legs started to swell and thats when she became much worse , 2 days after her legs i woke up and she was coughing constantly and couldn't walk without nearly passing out i knew i had to let her go :( .

good luck with your little girl , i dont mean to scare you at all but its best that you know what you may be in for , i hope you get to spend a lot more yrs with her yet :)

edited to add
with her coughing more so now i would take her to the vet as i would say her medication might need to be a higher dose .
 

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all good advice! and yes, if taken care of properly then I agree that she should have a normally long life span :)

(hopefully me too, because I also have a murmur! ha)
 

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My dog chihuahua mix also has a grade 3 heart murmur and he is 7 years old. The Vet told me they are concerned when they hear this because many chihuahuas have a congenital heart defect. And if that is the cause of the murmur they will not leave that long. For example, 2 of the chihuahua dogs living in the vet clinic one did not live past 10 and one did not live past 11 and they were on medication and getting the appropriate care. My baby will go in to get his echocardiogram some time this week to see where he is at. He is not able to take the long walks anymore and his breathing is slightly more labored than the other dog. No coughing though.
 
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