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  #1  
Old February 25th, 2011, 06:32 PM
Mastifflove Mastifflove is offline
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Exclamation Advice! Heart murmur and limping??

I'm wondering if there is a connection between a heart murmur and limp.
I recently got a 7 week old French mastiff, a vet did a exam, and told me he has a heart murmur level one "well on it's way to level 4" then told me he has congenital bone diesease because of the limp, but he wasn't limping before the vet seen him. It was weird, but he started limping as the vet walked in. I don't have carpet and he keeps slipping on my tiles so I
Figured that's what had happened. None of the pups siblings had anything wrong with them. He was the largest pup of the litter. I've been reading about different things and nothing seems to
Connect it. The vet said he doesn't have blood going to the left side of his body properly because of his heart.
The pup does seem to sleep quite a bit. But is up most of the night. He doesn't eat alot but is eating, is drinking, and is playing, I've had him for 2 days. He does seem to have an odd walk at times but not all the time.

As anyone else seen anything like this?
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Old February 25th, 2011, 06:36 PM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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Is it a problem with the heart valve? Is that why he is saying level one to 4?
I have a dog that has a severe heart condition but no limping associated with the condition itself.

What did the vet say about the limping and the connection?
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Old February 25th, 2011, 06:51 PM
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First of all, if you purchased that puppy you need to immediately check out your legal options for puppy lemon laws and things. If your dog is already having health problems at 7 weeks old that is a sign of very bad breeding. If he was adopted, there's really not much you can do unless the SPCA or anything has a written health guarantee (unlikely). You should see about taking out pet health insurance ASAP as well, because one problem is just going to lead to another.

I'm not sure that a limp would be related to a murmur.. I see what the vet is saying but I've not personally ever heard of that. Heart problems can easily make the dog tired and inactive. It's important to keep an eye on their energy levels- too little is not good, but too much can lead to problems as well.

I am not a vet, but from what information you have posted I wouldn't say there is a good prognosis in the long run.. Mastiffs are already predisposed to problems, and although sometimes heart murmurs can go away, the limp and suspected genetics issues lead me to believe your pup may not have quite the normal life expectancy My first dog was a rottweiler from a very bad BYB, and she had to be put down at 7 after having genetic issues from day 1. Hopefully you will be able to work with your vet to resolve or prevent some of the issues
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Old February 25th, 2011, 06:51 PM
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Where did you get this puppy from that the breeder is letting him go to his new home at such a young age? I would also be contacting the breeder to tell them about the vet's finding and see what they have to say about it.
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Old February 25th, 2011, 06:52 PM
Mastifflove Mastifflove is offline
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He didn't say anything about the heart valve. Right now he's a level one and the vet thinks it'll hit a level 4 in the future.

As for the limp he's saying he thinks it's that the blood isn't reaching that part of his body, but he's not always limping? So it just doesn't make sense. This whole thing doesn't.

He's limped with all limbs so i just don't understan it
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Old February 25th, 2011, 07:00 PM
Mastifflove Mastifflove is offline
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It's not a registered breeder or anything so I'm
Not sure what I can do.
I called them, told them, faxed them the vet findings and they said the vet was useless and to get a second opinion and they'd pay for
It. Then they said to just bring the pup back and get my
Money back.
Then they called again and said they sent the vet findings to
Their vet and that to wait to months and see what happens or I could just go return the pup.
I was supposed to meet them today and they Aren't answering their phone.

So that point seems to be not happening.

Either way, I still have a pup with a problem, it's not his fault and they clearly aren't working with me, so i have to accept that and figure out what's wrong with him.

I will definitely look into the pet insurance, any suggestions of who to go through?
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Old February 25th, 2011, 07:05 PM
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It may not be his fault but these are clearly unscrupulous people! You need to try and report them/sue them whatever you can because chances are you are not the first person they've done this too! It happens quite frequently to the point where in my state (New Jersey) we have laws protecting people against it.

Research puppy lemon laws, contact your local SPCA and ask for help. They've probably done this to loads of people. When you purchased him, did you pick him up from the house? Or did you meet the people in a parking lot somewhere? Did you meet his parents and littermates?

The pup may be lucky to be with you now, and my reason to not return him would be I'm sure as soon as you give him back to these people who are clearly NOT ethical breeders, he's going to be killed before you even get in your car to go back home
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Old February 25th, 2011, 07:06 PM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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From what you write you are not dealing with a breeder. What you are dealing with is more than likely a back yard breeder...maybe even a broker. Personally, I would report it.
If you bring this pup back (which I doubt they will take back), this baby may be destroyed (not humanely) if they are out to make a profit. Since the puppy is yours now, I would take responsibilty if they are not stepping up to the plate.
I actually would be getting a second opinion. I do not know how a vet can say that the dog will go from 1-4. Did the vet mention anything about long term care and prognosis?
If there is blood circulation problem that he/she can detect, did they mention if this had anything to do with the murmur?
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Old February 25th, 2011, 07:09 PM
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ML from what i've been reading a grade 1 murmur is this.

What is a benign or “innocent” murmur?

Some heart murmurs are called benign (or innocent or physiological), meaning there is no apparent heart disease that explains the murmur. These murmurs are often seen in puppies, and can occur in cats of any age. They are uncommon in adult dogs. Benign murmurs are usually soft (rather than loud), and can be intermittent. Benign puppy murmurs will generally disappear by 12 to 15 weeks of age. Murmurs associated with anemia or excitement are also considered benign murmurs.

i'm thinking i'd get a second opinion,,i was reading also that stress can show as a grade one murmur. Not a clue about the limp.
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Old February 25th, 2011, 07:17 PM
Mastifflove Mastifflove is offline
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All the vet said was it was in my best interest to bring him back, not only could he potentially be destroyed but they could also turn around, sell him, And break someone elses heart. So I don't want to just return him.

I don't know how the vet figures he will hit four, all he did was a physical exam, I'm not a vet nor ever had an animal with this condition but he said it would cost me thousands of dollars in the future and that he would easily just die, but then the pup is 7 weeks so how is he determining that it's a long
Term murmur or a puppy one.

I don't know how all that works, or how he feels the two are connected. He said the blood flood not hitting his limbs properly, so how do they determine that but listening to his heart?

I am so confused and frustrated.
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  #11  
Old February 25th, 2011, 07:22 PM
aslan aslan is offline
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i've pm'd Dr. Lee for you ML to see what he says,,if i'm not mistaken one of Lp's pups had a heart murmur,,might want to see what she says too.
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Old February 25th, 2011, 07:30 PM
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Heart Murmurs aren't always you know, a death sentence or anything, but being that the pup was sold to you in that condition and they didn't mention anything about that means that pup has never been to a vet before. With an ethical breeder the pups will get checked out 2 or 3 times before they go to their new home... and 7 weeks is too young to be away from the family anyways. So all those things combined just leave me to believe you are in for a lifetime of problems with this guy.

I don't know of pet health insurance in Canada, but I have to reiterate to look into it. Make sure you get one that covers genetic problems & surgery, because if he is already limping he may need several surgeries when he is older. My rottie needed hip replacement and other surgeries and physical therapy. We spent about $10,000 on her with all the problems (these are in 1998-ish dollars).
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Old February 25th, 2011, 07:34 PM
Mastifflove Mastifflove is offline
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Oh and he gags in his sleep sometimes, and threw up water last night while I was sleeping. He sounded like he was choking on something, by the time I realized what was going on he threw up water.

He hasn't done much gagging today though.
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Old February 25th, 2011, 07:52 PM
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luckypenny luckypenny is offline
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I certainly would be looking for another vet if I were in your shoes. Heart murmurs are graded on a level of 6 and the only thing a specific grade indicates is the level of sound. Low grade heart murmurs are not unusual in young puppies (and even in humans). I just fostered a litter of 6 puppies where 2 had heart murmurs (heard at 6 weeks). One was a 1/6 and the other a 2/6. Within 3 weeks following, no murmurs were detected. These are what's known as "innocent murmurs" as Aslan has described. The only way a vet can detect if it's a serious heart condition is through a cardiac ultrasound. I can't believe the one you saw said it can go from 1 to a 4 without justifying why he thought so. And then correlating it with your puppy's limp without any further testing ? Seriously, I'd be looking for another vet.
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Old February 25th, 2011, 08:25 PM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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Originally Posted by luckypenny View Post
. I can't believe the one you saw said it can go from 1 to a 4 without justifying why he thought so. And then correlating it with your puppy's limp without any further testing ? Seriously, I'd be looking for another vet.
My exact thoughts as I infact do have a foster with a confirmed heart condition. Ultra sound was the 2nd thing done for a proper diagnosis. Going from 1-4 without justification I also found very strange.
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Old February 26th, 2011, 02:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mastifflove View Post
I'm wondering if there is a connection between a heart murmur and limp.
I recently got a 7 week old French mastiff, a vet did a exam, and told me he has a heart murmur level one "well on it's way to level 4" then told me he has congenital bone diesease because of the limp, but he wasn't limping before the vet seen him....The vet said he doesn't have blood going to the left side of his body properly because of his heart.
The pup does seem to sleep quite a bit. But is up most of the night. He doesn't eat alot but is eating, is drinking, and is playing, I've had him for 2 days. He does seem to have an odd walk at times but not all the time.
The Levels or Grades of Murmurs.
Typically murmurs are graded 1-6. These levels are based on the how prominent the murmus can be heard on auscultation. While this can help lead us towards a diagnosis, it is not a diagnosis itself. Furthermore while typically the higher the level, the worse the disease. However this is not always the case. I have had grade 1 or 2 level murmurs that were life threatening and lead to serious complications. I have also had a dog with a grade 5 murmur that was determined to be completely stable by a cardiologist after ultrasound. That dog did great under anesthesia and was given a great prognosis for long term health. The upshot is - that while levels or grades of a murmur do give us information, it does not tell us what specific type of heart disease is present, nor does it give a reliable prognosis. A change in level or grading can be important as well as its overall existence. To better understand both the type of cardiac disease as well prognosis, an cardiac ultrasound with a veterinary cardiology specialist is needed.

Limping with cardiac disease
Is it possible? Yes. Common? No. Typically if there is such a degree of reduced blood flow that a limb has clear problems - there really should be other signs like fainting (syncope), weight loss, coughing, fluid in the chest or abdomen, etc...

Puppy Murmurs
"It is not uncommon for puppies to present with flow murmurs (physiological or innocent murmurs) which result from an increase in blood flow through the aorta or pulmonary artery. These are usually fairly quiet, although they tend to vary in intensity, often with a variation in heart rate, whereas pathological murmurs are usually of consistent loudness regardless of heart rate. Thus, examining the heart until the animal relaxes, and the heart rate slows, is important, since flow murmurs often disappear or become very quiet. Flow murmurs usually disappear by 6 months of age. Re-examination at that time to check if the murmur persists or not might be useful." - excerpt from British Small Animal Veterinary Congress 2008. Author: Mike Martin, MVB, DVC,MRCVS The Veterinary Cardiorespiratory Centre, Martin Referral Services Kenilworth, Warwickshire

Resting Respiratory Rate (RRR)
For left sided heart disease, the RRR can be one of the most sensitive indicators of developing pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs). This is best done at home. How do you do it? when the pet is resting or sleeping - cound the number of breaths per minute. Normal should be in the high teens or low twenties. When RRR is equal to or greater than thirty then patients with underlying heart disease, this RRR is strongly suggestive of congestive heart failure. This should not be the only evaluation and does a lack of an elevated RRR does NOT replace a complete diagnostic workup. When a persistently elevated RRR is noted, then pet needs to see a veterinarian immediately.

I hope that this helps.
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Old February 26th, 2011, 05:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Mastifflove View Post

I will definitely look into the pet insurance, any suggestions of who to go through?
I cant offer any suggestions to you about your pup, it does not seem to be a good situation and the breeder seems to be a putz.

I can comment on the pet insurance though....I have 5 pets insured and the first thing the insurer does when they get the application is contact all the vets your pup has seen prior to confirming full insurance coverage. In your case, the fact that the pup has already seen a vet for what will very likely be an ongoing problem, may "exclude" future costs for that specific problem.
I have one cat excluded for emotional/behavioural problems because he was seen once for the problem prior to coverage and one for dental for the same reasons. These are considered "pre-existing conditions" and the insurer will not cover conditions that they know they are going to have pay for in the future. Remember...they are in the business to make money, as cold as that sounds.
The only way around this is if your "breeder" gave you a complimentary insurance policy for 3 months...something alot of places that do adoptions, not sales do...then you would have had coverage from the start, but this breeder is not likey to have done that.
The insurance would still cover any further problems the pup develops, but not likely the cardiac issues.
Sorry. I hope all goes well.
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Old March 1st, 2011, 10:49 PM
MaxaLisa MaxaLisa is offline
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Limp and Heart Problems make me think of lyme disease. My girl's advancing murmur was basically halted when she was put on antibiotics, though we had no proof that her heart problems were caused by infection. I wonder if the breeder's dogs have ever had lyme - they can be passed on to the pup, and it's not clear if it would easily show up in testing.

My girl's grade 4 murmur was VERY loud because of the positioning of how the blood was being pumped. It made it sound very very bad. The cardiologist had me monitor her respiratory rate, said if it was ever about 40, to get her in ASAP. It was usually around 12-18. She typically had a very low heart rate though.

It really sounds like you need a new vet. I would also have a cardio consult.
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 12:12 AM
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Originally Posted by MaxaLisa View Post
Limp and Heart Problems make me think of lyme disease. My girl's advancing murmur was basically halted when she was put on antibiotics, though we had no proof that her heart problems were caused by infection. I wonder if the breeder's dogs have ever had lyme - they can be passed on to the pup, and it's not clear if it would easily show up in testing.

I don't think lyme's can really be passed that way, and even if it could the pup is probably too young to be symptomatic anyways. A VERY good point for an adult dog that might be limping but probably not the case in our pup here. Lyme is tricky though, so I suppose anything is possible.

Any update from the OP?
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Old March 2nd, 2011, 05:22 AM
Rottielover Rottielover is offline
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Harley had a grade 1 murmur went away, Taz RIP had a heart murmur and at 6 months he passed away from a cardiac arrest, Autopsy showed inconclusive but they said most likely arrhythmia. My opinion see another vet ASAP have him checked with a doppler, not a stethoscope. They are not that accurate.
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