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For those that read my previous thread, we haven't had much luck finding our second dog. We went to a "Save-a-pet" event today held by a local rescue org. and of course the dog we went to see had already been adopted. However by stroke of luck, they had one of the sweetest puppies I've ever seen or met and we filled out an application. I don't want to get my hopes up again, but I really hope this one works out. Here are some pics, but they do him absolutely no justice:

http://www.petfinder.com/petnote/displaypet.cgi?petid=13462113

My question though, is regarding his heart murmur. Does anyone have experience w/ these? What exactly does that mean for us? They said he isn't restricted from any activity, but might require meds and/or may not live as long as he could. Does anyone have any experience or insights for us? Thanks in advance.
 

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Depends on the grade of the murmur. From what I understand, they go from grade 1 to 6 in severity, 6 being the most severe. If the pup has only a stage 1 or 2 it's quite possible for him to lead a normal life with regular check ups and even without meds.
 

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Well the dog is only 5 months old. He can grow out of it. At this age it's not the same as with an older dog. With an older dog it gets worse not better. If there are no symptoms (and the symptoms probably depend on the grade) there is no need for medication. I have experience only with an older dog. You might talk to a vet about life expectancy of a pup. Did he had x-rays done and ultra-sound ? If he needs medicine those are not exactly cheap. And he will need them on a regular basis. I think the best thing for you to do is talk to a vet who can explain to you what exactly a heart murmur is and what is involved in the treatment (you cannot cure it) before you adopt this dog. That way you will know beforehand in what you are getting yourself in. For an older dog life expectancy is between 2 and 4 years.
 

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He is young, and may or may not grow out of it. Depending on the severity of it, I wouldnt worry to much. Blaze had a stage 1 heart murmur until he was 5, it has now escalated to a stage 2 (he will be 6 on May 1st). He has no problems, doesnt take meds. is a normal happy go lucky guy. only thing I worry more about is it 1) getting worse. 2) what if he had to be put under for surgery, may not do well. It is monitered to make sure it is not worse a few times a year (once with his yearly check up. and I do go in a few times, just to have her listen to it, when i go in to weight him). i will be in on monday, so heres to good hope it has not gotten worse.Other wise. we live a normal every day life, just like any "normal" dog, we play alot, go to the dog park, swim, go on camping trips, canoeing, hiking ect ect ect. I like to let him "live the life" as long as I can. in reality it may worsen so much thar we wont beable to do all these fun things. I wouldnt let a small murmur stop me from adopting a dog I have "fallen" for.
 

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I need to clarify. Life expectancy for an older dog is 2 to 4 years from the time they start medicine. But... I know also dogs who died two weeks after being diagnosed. Mind you, those were older dogs (around 10 years of age). My own dog will be 12 years old end of May. He has been diagnosed at 10. We almost lost him last year. We had to increase his meds and added Vetmedin. He has been fine since. Looking at him, you would never know he is almost 12 and sick. But we know we can loose him at any time.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the info and advice everyone!! As far as waiting to see...we've already committed to him. Regardless of what this means, we are still planning to add him to our family; I was just trying to get some info from those w/ experience. Thanks again, and if anyone else had additional knowledge/experience/stories I'd love to hear them.
 

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The only experiance with heart murmer I have is the one I was born with. I have a grade 1 heart murmer, it only acts up when I go under certain types of anesthesia, I lead an active, normal life, in fact for a long time it was thought I had actually outgrown it!!! Then I needed surgery for a lump in my breast 18 years ago and it showed up. I've not had any problems since and just need a little extra work up if I have to go under general anesthesia.

Find out the grade of the murmer and talk to YOUR vet about it and what could potentially happen. Your vet will help you map a out a monitoring plan for the life of the puppy should you choose to adopt it.
 

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My Aussie had a heart murmur as a puppy. I don't remember the stage. It went away by the time he was around 6 months old. He's 5 now and we've never had a problem. My vet said it was fairly common in young pups and most of the time it goes away without complications. Hope that helps.
 
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