Dog Heart Murmur Life Expectancy|It is not uncommon for dogs (and cats) to develop heart murmurs as they age. Often, these are asymptomatic and do not cause any problems at all.
Dog Heart Murmur – Life Expectancy
Heart murmurs are caused by leaky heart valves, which result in turbulence of the blood as it flows through the heart chambers. This may not always impact on heart function and as a result is not something we need to do anything about straight away, but your dog should be monitored for any changes as he ages.
How Long Can a Dog Live With a Heart Murmur?
However, recent research suggests that where heart murmurs do impact heart function, early intervention and treatment will significantly improve longevity.
Can Heart Murmurs in Dogs be Treated?
There are a number of ways of doing this, including a blood test looking at levels of a peptide called proBNP, which gives an indication of the degree of heart muscle stretch. Should the murmur begin to affect heart function, then the heart tries to compensate and enlarges, resulting in stretch, which can then be detected by measuring an elevated proBNP.
Alternatively, an ultrasound of the heart (echocardiogram) can show enlargement of the heart. In the early stages of disease, no symptoms may be evident – it is only as the disease progresses that exercise intolerance, coughing and breathing difficulties can develop. Should there be evidence of any heart muscle stretch, then we start medication. Have a chat with your vet about either a blood test or ultrasound exam to put your mind at rest.