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Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 5160
Experience:  Over 14 years of clinical veterinary experience
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I've just been told my dog has a stage 4 murmur what does

Customer Question

I've just been told my dog has a stage 4 murmur what does this mean
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  brisadog replied 1 year ago.

Hi, I can help you with your question today.

Expert:  brisadog replied 1 year ago.

We grade heart murmurs based on how loud they are on a scale of 1-6.

Expert:  brisadog replied 1 year ago.

A grade 4/6 murmur is relatively loud, but doesn't necessarily mean that your dog has heart disease requiring treatment.

Expert:  brisadog replied 1 year ago.

A new heart murmur is basically a red flag, informing us that we need to do further diagnostic testing to see if any treatment is required at this point.

Expert:  brisadog replied 1 year ago.

The next step is an echo - ultrasound of his heart. This will look for the cause of that sound (often turbulent blood flow through a valve that isn't closing effectively). The most common cause in aging dogs is mitral valve regurgitation.

Expert:  brisadog replied 1 year ago.

Echo with a cardiologist can let us know if medications would be a good idea to treat or slow progression of heart disease.

Expert:  brisadog replied 1 year ago.

Is he having any problems with coughing or intolerance for exercise?

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