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Gen B.
Gen B., Retired Veterinary Technician
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 2227
Experience:  Lhasa,Shih Tzu Breeder/ B.A.Neurophysiology & Animal Behavior/I use plain English!
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my vet said my minature poodle has a level 2 heart murmur and

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my vet said my minature poodle has a level 2 heart murmur and she has done a cbc blood test. is this going to be a major health problem?
How old is your dog?

Has he been neutered?

Were xrays taken of his heart?

What did the veterinarian say about the blood test results?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I am unsure since I adopted him from a rescue group. The rescue group said about 5 yrs. my vet said maybe 10 yrs.

He was neutered by the rescue group in the last 5 months.

I have not heard anything about the blood test.

Great! A few more questions:

Does he cough?

Is he active and interested in things around him?

Does he get tired very easily?

Has he been tested for the presence of Heartworms in his blood system?

Is he overweight, underweight or "just right"?

Is his appetite good? Does he ever sit down when eating?

Does he cough when drinking water?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

He does cough about one or two time daily.

He is very active, running around the yard at break neck speed when I come home from work. After we have supper then he sleeps while I watch TV. He has high energy when I am outside with him. Inside he usually sleeps. He was tested for heart worms and given meds at the rescue. I keep him on heartguard monthly. His weight is 13lbs just right. He has a great appetite, he loves to eat. I have never seen him sit while eating. I have nto noticed him coughing when drinking on any regular basis.

Hello and thanks for researching this very important question!

When working with rescued pets, we often have to go from "scratch" if there was no medical history passed on from the original owner(s).

Heart murmurs are "extra" sounds made when the heart is beating...usually, the vet hears a very smooth and regular "lub-dub" sound. Any time extra sounds are heard, the vet listens carefully to them to try and figure out where in the heart they are coming from, and how loud and harsh the sounds are. Some dog breeds are more susceptible to heart defects and heart disease (Miniature Poodles included).

A "grade" is assigned to try and describe the extra sound(s)...there are 6 levels of severity ("1" being the most soft and quiet, and "6" being the most loud and harsh). This kind of description is a bit subjective, but gives a starting point for thinking about an individual pet's cardiovascular health.

Many dogs live their entire lives with heart murmurs of varying severity with no ill effects, even if the original cause has not been diagnosed. Heart murmurs can be congenital (present since birth), or acquired (due to the development of some illness)...when no medical history is available, it is hard to know how concerned to be about this symptom.

A Grade 2 murmur is relatively soft and quiet, but definitely present. Your vet may suggest additional testing based on the blood results (like some xrays of the chest, or an ultrasound study if you are very worried). Vets become immediately more concerned about murmurs over Grade 3.

Dogs with significant heart disease are sluggish and unable to exercise indefinitely...they cough strenuously when rising from sleep, when doing "light" exercise such as going downstairs or walking to the car. They often have trouble swallowing food and water.

Here is an article that you can review:

Heart murmur general description

There is not usually very great cause for immediate concern with a Grade 2 murmur, but this is something to keep track of with your vet in case it changes over time.

If you need additional support at this time, please click "Reply", otherwise I thank you in advance for your "Accept", and for giving this little Guy a good home!

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