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Doctor Jeff
Doctor Jeff, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 4589
Experience:  Small Animal General Practitioner and practice owner with 8+ years experience
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Hello I have an 8 year old shihtzu who recently went for a

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Hello I have an 8 year old shihtzu who recently went for a check up. The vet identified a heart murmur that had not been there previously. he said it sounded like a grade 3. They did bloodwork which all came back normal and 2 chest x-rays. There was no heart enlargement. He advised me to put her on 2 daily medications - enalipril and furosemide. My question is whether or not these medications will help her and if they are necessary. I have never heard of meds being prescribed due to heart murmur

She is great - perky, energetic and seems to be in wonderful health otherwise.
Hi, I am Dr. Jeff. I will try to help you. Please feel free to follow up if any more information is needed. There are a lot of ways to handle heart cases as there are so many different medications for all of the various heart issues that can be present. The lasix (furosemide) would be used to control the symptoms of congestive heart failure, which is typically signs such as a wet non productive cough. Many veterinarians opt to not treat with this until the cough is present. The Enalapril is used to regulate blood pressure as well as to protect the heart muscle itself. This is also used in dogs that are showing symptoms of congestive heart disease, but many will also use in dogs not showing symptoms. So, both are typically left to the opinion of the veterinarian. That said, I would not likely start with the lasix without signs of a cough. I will use enalapril depending on the individual. I will often use blood pressure as part of this determination. It may be worth a second opinion, or even better, a cardiology workup. There are veterinary cardiologists that can perform an entire workup which would also include EKG and echocardiogram. The cardiologist could figure the reason for the murmur (which valve is the problem) and provide a medical plan taylored to Lucy (which could begin with no medication at all). While these can be pretty pricey ($500-$1500 depending on where you live), it can provide a great starting point for her so you can slow the progression of her heart disease.

I hope this helps and gives you direction.
Dr. Jeff
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

So if you had a dog with a heart murmur, but no symptoms, wouldl you put your dog on these medications? Thank you

I would probably go without the furosemide for now and the enalapril depends on the individual, but most likely not. Alot depends on what else your vet is seeing and health history of the individual. I hope this helps.
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Hi Lisa,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Lucy. How is everything going?

Doctor Jeff
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi - She is doing fine. I took her off the medication for now. I think I will follow up in a few months with a checkup at a new DR locally as long as she is doing fine.

Thank you

Great! Let me know if you need anything.