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Old 03-08-2012, 07:51 PM
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HayleyMarie HayleyMarie is offline
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Default Heart Murmers or defects

So I took my pit bull Foster, who has been named Fancy by my parents to a vet. Its the first time she has ever seen a vet.

and well I kinda expected she might have heart issues, but the vet says she has a class 4 or 5 out of 6 heart murmer, and that its a genetic issue. And she might have about 6 months to live.

Now, my issue is finding her a home. I might contact some rescues seeing if there is any fosters out there that take special need cases. Or we keep her until we have to let her go

but if we keep her we might have to deal with DA, if she lives longer than 6 months, but she is not an active dog so crate and rotate might be pretty easy.

And another issue is that we are very active with hiking, we could always leaver her home during day trips, but what about weekend trips?

I guess I could get someone to come and let her out and feed her during the day or put her into kennel or I am sure I could find someone to pay at let her out.

Im just trying to think of all my options and will be doing more research on the issue, but advice and opinions of what I should do is appreciated, no matter what they are

Thanks friends
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Old 03-09-2012, 07:14 AM
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Well, all I can say is, I've had my Pem since he was 9 weeks old, and since his first vet visit he's had "a bad murmur", we were never given a grade on it till years later, where they said it was a 3. Then about a year ago they said it had upgraded to a 4, so we made the decision to have him thoroughly checked out, he had started coughing really bad and we couldn't tell if it was just his allergies or if it might be his heart. A little over $600 later, he has REALLY BAD, allergies. His condition turned out to be, he has a hole between the chambers, it's small, and the vet said it wont get worse. All this time I've been expecting him just to one day drop over dead from it, turned out to be nothing.

I just wanted to say that, so that you know there might be the possibility of her living longer than expected. Sounds like her condition is worse with her being so "lazy" for a puppy, but just thought you should know.
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Old 03-09-2012, 08:01 AM
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it might be worth paying to see what precisely the issue is. It'll give you a better idea of the specific, how severe, realistic limitations, and what signs to look for when it's time to let her go.
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Old 03-09-2012, 08:26 AM
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Heart murmurs are tricky, some dogs can live forever with them and some drop dead in a week. I would either be very specific in my medical endeavors or I would consider putting the dog down if I were not going to keep it. I would not place the dog without being extremely honest with a "may live to be 6 months, may live to be 6 years, may have other issues as well", not many people will adopt a short lived puppy.

My shiba foster had a grade 4 HM and it was a "gray" area, under 4 the dog "may out grow it" and over 4 the dog "likely will not and it can be fatal". That said the dog lived until about 2 or 3 when it was put down for behavioral issues.

I'm really sorry, HM are super confusing and frustrating.
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Old 03-09-2012, 08:41 AM
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Thanks guys for the advice

Im thinking the HM, might be pretty serious. It already causes issues with her breathing and she is a very lathargic puppy, very low energy. And just has bursts of small energy doses and then goes lays down. She is deffinantly not your typical 4 month old puppy.

Im looking more into some options, like some medication, getting a second opinion ect. And the vet has given me a list of signs to look for when the time comes when I have to bring her in to be PTS.

Tyler and I have discussed C/R if she does live longer than expected and we are willing to do it, plus i think it might not be a big deal. She is a very low energy dog, but I still want to be realistic. And the layout of our house would be perfect for it. We can easily partition off the kitchen for her

And when it comes to hiking and us being active. I have contaced a dog sitter in my area that we are moving too before we decided to keep her that is willing to petsit and take her if needs be on the weekends when we go on weekend trips. And she has loads of experiance with Pit bulls.

I honesty really want to give this puppy the most relxed, loved enviroment as long as I can. I know finding her a home or a foster would be near to impossible.
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Old 03-09-2012, 08:46 AM
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Auggie has apparently developed one. He's never had one before, but at his last annual (he's six now), the vet said he has one now. Apparently it's pretty common to develop when dogs get older... I wanted to stick my fingers in my ears and go "LA LA LA LA LA DON'T TALK ABOUT AUGGIE GETTING OLDER LA LA LA LA."
It's a 3 on the scale of 6. He wasn't worried about it but he did tell me if I wanted to know more about it, I could take him to a cardiologist and they could find out more. Since he wasn't worried about it I thought I wouldn't bother - he's been through so much this past year with the stupid bladder thing, I don't want to put him through anything else - but since we do agility I'm wondering if I shouldn't... maybe he can't do agility anymore... I don't know.

Honestly, if you guys can afford it, I would see a certified cardiologist for an echo and see what you can find out. Listening to the murmur and grading it is one thing, but seeing what the heart is actually doing on an echo is entirely different. Like Adrienne said, they are tricky. Checking it out on an echo will probably tell you a lot more.


((((HUGS))))
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Old 03-09-2012, 11:06 AM
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Maggie developed a minor murmur as she got older and our vet said we just needed to keep an eye on it. We supplemented with CoQ10 and it never worsened.

Ziva has has a veeery mild murmur since she was a puppy - probably a 1 or less according to our vet. At our last appointment (Z's exam at 4yo) the vet couldn't find it. When I did a bit of research on it initially it appeared that anything 3 or below is a "normal activity, just watch for issues", but above that activity restrictions are sometimes given. Of course when it comes to activity restriction, some people would rather the dog live a shorter life more fully than a longer life with restrictions, so you'll want to think about where you stand on that issue as well.

Sorry you got such crappy news, but I'm so glad she has a great loving place to live!
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Old 03-09-2012, 12:42 PM
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Sorry for the bad news. But maybe it won't be as bad as it seems. Chulita has one too...just discovered this on her last vet visit. But apparently it isn't anything too terribly serious in her case. I agree with the others that if you can, see a cardiologist and get the real low down on her condition and what to expect, what to do etc. I hope the best for this dog and for you guys.
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Old 03-09-2012, 03:15 PM
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thanks again guys

I've left a message for the vet so we can discuess medication to hopefuly ease some of her discomfort, because it seems she is in discomfort after we go for a walk like breathing really hard, huffing not able to get comfortable and lay down, and it was just a 10 minute walk around the yard, but it was also through some snow.

im hoping once she gets more strength, with being on a better food. She will hopefully develope some more strength. Also, im gonna have to learn what her limitations are.

I have a sad.
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Old 03-09-2012, 03:35 PM
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(((hugs))) You might also want to look into the CoQ10 I mentioned - I believe it's supposed to help the heart muscle specifically.
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