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Strategies For Dealing With Your Dog's Heart Murmur

While you hope that your local veterinarian gives your dog a clean bill of health at the end of each annual checkup at your local animal hospital, there may be certain health concerns that the vet notices and needs to share with you. Some dogs develop heart murmurs, which your veterinarian will easily identify with a stethoscope during the checkup. While this condition sounds serious and certainly can be, it's not a reason to panic. If your dog has a heart murmur, you can expect the veterinarian to talk extensively to you about the ways that you can manage this condition. Here are three important steps.


Veterinarians always encourage dog owners to keep their pets at a healthy weight, but this is even more important when the animal has a heart murmur. The heavier a dog is, the harder their heart will have to work. Your pet already has a heart issue, so you don't want to challenge the heart more than necessary. The vet will weigh your dog and tell you if they're overweight. If so, you can expect to learn about some dietary changes such as low-calorie food that can help to gradually lower the animal's weight and prevent unnecessary strain to the heart.


Regular exercise is an important component of weight management for a dog, but your veterinarian will likely give you some recommendations about exercise. You don't want to tax your dog's heart by pushing them too hard. Vigorous games of fetch might do more harm than good, depending on the severity of the heart murmur. You can expect the veterinarian to encourage moderate-intensity exercise on a consistent basis. Something as simple as walking the dog through your neighborhood once or twice a day will give them a good source of exercise, without pushing them too hard and challenging the heart.


It's probable that your vet will want you to book checkups for your dog more frequently than you have in the past. Frequent checkups are a good way for the vet to monitor the dog's heart murmur. If the condition deteriorates over time, the vet will be able to give you some additional options to consider. If the condition remains consistent, it's a good affirmation that you're effectively controlling the things you can control to keep the dog healthy. Your vet will recommend how many checkups the dog needs per year, depending on the severity of their heart murmur and other factors.

For more information, contact an animal hospital near you.