Minor heart murmur and coughing

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Minor heart murmur and coughing

This is a discussion on Minor heart murmur and coughing within the Dog Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hello all, Two weeks ago I welcomed an 8 week old Westie into my family. We named her Opal. When I picked Opal up from ...

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Old 02-02-2012, 01:23 PM
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Minor heart murmur and coughing

Hello all,

Two weeks ago I welcomed an 8 week old Westie into my family. We named her Opal. When I picked Opal up from the breeder I was given a health certificate from the breeder's vet, and information stating she received her first round of shots and was dewormed. I was also given a health guarantee from the breeder stating if my vet found anything wrong with the puppy that the breeder's vet missed, I could be compensated or return the puppy.

When I went to my vet, she told me I have a very health puppy, but she does have a minor heart murmur. The vet explained the scale of 1-6; with a 1 being a hardly noticable murmur and a 6 being very bad. My puppy was given a "1.5 or 2." The vet said it's nothing to worry about, she'll probably grow out of it, but since it is congenital I should not use the puppy for breeding (not my intentions anyway). The vet also told me Opal's murmur "will most likely not get worse." I just had to be aware of it for if/when she is put under anaesthesia. Opal's fecal test showed no signs of parasites.

Opal loves to play. She's very active, eats her food, drinks plenty of water. We're working on house breaking her - everything has been great so far. I've had dogs and puppies before and she seems like a completely normal, healthy pup.

However, I've noticed that for the past 2 nights Opal wakes up coughing in the middle of the night. It's a dry, hoarse, unproductive cough. She coughs maybe 3 times and then gags once. She then yawns and goes right back to sleep. Is this something I should be concerned about? During the day she very rarely coughs, and if she does it's usually just once when she's eating (or eating too fast). She's been acting the same during the day as she always has; the only difference I've noticed is the cough at night.

Is the cough normal? Should I be concerned it's her heart murmur causing the cough? She's been dewormed, had her shots, is on a monthy heartworm medicine. Seems completely healthy, except the cough at night.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-02-2012, 02:27 PM
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Personally I would be concerned about the coughing, as that is often one of the symptoms of heart problems.
It could also be something else or no big deal, but were this my dog I would have her checked out for peace of mind!
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Old 02-02-2012, 02:32 PM
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Have the cough checked, especially if it is new.
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Old 02-02-2012, 03:00 PM
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hi all, i would suggest you take your dogs to the vet and have a chest xray to see what is going on inside your little dog. My chocolate labrador woke up during the night about a week ago coughing, he did it again the next night. we were concerned so we took him to the vet, he was confirmed to have a heart murmur, he was sent home with some tablets and they told us to come back in a week, he got worse that night, so we took him back to the vets, they did an xray, he had an enlarged heart. I was gutted. Sadly he passed away yesterday afternoon, i am absolutely heartbroken, been crying ever since. I hope your dog gets better.
charlotte
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Old 02-02-2012, 03:45 PM
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Thank you for your replies, I'm going to call my vet and bring her in. Charlotte, I'm so sorry to hear of your dogs passing. Was he a puppy, too?
I'm scared
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Old 02-02-2012, 05:11 PM
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Id just take her in.

My 8.5 year old collie has had a murmur his whole life. its gotten worse, but still not at a bad stage, I think a 2-3 stage murmur. He competes in rally, has done many agility shows, tons of classes, gets tons of excersise daily (4+kms a day of ofleash hiking in the woods, today we did 8kms) swims, plays with friends. ect. Not to mention a young (16 months old) bother (beagle) that keeps him playing all day long too lol he has no ill effects with his heart issues. I dont worry about it, and let him live life.

I would contact this breeder. to see what they have to say.
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Old 02-02-2012, 06:42 PM
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It would be weird to be related to a Grade 1-2 heart murmur. I'm more inclined to think she has a mild kennel cough. Either way, I think she should be checked out.

For the heart murmur, I'd highly recommend taking her to a cardiologist to see if it's a problem that can be fixed...
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:46 PM
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I agree with holly. Coughing related to a grade 1-2 murmur would not be my first thought. I don't know if I would go with kennel cough, as the pup would more then likely be coughing all day ( same with heart related coughing).

Is the air dryer at night? Does she get a snack at night? Maybe allergic to something in her crate/bed ?

Did you let the breeder know about the heart murmur? Maybe her vet missed it. I would be very upset to learn my vet missed a murmur on a puppy.
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:47 PM
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Oh, go get her checked out to put your mind at ease
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:55 PM
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If the breeder is a good one they will want to know about the heart murmur, whether you want a refund or not. Its the sort of thing they should be keeping track of.

Otherwise I have to admit I don't know a thing about heart murmurs, but for your sake getting the cough checked isn't a bad thing, and it'll make you feel better! Also check the things Instyle suggested, it could just be mild allergies while getting used to the new environment.

I was thinking mild kennel cough too, my 3month old pup has a very similer cough, and thats what our vet diagnosed it as, and said that as long as it doesn't get worse not to worry about it. But get her checked, for your own peace of mind if nothing else!
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