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It seems to me that the vets will need to identify the cause of the murmur before they can decide on a course of treatment that addresses the underlying cause. The murmur itself is a sign of an underlying disease, it is not the actual disease.

I'm not a doctor but I know if it were MY heart I wouldn't want to cardiologist to just "guess" what the underlying disease might be and then just start "doing things". Apart from the obvious risks of doing that, once you start treatment you want to have confidence in a successful outcome.

As for medical insurance for the dog, it might be too late to get him insured at this point to mitigate your costs but you can still look into it.

Finally, the $3000 for testing is bound to be the tip of the iceberg. Personally, I would only go through with the testing if you are also willing to go through the treatment. I think it would be wise to sit down, possibly with input from the vet, to make a budget for the whole shebang so you know what sort of bandwidth of costs you're looking at in total.

At this point I think getting some honest advice/information from the vet and maybe a second opinion might be the best first step before making any decisions.
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