Hello, I'm a small animal veterinarian and can help answer your question about Ash.
Sorry to hear about his murmur. Was this diagnosed by a vet? How long has he had the murmur?
Does he cough frequently or have intolerance to exercise?
yes it was diagnosed by a vet. Dont know how long he has had it but i would say a while he is 12 and doesnt like to exercise, but loves to sleep alot
Any coughing? This is a sign that the murmur has progressed to congestive heart failure.
A murmur itself is caused by the backwards flow of blood in the chambers of the heart. Usually in older patients caused by valvular defects/aging
no, he does cough but its probably less than once a day
The murmur itself may or may not be an issue at this stage. When the heart begins to struggle, and work harder due to valvular failure eventually we end up with heart failure.
Once a day frequency isn't too bad. If this cough progresses, the next step is x-rays of the chest looking for fluid build up on the lungs (evidence of congestive failure)
I know quiet a bit about human hearts just not dogs ..... his breathing when sleeping is erratic, so slow one minute then can be fast, is this a sign of it?
If this is the case, combination of lasix (a diuretic) and enalapril or benazapril helps tremendously. These medications are not terribly costly to maintain either
Some dogs breath like this normally when they sleep. Another thing involved in the cardiac workup is an ECG looking for arrhythmias. This could be what he's experiencing in his sleep.
Depending on the type of arrhythmia, there are medications to help control them if they are occurring. However, they can be elusive due to the fact that most ECGs done on dogs are only a pin point 5 min in time. Just the luck of the draw if this is done while the actual arrhythmia is occurring.
This is why humans wear halter monitors for a day - to allow time for the arrhythmia to occur
my vet seems to think he needs meds now with an ecg or echo that will cost me around £50 a month, this seems a little high to me
Did your reg vet do x-rays and confirm that he was in congestive heart failure?
What meds is he/she suggesting based on what test?
she just listened to his heart
I would be hesitant to start anything without at least an x-ray
Lasix can un necessarily dehydrate an animal that doesn't need it
to me it did seem odd to tell me that meds are gonna cost £50 per month without any tests. A doctor wouldnt give a human meds without the right tests right?
no certainly not
In some instances I will prescribe medication without certain diagnostics but not when it comes to heart failure
If I ask about xrays that is gonna be expensive I suppose. I'm on benefits so its not going to be easy and I dont have pet insurance either
They are usually a couple hundred dollars but it's the difference between knowing if Ash needs major heart medications or not. And whether he is truly in congestive heart failure or not. Some dogs cough once a day and it doesn't mean anything.
Hopefully this helps
Do you have any other questions/
yes it was thank you, ***** ***** think of anything else, but have made some good valid points also.
Thank you. Have a nice night