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Doc Sara
Doc Sara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 952
Experience:  I am a dog and cat veterinarian with a lifetime of experience in our family veterinary hospital.
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We are planning to travel a couple of hours this

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We are planning to travel a couple of hours this weekend to collect an 8 week old female king charles cavalier puppy as a family pet. The breeder has just been informed by her vet that the puppy has a grade 1 heart murmur. Both parents are KC registered, heart and eye checked and don't have problems. Here are the comments from the breeders vet....
"Milly female 1.75,no probs reported, no hernia,jaw alignment good, grade 1/6 hm, small ventral lens opacity evident. Prob incidental and unlikely to progress"
I've heard of benign "flow" murmurs in puppies however our last cavalier died of congestive heart failure age 9, so we're a bit concerned. Is it possible that this is just a "blip" and something that she might grow out of. Or is it likely to progress? - Difficult one to answer I'm sure but would appreciate your opinion because due the distance we can't get her checked by our vet beforehand.
Good afternoon - I'm Dr. Sara. Thanks for consulting us with help in your decision :) I know the emotional roller coaster that you've likely experienced hearing this news from the breeder. Thanks for the thorough history and copying of the vet's notes. Unfortunately it's impossible to say whether this is an "innocent" juvenile murmur or a more serious problem. If the parents have had clear heart certifications (done by boarded cardiologists), this is a good sign, however, they can develop heart disease later in life, so it could be that the parents will at some point become clinical with a murmur and heart disease. So it certainly is possible that it's an innocent murmur that she will grow out of, I can't guarantee it 100%. I have a few breeders who will hang on to puppies like this for a few extra weeks to see if the murmur goes away, then follow through with placement. I'm also a little concerned about notation of a lens defect - while it's possible that it'll never progress, it's also possible that it could blow into a juvenile cataract. Once again, if the parents were certified by a boarded ophthalmologist, that's a good sign. Sometimes with abnormalities SO small (a grade 1 mumur, a "small" lens opacity), you might find that different vets would have not picked up on them and called them abnormal. It's all about the detail level of the vet. My gut feeling usually in pups like yours is that it's likely an innocent murmur based on the clear certifications on the parents and the softness of the murmur. If I could place a bet, I'd put money on it being innocent, but not ALL my money ;) I know it's difficult to think about a pet as a commodity that you can negotiate for, but sometimes breeders will decrease the price of a pup or offer a more flexible "replacement" policy in which if the pup does develop a heart problem, they might consider giving you a discount on a future pup. It never hurts to ask. Please let me know what follow up questions I can answer for you :)~Dr. Sara
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