Your Chihuahua’s veterinarian will listen to its heart with a stethoscope during a normal checkup. This examination makes sure the heart is beating normally and that no unusual noises are present, which could point to a disease or condition of the heart.
Although a cardiac murmur in a Chihuahua is not an illness or ailment in and of itself, it is a warning indication that the owner must pay attention to.
The Definition Of Heart Murmur In Chihuahuas
Heart murmurs can be dangerous conditions, particularly in Chihuahuas. A heart murmur is a cardiac sound that has a sound such as whooshing or swishing. It is the result of an irregular blood flow within the heart, which is usually brought on by a structural flaw.
Because of their diminutive stature and tendency toward cardiac issues, Chihuahuas are often associated with heart murmurs as a health concern. It’s critical that Chihuahua owners understand the warning signs and symptoms of a cardiac murmur and consult with their veterinarian to determine the best way to treat and manage this illness.
The Symptoms Of Heart Murmur In Chihuahuas
The cause of your Chihuahua’s heart murmur symptoms depends on their underlying cardiac disease. Typical signs of heart problems and illness include:
- An irregular or rapid pulse
- Chronic hacking and coughing
- Breathing heavily while at rest.
- Loss of appetite and low energy
- Fainting or tripping over
- A bluish tint to the tongue and/or gums
- Excessive retention of water
Heart Mumrmur Grades In Chihuahuas
A veterinarian will listen to your Chihuahua’s heart and evaluate the location, timing, and degree of any murmurs. Since not all cardiac murmurs sound the same, the murmur will be rated on a scale.
- Grade 1: The least serious sort of cardiac murmur, barely heard.
- Grade 2: The doctor can hear a soft murmur with a stethoscope.
- Grade 3: There is a moderate amount of sound that permeates several spaces.
- Grade 4: A loud murmur is audible in the chest on both sides.
- Grade 5: Loud muttering noise.
- Grade 6: If you place your palm on the Chihuahua’s chest wall, you will feel a loud heart murmur, which is the most serious type.
Heart Murmur Causes
Heart murmurs can occur in Chihuahuas due to a variety of illnesses and ailments. The heart of a Chihuahua typically has a leaky mitral valve, which prevents blood from flowing from the left atrium to the left ventricle.
The mitral valve ages and deteriorates with time. This causes blood to leak backward, which can result in endocarditis, degenerative mitral valve disease, or chronic valve disease.
Heart Mumrmur Types
Chihuahuas can have three different kinds of cardiac murmurs: diastolic, systolic, and continuous.
1. Systolic Murmur
Systolic murmurs are cardiac murmurs that happen when the heart is contracting. First, most commonly, a leaking mitral valve (the valve that connects the left upper and lower chambers of the heart).
Systolic murmurs are less common in conditions like pulmonic stenosis or subaortic stenosis, which both restrict blood flow by narrowing the blood vessels.
2. Diastolic Murmur
Diastolic murmurs are uncommon in Chihuahuas. If they do, though, aortic insufficiency is typically to blame. The cause of this disease is an aortic valve that leaks and can’t close completely.
3. Continuous Murmur
The cause of a persistent murmur is usually patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), a disorder in which the ductus arteriosus, a major blood artery, fails to seal soon after birth.
In Chihuahuas, this is the most prevalent congenital condition.
Heart Murmur Treatment
The prognosis for a cardiac murmur varies depending on what caused it and can be good or bad. Treatment-free benign murmurs typically have a good prognosis. Heart murmurs brought on by non-cardiac illnesses or a functional problem that can be resolved may go away with time.
Long-term medicine may help Chihuahuas with a leaky mitral valve live longer and/or have better quality of life. Chihuahuas with dilated cardiomyopathy have varying prognoses; if the dog already exhibits signs of heart failure, the prognosis is tragically poor.
Depending on whether the heart issue can be medically fixed, the results for Chihuahuas born with problems vary. Nonetheless, the prognosis is usually excellent following a successful surgical procedure.
Note: The advice in this post is not meant to be medical advice for your chihuahua; rather, it is meant to be informative. Please schedule a visit with your veterinarian so that he can diagnose the condition of your pet.
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