The Chihuahua is considered to be one of the smallest and oldest breed of dogs in America. This energetic and graceful little dog originated, they say, from the Chihuahua, Mexico region. They have a muscular bone structure, a feisty bigger-than-life personality and are extremely loyal to their pet parents. The Chihuahua does have a few health issues though a heart murmur is not very common. You can help your Chihuahua with a heart murmur.
The veterinarian can hear a heart murmur in your Chihuahua at its earliest stages due to an abnormal heart beat. This is the result of an unruly flow of blood through and out of the heart. Sometimes a heart murmur can be an indication of a more serious condition. This unruly flow of blood develops because there is a “hole in the heart” between two chambers or two arteries that are not normally connected. Once your vet knows your pup has a heart murmur, the condition will be monitored annually. Most often the condition does not progress until the puppy advances into the senior years.
The cause of a heart murmur can be congenital, genetic, an anatomic heart condition or any number of infections and conditions. Read complete information on causes of the heart murmur in dogs at — http://www.petwave.com/Dogs/Dog-Health-Center/Heart-and-Blood-Disorders/Heart-Murmurs/Overview.aspx#more. This article explains the many causes and/or underlying issues that cause a heart murmur in dogs.
Once your dog has been diagnosed and the heart murmur continues to progress into its senior years, your veterinarian can work with you. Following his directions, you can help your dog with a heart murmur. A heart murmur cannot be cured and treated. Your doctor will prescribe medication so that your dog can live a more comfortable life. Because of the “hole in the heart” there may be an accumulation of fluids that can cause your dog to cough and gasp for breath. To help alleviate some of the built up fluids in the heart, your veterinarian may prescribe a diuretic medication known as Salix tabs. Dosage is usually 12.5 mg, once daily. While on the medication you need to provide ample water for your dog as well as take your dog out more often. This medication is not often prescribed until the heart murmur appears to be in its accelerated stages.
If your dog does indeed suffer from a heart condition such as a murmur, your doctor may also prescribe Vetmedin, 1.25 mg, given as a chewable tab, once daily as well. Vetmedin works to open the vessels that pump the blood to the heart, reducing the work on your dog’s heart. Strengthening your dog’s heart beat along with elimination of excess fluids draining into the heart valves can help your dog live more comfortably. Both the Salix and Vetmedin can be given up to twice daily, per your vet’s instructions.
I myself have a Chihuahua named Ce Ce with a heart murmur. She has been diagnosed as a very young dog and for years has not had a problem with the condition. She is now eleven years old and has been afflicted with the effects of the condition. Because of her senior age, the murmur has been upgraded. She is on both of these medications which do help her. Ce Ce does still have bouts of coughing and gagging which sounds a lot worse than it is. Under doctor’s care, which she is, Ce Ce can live a normal life up to at least 15 years. I had a small dog a few years ago that also suffered with a heart murmur as a puppy and she lived to the ripe old age of 16.
Just know that a heart murmur is not a fatal sentence for your dog. Keep your dog under doctor’s care and monitor your dog. With his care and your love and care, your dog will give you years of unconditional loyalty.