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Heart Murmur in Dogs

Cute Pug getting a check up at the vet

Pictured: Enzo is a three year-old Pug getting his heart checked on

What is a Heart Murmur?

A heart murmur is an abnormal heart sound, usually heard by listening to your dog's heart with a stethoscope. The best way to describe a heart murmur is that it makes a whooshing sound. Heart murmurs are not always a reason for concern, but they can be.

What Causes a Heart Murmur?

A heart murmur occurs when blood flow into or out of the heart becomes turbulent. In dogs, common causes include heart valve problems, heartworm disease, heart defects, tumors, or weakening of the heart muscle. In essence a heart murmur is more of an indication or symptom of an underlying health issue.

Heart Issues in Dogs


Diagnosis & Testing for Heart Murmurs

To determine the cause of a heart murmur, your veterinarian may recommend a number of tests, such as: Blood tests, including heartworm tests Chest radiographs (X-rays) to assess the heart, blood vessels, and lungs An electrocardiogram (ECG) An echocardiogram (an ultrasound exam to evaluate heart structure and function) Blood pressure tests.


Treatment depends on the cause of the heart murmur and your dog’s condition. If your dog is not showing any signs of heart disease other than the murmur, your veterinarian may prefer to monitor your dog and provide treatment only if signs occur.

  • Diet and Exercise
  • Medications
  • Surgery

Cost to Treat: $100 to $20,000 if surgery is required


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