Hi, I just got a shiba inu puppy yesterday. He is nine weeks. I took him to my vet this morning who told me that the dog has a grade 4 heart murmur and that I should return the dog to the breeder. Even though I've only had him for 24 hours I have completely fallen in love. How serious is this and what happens to the dog? Has anyone had any experience with this? Is there any medication that can treat it? Please help!
there are 6 grades in determining the level of a heart murmur. if your puphas a grade 4 then it is pretty serious. alot of pups can be born with heart murmurs and some will grow out of them. if you are not sure about returning him have an ultrasound done on him. certain types of heart problems can be fixed with surgery. you are talking about a great deal of expemse. i would think you would contact the breeder about sharing this expense. but on the other hand, no good breeder would have sold you a pup with this severe of a heart problem. it did not develop overnight and it isn't likely it is something he will grow out of since it is a grade 4. decide what you want to do. maybe at least have an ultrasound done before you make a decision. an ultrasound will give you a better idea of the problem and let you make a more informed decision about you and your puppy. best wishes.
Scout - Thanks for replying. I just reread the vets note and it says grade three. He told us grade four in the office, and wrote grade three on the report. Is there a big difference between 3 and 4? I am very concerned. approx how much is an ultrasound?
I am not sure about the difference between grade 3 or 4 but I hope that you have contacted the breeder to let her know what is going on. Some breeders only give a couple of days to return a pup so hurry up and call! You can tell her that it is the vets recommendation to return but you are still sitting on the fence about your final decision. But please call and tell her.
there can be a variety of things that are causing the heart murmur so determining the difference in severity between a 3 and 4 is not something i can answer you. an ultrsound costs about 235.00 where i live in new jersey. we have a service that comes to our hospital and does it so the vet can speak with the ultrasound doctor right away about the results and get their opinion on the following treatment. there are also referral hospitals that have their own ultrsound machines so clients can take their pets there for a diagnosis. if you decide to do it please make sure the doctor doing the ultrasound has gone through training on how to read an ultrsound. i mean schooling, not just the 1 hour training they got when they bought the machine. i have seen inexperienced doctors take ultrsound pictures of spleens and ask for a diagnosis on a kidney problem. just cause a doctor has a machine doesn't mean he is schooled in reading them or even identifying the various organs and problems.
shadow - Do you know what your friend did? Did it require surgery? We have decided to do the ultrasound. After researching and speaking with the breeder, we are hoping that the puppys heart is just slow to develop and that maybe one of the valves hasn't closed yet.
How old is your puppy? Not to sound mean or anything however our state has a lemon law stating that if a puppy has a health issue genetic congenital it is the breeders responsibilty to take care of vet bills within 30 days up to the purchase price of the puppy, refund your money and you give the puppy back or you pick another puppy. I know how much you get attached so quick and then you always wonder what will happen to the puppy. Grade 3-4 heart murmers can be corrected depending on the circumstance. Thinking the valve will shut now I am doughtful, but know expert alot of pups have a grade 1 murmer and that most of the time is insignificant or goes away a few weeks after birth. Did this breeder take the puppies to the vet why was it not found then. Alot of people give their own shots and never take the puppies to the vet. A friend of mine had a golden with a grade 4 murmer the breeder just gave them the puppy because of the problem. The dog was a great dog but would have alot of fainting spells and died when he was I think about 5. He had a great life. Good Luck to you and your little puppy. Keep us posted.
To have this fixed surgically its going to cost you a few thousand at the least. My son has a grade two which is right now not needing any meds to help things along. If it were a three probably a lifetime of meds if not surgery. I would bring this pup back as hard as it is. Or have the breeder fix the problem.
I'm in the process of buying a Male Shiba Inu puppy, however today the breeder called to inform me that they found out that the pup has a Grade 3 heart murmur. She told me that it is possible for the pup to out grow the murmur. I just wanted to know if this is true as the pup is only 7 weeks old at this time. I'm also concerned for the pup as it will be flown to me, will the stress of being shipping complicate the heart murmur? Whats the severity of a Grade 3 heart murmur? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Grade 1 • Very faint / minimal regurgitation Grade 2 • Soft / minimal to moderate regurgitation Grade 3 • Heard all over the precordium / moderate regurgitation Grade 4 • Loud, with palpable thrill / moderate to severe regurgitation Grade 5 • Very loud, with thrill / severe regurgitation Grade 6 • Very loud, with thrill and reverb / extremely severe regurgitation
You can't win if you don't play the game -- Me!
All cruelty stems from weakness -- Seneca
Sometimes a dog is as good as any man -- Bell/Houser
Hello In August we bought an 8 week old jack russell puppy. With our other dog (a collie) we took her straight to the vets for a check up, but with our new puppy decided to give her a couple of weeks at home to settle in before going to the vets. We were then told that she had a grade 3 heart murmur. We were advised to return her to the breeders, but by then my children had fallen in love with her. Monthly weigh-ins followed where she slowly gained weight. Today was her 6 month check-up where the murmur is now grade 5! She's started on medication to improve the function of her heart but to look at her, you wouldn't know she had any problems at all! An operation is out of the question - the vet doesn't think she'd survive the op, so it's just the best life (however short) we can give her. Our boys know what's going on and although she's up for playing all day, they make sure she rests when she shows signs of getting out of breath. Although she'll probably only have a short life, she's so much like one of the family, we wouldn't be without her. I'd have loved for her to not have the murmur but maybe she was sent to us for a reason. Although, if I'd have been given the choice, I'd have chosen a healthy dog but once we got her home, we couldn't take her back to the breeded! I'd think very carefully about buying a puppy, knowing it was sick and although grade 3 murmurs can go away by the time the dog reaches 6 months, it's unlikely. Good luck x
Also, I forgot to mention, at 7 weeks old, the puppy is unlikely to be showing any symptoms of having anything wrong with it at all, it's when the dog gets to about 6 months old that your vet will know if the murmur is there to stay. If your dog's insured, no problem, but ours isn't and meds aren't cheap! So even if you do get(or have got) your puppy, you will need regular vet visits as you can't always see what struggles your dog is going through. Although, you can hear the murmur when you hold your head to our dogs heart - that's how bad hers is. xx
To puppyluv212- Your message sounds just like me!!! I just got a 8 week old Shiba female 4 days ago and when I took her to her first vet appt, they heard a heart murmur. She basically told me the same thing- to get rid of her now. That is was going to shorten her lifespan, cause other medical problems and be a huge expense for me. I left in tears, only after such a short time wih her- I am hooked! Cant give her up. She did not grade it, she said I should follow up with a full cardiac workup. Please tell me how your story ended. Did you keep her? Is she ok?? Any one else with advice/info, please share!!!