I just took my 7 week old Alaskan Malamute puppy for his first vet heck and vaccination. The vet listened to his heart and immediatly told me he suspected a heart murmur. He comment that is was only slight and wanted me to bring him back a couple of days later to let the other vet who works there give a second opinion. Upon a second opinion, the other vet confirmed a heart murmur. I was not given a grade for the murmur. Both vets did seem to think it was serious, even though the first vet wanted a second opinion because he said it was slight. One vet gave his opinion as to take the puppy back to the breeders and get a different one. Otherwise, we should take him for an ultrasound to get more information on the murmur. We were told life expecancy could be anything from 7-8months to 7-8 years. Aside from this, the puppy seem fine and healthy. He is very active and eats and drinks well.
What should my next step be? Are heart murmurs in young puppies very serious?
It depends on the reason for the murmur. An ultrasound should give you that information.
Discuss this with the breeder immediately. Hopefully, if he/she is a responsible breeder, they might help you with the ultrasound cost, but don't count on this. If its found to be just an innocent murmur, great--you should have a long and happy life with the puppy.
If its determined to be serious, then you may want to return the puppy. If you get a new puppy from the same breeder, be sure you discuss thoroughly who is paying for what, if another murmur is discovered, as some can be genetic.
Just a quick update.
We took Loki to a different vet today. She heard the Murmur and gave it a grade 1. She doesn't believe it is serious but is going to monitor is over the course of his injuections. We will decide after his third injection if he needs an ultrasound to get more details on the Murmur. I'm happy to have found a vet that will at least give us a grade for the Murmur.
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