What’s a Heart Murmur and Can CBD Help?
When you first hear the words, ‘your dog has a heart murmur,’ your heart may drop to your stomach, even though you may not be completely sure of what it is. But, it just sounds bad, right? We don’t want anything to be wrong with our loving dogs.
That’s exactly why it’s so important to learn about what a heart murmur is and what you can do to help. And, that’s why you’re here. You’re taking the steps necessary to help your dog live the best life possible.
What is a Heart Murmur?
In order to fully understand what we are talking about here, we need to explain what a heart murmur is exactly. It’s complicated in some aspects, but we’ll make sure we do our best to explain what it is and what you can do.
Basically, your dog’s heart is pumping blood faster than it should be. The excess pumping makes your dog’s heart work harder and results in more blood flow than there should be.
When your veterinarian listens to your dog’s chest, he can tell there is a murmur by the “whooshing” sound coming from the stethoscope. A good veterinarian can often tell the difference between a normal heartbeat and one that has a murmur.
There are three different types of heart murmurs in our dogs; systolic, diastolic, and continuous. You’ve probably heard systolic and diastolic before when you’re talking about blood pressure. But, it can be a bit confusing.
The way a murmur is classified here is based on the timing of the murmur. Systolic murmurs happen when the heart contracts whereas diastolic murmurs happen between beats when the heart begins to relax. Continuous murmurs are found in both systolic and diastolic cycles.
The Grades of the Murmur: One to Six
We were debating on whether or not to go on with the different grades of murmur, but it’s important for our case here. And, to help educate you on which stage your dog is in. Heart murmurs are ‘graded’ on a scale of one to six; one being least serious and six being the most serious.
Grade I murmurs are barely detectable with a stethoscope. That’s why we said earlier a good vet can often hear the murmur, but not always because it’s not always easily detectable in the early stages.
Grade II murmurs are heard softly with a stethoscope, but they are still not completely clear.
Once a murmur falls to grade III, they become a little louder and a bit more detectable via a stethoscope. Most murmurs that cause concern are grade III or higher.
Grade IV murmurs are loud and can be easily detected and heard regardless of what side of the chest is examined.
Grade V murmurs are loud enough to identify a murmur without question confidently. Once a dog’s heart murmur reaches grade V, the murmur can be felt by pressing a hand against the dog’s chest.
The most severe heart murmurs are grade VI. They are similar in loudness to a grade V murmur, and can also be felt through the chest wall, but they are the most severe grade of murmur.
What Could Have Caused the Heart Murmur?
There are many answers to this one heartbreaking question. There are different types of heart conditions and defects that could lead to a murmur. Generally, they can be broken down into a few main causes. Your dog could have abnormal valves causing a disturbance in the heart, there could be some type of obstruction or dilated blood vessel, or there could be abnormal blood flow.
Helping Your Dog with Her Heart Murmur
We could dive a bit deeper into individual causes, but the purpose of this article isn’t to give you a lesson on the heart, but rather to help your dog who has been diagnosed with the murmur. We’re happy to point you in the right direction if you want to learn more, but for now, let’s figure out what you can do as your dog’s caretaker.
Since murmurs can be caused by a number of underlying factors, the treatment varies. One of the most common reasons for a heart murmur that’s severe could potentially be congestive heart failure. Don’t panic, because this may not be the case, and your murmur may not be as severe as you may think it is.
But, CBD can help here too by reducing the levels of anxiety your dog feels. Reducing anxiety reduces the stress on your dog’s heart, therefore, preventing her blood pressure from rising. We want to make sure she stays as calm as possible; and, as happy as possible.
As usual, we do have a success story for you here and we are happy to share it with you!
Maxwell: Living Life to the Fullest
Maxwell is a 13-year-old Chihuahua mix who was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure (CHF). Maxwell was also diagnosed with severe joint pain due to old age. Maxwell began using CBD Dog Health products in 2018.
His recommended dosage is 1 mL of EASE Full Spectrum Hemp Extract once per day.
We checked back in with Maxwell’s owners for a status update. With the help of CBD Dog Health’s CBD oil for dogs, Maxwell’s loving pet parents noticed a huge change in his level of functioning and he’s now able to walk and run. He is able to RUN with congestive heart failure. If that’s not amazing, I don’t know what is!
He’s now living out his final days, extra days he may not have had with his family, happy and feeling good. He continues to take EASE: CBD Oil for Dogs on a daily basis.