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spay with heart murmer?

by Vivian

I have a 4 month old Maltese puppy and I want to have her spayed. I am very worried of any risks that might be involved. She has a significant heart murmer. Is this something to be concerned about or am I worrying too much. Thanks for any help.


Please bear in mind when reading topics pertaining to health issues, that many of these questions were answered by helpful Maltese owners with no formal education in veterinarian medicine. When in doubt seek a professionals advise.

When my daughter's dog was diagnosed with a murmer at 6 months, I took her to a cardiovascular specialist in Houston who, after checking her said that they could spay her there. The specialst stayed with he during her spay, but she had no problems at all. I would consult a specialist prior to surgery.
-Marsha A.

I agree with Marsha in that should have your puppy examined by a cardiologist or internal medicine specialist who can do an ultrasound exam of the heart. Get a professional assessment as to the extra risk, if any, that the anesthesia might have.

I know how you feel. I dropped by 6 month old off for his neutering. They did a preop ekg which was abnormal, they listened to his heart and heard a murmur. They cancelled his surgery and referred me to a specialist. The specialist did a 12 lead ekg, which she found was normal, but she did hear his murmur. She did a chest xray which showed that the right side of his heart was enlarged somewhat, which is related to his murmur. They think he may have pulmonic stenosis or some other kind of heart valve problem which is causing the murmur. The only way to know for sure what his exact problem is, was to take my baby to Ohio State University Vet school, where they could do a color flow doppler study. I guess that was the only place in Ohio that has that sophisticated equipment. She said a regular ultrasound, which she could have done in her clinic, would not show the real picture. Well, this is a 2 hour drive, and the specialist indicated that the special study would be quite expensive, maybe around $500. She felt that in Rosco's case, as he is asymptomatic, that we could just watch him with a chest xray every six months to see if his heart is any more enlarged, which would indicate that he does have a problem. She also told me that if the dog is ok in the first 2 years in his life, he should be ok for the long run, I guess the problem would manifest itself in his first two years. She told me that she felt he was stable enough for his neutering, because the anesthesia that they use now a days has less cardiovascular side effects. She said the anesthesia is called iso-flourane (I think). She told me I could take Rosco back to his regular vet for his neutering surgery. Three weeks ago Rosco had his surgery and was just fine. Luckily, my baby is asymptomatic so far regarding heart problems. They said to look out for shortness of breath, fainting and dropping down and limited activity tolerance. He is just fine, he is a little devil (but I love him so). He was 7 months old when he had the neutering, now I just hope that when I take him back to the specialist in six months, his heart is not any more enlarged. I just call him my big hearted puppy. So in conclusion, I think that if you can afford it, take him to either a cardiologist if you have one in your area, or to an internist, and they will be able to give you a better idea of what to do. Good luck with the baby, I sympathize with you and will pray for both of our babies.

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