Dogs » X-ray risk with grade 4 heart murmur

Paula ham

This question is related to: Bunny the Dog

Breed:Cavalier king charles
Vaccination History:Upto date

X-ray risk with grade 4 heart murmur

Hi, my 11 year old cavalier King Charles has a grade 4 heart murmur, she has just developed a cough, my vets opinion is that this is the start of her heart failing and the time to start her on heart medication.
Before this starts they would like to give her an X-ray to establish if there is any fluid in her lungs.
They say that she may need to be sedated in order to X-ray her but any medication given would take into account her weak heart, I've been told this procedure is not without risk but no further details, am I right to worry?
Thank you


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Martina Stuart

Yes you would not be human if you did not worry. However although it is sensible logical and best practice to ensure that the lungs are clear it may be worth querying if it is essential.
In many heart conditions there s accumulation of fluid not just in the lungs but also throughout other organs due to an increase in venous pressure. The lungs are more prone to this extravascular fluid accumulation hence the cough.
Speak with the vets involved and maybe suggest possible alternatives to sedation or anaesthesia. It may be worth trying a test course of diuretics as a safer (and cheaper) alternative. In order for the benefits of this to be maximised measurement of her normal daily water intake will enable her water intake to be rationed throughout the day once she starts medication.
Make sure she is weighed accurately as she is now so that a base level is obtained and hence the weight/volume of water removed from her body determinable.
It is also wise to check out her blood urea level and kidney function before embarking on this approach.
Please keep us updated,


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