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A heart murmur is an abnormal heart sound caused by atypical pumping of the heart. Doctors and veterinarians can identify heart murmurs with a stethoscope. Treatments and prognosis of murmurs in dogs depend on the underlying cause, as well as the dog's health, age, and breed. Caught early, heart murmurs often indicate a defect or disease that can be treated or managed. When your dog is diagnosed with a heart murmur, asking your veterinarian the right questions will ensure you know what to expect and how best to care for your dog.

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1. What Is a Heart Murmur?

The contraction and relaxation of the heart muscle delivers blood throughout the body by way of the blood vessels. A heart murmur occurs when the normal pumping of the heart is disturbed by an abnormal flow of blood. This disturbance may stem from a defect, disease, or infection of the valves or vessels of your dog's circulatory system, or the blood itself.

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