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I would like people's opinions or experiences with heart murmurs. We have a chance to give a little 18 week old pup a good home, but he has a "3" heart murmur. I personally would take him, but I really worry about my family. My wife got teary eyed, when I just mentioned that he could live a long life, or not more than a year or two. And many friends of mine warned me about how emotional it would be on my kids. Ages 3 and 12. If it were 1 or 2, I would take him for sure, but two vets locally said that the 3 would surely NOT go away, and at such a young age, may and probably get worse.

I guess I am just looking to read some stories and advice, while I make sure what we should do :(
 

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Any dog with health problems can be emotionally draining. My Chloe has a murmur among other health problems and it is heart breaking to watch. Just be prepared if you do take the pup you are in for one emotional roller coaster ride along with tons of vet bills. I'm not trying to say not to take the dog or anything but just realize once you have that puppy it becomes a huge responsibility regardless on how high the vet bills become. Good luck with your decision, I can only imagine how hard it must be.
 

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Its something you have to feel totally comfortable with and weight out opinion from people who have dealt with it, the breeder, your family and professionals.    I do know Grammie will have good info since Thor has one. :wink:
 

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My girl Skylar had one when she was a pup - not sure of the level but she lived to be 10.5 yrs. The vet said under our contract with the breeder we could have returned her for another pup but I just couldn't do it.
 

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That's a tough one.  I don't think I would enter in that situation knowingly. It's one thing if your pup comes down with health issues after you have it, then you just deal with it.   As sad as it is, you want to screen for the healthiest pup you can find.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I keep running in circles. One minute, my wife and I look at eachother, and say that we need to go for a healthy pup, then next minute one of us says how we would love to take the little guy, lol.
 

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IMO it a tough decision.  However it takes a "special" family to take on and give a dog a home that no one wants.   Thats IMO it sometimes what outweighs the condition esp this one since its in the middle of the teeter totter - no perfect, nor sever, just dont know.

I look at it sometimes the same as those who adopt senior boxers in a rescue league.   Not really a big high demand for them, however its takes that special home to make a world of difference.   Half the time I swear the seniors forget how old they are, or their ailments, but just glad they found someone to love them.

The pup is only as good a the person you are getting it from, and your family.  That is your support team.   Someone who says ok here's the dog, thanks gotta run is worthless.   But someone who will be there for you to answer any questions, problems or even worse case take the dog back shall is not work out, is what you need.  So good luck, and you are doing the right thing, of weighing all options.  Regardless of the outcome, most people dont put in the time to think things over and find the right dog for them!!!!
 

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That is a tough call and probably one that would be easier if you did not have children....The other side of that is that if you found a pup with no known health issues you are not guaranteed that it will live a long healthy life.....We grade heart murmurs on a scale of 1 to 6.
 
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yes thor has a 2-3 heart murmur.  he is 2 1/2 yrs old now and has had no problems.  I make sure to keep him hydrated in the oklahoma HEAT (omg brutal) and don't let him burn in the summer.  i walk him when nights are cool and he'll drink a whole bottle of aquafina on the walk.

he will pant for a longer period of time if he over does it.  so far no collapses, etc.  when he pants really hard like if someone forgets and lets him get overheated, i'll soak a bath towel in cold water and put it on his chest and under his arms, so he can cool down quickly.  sometimes i'll blow a fan on him with the towel.  his first summer was actually harder on him than last summer.

this year as it starts to get warmer, he's doing better and cools down on his own quickly.  we'll see when the brutal heat starts.

i found out about thor's murmur the day after we got him when i had him vet checked.  it was too late - we were already in love with him and knew we could give him a good home.  financially, i don't know if that will always be the case, but for now whatever he needs we take care of it.  i think i'd have to sell a kidney if need be to keep him around as long as we can ;)

i did take him for testing at OSU vet hospital in stillwater, OK when he was 6 mos old.  they did doppler studies and found turbulence in both valves of his heart.  they don't have any board certified vet cardiologists in Oklahoma, so they were at a loss as to the cause.  They recommended we take him to a Kansas Vet hospital as that is the closest state to us with board cert cardios.

we decided to get on a regime of healthy foods, monitored exercise, and keeping his life stress free.  all the testing in the world wouldn't FIX him, so we try to give him the best life possible.  I raw feed, home cook, etc.

thor is not on any medication and his current vet doesn't seem concerned about the murmur.  Thor recently had to have general anesthesia for a tumor (benign) removal and his heart was the only thing that scared me to death with the anesthesia.  He came through with flying colors.

as long as your vet knows his condition and takes that extra care for surgeries, like bloodwork, ultrasound, etc if he thinks it's warranted, there is no reason for him to not live a healthy long life.

boxers lives are short enough as it is, and none of us have guarantees that they will live a long life.  personally i want to see boxers bred to live at least until 20 yrs old!!  that's not going to happen.

would i take another boxer with a heart murmur, especially a rescue or no fee rehome?  ABSOLUTELY.  i shed my tears at OSU when he had the heart testing.  I was literally scared to death and couldn't even carry on a conversation i was crying so hard.  i had to get over the fear and love up my boy every single day and ENJOY him.

you'll have to search your heart and see if you can deal with it.  thor being our first boxer made it SO difficult.  i'd take another in his condition in a heartbeat if it needed a good home.  more so than a healthy one, because we are here 24/7 (retired/disabled) so we have the time and love to give them a good life.

hope this helps
 

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that was an awesome answer and im so glad grammie is here..we wuff her :D

hope all of this helps your decision...i know its so hard...

although Isis has no heart issues yet and hopefully wont..when we first saw her she was a MESS!! deaf, 4 yrs old and 17 pounds emaciated and very very sick in many ways..had NEVER been out of a concrete cage and used by a byb for a puppy machine !

it took all this time ( 2yrs) but shes now 83 pounds and incredible !!!! we were so scared to take it on...since my sons were 3 and 7...and my youngest is autistic..it was a BIG decision but she was one of those that NO ONE wanted nor cared..she looked aweful and people shook their heads..

i cant even explain to you what this dog means to us..shes changed all of our lives ! and i am so so glad we took it on..we have had our share of vet bills but we worked it out b/c we knew going in it was going to be that way for a awhile and also her age we knew was a factor..

its al in what your family can handle..HONESTLY..and its OK either way..what YOU feel in your hearts is the best thing for you all..

good luck and i commend you for not making a snap decision..
 
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Ky_IsisnOnyxsMama\";p=\"114669 said:
although Isis has no heart issues yet and hopefully wont..when we first saw her she was a MESS!! deaf, 4 yrs old and 17 pounds emaciated and very very sick in many ways..had NEVER been out of a concrete cage and used by a byb for a puppy machine !

it took all this time ( 2yrs) but shes now 83 pounds and incredible !!!! we were so scared to take it on...since my sons were 3 and 7...and my youngest is autistic..it was a BIG decision but she was one of those that NO ONE wanted nor cared..she looked aweful and people shook their heads..
WOW!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks everyone. We are not 100% yet, but I think we are going to pass on the little guy  :(  As a first time owner, I am afraid that we won't be as good of parents to him as we need to be. And Same with financial. I have two young boys and a wife to drain the bank account already. As much as I would like to give him a good home, we may do him more harm, since he is already in a loving, knowledgeable home. That and our worries about the emotional roller coaster for our children. If it were just my wife and I... At least I am pretty sure I will be doing rescues once our children get older. I like that feeling. A good, local breeder has one of 3 females for us to choose from, and are 4-5 weeks old. So we may try to go out this coming week and see them :)
 

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Sounds like you have put some thought into it and in the long run it is probably the better choice for your situation and hope you find your perfect baby soon!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
sharonL\";p=\"115299 said:
Sounds like you have put some thought into it and in the long run it is probably the better choice for your situation and hope you find your perfect baby soon!
Yes, but I just hate passing up a chance to provide a good home for him. I know I should not feel obligated in any way, but once you see picks of these dogs..... :)

I talked to her a little more, via email and the flow rate is pretty low, so that is very good. My wife is the worrier and I am the researcher, so together it takes us forever to make up our minds, lol.
 
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