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Should I buy this puppy with a heart murmur?

The breeder says this will disappear with age and won’t cause a problem. It is a chance for me to get a dog I would not otherwise be able to afford. What do you think?

Neil McIntosh
Unless your breeder is a cardiac specialist with access to Doppler ultrasound and an Electrocardiogram machine then I would take what she says with a pinch of salt.

She certainly should not be trying to pass this pup on to you if money is tight.

It is true that some very young pups have heart murmurs that are completely innocent and disappear in time but others have conditions that would make them quite unsuitable for work.

Retrievers, for example, can have more than their fair share of aortic stenosis, a problem that involves narrowing of the main vessel leaving the heart.

It is not conducive to prolonged, exhausting work!

You could write a book on the possible causes and effects of heart murmurs in puppies (and lots of people have) but the bottom line is you cannot tell just by listening to the heart.

Your dilemma is that the only way to find out more is further, relatively expensive investigation.

For your purposes, this would probably require referral to a specialist.

By the time you have done that, you will likely have spent more than a ?normal? pup would have cost.

I would take a deep breath and walk on.