Puppy with Heart Murmur Examined

As you watch Shelby, an eight-month-old Great Dane mix, bound into the exam room, you have no idea that underneath all that energy lies a dangerous heart murmur. Shelby was brought to Charleston Animal Society when her owners learned of the murmur and decided they could no longer care for her.

Thanks to your support of Toby’s Fund, Charleston Animal Society’s Medical Fund, we were able to bring in a specialist, Heather Graham, DVM, MS, DACVIM with Collaboration Veterinary Consulting to perform an echocardiogram to find out what can be done to save Shelby.

“We are trying to determine if Shelby has a congenital heart defect,” Graham said. “Our goal is to learn what her long-term prognosis is and what treatment is needed.”

Shelby’s Exam

Charleston Animal Society does not have echocardiogram equipment, so Graham brought it with her to examine Shelby. As the lights in the exam room were turned off, Graham placed a sonogram near Shelby’s heart so she could see the heart in action.

Everyone was surprised that Shelby stayed relaxed through the entire exam. The murmur was loud, but one by one, the different kinds of heart murmurs were ruled out by Dr. Graham.

In the end, there is great news to share — Shelby’s heart condition is not life-threatening. “She actually has two different types of congenital heart murmurs, but it’s actually, the best-case scenario for her, as she won’t need any kind of treatment,” Graham said.

“We are so happy for Shelby and very thankful that our donors made it possible to bring in Dr. Graham’s expertise,” said Charleston Animal Society’s Senior Director of Veterinary Medicine, Lucy Fuller, DVM. “Tomorrow, Shelby will be spayed and then she can be placed for adoption, so we’re thrilled.”

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