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If you can hear your dog's heart beating from a distance you are surely concerned about it. Hearing your dog's heart beat from across the room is certainly not normal!

Yet, although rare, this is not unheard of. Several dog owners report hearing their dog's heartbeat from across the room or even hearing it while watching TV. Some describe their dog's heart sounds as if being on a loud speaker.

What does this mean? And most of all, does this warrant veterinary attention? Discover what can cause a dog's heart to beat so loudly and the importance of seeing the vet. 

A Dog's Heart Murmur 

If you are hearing your dog's heart from distance, most likely you are dealing with a heart murmur. 

A heart murmur consists of an abnormal sound of the heart caused by disturbed blood flow. 

Normally the heart produces two sounds – a "lub" sound and a "dub" sound. These sounds develop as a result of the valves closing and the blood circulating through the heart. 

Every other sound, distinct from the normally appearing "lub" and "dub" sounds is considered a murmur. The simplest way of explaining heart murmurs is by defining them as abnormal heart sounds or extra vibrations. 

 Heart murmurs can easily be distinguished from normal heartbeat sounds with a regular stethoscope.

The intensity and therefore, the grade of heart murmurs is classified on a scale from one to six, with one being soft and six being loud. 

A Grade VI Heart Murmur

When you are able to hear your dog's heart beat from a far distance then there are great chances that your dog may be suffering from a grade VI heart murmur. That's the highest level possible. 

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In a grade VI heart murmur, the murmur is very loud and capable of being detected even without a stethoscope. The vibrations of the heart can be felt by touching the dog's chest wall. Its vibration have been described as buzzing, sort of like bees (medically known as "thrill"). 

A grade VI heart murmur in dogs is a relatively rare finding. 

Underlying Causes of Grade VI Heart Murmurs in Dogs

A heart murmur of grade VI can be found in dogs suffering from a variety of heart problems. In a dog with such a high grade murmur, you would expect to see signs of heart disease such as excess tiredness and a dog coughing and collapsing. 

For instance, a sudden onset of a heart murmur of this grade may occur when one of the strings attached to the valves of the dog's heart snaps. This is medically known as "chordae tendineae rupture."

This can take place as a complication from degenerative valve disease. In degenerative valve disease, the valve leaflets and the strings (chordae tendineae) become thickened, leading to regurgitation of blood, pulmonary hypertension, arrhythmias, congestive heart failure, and when severe enough, rupture of the chordae tendineae.

If you can hear your dog's heart beat from across the room, see your vet for diagnosis and treatment.

If you can hear your dog's heart beat from across the room, see your vet for diagnosis and treatment.

Diagnosis For Audible Heart Beat in Dogs 

Typically, the veterinarian will listen to the heart using a stethoscope as the first step. The vet may request chest x-rays so to check for an enlarged heart.

A referral to a veterinary cardiologist may be needed. The cardiologist may perform an echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) so to measure its size, evaluate the thickness of the walls  and check for any abnormal blood flow.

Treatment for Audible Heart Beat in Dogs 

The treatment will vary based on the veterinarian's findings. In the case of congestive heart disease, affected dogs are typically placed on three medications: lasix, enalapril, and pimobendan.  

For degenerative valve disease the gold standard treatment in humans is surgical repair or replacement of the mitral valve. However, in dogs, this surgery is rarely performed as it requires open heart surgery and its costs are rather prohibitive. 

Affected dogs are therefore treated to reduce the effects of congestive heart disease. 

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