Heart Murmur

Kc Mac

Active Member
Aug 22, 2008
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#1
hey guys. I’ve not been around for a while!

Indie & I have been enjoying life and just started to get back to proper fitness :)

He was telling me there was ‘something’ not right so out comes the vet! As well as a dental issue he has a heart murmur

The heart murmur is suspected grade 3 mitral murmur but also has a ‘squeak’ on the aorta . Vet agrees light walk hack only as he loves going out but to be aware he could go down....

I’m totally heartbroken for both of us however I’m waiting on a price on a cardiac ultrasound, although unlikely to be able to afford it.

Have any of you had experience of a heart murmur in a Horse? and continued riding or not?

He is an Arab, now 23yrs old and always been so healthy! It’s only because he had quietened down to ride - lack of spooking and behaving like a fully grown up horse I called the vet! Totally out of character for him and so out of the blue!
 

Bodshi

Well-Known Member
Apr 23, 2009
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#3
Hiya and lovely to see you back! I remember your tales of Indie and how, er, lively he was - I think I remember you saying gallop was your safest pace because that was the only one he couldn't spook at! Raf (my Arab) is 13 next year and he's quite a sane and steady boy - most of the time anyway. Today he went from canter to dead stop and sideways spook across the track, right in front of my friend's pony, nearly putting them both in the ditch. I think he did it on purpose too (he has form).

So sorry to hear that Indie isn't well. Fingers crossed the cardiac US doesn't cost too much and it turns out to be not as bad as you fear. 23 isn't old for an Arab is it? Please keep us posted x
 
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Kc Mac

Active Member
Aug 22, 2008
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#5
Hiya and lovely to see you back! I remember your tales of Indie and how, er, lively he was - I think I remember you saying gallop was your safest pace because that was the only one he couldn't spook at! Raf (my Arab) is 13 next year and he's quite a sane and steady boy - most of the time anyway. Today he went from canter to dead stop and sideways spook across the track, right in front of my friend's pony, nearly putting them both in the ditch. I think he did it on purpose too (he has form).

So sorry to hear that Indie isn't well. Fingers crossed the cardiac US doesn't cost too much and it turns out to be not as bad as you fear. 23 isn't old for an Arab is it? Please keep us posted x
Hey stranger glad Rafi is doing well and keeping up the Arab spirit that’s how I knew Indie was ‘off’ no spooking, no pratting about, I mean it was nice but it wasn’t the ponio I know

On a plus side he’s happy being stabled and rugged and totally mollycoddled very different from living out naked but I don’t think 23 is old for an Arab just hoping I can afford the ultrasound to know exactly what we are dealing with!x
 
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chunky monkey

Well-Known Member
May 2, 2007
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#6
I don't know what grade it was. But a friend of mine bought a horse against vetting advice, due to a suspected heart murmour. Horse was only 6 at the time. He was exercised very regularly and even went hunting for a good number of years. Then went on to do quite hacks in later life. Horse was put down in his 20s for age related issues.
I think you just have to be sensible on what you do our hacking.
 
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Jessey

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
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Suffolk, UK
#7
My old boy phoenix had a heart murmur, I think it was a grade 2. He continued with pretty normal work until my ex lost interest in riding and was then just used for the occasional pony ride or plod about, he was estimated to be mid 30s before he was PTS for an unrelated problem.
Unfortunately I was involved with a horse going down under a friend out on a hack, it was a really difficult situation, it was lucky her OH was a farmer with access to a big jcb to come out and get the mare, and that she'd died in an accessible off road place.
 

Kc Mac

Active Member
Aug 22, 2008
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#8
I don't know what grade it was. But a friend of mine bought a horse against vetting advice, due to a suspected heart murmour. Horse was only 6 at the time. He was exercised very regularly and even went hunting for a good number of years. Then went on to do quite hacks in later life. Horse was put down in his 20s for age related issues.
I think you just have to be sensible on what you do our hacking.
Unfortunately I was involved with a horse going down under a friend out on a hack, it was a really difficult situation, it was lucky her OH was a farmer with access to a big jcb to come out and get the mare, and that she'd died in an accessible off road place.
Thanks for response, this is part of my concern (him going down) as it’s mainly lanes around by us or small tracks through the woods....
 
Apr 25, 2003
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#9
sorry to hear this. I guess if you want to keep riding him you can only do your best to minimise the risk, by putting knee pads on him in case he goes down on his knees, I use them all the time, and not go out in hot weather, and keep to easy level ground. He is just as likely to do harm to himself tearing around the field than on a sedate walk
 
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Ruskii

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Jun 21, 2000
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#10
Mine (17yr old HW cob) had a Grade 4 heart murmur and I was referred onto having an ultrasound for him, he was lightly driven up until his diagnosis. I had driven him the weekend before and the murmur was definitely there then as we all noticed how tired he was after a steep ish hill as he didn't steam up like he had before the winter, I put it down to him being unfit/arthritis but it was the murmur. We got home fine from that drive and I just had a mental note to avoid that particular hill in future. The murmur was only found a week later at a routine dental appointment in April, but he had had his MOT with vaccinations in the November and there wasn't a murmur then. I worried a LOT at first, but knowing what I now know, I would have carried on lightly driving him but avoiding all hills and sticking to walk on the roads as pulling the carriage on the flat was very easy for him (I could do it!). Because I am a worrier though (and he had numerous soundness issues with his front feet due to arthritis) and I had already spent the best part of £2000 that year alone on vet bills plus the carriage maintenance I opted not to spend any more cash and not have the ultrasound for him, so sold the carriage. After watching him in the field for months playing with the other pony I know he would have been absolutely fine doing light work, which he actually did do as my daughter rode him (she's only 25kilo) and my OH who is only 75kg did get on him for a plod occasionally and he was absolutely fine.

As yours is 'only' a grade 3, I would still ride him lightly but use common sense of adjusting his workload, you know yourself the days of jumping and galloping are going to be over, but for a walk and gentle trot out hacking (my own vet said she did this with her pony she had had for years on a Grade 4 murmur) and he's usually a sensible sort of horse then I would carry on, with knee boots as safety measure and a plan of some sort when out riding that is easily accessible should the worst ever happen.