A couple of weeks ago, a routine health check found that Archie has developed a heart murmur. Thank you for all your good wishes, reading through them all really touched us, it does help in these situations to know that friends are thinking of you, keeping their fingers crossed and hoping for the best outcome.
Heart murmurs are graded on a scale of 1 to 6 according to how loud they are, with 1 being quiet and 6 being loud. The vet had graded Archie's murmur as a 3. We know that heart mitral valve disease is very common in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, it's a progressive disease which is caused by the deterioration of the heart valves. The vet had asked if he'd become lethargic or if we'd noticed him coughing as these are common symptoms, however, we haven't noticed anything amiss with him at all.
He had to go back last Friday for a cardiac ultrasound and it was found that he does have mitral valve disease but it's in the very early stages and has been classed as Stage B1. This basically means that it's symptom-less and there's no heart enlargement. Cardiologists refer to this as the pre-clinical stage without the need for treatment, however, he will need to be monitored and he'll need another scan in a year's time. The progression of the disease can be rapid or slow, there's just no telling, but there are drugs which can help and dogs may still go on to live a long life.
Thank you again for all your good wishes, the outcome could have been much worse so we're certainly counting our blessings at the moment.