Listening to your pet’s heart and lungs is a vital part of the physical exam. When we listen to your pet’s chest, we are listening to the type of sounds the heartbeat produces as well as the rhythm of the heart beating.
While some pets with heart disease have symptoms, including cough, difficulty breathing, exercise intolerance or fainting, other pets may not have symptoms but may have a heart murmur or irregular heart rhythm detected by your veterinarian. When we detect a heart murmur, we are hearing turbulent blood flowing through the heart which typically makes a whooshing sound. Normal blood flow through the heart moves smoothly in one direction. A heart murmur is the abnormal sound heard through a stethoscope because blood is swirling or flowing in different directions.