Posted : 12/19/2012 12:02:48 AM
Anemia, valve infections (endocarditis), hyperthyroidism, fever and pregnancy can all cause heart murmurs
emphasis mine -- given what you sent to me about the changes in personality?? As I said in my PM to you -- and this corroborrates what I said -- JOB ONE is to get the thyroid checked.
I wouldn't say that SO emphatically if you hadn't told me what an extreme personality shift he'd gone thru -- that SCREAMS thyroid to me.
From "The Canine Thyroid Epidemic" by Dr. W. Jean Dodds:
"Since thyroid hormone regulates heartbeat, decreased thyroid activity can result in bradycardia (slow heart rate ... If left untreated hypothyroidism can also lead to dilated cardiomyopathy, an elnlargement of the heart's left, right, or back ventricles"
Chapter 3 of the same book is all about aberrant behaviors (dogs who are suddenly people aggressive and/or dog aggressive is a prime example -- in fact almost all the words you used to describe "how he's changed" are things that thyroid can cause.
And seriously -- I would send it to Hemopet just to get Dr. Dodds input on it. You can email HER directly - firstname.lastname@example.org -- she is beyond awesome and you will be SO encouraged emailing her. FWIW -- I would put this absolutely first. Coupled with the personality changes you've seen? Hypo OR Hyper-thyroid are SUCH a huge huge possible and it sure as heck could be the EASY EASY answer to this.
some dogs get low thyroid as they age -- but some get HIGH thyroid. (I've seen some dogs who have been hypo thyroid their whole life, suddenly become hyPER thyroid when they seriously age!
You can go ahead and MAKE the appt with OK State -- BUT get the blood drawn and sent tomorrow if humanly possible (this is going into a big holiday weekend -- get it to them by the weekend and you'll have an answer that might make your Holiday come Monday. I can promise it will at least be a bit more manageable.