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Old 07-24-2010, 11:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Your Dobermans and DCM (Dilated Cardiomyopathy)

I would like to start this thread to raise awareness of how many Dobermans have been diagnosed with DCM.
Also, I think it would be beneficial to have a small sample of just how many (Dobermans the their humans who love them) this effects and also get an estimate of how many people have been effected by this on this board.
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Old 07-24-2010, 12:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have 4 dogs, none diagnosed with DCM. I have lost one dog at 10yrs old to DCM in 2000. I have had dogs from a lot of different lines.
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Old 07-24-2010, 03:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I owned several Dobermans for 27 years before having one diagnosed with dcm in 2008.
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Old 07-24-2010, 03:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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When I went into show lines I found the problem. Before that I had BYB lines and never saw it.

The BYB lines went into the old stock.

I was constantly rediculed with those lines but I had one bitch go 4 months short of 16 years. I put her down because her shoulder pulled when she tried to get up and she was in pain. Otherwise...almost 16 years of age. The rest made at least 12 years of age.

I titled those dogs in working sport and cleaned house compared to the others.

I think that the show ring in conformation is so competitive that folks breed to win and breed what will win. Sorry but this is what I see right now. Just look at the show pedigrees and how rampant it runs in them.
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Old 07-24-2010, 03:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I lost a very beloved girl in the late 90's with DCM.

She was just shy of her 7th birthday when she had to be pts.

Diagnosed, on 5 medications, and dead in a 60 day period.

No symptoms initially, she was at the vet for something else and he heard a galloping arrhythmia. She had DCM, the arrhythmia, and CHF diagnosed after en echo that same afternoon at a cardiologist's office. Those 60 days with her afterwards were such a whirlwind, they really were the hardest I've ever had to endure as a dog owner.

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Old 07-24-2010, 03:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Charlie did not have DCM and hopefully Finn won't have it either.

Two of Finn's siblings were taken by people who had lost their Dobes to DCM - one at just 2 years old.

And my friend Frances lost his 5 yr old Dobe bitch Elsa to DCM this winter past.

These are all European/British Dobes.
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Old 07-24-2010, 04:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Petey Occult DCM diagnosed at 3 years old, December 10, 2009. Still in occult phase today. From Eastern European show lines.
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Old 07-24-2010, 05:11 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Blade dignosed Feb. 25 2010. 5 year old male. Electra, Windmar, Cambria , are alot of the bloodlines.
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Old 07-24-2010, 05:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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You know the dog that I was going to breed to, I found out his mother died of cardio. This was a perfect male for my bitch. But I am going to forego this breeding now that I found this out. They are not hiding it. The owners are truthful about this. His puppies are nice.

So the next best thing I guess is to eliminate the dam and fly her back to Pa.

I cannot even stand the thought of this cardio. It is so hard for me to discuss because this disease broke my heart.

If we are breeders we owe the breed so much in trying to make the right choice.

I am not one to highly weight the holters etc. But I do highly weight the pedigrees as predictor.

A good breeder is the guardian of the breed.

But I have not figured out yet why this disease affects the nicest dogs out there? That I have seen countless times.

My girl just dropped with no warning. I am not sure which is worse: those that know its there and eventually coming or those who get it by shock.
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Old 07-24-2010, 05:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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In 1979 we lost one to what was probably DCM. She was 11 years old. At the time the vet called it "heart failure". We lost a 2nd in 1986 at age 12 to DCM. Both were NA show lines.
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Old 07-24-2010, 05:57 PM   #11 (permalink)
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We recently lost of beloved Doberman, Haili, to DCM at the young age of 7 years, 3 months. She was fine (or so we thought), and then within a day, in severe cardiac failure. It was utterly heartbreaking, she was my very first Doberman. She's the Dobie in the center of the photo below.

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Old 07-24-2010, 07:31 PM   #12 (permalink)
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We have not lost a Dobe to DCM as of yet, but have lost two young. First girl Sammy was PTS at 15 as she was totally incontinent, blind, deaf, going bald and was beginning to be unable to crouch to go toilet, couldn't get up stairs etc. and my parents thought it cruel to be keeping this once majestic dog alive in such a state. She was from a Pet Store. Poppy was from a BYB, lost her to severe and rapid onset liver/kidney failure at 8 years old. Cricket was from NZ's top show Doberman breeders, lost her at 9 to mammary cancer. She was out of Eddie (Cambria's Cactus Cash). Now we have Lottie, 10 months old
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Old 07-24-2010, 07:36 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I had 2 BYB Dobes that lived to 10 and 13. Then I went into American show dogs and lost 4, at 4, 5, 5, and 7. I couldnt stand it anymore and got one from Eastern European working lines, she is only 2 and could never be shown but hopefully will live a full life.
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Old 07-24-2010, 07:55 PM   #14 (permalink)
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My first Doberman to be dx with DCM was my red rescue boy, Ezra, from BYB lines.

Died this past August, at just over three years of age.
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Old 07-24-2010, 07:56 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I just want to say something real quick in response to the comments being made about DCM in NA show lines. The reason we see DCM all over the place in so many NA show line pedigrees is because those breeders know what dogs are in their dogs' pedigrees and their health and cause of death (in most cases) is actually being recorded. You won't "see" DCM in the pedigrees of BYB dogs because in the vast majority of cases those "breeders" have no clue what dogs are behind the ones they're breeding. And if their dog dies suddenly at 7 they aren't going to alert puppy buyers or have an autopsy done to find out that it may have been DCM.

I'm sure plenty of people have had relatively healthy, long-lived BYB Dobermans in their lives BUT it is likely just as much good fortune that they didn't develop and die of DCM as it is anyone's good fortune who owns a NA show line Doberman that doesn't develop it. I see it as the luck of the draw in this breed and I'll continue to see it as that until they can isolate the genetic causes behind it.

I just feel like that needs to be said for those who may read this thread and risk taking away "BYB have healthier dogs" from it. To me it smacks of the same BS as "mutts are healthier than purebreds." Not true - you just don't tend to know what diseases will afflict a mutt like you do with a purebred, so you can't proactively screen and watch for anything unless you're screening and watching for everything in a mutt.
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Old 07-24-2010, 08:22 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I had a male Doberman diagnosed at barely age 5 with occult DCM by Specialists. He was also diagnosed with CAH soon after, and suffered hepatic encephalopathy from his CAH.
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Old 07-24-2010, 08:31 PM   #17 (permalink)
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My first doberman died in 2001 at 9 years old - diagnosed with DCM (enlarged heart) at 8.5. She lived 6 months with treatment. She was from an Ohio breeder (BYB I think - I didn't pick her out) and from a larger doberman line. My second doberman died this past January (2010) from undiagnosed arythmia - sudden death while playing ball - she was 8.5 years old. She was a pet quality from a breeder back east who no longer breeds. The sudden death devastated me and I occasionally watch Pula panting and have thoughts of my other dobe. I now have my third doberman from Jana here - a Valor and Guilty puppy. I sure hope she lives healthily to a ripe old age, but there are no guarantees, but Jana's history is good. I can only hope and enjoy her while she lasts.
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Old 07-24-2010, 08:37 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Since I haven't seen her posting in a while, and we lost our dogs the same day, I'll mention for Zolee'smom that she lost her girl last August to DCM, and her girl was not even two yet.
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Old 07-25-2010, 01:04 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I lost my second doberman to DCM, he was 6 1/2 when I had to let him go. Then my third male also had DCM, he just turned 5 in June and he died in August, he was the love of my life.
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Old 07-25-2010, 10:13 AM   #20 (permalink)
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We lost our first Dobe in 1982 to sudden death DCM at 5 1/2. We got him at a year old from a BYB (didn't know better back then). Also didn't know anything about DCM at that time nor did our vet. We never knew he was sick. He just dropped over and died one Saturday afternoon. Years later reading a book on Doberman health issues realized that was what he died of. All the symptoms fit.
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Old 07-25-2010, 01:56 PM   #21 (permalink)
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My first Doberman died Sudden Death 3 weeks before his 10th birthday....No signs of ill health.....he died in 2005...American Dobe..
So far my Eoro boy is OK-he's 4 years old--Hoping all is well.
We don't have our breed long enough.
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Old 07-25-2010, 02:15 PM   #22 (permalink)
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The DCM risk is with show and working lines. I spoke with an American lady on Facebook who told me all her workline dogs, some imported from Europe had died of DCM. We cannot just blame the show dogs. We can blame the breeders who must know their stock has produced the problem and yet keep on breeding with the same bloodlines. I see some pedigrees of puppies advertised on another forum and say to myself "they won't have a longlife". The curious thing is most people know the lines containing DCM yet the power of owning a good show dog or a good working dog seems to overcome that. Why ?
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Old 07-25-2010, 02:58 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I'm on my 4th dobe. ALL my dogs died of dcm at 9. My new girl is euro. From my mouth to god's ears let me have her until 10
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Old 07-25-2010, 05:52 PM   #24 (permalink)
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tons of breeders try their best and yet CARDIO still comes back to bite you in the butt at some point.. I wish people would sit back and know that its not that black and white. I aswell lost my beloved boy to it (who wasnt bred until he was almost 5 and had a prefect heart at that point) and his daughter that I own is now 71/2 and her heart has not changed since she was 2. she may still get it ,she may not.. Looking at pedigrees alone will only give you a ball park idea But still not a guarentee. I showed a dog out of Victor who died at 4 of cardio and this girl died of Cancer at 12. All breeders can do is try and stay away from it and most do.. Then they sit and worry about it comming out anyways..

Just test and tell thats the only thing at this point until a cure or gene is found sadly.
JMHO as always
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Old 07-25-2010, 06:42 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Alex, age 6, diagnosed on 4/29/08, died 4/29/08 - no warning - was at vet's office for testing of new onset of cough - DCM/ventricular tachycardia.

Melody, age 6, developed rapid heart rate/pulse on New Year's Eve 2008, laid down and died. Totally asymptomatic, happy-go-lucky and active crazy girl until about an hour before she died at the foot of our bed.

Rocky, age 6, died the day after Thanksgiving '09 - he was lively and active, but then came over, panting and with very rapid carotid pulse. Took him immediately to vet, who said he had a matter of hours, max 2-3 days, to live, and said he did not believe he would survive the ride home. We trust this vet, and he recommended that we have Rocky PTS, which he did, in my arms. A truly terrible decision to have to make, as my DH never got to say goodbye, was his heart dog, and he still feels guilty and miserable.

Never had any dog with cardiac issues until then.

Have never had a dog that died younger than 9 years old, and that one was PTS for an incurable medical issue that we fought for many years - but he was a shelter mutt, my beloved Spanky was. All our other dogs, Dobe, GSD, Boxer, GSP... all were 11.5 - 13.5, and even that didn't seem long enough!
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