Must watch documentary about DCM in Dobes - Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums
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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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Must watch documentary about DCM in Dobes

Here is a professionally produced documentary that delves deeply into DCM, with extended interviews at University of Munich. I was shocked to learn that as many as 58% of all Dobermans die from DCM and that breeders are doing essentially nothing to stop it. This video is well worth watching, for all Doberman owners, not just those who have lost dogs to DCM. This is the link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mL4wuv26068
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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 08:48 PM
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I guess you're just quoting from the documentary (which I have not seen) but I really think it's unfair to say breeders are doing nothing.

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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-30-2019, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by MaryAndDobes View Post
I guess you're just quoting from the documentary (which I have not seen) but I really think it's unfair to say breeders are doing nothing.
I'm going to guess since this is the University of Munich that it is aimed at European breeders. And even so I wouldn't really say that breeders are doing nothing... It's mostly the DV's fault I imagine - their "study" on DCM was a joke, they closed it after 3 years and declared DCM wasn't a problem in the breed, at least not in Germany (but strangely, if an American dog wishes the ZTP they are required to submit heart results. Only American dogs. Any other country doesn't need to test the heart) and that it was therefore not necessary to make heart testing mandatory or further investigate.

To be honest the DV has been making a lot of decisions in recent years that seem to not be in the best interest of the breed.
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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 08:52 AM Thread Starter
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Well, if the breeders say the average incidence of DCM in the general population is less than 10% when its really closer to 50%, and refuse to test their dames and sires annually, and test the pups once, when they are too young for the test to detect any symptoms, then, yes, I would define that as doing nothing.
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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 08:57 AM Thread Starter
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Hello. Yes, they talk about the three year study in the video. I stand by my generalization about breeders; most say the average incidence of DCM in the general population is less than 10% when its really closer to 50%, they refuse to test their dames and sires annually, they test the pups once, when they are too young for the test to detect any symptoms, so then, yes, I would define that as doing nothing. In the video you can see breeders and their organizations refuse to allow annual testing, even when the cost would be paid by the univesity free to the breeder. I am not aware of any studies that show a significant difference in DCM between Euro and American dobes; if there were differences I thihk there would be imperical evidence, at least.
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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 09:07 AM
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What breeders are you talking to where you get these stats?
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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenroberto View Post
Hello. Yes, they talk about the three year study in the video. I stand by my generalization about breeders; most say the average incidence of DCM in the general population is less than 10% when its really closer to 50%, they refuse to test their dames and sires annually, they test the pups once, when they are too young for the test to detect any symptoms, so then, yes, I would define that as doing nothing. In the video you can see breeders and their organizations refuse to allow annual testing, even when the cost would be paid by the univesity free to the breeder. I am not aware of any studies that show a significant difference in DCM between Euro and American dobes; if there were differences I thihk there would be imperical evidence, at least.
I'd really like to know what breeders you are dealing with, because this is NOT the norm among reputable North American (USA & Canada) breeders at all! Any good breeder you talk to here is going to tell you that DCM in some form will be the cause of death in about 50% of all Dobermans no matter where they come from. Good reputable breeders do regular cardiac testing on their breeding dogs..... I test all of my Dobermans no matter if they are bred or not. However, it is true that a dog that tests normal at age 2-6 (normal breeding years for bitches), may develop cardio at a later date. Ages 6-8 seem to be the age when cardio often shows up if you are testing..... unfortunately, we can't wait till a bitch is over the age of 6 to breed. We look at the pedigree for a low incidence of close up cardio - but no pedigree is free from cardio, so there will always be some unknowns when breeding.
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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 03:04 PM
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That video is 6 years old.

Maybe breeders in Chili say it's 10% but I don't know any reputable breeders in the US that state it's anything less than 50%.

What's sad is there are breeders that claim to be reputable that don't do cardio testing. I'm not a fan of them and I won't send puppy buyers their way but they are out there.
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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 05:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenroberto View Post
Hello. Yes, they talk about the three year study in the video. I stand by my generalization about breeders; most say the average incidence of DCM in the general population is less than 10% when its really closer to 50%, they refuse to test their dames and sires annually, they test the pups once, when they are too young for the test to detect any symptoms, so then, yes, I would define that as doing nothing. In the video you can see breeders and their organizations refuse to allow annual testing, even when the cost would be paid by the univesity free to the breeder. I am not aware of any studies that show a significant difference in DCM between Euro and American dobes; if there were differences I thihk there would be imperical evidence, at least.
How can you stand by a generalization? From one movie? Have you actually talked with any Doberman breeders?

I mean, I'm a breeder. My Dobermans were all in the Doberman cardiac study at the U of Guelph in Ontario, Canada from 1985 until it ended last year, so my own personal dogs through those years (Rebel, Sadie, Ember, Wish, Wonder, Rory, Karma, Zeke, Rocket, Kizzy, Shelby, Royal, Moxie, Copper, Wicca) ALL went every year until they died (unless I deemed them not well enough for the trip like when they were 12, for eg. They had their regular cardiac ultrasounds and ecgs there, and any other experimental testing they were doing like when they were developing the troponin test. I was pretty rabid about urging my local puppy owners to take part as well so Henna, Dionne, Taz, Jessie, Farah, Bentley, Sammy, Blush, Maya, Jax and Lola were also taking part. When I moved to Kentucky, I drove 10 hours back with my eldest Dobermans so that they didn't miss their cardiac exams! My most recent cardiac exams were on Moxie, who is nearly 12 (not exactly young so that I can hide symptoms!) and Wicca. I used to Holter 15-20 Dobermans for the Guelph study back in the day, and then later purchased my own so that I could offer it to my puppy owners as well as use it myself. It's been shipped to New Brunswick for Rusty, it's been out to Minnesota for Richter, I drove 2 hours today to get it back from where I sent it for Jax. When the PDK4 test became available, I tested all of my own personal Dobermans, and informed my owners about the test - a few tested. I will be honest that I have only tested the youngest one for the dcm2 DNA test, though. I didn't really see the point of doing it on my 10+ year olds when the test came out. Seemed they were already beating the odds, knock on wood.

I usually offer in conversations about dcm that "upwards of 55% of Dobermans acquire dcm". That is my usual quote. No whitewashing there. I didn't pick that figure up out of thin air. It's what I hear other breeders saying, too.
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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 08:07 PM
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Yeah, it is definitely not the case for reputable breeder in North America. Even those who don't actually test but are supposedly reputable will readily say "around half of dobermans will develop DCM".

I'm not a breeder, (not yet anyway) but I had my girl holtered for the first time at 3 last december, and her first echo at 4 this past March, and I intend on continuing to holter yearly if not twice yearly since I'm lucky enough to have a friend who bought a Holter I can use. I will also try to echo yearly because I think that information is important. I've also tested my bitch for the PDK4 and the DCM2 and am sharing that information with the various projects looking at the genetic diversity and longevity in the breed, as well as trying to keep them UTD on her Holter and Echo reports.

I also think as a matter of principle it's important for that information to be out there for anyone that might be researching her lines or those of close relatives.

I keep trying to coax her littermate's owner into getting him tested especially because their grandsire (direct paternal sire) died suddenly of DCM at age 7, and early detection is the best shot, as well as once again being relevant to pedigree research, genetic research and information.

Knowledge is power, and the ethical preservation breeders don't shy away from that. But it's a little bit more across the board in Europe. A European (who has two bitches from American lines) recently told me that in Europe many people think American dobes are less healthy because we North Americans health test so much (they figure we do more testing because our dogs are more sickly... I don't understand that sort of backwards thinking, healthy or not why wouldn't you want the most information possible?). But even so it does a disservice to generalise and say all breeders or all european breeders think this way.
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post #11 of 36 (permalink) Old 05-01-2019, 09:19 PM
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Not only do you seem woefully uninformed about breeders, but heck, a LOT of good owners are also well informed and doing regular testing, too.

I test both of my dogs with an echo and 24 hour holter exam every year, and report their results both publicly (on Dobequest) as well as to their breeders, so they have that information for their breeding programs so they can make the best possible decisions going forward.

Maybe a forum in your own area of the world would be the place to "educate" people, but you may want to be sure you have correct information first.
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post #12 of 36 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 10:54 AM Thread Starter
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The fact that the incidence of DCM is at 50% or above over decades is proof on its face that most breeders are not doing their part in testing, and that buyers are being told 10% is the actual rate. Anyone making a 1000 dollar investment in a pet would respond differently when given the probabilities of 10% vs. 50%+. That seems obvious. Buyers accept dobes with no testing because they are being told 10%, which is a probability they can live with going into the commitment. So, I stand by my comment but acknowledge you are an expert and an exception.

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Originally Posted by MeadowCat View Post
Not only do you seem woefully uninformed about breeders, but heck, a LOT of good owners are also well informed and doing regular testing, too.

I test both of my dogs with an echo and 24 hour holter exam every year, and report their results both publicly (on Dobequest) as well as to their breeders, so they have that information for their breeding programs so they can make the best possible decisions going forward.

Maybe a forum in your own area of the world would be the place to "educate" people, but you may want to be sure you have correct information first.
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post #13 of 36 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 10:58 AM Thread Starter
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I did not say all, I said most. Which is generalizing. Yes. And from my experience, correctly so. The fact that the incidence of DCM is at 50% or above over decades is proof on its face that most breeders are not doing their part in testing, and that buyers are being told 10% is the actual rate. Anyone making a 1000 dollar investment in a pet would respond differently when given the probabilities of 10% vs. 50%+. That seems obvious. Buyers accept dobes with no testing because they are being told 10%, which is a probability they can live with going into the commitment. So, I stand by my comment but acknowledge you are a notable and praiseworthy exception.


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Yeah, it is definitely not the case for reputable breeder in North America. Even those who don't actually test but are supposedly reputable will readily say "around half of dobermans will develop DCM".

I'm not a breeder, (not yet anyway) but I had my girl holtered for the first time at 3 last december, and her first echo at 4 this past March, and I intend on continuing to holter yearly if not twice yearly since I'm lucky enough to have a friend who bought a Holter I can use. I will also try to echo yearly because I think that information is important. I've also tested my bitch for the PDK4 and the DCM2 and am sharing that information with the various projects looking at the genetic diversity and longevity in the breed, as well as trying to keep them UTD on her Holter and Echo reports.

I also think as a matter of principle it's important for that information to be out there for anyone that might be researching her lines or those of close relatives.

I keep trying to coax her littermate's owner into getting him tested especially because their grandsire (direct paternal sire) died suddenly of DCM at age 7, and early detection is the best shot, as well as once again being relevant to pedigree research, genetic research and information.

Knowledge is power, and the ethical preservation breeders don't shy away from that. But it's a little bit more across the board in Europe. A European (who has two bitches from American lines) recently told me that in Europe many people think American dobes are less healthy because we North Americans health test so much (they figure we do more testing because our dogs are more sickly... I don't understand that sort of backwards thinking, healthy or not why wouldn't you want the most information possible?). But even so it does a disservice to generalise and say all breeders or all european breeders think this way.
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post #14 of 36 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 11:00 AM Thread Starter
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It is not a movie, it is a documentary. And it corresponds to my own personal experience in SE Asia, Europe, North and South America. What has changed in the past six years since the documentary? I would say, not much. The fact that the incidence of DCM is at 50% or above over decades is proof on its face that most breeders are not doing their part in testing, and that buyers are being told 10% is the actual rate. Anyone making a 1000 dollar investment in a pet would respond differently when given the probabilities of 10% vs. 50%+. That seems obvious. Buyers accept dobes with no testing because they are being told 10%, which is a probability they can live with going into the commitment. So, I stand by my comment but acknowledge you are an exception.

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How can you stand by a generalization? From one movie? Have you actually talked with any Doberman breeders?

I mean, I'm a breeder. My Dobermans were all in the Doberman cardiac study at the U of Guelph in Ontario, Canada from 1985 until it ended last year, so my own personal dogs through those years (Rebel, Sadie, Ember, Wish, Wonder, Rory, Karma, Zeke, Rocket, Kizzy, Shelby, Royal, Moxie, Copper, Wicca) ALL went every year until they died (unless I deemed them not well enough for the trip like when they were 12, for eg. They had their regular cardiac ultrasounds and ecgs there, and any other experimental testing they were doing like when they were developing the troponin test. I was pretty rabid about urging my local puppy owners to take part as well so Henna, Dionne, Taz, Jessie, Farah, Bentley, Sammy, Blush, Maya, Jax and Lola were also taking part. When I moved to Kentucky, I drove 10 hours back with my eldest Dobermans so that they didn't miss their cardiac exams! My most recent cardiac exams were on Moxie, who is nearly 12 (not exactly young so that I can hide symptoms!) and Wicca. I used to Holter 15-20 Dobermans for the Guelph study back in the day, and then later purchased my own so that I could offer it to my puppy owners as well as use it myself. It's been shipped to New Brunswick for Rusty, it's been out to Minnesota for Richter, I drove 2 hours today to get it back from where I sent it for Jax. When the PDK4 test became available, I tested all of my own personal Dobermans, and informed my owners about the test - a few tested. I will be honest that I have only tested the youngest one for the dcm2 DNA test, though. I didn't really see the point of doing it on my 10+ year olds when the test came out. Seemed they were already beating the odds, knock on wood.

I usually offer in conversations about dcm that "upwards of 55% of Dobermans acquire dcm". That is my usual quote. No whitewashing there. I didn't pick that figure up out of thin air. It's what I hear other breeders saying, too.
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post #15 of 36 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 11:14 AM
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If the majority of your experience is that breeders are in denial and/or ignoring the problem of DCM in the breed, I would urge you to elevate your personal standards for who you're willing to associate with in the breed.

Because what you're describing is the actions and behavior of sh*t breeders, not all breeders and certainly not good ones (of which there are MANY).




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post #16 of 36 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenroberto View Post
The fact that the incidence of DCM is at 50% or above over decades is proof on its face that most breeders are not doing their part in testing, and that buyers are being told 10% is the actual rate. Anyone making a 1000 dollar investment in a pet would respond differently when given the probabilities of 10% vs. 50%+. That seems obvious. Buyers accept dobes with no testing because they are being told 10%, which is a probability they can live with going into the commitment. So, I stand by my comment but acknowledge you are an expert and an exception.
You're just simply incorrect. Testing alone isn't going to solve the problem, because DCM is a complex condition. Simply testing breeding stock doesn't mean we'll end up with no DCM. Testing plus carefully studying pedigrees doesn't mean we'll end up with no DCM, although that is currently a good route to go. When you have a really complex disease with many (hundreds) of genes involved, potentially also involving things like diet, environment, etc etc etc...there's no easy solution.

I understand that you want a clear solution, but there isn't one. It's not a disease like von Willebrands, where you could, if you so chose, breed only clear or carrier to clear to produce no affected dogs (and even then, you have to consider the cost to the gene pool, and there's ample room for discussion there). With DCM, there is no way to do this - we do not have those answers.

Truly, you need to better understand this disease. I get that you're angry and sad that you lost your dogs. Many many people in the breed have. But you aren't understanding this disease at all if you think there's an easy answer to solving it.


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post #17 of 36 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeadowCat View Post
You're just simply incorrect. Testing alone isn't going to solve the problem, because DCM is a complex condition. Simply testing breeding stock doesn't mean we'll end up with no DCM. Testing plus carefully studying pedigrees doesn't mean we'll end up with no DCM, although that is currently a good route to go. When you have a really complex disease with many (hundreds) of genes involved, potentially also involving things like diet, environment, etc etc etc...there's no easy solution.

I understand that you want a clear solution, but there isn't one. It's not a disease like von Willebrands, where you could, if you so chose, breed only clear or carrier to clear to produce no affected dogs (and even then, you have to consider the cost to the gene pool, and there's ample room for discussion there). With DCM, there is no way to do this - we do not have those answers.

Truly, you need to better understand this disease. I get that you're angry and sad that you lost your dogs. Many many people in the breed have. But you aren't understanding this disease at all if you think there's an easy answer to solving it.
This ^^^^^^^^^^^^

My first well bred Doberman had all 4 grandparents live to 12 + years. My girl was enrolled in a DCM study at Univ. of Pennsylvania Vet school: they could never use her in the study because her her Cardiac Ultrasounds were always healthy. She dropped dead at 9 years and 3 months of age, and in her litter of 8, was the ONLY one to even make it to the age of 9. Heart disease in Dobermans can be totally unpredictable. We test and we study pedigrees, but it is no guarantee that the resulting puppies will be free from DCM.

I get that you (the original poster) are angry. However, lashing out at breeders when you really don't understand the disease is not going to help. There are no easy answers - we all wish that there were.

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post #18 of 36 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitzmar Dobermans View Post
This ^^^^^^^^^^^^

My first well bred Doberman had all 4 grandparents live to 12 + years. My girl was enrolled in a DCM study at Univ. of Pennsylvania Vet school: they could never use her in the study because her her Cardiac Ultrasounds were always healthy. She dropped dead at 9 years and 3 months of age, and in her litter of 8, was the ONLY one to even make it to the age of 9. Heart disease in Dobermans can be totally unpredictable. We test and we study pedigrees, but it is no guarantee that the resulting puppies will be free from DCM.

I get that you (the original poster) are angry. However, lashing out at breeders when you really don't understand the disease is not going to help. There are no easy answers - we all wish that there were.
I'm thirding this! My girl's aforementioned grandsire had 3 out of 4 grandparents die of DCM... except they died of it at ages like 12 and 13. Both his parents made it near or to the age of 10 and even had a Bred for Longevity certification. How the heck are you supposed to avoid that? And do you toss a dog from the gene pool that lived to 13 because they happened to get DCM at a very advanced age? Keeping in mind each time a dog is removed from the gene pool, the gene pool shrinks, the inbreeding increases and who knows what terrible disease might appear next. I recall reading from a Boxer breeder that two prior instances of diseases in the breed that breeders successfully tried to eliminate this way in Boxers is eventually what led to the appearance and uptick of Boxer Cardiomyopathy to the point it is as bad for them as DCM is for us

What I believe OP is failing to understand is that it is a terribly complex disease and even breeders doing their absolute best will still lose dogs to DCM. Because DCM is not predictable like a simple recessive or dominant genetic status you cannot know if a dog will develop DCM later, and unfortunately bitches have a limited window as to when they can safely be bred for the first time.

What OP is also neglecting to realise is although breeders have maybe unintentionally or unknowingly exacerbated the problem with liberal linebreeding (especially in Europe) and popular sire syndrome, the breed has also experienced extreme and severe bottlenecks due to outside circumstances (such as war) and therefore not always precipitated by breeders. This is a whack a mole problem - and it's also a disease you need at least a decade to assess the overall progression within the breed. Another thing to consider: how much have the number of actual cases increased vs the number of reported cases?

I believe there is a mixture of both, but to say that the rate is this high because breeders are doing nothing actually infuriates me knowing how hard breeders are working and doing their best at making judicious mating decisions. Not every show line breeder is chasing Top 20 rankings at the expense of health and longevity.
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post #19 of 36 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 09:43 PM
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Another newsflash ... just because it's a documentary doesn't mean it is truth.
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post #20 of 36 (permalink) Old 05-28-2019, 11:13 PM
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Our only dog who died from DCM related causes (V-tach/Sudden Death syndrome) came from a very reputable breeder who seriously health tests her sire and dam prospects to the nth degree. This includes complete cardio via 24hr Holter and Echo.

Still... When one thinks of the age that these dogs are bred, what are the chances of predicting DCM regardless of the clear bill of health given at 2 or 3 years old?

My current youngest had a full cardio workup at 3 yo. His cardiologist said that all looked very good, but that I should bring him back at 5 yo as that is a better age for preliminary diagnosis of heart disease. That is what will happen. Very soon.

If we eliminated all breeding between Dobermans unless they had no DCM related occurrences in their pedigree, there would be no Dobermans.

I personally prefer to look for longevity in a pedigree. My McCoy has a good chance at a long life. His mother is doing well and his grandfather (bug's Toad) is 13. His sire died from unrelated causes (bloat).

If he is diagnosed with DCM and caught early, the possibilities of a reasonable life have been greatly improved.

Our boy who came minutes from death with his initial episode of SDS, recovered and with a med regime, lived to be a senior. He did eventually succumb to DCM. But it was quick and seemingly painless. This was 7 years ago.

DCM is a fact of life in this breed.

Prepare for it

Research your prospective breeder. Research your potential pups pedigree. .

Get a very good vet whom you trust who is very familiar with Dobermans.

Test your dog regularly as recommended by your vet or someone who is very knowledgeable about this breed.

Obtain and maintain quality pet health insurance.

OK... Done ranting
JMO
John
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Last edited by 4x4bike ped; 05-28-2019 at 11:38 PM.
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post #21 of 36 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 04:07 AM
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Nice post John........experience speaks!!

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post #22 of 36 (permalink) Old 05-29-2019, 06:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryAndDobes View Post
Another newsflash ... just because it's a documentary doesn't mean it is truth.
(e.g. "an inconvenient truth"...)
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Poke Everything.
It's New? Bark At It.
Moves? Chase It.
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Treat or Food? Wolf It Down.
Not Food? Chew It Slowly, Be Quiet & Hide From Human.
A Toy? Shred & Destroy It.
Stuffed? De-Stuff It.
Bites You Back? Wrestle It!
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post #23 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
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Please do not be condesending; I understand the disease well. The fact that someone does not agree with you does not make them stupid, except perhaps in your own mind. I am not seeking a solution, I am seeking progress in getting that probability down to the 10% that 70 per cent of the breeders I have spoken with in USA, S America, Asia, and Europe have ALL assured me is true, when in fact it is not. Neither am I angry; I am trying to raise awareness and create discussion. Progress will come with sacrafice on the part of breeders and increased efforts. Probably also laws being passed. I dont see any of that happening except on an ad hoc basis, and that is my point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fitzmar Dobermans View Post
This ^^^^^^^^^^^^

My first well bred Doberman had all 4 grandparents live to 12 + years. My girl was enrolled in a DCM study at Univ. of Pennsylvania Vet school: they could never use her in the study because her her Cardiac Ultrasounds were always healthy. She dropped dead at 9 years and 3 months of age, and in her litter of 8, was the ONLY one to even make it to the age of 9. Heart disease in Dobermans can be totally unpredictable. We test and we study pedigrees, but it is no guarantee that the resulting puppies will be free from DCM.

I get that you (the original poster) are angry. However, lashing out at breeders when you really don't understand the disease is not going to help. There are no easy answers - we all wish that there were.
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post #24 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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anything in the documentary you would care to refute as false with a citation, I will be happy to look at it. otherwise, it is an inconvenient truth, to you.

Quote:
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(e.g. "an inconvenient truth"...)
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post #25 of 36 (permalink) Old 06-05-2019, 06:20 PM
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While laws are being passed to end Heart Disease in dogs , i hope they add a rider for the cure of cancer in them at the same time!
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