For the OP, I knew 2 people who did the stem cell implants for dcm with their Dobermans in Florida. That was pretty early on in the research, and I don't recall them having much success. IOW, the 2 Dobermans didn't seem to get any longer than they probably would have anyway, but I guess that's all kind of subjective because who knows how long they would have had without it.
However, speaking for myself, I have personally had stem cell implants into my knees for severe osteoarthritis. It was very expensive, and I got absolutely no relief from my pain. That said, as it was really expensive there was only so much of it I could afford. Perhaps if I had more CC's of stem cells, maybe I would have had a different result. And maybe not. I guess I will never know.
YES! Thank you Mary--Dr Eric Estrada is the vet I was trying to think of.
What I've seen of results from stem cell/cardio is that the results weren't particularly successful. It's still pretty early on when it comes to success with stem cell treatments when it comes to cardio. I would think that probably has something o do with the fact that DCM cause is known to be polygenetic.
What is a pretty unqualified success (to my mind anyway) is the advances of diagnosis, and treatment with medication of DCM in Dobermans. Dax, one of our members dog, who had an early dx of DCM , (only four or five as I recall) but who was followed with echo's and holters and on meds for years after that lived, to 10/11--with good quality of life. Or even my own Toad who will be 14 this month--was followed for years (started echos and Holters when he was 2/5 once a year and uped that to twice a year when he had one echo with moderately high numbers of VPM's when he was around 5. At 9 years he got some cardio meds added because his echo was trending toward signs of occult DCM and at 11 we added Vetmedin and today he's pretty bouncy for an old fart.
He has an occasional cough and wheeze which seems to be unrelated to cardio (per regular vet--and every other vet in the practice in the clinic where I still work part time) but rather to something like the laryngeal paralysis that is pretty common old Labrador Retrievers.
But his weight is good, still eats like a horse and looks for more. Has millions of lipomas and a partial cruciate ligament tear (that showed up when he was 9)--he takes the generic for Rimadyl for that and while it makes him sit with that knee turned out it doesn't seem to cause pain--no limping or difficulty getting up or down.
Basically Toad is in better shape than I am. And we are definitely taking it one day at a time. At this point he's outlived all of my Dobermans (most of them made it to at least 9 and a few were LC dogs--over 10 and realistically most of them did not die from cardio but rather other things that went wrong.
I think I'd be inclined to do what I've done with the last 4 Dobes and simply follow the heart condition via once or twice a year echos and Holters and appropriate medication--this seems to be pretty effective.
There is, for the record, one California vet who was alleged to be researching stem cell treatment of DCM whose studies have not been particularly successful and there is some reason to think that a fair amount of the money donated for that research was not appropriately used. But that's definitely another issue.