Hiking with Doberman- sudden limping and syncope - Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-23-2020, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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Hiking with Doberman- sudden limping and syncope

Hey all!

I have a 2.5 year old Doberman named Hanz. Overall very healthy boy with no underlying health issues

We went for a hike with friends and their dog (ridgeback lab mix) and they were off leash running around like crazy men, which is typical.

Hanz came up to me limping on his
Left hind leg, suddenly collapsed by my feet onto his right side and there were two episodes of slowed to no panting (probably 5 seconds each). I held his head and was about to start CPR- it was scary! He came to, stood up and drank some water. He wanted to go back to running around but we kept him on his leash to keep him at low activity. He definitely wasn’t acting the same and he had two episodes of left leg “lameness” after.

I have no idea what to think: I’m afraid some of this could be cardiac (DCM) related and I’m scared. Taking him to the vet tomorrow morning, hoping to see if anyone had similar issues/ story to share.

He is back to his normal self- ate dinner had his normal appetite (always hungry).

Thank you!
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-23-2020, 08:15 PM
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If it were me I'd take him to a cardiologist. They are better at diagnosing/treating DCM. JMO
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-23-2020, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks JMO. That’s what I am thinking- our vet is a walk in clinic so I figured I would start there.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-23-2020, 08:50 PM
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I don't know where you live but local Doberman clubs or Kennel clubs will hold cardio clinics every so often. You can get an ekg/ecg and a holter a lot cheaper than the vet. Some owners have their own holters. Many Doberman owners will get routine cardio checks since DCM is so prevalent in our breed. I don't know if your guy's problem is DCM but even so it's important to do routine testing and then when DCM hits you can get on meds right away. Good luck at the vet.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-23-2020, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VZ-Doberman View Post
I don't know where you live but local Doberman clubs or Kennel clubs will hold cardio clinics every so often. You can get an ekg/ecg and a holter a lot cheaper than the vet. Some owners have their own holters. Many Doberman owners will get routine cardio checks since DCM is so prevalent in our breed. I don't know if your guy's problem is DCM but even so it's important to do routine testing and then when DCM hits you can get on meds right away. Good luck at the vet.
Good to know! Thanks for the information/ I’ll look into It for sure!
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-24-2020, 10:20 AM
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I don't know if the limping was related to the syncope or not but syncope is often a first sign (and sometimes the last sign) of a cardio event.

But I'd certainly advise getting it checked out even though 2.5 years is pretty young for cardio issues to raise their ugly head.

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-24-2020, 11:24 AM
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Right now many clubs are unable to hold cardio clinics because of the pandemic restrictions.

Personally if it was my dog I wouldn't wait, and would try to get an echo and 24 hour holter now. He's the right age for a screening anyway.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-24-2020, 11:40 AM
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Having had a Dobe who was diagnosed with and later died from Ventricular Fibrillation due to Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM), I would agree with the above comments.

Our boy had a near death experience after chasing a ball for exercise. Up until then, he was completely healthy and never ill. With in minutes of his episode, he had an emergency vet visit, an immediate triage and trip to a cardiologist at a local emergency care center. It saved his life, although it was touch and go for a while.

The day he died was similar to his first episode. He was out for a walk with his "brother", came home and collapsed and died. It was sad, but not a surprise, as his initial prognosis was "very poor". Plus we had all those years after he responded to meds.

With proper meds and continued exams, our dog lived a pretty much normal life to a pretty much normal age.

Butcher loved long distance hikes in our mountain wilderness. Unfortunately, those had to come to an end. There would have been virtually no easy way to get his 95 lb. body down/back if he became disabled or died.

If your boy's symptoms were a result of DCM, his episode may have been what is sometimes referred to as Sudden Death Syndrome. And, as dobebug implied, not infrequently, the first time a Dobe owner sees it in their dog is the last time for the dog

So, in a way, if this does end up a cardio issue, you may have been lucky.

In any case...

Best to you and your boy Hanz.

John Lichtwardt
Portland OR
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Last edited by 4x4bike ped; 04-24-2020 at 11:49 AM.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-24-2020, 12:28 PM
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IME, sometimes a dog who faints due to cardio might look like they're limping briefly as they stumble around just before they drop.

If you can get into a cardiologist without your primary vet's recommendation, I'd do that as soon as possible.

It could help to have your primary care vet's recommendation to get in faster with the cardiologist. In my area, the cardiologist tends to be booked out about a month in advance with current patients - check ups and holding open some space in the schedule for unexpected urgent care of current patients. When I tried to get an appt. for my girl, I was given an appt. 3 weeks out. My primary vet called to emphasize that she was a Doberman (and she was able to speak directly to the cardiologist - obviously I could only speak to the front desk) and then the cardiologist made room to see my girl in within just a few days.

Good luck.
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Last edited by brw1982; 04-24-2020 at 12:31 PM.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-25-2020, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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for sure, we have a cardiology appointment next weekend. thank you!!
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-25-2020, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for your feedback.

I had to get a referral for the cardiologist around me from our local vet.
She said she listened for quite some time and didn't hear any murmurs or arrhythmias, she didn't even really push the idea of going to the cardiologist but after reading your stories and recommendations I was determined to get him checked.

We have an appointment for this Saturday for throuough cardiac check-up. We have been keeping activity light which is killing Hanz, he loves to go for runs with me, but until I know more, small walks it is.

Thank you again, I am so sorry to hear about your boy, I just can't even imagine but you have inspired me to get my boy checked out.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-25-2020, 10:55 PM
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Hi Bricky...

A smart decision on your part, IMO

BTW, many of us, myself included, have our Doberkids tested annually (or more if diagnosed positive for DCM at some point) for heart disease.

Our boy McCoy is pushing 6 yo and had another a complete cardio exam a few months ago.
The results came back normal. It is not cheap if both an echocardiogram and 24 hr Holter monitor test are done by a cardiologist. But for me, the knowledge gained either way, worth every penny

Give Hanz a hug!

John Lichtwardt
Portland OR
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Last edited by 4x4bike ped; 04-25-2020 at 10:57 PM.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-26-2020, 09:07 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you! Yeah the cardiologist quoted us at 600 dollars for a general work-up but in my mind it is worth every penny.

I can't explain how scary it was.

Thank you for all of your feedback!
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-26-2020, 09:52 AM
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So glad you are going in...IMO the right decision! And exactly what 4X4 said. Annual screening is recommended if you are able.
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