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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 10:58 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Depression from losing first Doberman- now anxiety with the new one

Hi,
So this is my first ever post on here even though I joined two years ago. Probably doing something wrong so please be kind and correct me

Two years ago this November I lost my 5 yr old Doberman, Axle, to cancer. I was 25 yrs old and he was my first dog (and first Doberman) I got when I moved out of my parents house. And the first dog I ever had to make the decision to euthanize and be with when he crossed over to rainbow bridge. I'm getting tears even as I'm typing this. It's the worst thing I've ever been through. I went into a deep depression. I promised myself I would never own another Doberman again.

After a long time of talking with my husband and thinking of another breed to get I decided that Dobermans were the only breed for me. I did my research as best I could. Axle was a BYB dog. Decided I wanted a good mix of Euro and American lines and health tested and a reputable breeder but the depression got the best of me and by March I was chomping at the bit to get a puppy in hopes that it would pull me out of my funk. We spent a pretty penny and had a puppy flown in from out of state. Looking back I think he came from a greeder

Fast forward to today, Kato, is 1 yr 9 mos old. I have the WORST anxiety that something is going to happen to him. That some horrible disease is going take him from me early like Axle. I have a vet appointment for him this Friday to have his heart checked. Why? Because once every two weeks or so he will cough once and I saw that can be a sign of DCM. I'm THAT crazy. So far (knock on wood) he has not had any health problems but now that I'm on Dobehealth on FB I see all these dogs dying from DCM and it has become an obsession of WHAT IF.

UGH, has anyone else dealt with this crippling anxiety after losing a previous dog? If something is wrong with his heart I'm not sure how I will be able to handle it. I just needed to get this off my chest. Everyone just tells me I'm crazy, or it's just a dog, or chill out, don't worry about it.
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 11:33 AM
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Hi and welcome to DT. I'm so sorry you lost your first dobe at such a young age. That just isn't fair. Have you considered grief counseling? Or talking with a health professional about your concerns and anxiety?

Anyone with a doberman has "those thoughts" every now and again, and the best suggestion I can make to you is to be proactive about his health. Definitely stay on top of regular vet checks, and ask for a full blood panel each year, but most importantly since DCM is such a concern in this breed, take him to a cardiologist for a yearly 24 hour holter and echo. If he ends up developing the disease (which usually happens in middle to later age) you can catch it when he is asymptomatic and start managing it early to give him more time and quality of life. Do you know the cardio status and holter and echo results from his parents?

Do you have photos of your boys? We would love to see them.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 11:40 AM
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Hi and welcome.

I'm sorry to hear about your anxiety. I think most people have it. I'll see someone's dog passing away and then I start thinking of my dog passing away and I feel my heart fall into my stomach.

I would suggest forgoing the vet and instead see a cardiologist. You'll need to do a holter and echo. Where do you live is there a Doberman chapter club near you where you could rent a holter cheaper than using the cardiologist? Also there's often echo clinics at dog shows where you can get an echo much cheaper than the cardiologist.

Best of luck to you.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 11:58 AM
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We had a young male that had seizures as a very young pup , we could never pin-point the cause but it happened 24 hours after his rabies shots. My wife's anxiety issues after this was off the charts , the littlest health issue or just a sluggish day for the dog was paralyzing for her and her anxiety effected me also.
When it comes to the internet it can be a bit skewed to the tragic since that is when we call out to others for help and we never really tell of the countless days of health and joy our pets get to live.
I deal with this type of issue by knowing that i will do what it takes when confronted and the loss will be sad but comforted to know that a big piece of my previous dobe lives in the next one!
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 12:21 PM
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I haven't been through exactly the kind of anxiety you're talking about, but I sure understand the depression part. Sometimes it's tough to do ANYTHING, and it makes me worry even when there's really nothing to worry about, and to get sorta fixated on a concern.

One thing that helps me is finding someone whose opinion/knowledge I can really trust and believe, who I can feel is truly listening when I share my concerns, and with whom I can share my worries without feeling embarrassed. Reassurances from them can help me get through those times of doubt because intellectually, at least, even if not emotionally, I know THEY know enough to be worth listening to. That can be a counselor, or a vet/medical person or a person who has lots and lots of experience working with dogs, dobes in particular...or just someone you feel has some kind of expertise in helping people deal with anxiety or dog troubles, or with both at the same time.

And of course, you can always talk here--none of us will think you're overreacting in the way you feel (even if your worries seem to be a little over-done to a non-dog lover) because we've all been there, I think.
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Last edited by melbrod; 09-17-2019 at 01:19 PM.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 01:27 PM
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Hi Hanna ! And welcome to DT ! From Indiana !!!

About 2 weeks ago , I had to make that same decision , and will agree with yeah , it IS the toughest phone I have ever , ever had to make , and I NO young guy , came over here shortly after the Mayflower landed ashore , so have seen a thing or too . The depression is unbearable . And as Mel wrote , it is hard to get motivated to do anything , well it was for me , I tell you this as your not alone in your feelings .

We lost one gal when we moved to this house 28 years ago , we were heart broke to say the least , we were doberless for 9 years , then we got another beautiful Black and Rust gal you ever seen A few days after she was here , my wife looked at me and said , werenít we stupid for waiting do get another dober ! Yes , she was right , we sure were .

Then we added Ali to join her , what a pair , lol talk about mayhem ? Lol loved every second , then after We lost Kasia we got Mr Business a few months latter and now , since Ali girl is at the bridge , I have been making some phone calls looking for another female . Oh damn it hurts so much to lose one , yet the joy they have brought us over the there years is something thatís in your heart for ever , there still with us .

Yes , we worry , the what ifís , but you canít worry about things like that , that will put you in the nut house , I like what greenie posted up , Be proactive for there health ! We do much the same as he posted , full blood and urine work ups , you name it , this winter , we will make the trip up to West Lafayette to get the heart work done , they are the only ones that does that in Indiana .

Best of luck with your Dober , this is a great site , lots of knowledge here and support

Doc
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 01:48 PM
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Welcome from Florida.
IMO unless a person has owned a Doberman ...it is unlikely they will understand that they are not dogs......they are our children.
Let's face it as we train them we work just as hard as we do with our human children.
So yeah...alot of people can be quite dismissive when it comes to our emotions as we interact with our Dobermans.
Heck that applies to alot of different animals..........shoot what singer was it ??? Oh Miley Cyrus .....recently her pig passed away and she was an emotional mess.
Dobermans are great ......I would have no other breed even though I know of their problems......I also know of their greatness........so ........when you get worried .....come talk to us ......this gang understands.................and as far as your new pup...............just do the best you can to be proactive with health concerns.
My pup Hoss he is 3.5 years and having his first Echocardiogram done this Thursday........and I will share with you my deepest secret........never told anyone this till now.........so here it goes.........part of me is looking forward to seeing whats going on internally..........and being able to confirm he has a healthy heart at this stage of his life.......but on the other hand I am scared to death that I will learn of something that I do not want to know...............that there is a concern.
So you see you are worried either way.............so I decided this............I will do the best I can to give Hoss the best life possible....emotionally as well as physically.
And if the universe decides to take him from me in spite of all that.......I will rest comfortably knowing that Hoss was my best work.
I am 60 years old and have learned that life has no guarantees.........you just do your very best with everything that is provided to you.
So heads up my new Dobie friend..........hang out with us .........we all worry everyday and lean on one another during the tougher times.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 01:57 PM Thread Starter
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I'm so glad I found this site to talk to other Doberman lovers about things like this. I truly hope that I am just being "over dramatic" as my husband calls it. When I go to the vet Friday I'll have a full lab work up done and see what we can do to check out his heart without going to a cardiologist just yet. I did look and find that there is a cardiologist about 45 minutes away, if a red flag comes up Friday then I'll be making an appointment. I HATE that financially I am unable to afford the cardiologist visit just yet (website said $410 just for the echo).

I hate how embarrassing it is to admit depression and anxiety over a dog when people lose loved ones (humans) everyday. Makes me feel silly fretting over a dog. I guess that's why I decided to reach out on here.

We have a 10 yr old lab mix and I always joke with her "how many Dobermans she's going to go through in her life" in reality it's very sad, she misses Axle and refuses to bond with Kato. She won't even lay on the same couch as him when she used to cuddle up and sleep with Axle every night.

As far as Kato's parents the only thing I did find was the father was tested (for what it's worth)

OFA:
No evidence of congenital cardiac disease
No evidence of hip dysplasia (hip joint conformation: good)
No evidence of elbow dysplasia

VWD type 1: N/N
Degenerative myelopathy: N/N

I do have pictures of the actual certificates. I'm going to guess the mother wasn't tested. Like I said, looking back I think he came from a greeder. But my poor heart was desperate for something to fill it. Still more testing and more reputable than where Axle came from I suppose.



Kato potato my current boy:

IMG-6781 by Hanna Schwartz, on Flickr

IMG_5263 by Hanna Schwartz, on Flickr

Axle before he was sick:

hanna 058-01 by Hanna Schwartz, on Flickr

2339 by Hanna Schwartz, on Flickr
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 02:18 PM
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For a lot of Doberman owners there is just quite simply no other breed. That means that we have to deal with the fear of some disease taking them too early. I've been fairly lucky so far with my personal dogs, but have lost dogs too young from the 3 litters that I have produced. It is beyond heartbreaking to lose them young, and I'm only the breeder, not the owner.
However, you can't live life waiting for something bad to happen. Enjoy your boy & have fun with him. Do the recommended health testing, feed a good diet, and keep him in good shape. It is all you can do. Quite a few Dobermans make double digits - so cross your fingers and hope that your boy is one of them.

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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 02:58 PM
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Welcome to the forum. I'm sorry for the circumstances that brought you to posting, but I'm glad you're here.

I have a couple of things to add - first off, GK has a really good recommendation to talk to someone about your grief. There's nothing wrong about grieving deeply for a dog - there is a lot of evidence that losing a beloved pet is just as hard as losing a close family member, and it can be even more difficult to "deal" with, because often we don't have an understanding support system. As you pointed out, people can say "it's just a dog", and they don't understand the depth of the loss. Getting some support from someone who understands can be really helpful. There are even pet loss support groups if you are near a larger city, and there are some online, too, that can be helpful.

Second, try not to beat yourself up for buying from a bad breeder. You know it was a mistake. Hopefully you will make a better choice next time, but what's done is done. You love your boy and you're going to do right by him. The best that you can do, as others have said, is regular recommended health testing. It's recommended to start regular echos and holters at age 2-3, and full bloodwork as well (full thyroid panel, not just a free T4, check liver, kidneys, etc - my vet does what we call a "senior panel" to cover all of that).

A cough could easily be something like kennel cough, allergies, canine flu....we've even had a couple of dogs on here recently that have had pneumonia. Go get him checked out by your vet. Schedule his first echo and holter with a cardiologist for after his second birthday; I think it will help you feel better and more in control. If you're continuing to have trouble managing anxiety about him, please do consider some counseling - there's nothing wrong with talking to someone about how to manage that. You don't want to have your feelings affect how you interact with him - Dobes are so sensitive to us.

Glad to have you on the forum. Enjoy your boy. Every day with him is a good day!
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DSC_0133
by Shanoa Delta, on Flickr

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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyDi View Post
Welcome from Florida.
IMO unless a person has owned a Doberman ...it is unlikely they will understand that they are not dogs......they are our children.
Let's face it as we train them we work just as hard as we do with our human children.
So yeah...alot of people can be quite dismissive when it comes to our emotions as we interact with our Dobermans.
Heck that applies to alot of different animals..........shoot what singer was it ??? Oh Miley Cyrus .....recently her pig passed away and she was an emotional mess.
Dobermans are great ......I would have no other breed even though I know of their problems......I also know of their greatness........so ........when you get worried .....come talk to us ......this gang understands.................and as far as your new pup...............just do the best you can to be proactive with health concerns.
My pup Hoss he is 3.5 years and having his first Echocardiogram done this Thursday........and I will share with you my deepest secret........never told anyone this till now.........so here it goes.........part of me is looking forward to seeing whats going on internally..........and being able to confirm he has a healthy heart at this stage of his life.......but on the other hand I am scared to death that I will learn of something that I do not want to know...............that there is a concern.
So you see you are worried either way.............so I decided this............I will do the best I can to give Hoss the best life possible....emotionally as well as physically.
And if the universe decides to take him from me in spite of all that.......I will rest comfortably knowing that Hoss was my best work.
I am 60 years old and have learned that life has no guarantees.........you just do your very best with everything that is provided to you.
So heads up my new Dobie friend..........hang out with us .........we all worry everyday and lean on one another during the tougher times.

YES x100 on being scared to death of finding something wrong!! I could not put that any better. I want to know but I also DON'T want to know. At least if I find something wrong I will never look back and wonder WHAT IF I found it sooner or WHAT IF I had just made that vet appt.

Praying for you for only good news on Hoss' echo!

I think I'm going to go home and cuddle on the couch with Kato
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 04:15 PM
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For what it is worth, my shrink has told me that in her estimation it is in fact often times harder to lose a pet than a human loved one. This is because our relationships to our animals are often far less complicated. It is simple, straight-forward. There is no ambiguity, no paradoxal layers or mixed feelings what have you. Some studies seem to corroborate it. So do not feel weird or guilty about your grief.

To this I often say Nadia is the love of my life. I will be absolutely wrecked the day I lose her, and sometimes I cry just thinking about it, even if it is hopefully after a long, full, happy life. But instead of getting anxiety about it... I try to look at that fact in a motivating manner - that is to say, I cherish every moment with her that much more. I make the most of our time together - get involved with her and enjoy every moment. And every time we are "in" a moment, I think about that - I tell myself to savour this instant and be grateful that we were given one more day, one more hour, one more minute - together, enjoying ourselves doing something challenging or fun or relaxing. It is humbling and I think I just value her and her presence that much more.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 04:21 PM
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I feel like we all have the same worry. If not a fear of DCM, then some other disease that can't be prevented, like cancer. Or just the fear that our fur baby will be hurt in some way that we can't heal. I know how you feel. Zeus is the first doberman and my first dog as an adult. When I was younger, we had a German shepherd who lived to age 11. He died when I was in college, but luckily I was home the weekend that he passed (he had been having problems, so I think we all knew it was getting close) so I was able to say goodbye and help with his grave and everything.

Now, I'm 35 and have an almost 2 year old doberman after having thought that I'd never want to bring a dog in my life again. Whenever I read things online about dogs that have passed or gotten sick and suddenly died, like the recent blue-green algae incidences around the nation, (some of which happened close to home for me) I have those panicked "what if" thoughts. What if that had happened to Zeus? What if something like that does happen? What if he gets DCM? What if, what if, what if... I think it's one of those things that, as loving dog owners, we all think about because we know that these things are possibilities. As much as we want to protect our fur babies from everything, we can't. The best thing we can do is give them the happiest, healthiest lives possible while we have them. There are bound to be more good days than bad.

Don't feel silly or stupid for having deep feelings for your lost dog or for worrying about your current one. I didn't think I'd get over losing my German shepherd, and to this day I still think of him. I can't even fathom losing Zeus. Don't even want to think about it. For us owners, these aren't "just animals" or "just a pet". They're a part of our family. Hang in there! <3 Beautiful pictures, btw.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Hanna_Schwartz View Post
YES x100 on being scared to death of finding something wrong!! I could not put that any better. I want to know but I also DON'T want to know. At least if I find something wrong I will never look back and wonder WHAT IF I found it sooner or WHAT IF I had just made that vet appt.

Praying for you for only good news on Hoss' echo!

I think I'm going to go home and cuddle on the couch with Kato
Aw Hannah,

I'm so sorry you are having such a hard time about the loss of your first Doberman and anxiety about this second one.

I understand, believe me when I do--I got my first Doberman in 1959 when I was 20--and I've pretty much had them ever since. I hate loosing them but I live with the knowledge that I'm going to outlive all of them and that if I had not had them because of my fears I wouldn't have had the joy they brought me over the years.

It took me years to be able to actually talk about my first Doberman--I could recite facts about him but I couldn't tell anyone what a great dog he was and how close we were and what an impact his death had.

And I'll pass this along for what it's worth--I've come to believe that it's always better to "know" than to not know. When it comes to cardio in the Doberman, knowing early give you an opportunity to treat your dog--the meds are quite effective and usually, if found early, will give your dog a much better chance of a longer live. My old dog right now will be 14 this November--he has cardio--but he had echo's and holters from the time he was a little over two and even though we could see the deterioration over time it wasn't until he was over 10 that he needed to be medicated. And watching him around here--you wouldn't know that he was an advanced cardio case. And there is a recent threat about DCM you should read because one of the points several people made is that while it's possible for a dog to develop DCM young for the most part it is a disease that you find showing in middle to old age. Also most cardiologist advise against very early echo's and Holters (under 2 years) because the dog and his heart are both immature younger than that and you can get readings that make no sense at all. And an occasional cough in a young dog rarely means cardio--that too tends to show up in older dogs and it's pretty identifiable--I think it sound more like they are trying to clear their throat (over and over)

I won't tell you not to worry (I worry still even though I'm very aware of how cardio manifests and what the signs are.)

Also over my years with Dobermans I've learned (painfully in one case) that while cardio is a significant problem in the breed there are other things that look a lot worse when they are going on. Cardio at least, isn't really painful--it may be a death sentence but until the very end most dogs don't show many signs that they are actually ill.

Definitely it helps to talk to sympathetic people and no one here is going to tell you it's just a dog (or even it's just a cat--one of the most painful partings I ever had was the day I took a 20 year old cat in to be euthanized)

There are some really great hand holders here--who've been there and done that and lived to tell someone else what worked for them to mitigate the grief of the loss.

But for now, enjoy your boy--recently a close friend lost his wife to a very fast and painful cancer. He had a local memorial service for her and had printed up a short story of her life and at the end of it he had pictures of their three living Dobermans and a list of the names of all of their Dobes and this, She whispered to each of these Dobes: You are my favorite"

Tell your 10 year old Lab-mix that and Kato too--it takes dogs a long time to warm to a newcomer when they have had a doggy pal.

Good luck...

dobebug
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-17-2019, 06:10 PM
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So Hanna......as you can see from the flood of responses to your post today.......your are not over reacting to your Doberman ....you are actually experiencing the normal. So its the nay sayers that are abnormal!!!!!! LOL
Seriously ...this is a great thread you have going on. The previous post from Dobebug is right on. You see Dobebug is ...shall we say ď the know all with this breed...she not only works in the vet industry ...but has also had ownership for many years.
So my new Dobe friend........you have found a home and I welcome you and interact with us more.
You can make some forever friends here...........and the good thing is ...when you get sick of us you just hit the ďLog OffĒ key.........Bahahaha
Again.....welcome to our world.
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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 08:50 AM Thread Starter
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Your replies have brought tears to my eyes and warmth to my heart!! I am so glad I mustered up the courage to post on here. It's amazing to find a community dedicated to one very special dog breed. I'm not sure anyone with other dog breeds can quite relate to the highs and lows of owning a Doberman. Having friends on here that are all going through the same thing is going to help me so much, when I was going through the many health problems with Axle I felt it was us against the world, and I was very very lost. Thank you everyone so very much for your kind words and advice. As of this morning I'm already feeling so much better for my life with Kato. I'm sure this won't be the last you'll hear from me
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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 03:08 PM
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So sorry for your loss, it always hurts to lose a loved one. I'm on dog 5 after a long break. Always remember the good times and remember you gave them a good home and life. I still think of my first dog and all the joy he brought me.
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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 06:35 PM
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Anxiety is a bitch, Iíve been where you are, in your rational mind you try to tell yourself to knock it off, all the worry in the world wonít do any good, but in the back of your mind those awful worries creep up all the time. Personally I obsess about the worst possible outcome, to the point I canít eat or sleep, when I do sleep I wake up sweating and my heart racing and thatís it Iím up for the night. I canít give you a lot of advice to overcome it bc I struggle myself, but I find that keeping busy with a task really helps me, like ripping my closet apart and reorganizing it, also make dog collars and knit to help busy my mind, or take my dogs for a walk/training/playing in the back yard.

I agree that the loss of a beloved dog is as worse as losing a family member, if not worse because people donít understand the pain youíre going through, that helpless feeling when your dog is so sick and thereís nothing you can do for him or her. I would say that knowing is better than not knowing as far as it comes to health issues. Do your yearly wellness checks, bloodwork and start cardio testing around 2 years old. I see youíre from Michigan, as am I, not sure where but Here is the cardiologist office I use in Nov ihttps://vetcardiologyconsultants.com , Dr. Brown is amazing. Look into the studies about grain free food causing DCM. And if youíre having financial issues with vet care, look into pet insurance. It can really help with unexpected expenses (I spent 8k last year on my girl that passed away) or try to put away money into a fund for vet care. In the mean time love and enjoy your boy!
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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 08:01 PM
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I realized thereís a typo with the website....itís in Novi hereís the web address https://vetcardiologyconsultants.com
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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 11:58 PM
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Hanna,
I have relatives I would gladly kick over the rainbow bridge instead of my girl Chloe. (and previous babies as well). I always told me kids "Feelings are one of the most organic things about us. There is no right or wrong." They just ARE. Don't feel bad. You're human. Take care. Robin
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post #21 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-19-2019, 12:01 PM
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I'm not sure anyone with other dog breeds can quite relate to the highs and lows of owning a Doberman.

Hanna , ole Doc here can answer that question for yeah ------ NO THEY DON'T

[B] A quick story , a few days after Ali went to the bridge , I had to go to the elevator , the gals in there are great and first thing they asked was about Ali , there was another guy in there I didn't know , I was doing pretty good to not have one of them moments in there , and then the guy asked one of the gals -- dog ?? I seen his face , with the look like your kidding me , I just started to cry and looked at him and said , you would never understand , unless you have had a Doberman and I left . I really what say other thing which had bad words with it , but didn't . I had to haul in a load of corn in to the same place yesterday , I went in , and first thing I did was thank everyone in that signd a special card and sent it to us for Ali , this very hard to talk about , keep posting on here , you will learn and have lots of fun ! btw, what part of MI do you live in ?

Doc
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post #22 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-19-2019, 05:30 PM
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I'm not sure anyone with other dog breeds can quite relate to the highs and lows of owning a Doberman.

Hanna , ole Doc here can answer that question for yeah ------ NO THEY DON'T

[B] A quick story , a few days after Ali went to the bridge , I had to go to the elevator , the gals in there are great and first thing they asked was about Ali , there was another guy in there I didn't know , I was doing pretty good to not have one of them moments in there , and then the guy asked one of the gals -- dog ?? I seen his face , with the look like your kidding me , I just started to cry and looked at him and said , you would never understand , unless you have had a Doberman and I left . I really what say other thing which had bad words with it , but didn't . I had to haul in a load of corn in to the same place yesterday , I went in , and first thing I did was thank everyone in that signd a special card and sent it to us for Ali , this very hard to talk about , keep posting on here , you will learn and have lots of fun ! btw, what part of MI do you live in ?

Doc
To some itís just a dog, but to us theyíre family. When Sully was going through his knee issues I had a very good friend tell me a bullet cost 45 cents, I looked him straight in the eyes and said I love that dog more than most people, heís my best friend, If you want to continue to be my friend youíll never say something so hurtful again.
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