DCM positive result after breeding, Should I still get the puppy? - Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-15-2020, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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DCM positive result after breeding, Should I still get the puppy?

Hi all:

Pros and cons of buying a pup from a reputable breeder when the sir was diagnosed with early stages of DCM after breeding was done (he is asymptomatic)? Dam had a good halter. Waiting to see what her DCM results are. While a positive result does not necessarily mean that a dog will have heart complications or die early, If possible I want to avoid large vet bills. More importantly a broken heart.

I'm disappointed that there aren't a lot of breeders to choose from in my area. I may have to look at states surrounding Tx. Any recommendations?

Lastly, I talked to 2 two different breeders who have 1 parent DCM positive and their range is 2-2,500k. Is this a reasonable price considering the circumstances?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-15-2020, 08:41 PM
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What do you mean you're waiting to see what the dam's DCM results are? Are you talking about a genetic test, or the echo, or...?

If you mean the echo, then, ideally, that would have been up-to-date prior to breeding. If you mean the genetic test then, although it is wonderful for breeders to have done and contribute to ongoing research, it is not a diagnostic tool and its fairly open to breeder interpretation on how they choose to weigh the results in their breeding plans.

As for the sire, I'm curious, how was he diagnosed?

The prices you've been quoted are reasonable for a well bred Dobe pup, IMO. Ultimately, it's a personal choice whether you're comfortable with a specific breeding or not.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-15-2020, 09:14 PM
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Quote:
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Hi all:
If possible I want to avoid large vet bills. More importantly a broken heart.
If you want to avoid large vet bills perhaps a different breed would be a better choice for you. Dobermans are an expensive breed to own and an unhealthy one. Yearly holters, ekgs and ecgs are pretty much a necessity. Plus there are other tests that are recommended. The chances of having a dog that does not get DCM are less than owning a dog that WILL get the disease. Treating (drugs) is expensive.

I think everyone here on this forum has had their heart shattered.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-15-2020, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
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I'm waiting for the breeder to send me test results. Breeder says dam is healthy and halter was good.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-15-2020, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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I've seen 2-2,500 price tag for sir and dam pups who have neg results for DCM. One breeder mentioned a discount b/c of the recent testing. but the discount isn't that much considering. Perhaps, I'll make another post asking ppl to share their experiences w/ dobies who went through heart complications.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-16-2020, 07:33 AM
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The genetic testing is not really worth anything when it comes to predicting health of puppies in a litter. The echo and holter and pedigree is what's important.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-16-2020, 08:11 AM
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Genetic testing for me wouldn't affect my decision on a puppy.

Like BRW said, only you can decide about the litter you are currently waiting on with a sire that is diagnosed with DCM. I'm assuming you mean he has been diagnosed via echo/holter (not a genetic marker)? For me, it would be a question of the age of the dog, and the rest of the pedigree (how much DCM is in the rest of the pedigree). It's a tough call. This is a tough breed.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-16-2020, 08:55 AM
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I would also want to see the pedigree and the dogs in the pedigree. How old is the sire that was recently diagnosed? Was he bred to a bitch that has a lot of longevity in her lines?

If you want you can PM me and send the pedigrees or the registered names to me and I can look up how the dogs in the pedigree passed.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-16-2020, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Des View Post
I've seen 2-2,500 price tag for sir and dam pups who have neg results for DCM. One breeder mentioned a discount b/c of the recent testing. but the discount isn't that much considering. Perhaps, I'll make another post asking ppl to share their experiences w/ dobies who went through heart complications.
Oh dear--there are so many ways for people to get totally confused about what, exactly it means when people talk about Cardio and the doberman.

There are two, and at this point only two genetic tests for anything to do with Dobermans--only two and they don't tell you anything about any puppies from the dogs tested--the only mean that the dogs that were tested have two sets of genes that are thought to be related to DCM in the Doberman. I can't even think what they call those two tests now--DCM 1 and DCM 2?

In people, who have a variety of a cardiac condition which is virtually identical to the Doberman type--they have already found 27 or more genes are are sometimes found in conjunction with DCM. This is a polygenetic disease in both people and Dobermans. In people they don't even know which of the common gene sets are really important as opposed to those that are not.

Thjs is an ongoing investigation. And there could be hundreds of genes involved before it could be said that that this testing proved the dog had DCM. At this point we just don't know.

So the bottom line is that there is NO genetic test for DCM in a Dobermans much less one that you could use to determine what the status of the puppies from that dog might be.

Part two. When it comes to DCM the best way to figure out if the dogs, the parents have cardio issues is to make sure that both parents have been tested from sometime between 2 and 3 years--at least yearly with an echo by a cardiologist and have had a Holter (a 24 hour EKG) within 6 weeks of the time the echo was performed. The cardiologist can look at those two tests and from them make some determinations about the cardio health of the the dog who was tested. And the more often the tests are done (at least yearly and also immediately before being bred are the best times and this will also give the cardiologist a fairly normal test with the beginning one and for every successive test the vet can see what is happening. If at any time the values for either test change radically it may be time to start doing two sets of tests a year.

This also allows you, the owner a chance to see what is going on and for the cardiologist to prescribe appropriate medication for a dog showing signs of DCM or electrical irregulaties.

I'd want copies of the most recent echo's and Holters of both parents.

But the bottom line is that from the information you gave us--we can't really tell what tests you are talking about--particularly since there really isn't any such thing as a test for cardio in a Doberman which could said to be positive or negative or what it might mean in the breeding pair's offspring.

Going back through the pedigree and identifying dogs who died from cardio and which type of cardio helps--the more cardio showing up in a line the more likely it is that a puppy from those lines may have cardio. It also makes a lot of difference the age of the dog or the bitch (sire or dam) if and when they had tests that indicated poor results and possible signs of early cardio.

Here...some examples of what was found in my last three male Dobermans and how they died.

These dogs all started getting echo'd and Holtered yearly when they were between two and three.

Dog #1 Whelped in 1995. Sire PTS at over 11 because of worsening arthritis.
Dam--a four year old bitch--not tested (not terribly common at that time) The puppy I got--At 8 was dx'd with Occolt DCM (not symptomatic) medicated and at 9 was dx'd with degenerative disc disease. A month short of 10 I came home to find that dog paralyzed. Took him in with his various diagnostics to an emergency clinic--where his was euthanized--presumption from what happened and the paralysis was that he blew a disc--surgery was out of the question at his age, his breed and his health status at that time.

Dog #2 Whelped in 2003. Sire was PTS at around 8 or 9, bloat, owner lived in Alaska and couldn't make it to a vet before the dog torsed and was was euthanized. Lost track of the dam and I believe she was over 10 when she died. Dog started having echo's and Holters done between 2 and 3 years--was active, and doing a lot of performance things--and at around 8 his cardiologist put him on cardiac meds because his Holters were showing more and more VPC's--dog was running agility and I asked the vet if we should stop. He said, if the dog likes it, let him be a dog who is doing something that he likes so he went on going to Agility trials and one Saturday a month before he would have turned 10 he came back with my friend who ran him for me--the dog went out and got a drink, came back in and clearly wasn't himself--I work for a vet clinic--I said to my friend--"Call the vet..." I'm about 20 minutes from the clinic--we didn't make it--in a way, as much as I still miss that dog--for him and what he was like going like that was sort of a blessing--he spent very close to 10 years doing lots of things he liked to do and had a bad 15 minutes and he was gone.

Dog #3 This was a dog I looked for for nearly 50 years. His medical history was much the same as dog #1 and dog #2. When he was 10 going on 11 he got a cardio exam that said he was barely in Occult range and we should start him on meds We did and at 11 he developed a condition that caused him to to turn his knee out when he sat down. We x-rayed him and Ultrasounded him and sent all his records off to a Pathologist who confirmed our suspicion that he had a probable cruciate tendon problem--because of his age, his breed and the complicated surgery needed to repair the problem he got some NSAID's added to his pills so that it at least didn't cause him pain.

Two years later he developed a cough. His regular vet and his cardiologist said it wasn't a cardio cough (For that matter I didn't think it was either).

Then his regular vet dragged two of the other vets in the clinic in to listen to him cough and they came up with a tentative diagnosis--laryngeal paralysis--not a dx you might expect in a Doberman--mostly seen in aging Labrador Retrievers--treatment is surgery--that wasn't going to happen--to to a Doberman who was with in spitting distance of 14 on cardio meds.

I'm sure that a lot of people have read the statistic that says Dobermans will get cardio and 50 % of them will die. That's not quite how it should read. 50 to 60 percent of male Dobermans will develop cardio--but beyond that there really aren't any good stats. I've had Dobe's since 1959--Two of my Dobermans have actually died from cardio. My very first Dobe did--he was within spitting distance of 10 when a vet friend of mine dropped by my parents house (where that dog was living out his old age) and asked my mother how long he'd been coughing. That was in 1969--virtually no one had ever heard of DCM or CHF in the Doberman at that time. You can go back through the Dobe magazines and see the commemorative ads to dog's who had died at 4, 5 and 6--suddenly. Probably most of them from cardio.

That vet told my mother to take the dog into see a specific vet at the clinic they'd been going to for years. He listened--told them that he was already into CHF (congestive heart failure--the end stage of DCM and a few other types of cardio). Gave him lasix and told them it would keep him more comfortable for awhile but eventually even the lasix would not control it and when that happened they should anticipate needing to have him euthanized rather than drown in his own fluids.

So while at very least several of my Dobermans and all of the later ones got tested for cardio and how it was progressing--only two of my Dobes actually died of cardio. The very first one and the one I lost to sudden death in 2013,

The rest died at my request--euthanized because we couldn't solve their medical problems--but those problems weren't cardio.

If you test your dogs reasonably regularly for cardio and listen to the cardiologist you can often have those dogs with you a long time. But if you don't have them checked and you don't know then you won't be able to do anything for them.

Diagnostics have come a long long way since my first Doberman and treatment has come right along with diagnostics. But an awful lot of owners still don't know anything about cardio in the Doberman and sometimes their vets aren't knowlegable either.

While I check pedigrees on prospective puppies I kind of have a fair idea about what lines and which dogs are producing cardio.

There aren't any perfect solutions and the best that I can do and probablly the best you can do is ask the potential breeder you have chosen to go through the pedigree with you and identify dogs by date of death and cause of death.

Good luck--I count myself lucky--most of my Dobes have lived close to 10 years and some longer...

ABTLH
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-16-2020, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the offer. I'm going to give it more thought before I ask anyone to put in work. I understand that the positive test doesn't mean the pup will necc have heart problems or not. The issue for me is, that I do know about the recent positive test.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-16-2020, 07:45 PM
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Quote:
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Thank you for the offer. I'm going to give it more thought before I ask anyone to put in work. I understand that the positive test doesn't mean the pup will necc have heart problems or not. The issue for me is, that I do know about the recent positive test.
They way you have it worded in your first post implies that the sire is diagnosed with DCM. Dogs "diagnosed" with the disease are diagnosed by a cardiologist, using an echo and holter exam. That is very different than a genetic test, and it means the dog actually HAS DCM. If that's the case (ask your breeder), it's different than carrying the genes identified so far as being potentially implicated in the development of DCM. Dogs that have tested positive for one or both of those genes may or may not ever develop the disease. Dogs that are negative for one or both of the genes may or may not ever develop the disease.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-17-2020, 12:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Des View Post
Thank you for the offer. I'm going to give it more thought before I ask anyone to put in work. I understand that the positive test doesn't mean the pup will necc have heart problems or not. The issue for me is, that I do know about the recent positive test.
Des,

I'm going to belabor this point a little more. Since it seems that what someone got a positive test for was either DCM 1 or DCM 2--which tells you exactly nothing.

Maybe 20 years down the line it will mean mean more but right now the holter and echo are the two most reliable way we have to tell if a dog has (and to what degree he or she has) DCM. It tells you nothing at all about the prospects for a puppy either sired by or out of a bitch who has been tested for DCM 1 or DCM2

Good luck with your search for a puppy.

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-17-2020, 08:41 AM
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Oh, so the sire didn't test positive for DCM? He has a copy or two of the gene "associated" (I use this word EXTREMELY loosely) that does NOT mean he will ever develop DCM. My male is 5 and has two copies of the DCM 1 gene and is showing ZERO signs of DCM.

I know dogs that had two copies of both genes that NEVER developed DCM and lived to 12 years old. I know dogs that had ZERO copies of the genes that died of DCM at 6.

I would NOT let a copy of a gene deter me from getting a puppy.

Editing to add, please don't go around telling people that a dog tested positive for DCM, unless they actually tested positive through a 24hr. holter or echocardiogram. You can give those dogs and that breeder a bad reputation.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-17-2020, 08:55 AM
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I don't think it's clear at all...the wording in the first post makes it sound like the dog was diagnosed with DCM. Who knows?
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