Big Lil pup
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Portland, OR
Dogs Name: Foxfire's The Real McCoy (McCoy)
Titles: Pet of the Year
Dogs Age: DOB 9/12/14
Gallery Pics: 9 Visit 4x4bike ped's Gallery
Thanked 13,024 Times in 4,594 Posts
DCM (Dilated Cardio Myopathy) is the bane of this breed. Many Doberman owners, with multiple Dobes in their past (including myself) have had to deal with this insidious disease.
So... A few things:
- Research your potential pup's history for heart disease.
- Make sure your breeder tests both the sire and the dam on at least an annual basis for DCM. These tests generally include a echocardiogram and a 24 hour Holter monitoring interpreted by a canine cardiologist.
- Purchase a quality pet heath insurance plan as soon as possible. Many Dobe owners subscribe to Embrace or Trupanion. Both are reputable insurers.
- Be prepared to test your dog for indications of DCM starting at about 3 yo (IMO). Then every year so after that. Again... This is just my opinion, but if caught early, just as in humans, the heart issues can be dealt with.
DCM manifests itself in a few ways. One is what is sometimes referred to a Sudden Death Syndrome. It is a rapid attach of Ventricular Tachycardia, where the heart becomes arithmetic, beating so fast that it does not pump blood efficiently. To many owners, there first indication of SDS/DCM is when their apparently healthy dog drops dead.
We were lucky. Our dog did not die immediately.He was resuscitated and with medication lived a fairly normal life.
The other manifestation is different. The dog, rapidly developed symptoms of Congestive Heart Failure. At this stage, it is rare that the dog survives for any length of time.
So.... Just be aware that DCM is highly prevalent in the doberman breed. It has been suggested that 50% of all Dobes develop DCM. This includes both European and American Bred dogs.
The good news, is that if you test early and frequently and catch the disease in it's infancy, it is treatable. It is pretty much treated the same way as it is in humans.
No cheap... so hence the insurance.
The bottom line: Dobermans are not a heathy breed, but their assets (IMO) so far outweigh that issue that they will always be my breed. And I have owned Dobes since 1974
Cover your bases:
-Only by from a recommended breeder who fastidiously heath tests.
-Find a DVM who knows and understand the breed.
-Be informed about potential health issue such as DCM, Hypothyroidism, Osteosarcoma, and CVI issues (Wobblers).
-Get and maintain a quality health insurance plan.
OK... Enough of the scary stuff. My boy is 4 yo and except for typical puppy stuff and one bout of runny poops a few years ago has never been sick a day in his life.His Grand Father is owned by a member here and will turn 13 in a couple of weeks. Over the years, all my boys have lived to at least 9.
Still, forewarned is fore armed.
Best to you in your search for a pup. Please update!
Edit to say... Sorry for the typos, but I have a bad habit of not proof reading my posts! LOL
Last edited by 4x4bike ped; 11-07-2018 at 09:00 PM.