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05-22-2019 12:25 PM
ECIN
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeadowCat View Post
Nope, someone's doing her Moderator duties....and that post was from May 5

Again, let's keep this on topic, or I'll close the thread.
MC - I was just kidding with yeah - Think I had better get back to work before I get into trouble here
05-22-2019 12:19 PM
MeadowCat
Quote:
Originally Posted by ECIN View Post
Boy - Ole Doc thinks somebody - I won't say any names here - but got up on the wrong side of the bed
Nope, someone's doing her Moderator duties....and that post was from May 5

Again, let's keep this on topic, or I'll close the thread.
05-22-2019 12:12 PM
ECIN
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeadowCat View Post
Let's try to keep this thread on topic - it's about food. The OP has been given good information, and s/he already has her/his dog. There's good information here on how to do health screenings for DCM and there's good information elsewhere on the forum on what else to screen for yearly (liver, kidneys, etc). No need to continue on the topic of what a breeder should or should not have done.

(Mod hat off)
Boy - Ole Doc thinks somebody - I won't say any names here - but got up on the wrong side of the bed
05-22-2019 11:51 AM
Saskdobie I'll read through it! However, most of the issue turned out to be that my husband was still feeding her the old food to finish it off (whoever gets home first usually feeds the dogs). She started attacking herself Sunday night and I asked him if he had fed her the old food and that's what it turned out to be. I got it out of the house, her stools have firmed up again. She does tend to eat really fast so I'm going to try more meals with smaller amounts to see if that will end her sore stomach episodes. I don't think it's an OCD behavior because our older doberman does that and it's more of an 'I'm bored and it's something to do and it makes my claws really shiny!' behavior. Lois's is more 'this hurts and I'm trying to get it to stop hurting!'. I'll check into that Proplan Sensitive Skin and Stomach product as well. Thanks!
05-18-2019 08:08 AM
LadyDi Check out the other tread by Gamermouse titled Bland Diet .....Gamer has been going through some pooper issues for some time.....
Check it out..........you might be able to learn some things through Gamers recent experiences.
05-17-2019 09:29 PM
MeadowCat
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saskdobie View Post
This is the info that our vet provided when we took our doberman with concerns related to her diet: "A link has been found between grain-free diets, diets containing peas and/or lentils, and dilated cardiomyopathy. The FDA first alerted the public about this investigation in July 2018. As a breed, Doberman Pinschers are also more predisposed to developing DCM. While you have been monitoring Lois' taurine levels, most dogs being diagnosed with DCM do NOT have low taurine levels. Currently, it appears that there may be three separate groups of dogs with DCM; diet-associated DCM with normal taurine levels, primary DCM in predisposed breeds unrelated to diet, and diet-associated DCM with taurine deficiency. For this reason, Lois would be considered a higher risk candidate for DCM as she is a predisposed breed and she is receiving a grain-free, boutique diet with lentils. We recommend transitioning Lois to a diet WITH grains and WITHOUT lentils. As Lois has a history of soft stools with diet changes, you may try transitioning her over a week's time, slowly increasing the amount of the new diet and decreasing the amount of the old diet. If interested, a consultation with VMC Nutrition may be considered."

I'm not sure if I should start a new thread, but it's pretty closely related to the original post. We acquired a 3 year old doberman, Lois, in November. Since the day we picked her up, she has had this really odd habit of resting with her mouth open right at the end of her ribcage (I think the vet referred to it as flank sucking). We just thought it was something odd she did, nicknamed her Snakedog. We've been feeding her Horizon Complete dog food (Complete) since we brought her home although her previous owner had her on a whole foods diet. Her stools have always been pretty soft and when I took her in to the vet the following February, they recommended what I linked above. So about a month ago, the soft stools became chronic diarrhea and she ended up having an episode where she pooped a lot of this cloudy yellow liquid and we took her off the Horizon Complete entirely. She had also progressed from flank sucking to repeatedly quasi-biting the area past her rib cage and it started affecting her coat. She was doing it sometimes fairly soon after eating and sometimes 3-4 hours after being fed. We had Hill's Prescription Diet J/D (https://www.hillspet.ca/en-ca/dog-food/pd-jd-canine-dry) handy for our older dog, switched her to it; her stools firmed up almost immediately, and after about a week she stopped attacking herself. However, two months with this dog food and her stools have started becoming soft again and she's still very uncomfortable sometimes, licking the same area until it's completely sodden. Both those dog foods are chicken based, should we try transitioning to a food with a fish base? Is there anything we should have her tested for? She appears totally healthy otherwise although her coat could be shinier.
The flank sucking almost certainly has nothing to do with diet - that type of OCD behavior is not uncommon in Dobermans. In fact, Dobermans have been studied for their OCD behavior.

The food issue - you've obviously read this thread, and can decide about what you feel comfortable feeding. I personally wouldn't feed a prescription diet to a dog that it wasn't prescribed to. Have you had a thorough check up for her with fecal screening to make sure she doesn't have issues going on - parasites, etc.? Food allergies/sensitivities are actually fairly uncommon in dogs, so while it's possible that she's sensitive to chicken, I'd say it's unlikely. It's more likely that she has something undiagnosed (something like coccidia, giardia, etc), or that she's being overfed, or that she simply needs a different food. I know many, many Dobermans that do well on Proplan Sensitive Skin and Stomach, so I recommend that often (and it does happen to be fish based, so it would be a different protein, so that would fit your desire to switch).
05-17-2019 05:24 PM
Saskdobie This is the info that our vet provided when we took our doberman with concerns related to her diet: "A link has been found between grain-free diets, diets containing peas and/or lentils, and dilated cardiomyopathy. The FDA first alerted the public about this investigation in July 2018. As a breed, Doberman Pinschers are also more predisposed to developing DCM. While you have been monitoring Lois' taurine levels, most dogs being diagnosed with DCM do NOT have low taurine levels. Currently, it appears that there may be three separate groups of dogs with DCM; diet-associated DCM with normal taurine levels, primary DCM in predisposed breeds unrelated to diet, and diet-associated DCM with taurine deficiency. For this reason, Lois would be considered a higher risk candidate for DCM as she is a predisposed breed and she is receiving a grain-free, boutique diet with lentils. We recommend transitioning Lois to a diet WITH grains and WITHOUT lentils. As Lois has a history of soft stools with diet changes, you may try transitioning her over a week's time, slowly increasing the amount of the new diet and decreasing the amount of the old diet. If interested, a consultation with VMC Nutrition may be considered."

I'm not sure if I should start a new thread, but it's pretty closely related to the original post. We acquired a 3 year old doberman, Lois, in November. Since the day we picked her up, she has had this really odd habit of resting with her mouth open right at the end of her ribcage (I think the vet referred to it as flank sucking). We just thought it was something odd she did, nicknamed her Snakedog. We've been feeding her Horizon Complete dog food (Complete) since we brought her home although her previous owner had her on a whole foods diet. Her stools have always been pretty soft and when I took her in to the vet the following February, they recommended what I linked above. So about a month ago, the soft stools became chronic diarrhea and she ended up having an episode where she pooped a lot of this cloudy yellow liquid and we took her off the Horizon Complete entirely. She had also progressed from flank sucking to repeatedly quasi-biting the area past her rib cage and it started affecting her coat. She was doing it sometimes fairly soon after eating and sometimes 3-4 hours after being fed. We had Hill's Prescription Diet J/D (https://www.hillspet.ca/en-ca/dog-food/pd-jd-canine-dry) handy for our older dog, switched her to it; her stools firmed up almost immediately, and after about a week she stopped attacking herself. However, two months with this dog food and her stools have started becoming soft again and she's still very uncomfortable sometimes, licking the same area until it's completely sodden. Both those dog foods are chicken based, should we try transitioning to a food with a fish base? Is there anything we should have her tested for? She appears totally healthy otherwise although her coat could be shinier.
05-05-2019 05:10 PM
Enzo C7 I came across this last week, have not done any due diligence on it but this is something worth looking into.

Darn not really readable, I guess it needs to be hosted online, let me see what I can do.
05-05-2019 11:05 AM
MeadowCat Let's try to keep this thread on topic - it's about food. The OP has been given good information, and s/he already has her/his dog. There's good information here on how to do health screenings for DCM and there's good information elsewhere on the forum on what else to screen for yearly (liver, kidneys, etc). No need to continue on the topic of what a breeder should or should not have done.

(Mod hat off)
05-05-2019 11:00 AM
falnfenix There is a wealth of information out there. If you search registered names with Google, you can find pedigrees (usually - there are other factors in play, like whether the breeder is a true BYB). Pedigrees tell us quite a bit about the background of a dog.

If your breeder is consistently producing dogs that reach 10 years, they should be registering them under the DPCA's Longevity program. If they aren't participating in the program, I'd want to know why.
05-05-2019 10:44 AM
pudgtiel
Quote:
Originally Posted by falnfenix View Post
You provided his registered name, and I looked him up. He is NOT from someone I would considered ethical or reputable.

If your breeder bred to him, well. I'd look at her a bit sideways, too.

Health testing is great, but what you've shared looks incomplete. Does your breeder do annual holters AND echocardiograms in addition to the genetic tests? What about the owner of the sire? What's the longevity on both sides of the pedigree?

These are things I didn't learn until after bringing home my bitch. And I'm not trying to make you feel bad about your choice - just trying to give you tools for the future.
I didn't realize that was something you could do. I doubt I'll ever get another purebred but thank you.

She does do holters and echocardiograms, yes. Part of the reason I chose her was because she had all of that information publicly available. I couldn't tell you honestly, I'm not sure who the owner is. As far as I understand though these dogs seem to be living to be elderly.

No, I understand, thank you! I tried my hardest to make an educated choice but this is my FIRST and probably ONLY purebred dog. I've always adopted shelter dogs.

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05-05-2019 08:55 AM
falnfenix
Quote:
Originally Posted by pudgtiel View Post
Let me rephrase, they never made the claim. Only one of the puppies they've bred within the past 5+ years has developed it (owner's are unsure of the cause, different parents from mine), and both my dog's mother and father are clear of the gene.

I can't recall her name off hand. I'd have to go dig in my papers. I'm also not sure if my breeder owns him or not. How do you tell that he's from lackluster breeders? Also how would someone fudge multiple health tests???

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
You provided his registered name, and I looked him up. He is NOT from someone I would considered ethical or reputable.

If your breeder bred to him, well. I'd look at her a bit sideways, too.

Health testing is great, but what you've shared looks incomplete. Does your breeder do annual holters AND echocardiograms in addition to the genetic tests? What about the owner of the sire? What's the longevity on both sides of the pedigree?

These are things I didn't learn until after bringing home my bitch. And I'm not trying to make you feel bad about your choice - just trying to give you tools for the future.
05-04-2019 07:11 PM
MeadowCat
Quote:
Originally Posted by Azaleks View Post
If you go to wsava.org and poke around, you can find a PDF that gives guidelines on choosing a food for your pupper. One consideration is whether or not the company employs an actual nutritionist or vet. Remember, slick marketing isn't necessarily backed by science.
WSAVA Questions to ask about your dog food: https://www.wsava.org/WSAVA/media/Ar...r-your-Pet.pdf

WSAVA The savvy owner's guide to nutrition on the Internet: https://www.wsava.org/WSAVA/media/Ar...e-Internet.pdf

Edited to add - the second one is super useful. For example, I can't tell you how many people love Dog Food Advisor and have no idea that the person running it and rating dog foods is simply a human dentist with ZERO qualifications to evaluate dog food I had no idea myself, and used to think it was a great site.
05-04-2019 06:02 PM
Azaleks If you go to wsava.org and poke around, you can find a PDF that gives guidelines on choosing a food for your pupper. One consideration is whether or not the company employs an actual nutritionist or vet. Remember, slick marketing isn't necessarily backed by science.
05-04-2019 02:56 PM
ECIN Aunt B ----- What a book of knowledge you are ! You are such a asset to this form and I would like to thank you so much for your insight to the Doberman world and what you have personally seen with your Dober's -- ! If you were here I would give you a big hug !

On a side note here - I talked to the Vet yesterday about doing a Holter on Mr. B - They have a gal from Purdue down to do the test and read the results - BTW - She is a Vet trained in this area of study

We plan on doing this soon .

I do have a question on this --- If you are feeding raw - isn't raw food like 75 % water ? Compared to the dry's that are - well dried and more concentrated ? Wouldn't you have to feed a lot more raw to equal the dry ? And how would you know the nutritional value in the raw compared to the dry -- Just asking )

Doc
05-04-2019 01:44 PM
VZ-Doberman Bacchus was 9+ when diagnosed with DCM. It was well controlled with meds right up until the end. We continued his normal physical stuff (play ball, run the field). The reason I had to have him put down was not due to the DCM but because of an injury that affected his ability to walk. He was 10+ at the time. If it weren't for the injury I don't know how long he would have been around. All those years of agility and not one injury. Then one small jump from his Transit and it was the beginning of the end. I still cry everyday....
05-04-2019 01:05 PM
MeadowCat What Mel said. I'm also feeding Proplan Sensitive Skin and Stomach (the salmon formula). Not sure if you had a chance to read through this thread yet: https://www.dobermantalk.com/doberma...d-renamed.html

It appears most dog food companies (including those formulating premade raw, and dehydrated raw) do not have nutritionists formulating their foods, and so the foods are not being properly formulated. So even some dogs on raw diets (including homemade raw, if people do not know how to do raw properly) have developed nutritional DCM.

As far as the DCM genes go...right now, those tests are not terribly helpful for knowing much about your dog's risk of developing the disease. They are marginally helpful for breeders (maybe), helpful for continuing research, but not that helpful for us laypeople and our own dogs, because they don't really tell us anything about your dog's risk. Your dog could be negative for both genes and still develop the disease - I have a friend who has two Dobermans...both dogs are negative for both genes, and both dogs have DCM. So, I wouldn't put much stock in the gene testing as far as it pertains to your dog's risk. What's helpful to you is knowing the history in the pedigree, and MORE importantly, start testing your dog at age 2-3 years old so that you can monitor. Get a yearly echo and holter done. If you catch any symptoms early, it's possible you will have a better chance to extend your dog's life if he does develop the disease. Some dogs live much longer on meds than they would otherwise. It's no guarantee, as different dogs have a different disease progression, but it can make a big difference in some. Additionally, I strongly recommend pet insurance that covers DCM and other inherited diseases.
05-04-2019 12:43 PM
melbrod Dehydrating food can destroy some nutrients, but not as many as the process of cooking the food that most big dog food manufacturers use.
Dehydrated raw is not entirely equivalent to feeding actual raw food...close, but not totally the same.

But the main problem people run into with feeding raw (aside from storage, getting the meats, organs, that they need, etc.) is whether or not they have been very careful to make sure the dog receives all of the nutrients in the correct balance that he needs to be healthy.

That is one of the problems they are starting to see with grain-free foods, but also with "designer foods" that are not adequately tested to make sure they include everything a dog needs in his diet. It appears that the nutrient balance or content may not be quite right--but it is not known yet exactly what should be changed. Using food from pet food manufacturers that have been around a long time who have been testing carefully over the years and upgrading the contents of the food as more is discovered about dog nutrition is one perfectly valid way to go in feeding your dog.

Some people insist that their feeding method is the only way to go. Individual dogs may have different needs, and different people have preferences about how they choose to feed their dog. We've always had luck with Purina ProPlan for Sensitive Skin...your mileage may vary.

If my dog is healthy, his digestive tract appears to be happy (no diarrhea, vomiting, etc), his coat is shiny, he has good energy, and I'm feeding a decent quality food, I figure that is good enough. I don't see the need to spend more simply to go along with a new fad, or a fancy marketing program.
05-04-2019 12:07 PM
pudgtiel
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coco Loco View Post
What about dehydrated raw? I don't have much experience with this but I did try it a few weeks back when my boys sister stayed over for a few days as she eats that. It may be something to look into.



Or buy a small used freezer for raw dog food so your parents can't complain.



Good luck in whatever you decide.
I totally forgot about that. I'll look into it, thanks!

I could do that maybe but I'm not sure we have the space. I'll have to ask.

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05-04-2019 11:54 AM
Coco Loco
Quote:
Originally Posted by pudgtiel View Post
I would love to feed raw above all else, but unfortunately it's not an option. I'm in college and live at home currently, so the freezer space is up to my parents. I've seen the most success with it, especially with dobies it seems.

Kudos to you for having taken the time to learn about raw for your dogs.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
What about dehydrated raw? I don't have much experience with this but I did try it a few weeks back when my boys sister stayed over for a few days as she eats that. It may be something to look into.

Or buy a small used freezer for raw dog food so your parents can't complain.

Good luck in whatever you decide.
05-04-2019 11:51 AM
pudgtiel
Quote:
Originally Posted by dobebug View Post
About DCM in Dobermans--in our breed DCM is definitely linked to genetics. BUT--there is no ONE gene that causes DCM. So far there are two genes for which there are tests which are linked to specific problems which will "cause" or add to the possibility of the dog developing DCM.

The cause of DCM which has been studied in people far longer than it's been studied in dogs and they have identified something like 23 genes which are part of the reason why some people develop cardio (specifically dilated cardiomyopathy).

The cause of DCM is polygenetic--that means there are MANY genes involved not just one. This is why no breeder can say that his dogs don't have THE gene for cardio/DCM.

A good many breeders test for one (or both) of the genes that have been linked to DCM in the Doberman and take a negative in either or both to mean their dogs won't develop DCM. They need to go back and talk to a vet cardiologist so that they actually understand what those tests mean.

Here is another thing to think about--the statistic that says that around 50% of all Dobermans will develop DCM/heart disease is accurate--sort of. But what it doesn't necessarily mean is that around 50% of all Dobermans will DIE from DCM/cardio.

I've got a lot of time in this breed--let me give you a example.; I got my first Doberman in 1959--he lived to be 9 and was ultimately euthanized before his 10th birthday because he had developed DCM which had progressed to CHF (congestive heart failure--fluid in the lungs which was killing him). That was in 1968.

That was so far back that a lot of vets knew nothing about cardio in the Doberman--there were very few medications that were prescribed for dogs with cardio. They weren't doing cardiograms (ultrasounds of the beating heart and takng measurements) I don't think anyone had ever heard of doing a Holter (24 hour EKG)--they weren't even doing a lot of that kind of stuff in people..But that was my first experience with DCM--and we only knew about it because a vet, a friend of the family, dropped by my parents house (where the dog was living out his old age) heard him cough--went out and got his stethoscope and told them to get him in to their vet first thing in the morning. Most people with cardio dogs didn't find out about it until the dog suddenly dropped dead.

Between that dog and the more recent ones I had dogs who probably did have cardio but it was never diagnosed--most of them were euthanized for other reasons. Most of them lived to around 10 years. And in the early 90's the breeders and owners started paying a lot more attention to the Doberman heart--Gwelph--big vet school up in Canada did most of the very early studies--they developed some guide lines and started recommending echo's and Holters on yearly basis because the information from studies of a heart over time tell your vet a lot more than one test.

Diagnostics got a lot better, medications REALLY got better and I started testing my dogs so we knew if their hearts were starting to fail and could treat them appropriately and I didn't loose another Doberman to cardio until 2013--I lost him to sudden death--he came home from an Agility trial and shortly after he got home I realized he was acting like something was very wrong--I work for a vet clinic--I called them and headed for them--I got there but my dog didn't--at least he didn't get there alive. He was two months shy of 10 years. But I knew this was coming--it was clear from all those Holters that he was starting to have episodes of abnormal electrical activity.

So that was two dogs I lost to cardio in all those years. I know--because I was having them tested by the late 1990 that several of my more recent dogs actually had mild to fairly significant cardio but that isn't what they died from. One of them had degenerative disc disease and blew out a disc which paralyzed him and I had him euthanized. One was dying of kidney failure when he was euthanized. My lovely fawn champion is now 13 years, 5 months and 14 days--does he have cardio? Yup--is it killing him--nope! The DCM in his case is well controlled and it's more likely that the fact that he has arthritis in places that can be very painful and will eventually reach the point where the pain isn't well controlled with medication. But he's probably not going to actually die of DCM.

So--as far as DCM goes--you still can't predict which dogs will actually die because of cardio but you can start doing regular cardio exams with a vet cardiologist--I start between two and three--and follow up with annual exams until they are 6 or 7 and then I have them checked twice a year. Catching beginning cardio early will enable you to treat it and even with cardio a good many dogs live long and active lives.

Oh, and I've been feeding Purina Pro Plan for years--seems to work well for my dogs.

dobebug
Thank you. This cleared up a lot for me. I should rephrase myself again and say that my dog's line is clear of the two known genes, then.

This is extremely useful as well. Honestly your experience has put a lot of my worries to rest. This is my first purebred dog and I did a lot of research before getting her, but I've been terrified of DCM the entire time. Its good to know it can at least be controlled and doesn't have to be a death sentence.

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05-04-2019 11:47 AM
pudgtiel
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coco Loco View Post
I'm no expert on this topic and only have 10 years in the breed. For most of that time I have fed raw with good results. My old gal was let go at almost 10 because she developed osteosarcoma. She was in pain and at risk of breaking her leg.

My young guy is only just over 4 months and was weaned onto raw. He is currently chewing on a goat cube with me outside. He loves raw and the old gal loved raw so that's what I feed.

We are all at risk of our loveys developing DCM so I I feel we have to do the best we can while giving them the best life we can. Feed what you feel works for your dog and enjoy your time with then because we never have enough time with them.
I would love to feed raw above all else, but unfortunately it's not an option. I'm in college and live at home currently, so the freezer space is up to my parents. I've seen the most success with it, especially with dobies it seems.

Kudos to you for having taken the time to learn about raw for your dogs.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
05-04-2019 11:44 AM
Coco Loco I'm no expert on this topic and only have 10 years in the breed. For most of that time I have fed raw with good results. My old gal was let go at almost 10 because she developed osteosarcoma. She was in pain and at risk of breaking her leg.

My young guy is only just over 4 months and was weaned onto raw. He is currently chewing on a goat cube with me outside. He loves raw and the old gal loved raw so that's what I feed.

We are all at risk of our loveys developing DCM so I I feel we have to do the best we can while giving them the best life we can. Feed what you feel works for your dog and enjoy your time with then because we never have enough time with them.
05-04-2019 11:39 AM
MeadowCat
Quote:
Originally Posted by dobebug View Post
About DCM in Dobermans--in our breed DCM is definitely linked to genetics. BUT--there is no ONE gene that causes DCM. So far there are two genes for which there are tests which are linked to specific problems which will "cause" or add to the possibility of the dog developing DCM.

The cause of DCM which has been studied in people far longer than it's been studied in dogs and they have identified something like 23 genes which are part of the reason why some people develop cardio (specifically dilated cardiomyopathy).

The cause of DCM is polygenetic--that means there are MANY genes involved not just one. This is why no breeder can say that his dogs don't have THE gene for cardio/DCM.

A good many breeders test for one (or both) of the genes that have been linked to DCM in the Doberman and take a negative in either or both to mean their dogs won't develop DCM. They need to go back and talk to a vet cardiologist so that they actually understand what those tests mean.

Here is another thing to think about--the statistic that says that around 50% of all Dobermans will develop DCM/heart disease is accurate--sort of. But what it doesn't necessarily mean is that around 50% of all Dobermans will DIE from DCM/cardio.

I've got a lot of time in this breed--let me give you a example.; I got my first Doberman in 1959--he lived to be 9 and was ultimately euthanized before his 10th birthday because he had developed DCM which had progressed to CHF (congestive heart failure--fluid in the lungs which was killing him). That was in 1968.

That was so far back that a lot of vets knew nothing about cardio in the Doberman--there were very few medications that were prescribed for dogs with cardio. They weren't doing cardiograms (ultrasounds of the beating heart and takng measurements) I don't think anyone had ever heard of doing a Holter (24 hour EKG)--they weren't even doing a lot of that kind of stuff in people..But that was my first experience with DCM--and we only knew about it because a vet, a friend of the family, dropped by my parents house (where the dog was living out his old age) heard him cough--went out and got his stethoscope and told them to get him in to their vet first thing in the morning. Most people with cardio dogs didn't find out about it until the dog suddenly dropped dead.

Between that dog and the more recent ones I had dogs who probably did have cardio but it was never diagnosed--most of them were euthanized for other reasons. Most of them lived to around 10 years. And in the early 90's the breeders and owners started paying a lot more attention to the Doberman heart--Gwelph--big vet school up in Canada did most of the very early studies--they developed some guide lines and started recommending echo's and Holters on yearly basis because the information from studies of a heart over time tell your vet a lot more than one test.

Diagnostics got a lot better, medications REALLY got better and I started testing my dogs so we knew if their hearts were starting to fail and could treat them appropriately and I didn't loose another Doberman to cardio until 2013--I lost him to sudden death--he came home from an Agility trial and shortly after he got home I realized he was acting like something was very wrong--I work for a vet clinic--I called them and headed for them--I got there but my dog didn't--at least he didn't get there alive. He was two months shy of 10 years. But I knew this was coming--it was clear from all those Holters that he was starting to have episodes of abnormal electrical activity.

So that was two dogs I lost to cardio in all those years. I know--because I was having them tested by the late 1990 that several of my more recent dogs actually had mild to fairly significant cardio but that isn't what they died from. One of them had degenerative disc disease and blew out a disc which paralyzed him and I had him euthanized. One was dying of kidney failure when he was euthanized. My lovely fawn champion is now 13 years, 5 months and 14 days--does he have cardio? Yup--is it killing him--nope! The DCM in his case is well controlled and it's more likely that the fact that he has arthritis in places that can be very painful and will eventually reach the point where the pain isn't well controlled with medication. But he's probably not going to actually die of DCM.

So--as far as DCM goes--you still can't predict which dogs will actually die because of cardio but you can start doing regular cardio exams with a vet cardiologist--I start between two and three--and follow up with annual exams until they are 6 or 7 and then I have them checked twice a year. Catching beginning cardio early will enable you to treat it and even with cardio a good many dogs live long and active lives.

Oh, and I've been feeding Purina Pro Plan for years--seems to work well for my dogs.

dobebug
Great post, Bug!
05-04-2019 11:32 AM
dobebug About DCM in Dobermans--in our breed DCM is definitely linked to genetics. BUT--there is no ONE gene that causes DCM. So far there are two genes for which there are tests which are linked to specific problems which will "cause" or add to the possibility of the dog developing DCM.

The cause of DCM which has been studied in people far longer than it's been studied in dogs and they have identified something like 23 genes which are part of the reason why some people develop cardio (specifically dilated cardiomyopathy).

The cause of DCM is polygenetic--that means there are MANY genes involved not just one. This is why no breeder can say that his dogs don't have THE gene for cardio/DCM.

A good many breeders test for one (or both) of the genes that have been linked to DCM in the Doberman and take a negative in either or both to mean their dogs won't develop DCM. They need to go back and talk to a vet cardiologist so that they actually understand what those tests mean.

Here is another thing to think about--the statistic that says that around 50% of all Dobermans will develop DCM/heart disease is accurate--sort of. But what it doesn't necessarily mean is that around 50% of all Dobermans will DIE from DCM/cardio.

I've got a lot of time in this breed--let me give you a example.; I got my first Doberman in 1959--he lived to be 9 and was ultimately euthanized before his 10th birthday because he had developed DCM which had progressed to CHF (congestive heart failure--fluid in the lungs which was killing him). That was in 1968.

That was so far back that a lot of vets knew nothing about cardio in the Doberman--there were very few medications that were prescribed for dogs with cardio. They weren't doing cardiograms (ultrasounds of the beating heart and takng measurements) I don't think anyone had ever heard of doing a Holter (24 hour EKG)--they weren't even doing a lot of that kind of stuff in people..But that was my first experience with DCM--and we only knew about it because a vet, a friend of the family, dropped by my parents house (where the dog was living out his old age) heard him cough--went out and got his stethoscope and told them to get him in to their vet first thing in the morning. Most people with cardio dogs didn't find out about it until the dog suddenly dropped dead.

Between that dog and the more recent ones I had dogs who probably did have cardio but it was never diagnosed--most of them were euthanized for other reasons. Most of them lived to around 10 years. And in the early 90's the breeders and owners started paying a lot more attention to the Doberman heart--Gwelph--big vet school up in Canada did most of the very early studies--they developed some guide lines and started recommending echo's and Holters on yearly basis because the information from studies of a heart over time tell your vet a lot more than one test.

Diagnostics got a lot better, medications REALLY got better and I started testing my dogs so we knew if their hearts were starting to fail and could treat them appropriately and I didn't loose another Doberman to cardio until 2013--I lost him to sudden death--he came home from an Agility trial and shortly after he got home I realized he was acting like something was very wrong--I work for a vet clinic--I called them and headed for them--I got there but my dog didn't--at least he didn't get there alive. He was two months shy of 10 years. But I knew this was coming--it was clear from all those Holters that he was starting to have episodes of abnormal electrical activity.

So that was two dogs I lost to cardio in all those years. I know--because I was having them tested by the late 1990 that several of my more recent dogs actually had mild to fairly significant cardio but that isn't what they died from. One of them had degenerative disc disease and blew out a disc which paralyzed him and I had him euthanized. One was dying of kidney failure when he was euthanized. My lovely fawn champion is now 13 years, 5 months and 14 days--does he have cardio? Yup--is it killing him--nope! The DCM in his case is well controlled and it's more likely that the fact that he has arthritis in places that can be very painful and will eventually reach the point where the pain isn't well controlled with medication. But he's probably not going to actually die of DCM.

So--as far as DCM goes--you still can't predict which dogs will actually die because of cardio but you can start doing regular cardio exams with a vet cardiologist--I start between two and three--and follow up with annual exams until they are 6 or 7 and then I have them checked twice a year. Catching beginning cardio early will enable you to treat it and even with cardio a good many dogs live long and active lives.

Oh, and I've been feeding Purina Pro Plan for years--seems to work well for my dogs.

dobebug
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