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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to the forum and have a 7.5 year old male Doberman that was recently diagnosed with what we were told was early stage DCM. We were referred to MSU from our vet when she found an arrhythmia, and that is where the echo was done and where the diagnosis came from, but we are less than thrilled with the cardiologist that is handling Harper's case. He rarely answers my questions and when he does he tells me to read a label (like when I inquired about drug side effects) or he gives a very vague reply that only leaves me with more questions. He never gave me details on their echo findings beside Harper's heart was "slightly enlarged and not functioning as it should" (I have since asked for the detailed findings on the echo and am waiting to hear back from him) and to be honest, he seems more bothered than anything and not really interested in trying to help us do all we can to help Harper.

So, I'm now on a search for a new cardiologist and am really hoping someone might have some recommendations.

Thank you for any feedback you can offer~

Lisa
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the list!

Lisa
 

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Don't know where you are, and Michigan is a bit bigger than a postage stamp, but I would highly recommend Dr. Renee Riepe at Oakland Veterinary Referral Service in Bloomfield Hills Southeastern MI Emergency Vet, 24 hour Animal Hospital | Oakland Veterinary Referral Service, Bloomfield Hills MI. She is a board certified veterinary cardiologist, a Doberman person herself, and will take the time you need her to take with you. I like her, I like her staff and I like the whole facility... for both emergencies and specialized care, I don't think you can do better (with the exception of the "behaviorist," who sucks big time).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Don't know where you are, and Michigan is a bit bigger than a postage stamp, but I would highly recommend Dr. Renee Riepe at Oakland Veterinary Referral Service in Bloomfield Hills Southeastern MI Emergency Vet, 24 hour Animal Hospital | Oakland Veterinary Referral Service, Bloomfield Hills MI. She is a board certified veterinary cardiologist, a Doberman person herself, and will take the time you need her to take with you. I like her, I like her staff and I like the whole facility... for both emergencies and specialized care, I don't think you can do better (with the exception of the "behaviorist," who sucks big time).
I'm about an hour from OVRS and actually saw Dr. Riepe about 9 years ago with a Maine **** cat of ours that was diagnosed with a murmur. Dr. Riepe performed an echo and cadiac work up on him and she was indeed very thorough and pleasant to work with. I'm glad to hear she's a Doberman person and I will get in contact with OVRS today and set something up with her.

Thank you!!!!
 
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So very sorry to read this and hope you find a Cardiologist who you can trust and feel comfortable with. Welcome to the forum and sorry you have found this forum under these circumstances. Please stick around and keep us updated on your guy's progress. If you do a search on DCM, you will find a lot of good information and a lot of nice people for support. My Baron is in early stage DCM. We found out last year when he was 4 years 4 months. This is his thread: http://www.dobermantalk.com/doberman-health/53082-baron-has-dcm.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I contacted ORVS and we've set up an appointment with Dr. Riepe. I'm having MSU fax Harper's echo report to them and we'll go from there.

Does anyone know where I could rent a holter from? Harper's breeder originally said her club could let us borrow one (no deposit required), but next I was told that they wanted a $500 deposit because "they don't know me". To avoid the deposit she would have to have it shipped to her, but she won't as they want a signature confirmation and she doesn't know if she'll be home to sign for it. If anyone could direct me to someone that might have one available I'd greatly appreciate it.

Lois~ I hope you and Baron have many wonderful days and months and hopefully years together. I don't think we caught Harper's as early as we thought, but hopefully we will get headed in the right direction now. For now he is on enalapril, pimo, lasix and spironolactone and he is doing very well.
 

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I think most everybody charges a deposit. I know I certainly would. I rented mine from Andrea here on DT (her user name is Andrea). I kept the holter until I received confirmation from ALBA that the tape was good. Sent the holter back and got my deposit back promptly.

Hugs to Harper.
 

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Does anyone know where I could rent a holter from? Harper's breeder originally said her club could let us borrow one (no deposit required), but next I was told that they wanted a $500 deposit because "they don't know me". To avoid the deposit she would have to have it shipped to her, but she won't as they want a signature confirmation and she doesn't know if she'll be home to sign for it
If you live close enough to Nancy, why don't you suggest that you could come sit in her driveway the day it should arrive, and sign for it your own self? I don't think they care WHO signs, as long as they have a signature confirming that the thing did, in fact, arrive. Actually, she might be able to see if she could just leave a note on her door, directing the delivery guy to take it next door and have a neighbor sign for it.

I think that OVRS owns a holter or holters now (at least they were shopping three or four years ago), but they are not a cheap date LOL!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If you live close enough to Nancy, why don't you suggest that you could come sit in her driveway the day it should arrive, and sign for it your own self? I don't think they care WHO signs, as long as they have a signature confirming that the thing did, in fact, arrive. Actually, she might be able to see if she could just leave a note on her door, directing the delivery guy to take it next door and have a neighbor sign for it.

I think that OVRS owns a holter or holters now (at least they were shopping three or four years ago), but they are not a cheap date LOL!
I live an hour from Nancy. I guess I could sit in the drive and wait, but I have no idea what time of the day it would be delivered. I know sometimes our Fedex and UPS drivers come early in the day and sometimes not until the evening. And depending on what type of signature required option they use it might not be able to be left with a neighbor or with a signed door tag.

I asked the receptionist at ORVS about if they do Holters and she said yes did but was not able to give me a price.
 

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I asked the receptionist at ORVS about if they do Holters and she said yes did but was not able to give me a price.
You prolly don't want to know...

You could call back and ask to speak to Adam (Dr. Riepe's tech) or leave a message for him to call you back. He would be able to tell you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You prolly don't want to know...

You could call back and ask to speak to Adam (Dr. Riepe's tech) or leave a message for him to call you back. He would be able to tell you.
I really appreciate the feedback!! I will call them back this afternoon.

Thank you!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks to a most wonderful, extremely generous individual; a Holter and vest is being shipped out to us!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
You are smart to seek out a Cardiologist that you feel comfortable working with. I went though 2 others before I found one that helped not only our Petey, but my hubby and I get through the nightmare of DCM. Wishing you lots more quality time with your boy.

I read Petey's story yesterday. How absolutely heartbreaking to lose him so young :( I consider my husband and I lucky that we've had 7.5 wonderful years with Harper after reading so many posts where people have lost dogs much younger than him to DCM. I hope we have many good days together ahead of us, but we know that losing him anytime is a real possibility.

I should have started looking for a new cardiologist right after our initial appointment, but I was pretty much in shock and didn't truly know much about DCM in Dobermans as Harper is our first Doberman. I gave the board certified cardiologist the benefit of the doubt, but the more I educated myself about DCM and how serious it is in this breed the more I began to question the cardiologist as I realized that he pretty much didn't tell me anything about Harper's diagnosis besides "his heart is enlarged and not pumping as it should". After asking numerous questions and asking for help and suggestions and getting no answers or extremely vague ones that just left me with more questions, I finally decided it was time to find a new one. I hate that I wasted two weeks with this cardiologist, but hopefully we're on the right track now.
 

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I read Petey's story yesterday. How absolutely heartbreaking to lose him so young :( I consider my husband and I lucky that we've had 7.5 wonderful years with Harper after reading so many posts where people have lost dogs much younger than him to DCM. I hope we have many good days together ahead of us, but we know that losing him anytime is a real possibility.

I should have started looking for a new cardiologist right after our initial appointment, but I was pretty much in shock and didn't truly know much about DCM in Dobermans as Harper is our first Doberman. I gave the board certified cardiologist the benefit of the doubt, but the more I educated myself about DCM and how serious it is in this breed the more I began to question the cardiologist as I realized that he pretty much didn't tell me anything about Harper's diagnosis besides "his heart is enlarged and not pumping as it should". After asking numerous questions and asking for help and suggestions and getting no answers or extremely vague ones that just left me with more questions, I finally decided it was time to find a new one. I hate that I wasted two weeks with this cardiologist, but hopefully we're on the right track now.
I am sorry you are going through this disease, it's everyone that owns a Doberman worst nightmare. This forum is here for you....most of it's seasoned members have lost a dobe to DCM, we totally know what you are going though. Try to not waste time second guessing yourself and take each day as it comes and enjoy your boy to the fullest. Hugs and good luck with the new cardiologist, let us know how things go. Meds can work miracles with some dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
How is Harper doing? Any updates?

Thanks for asking :) Harper is doing really well right now. His current regimen of meds has him feeling great and he's been enjoying lots of walks and playing with his whippet buddies. We're waiting for his Holter results and once we get them back we'll consult with the new cardiologist on where to go with his meds from here.
 
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