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Discussion Starter #21
We're treating it as good news, for sure.

She's home. She has a shaved spot on her upper shoulder and one right by her armpit - possibly for holter leads?
 

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I'm so sorry you're going through this with Ripley, sending you virtual hugs! Really glad it was the best possible Dx for this kind of situation and I think you were also incredibly lucky she came back on her own rather than having to be CPR'd.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
I'm so sorry you're going through this with Ripley, sending you virtual hugs! Really glad it was the best possible Dx for this kind of situation and I think you were also incredibly lucky she came back on her own rather than having to be CPR'd.
We really are so, so lucky. Do you have a good resource for canine CPR?
 
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We really are so, so lucky. Do you have a good resource for canine CPR?
I got certified a couple years ago for canine first aid, though had actually learned a technique from a friend who had Cavaliers who of course experience their own form of cardiomyopathy. I would probably be due for a referesher.

This video does a good job of explaining the techniques (with the same dummy dog I learned on at certification, though Nadia also stepped in to provide a demo for the makeshift muzzle/pulse taking etc. lol)


Here's also an infographic that should get you all started.

 

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Discussion Starter #26
Thank you so, so much. I'm sharing this with my husband today. I hope we never need it, but I feel better knowing I have a reference.

(He looked up the song to use when doing chest compressions back on Sunday evening after we'd gotten home from dropping her off.)
 

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We're treating it as good news, for sure.

She's home. She has a shaved spot on her upper shoulder and one right by her armpit - possibly for holter leads?
Yes! Ultimately my friend and I who holtered so many Dobermans when we bought a Holter from Alba that we could get perfect results without shaving for the contacts--most cardiologists will shave the areas to guarantee they get good contact and adequet readings.

dobebug
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Yes! Ultimately my friend and I who holtered so many Dobermans when we bought a Holter from Alba that we could get perfect results without shaving for the contacts--most cardiologists will shave the areas to guarantee they get good contact and adequet readings.

dobebug
Okay, good. That's what I thought but it's nice to get confirmation. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #30

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I got certified a couple years ago for canine first aid, though had actually learned a technique from a friend who had Cavaliers who of course experience their own form of cardiomyopathy. I would probably be due for a referesher.

This video does a good job of explaining the techniques (with the same dummy dog I learned on at certification, though Nadia also stepped in to provide a demo for the makeshift muzzle/pulse taking etc. lol)


Here's also an infographic that should get you all started.

I tried this with my Louise, but gave up after about 5 minutes. I knew she was gone.
 

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To make you feel better, if you need it, I heard from a dog med tech person that most dogs who are brought back will code again fairly soon afterwards and often don't even make it out of intensive care at the vet's.

She was talking more about dogs that code during surgery (you know how they have that "do you want them resuscitated" thing to sign with your permission paperwork—I told them I didn't want someone or other brought back because they were already in bad shape, and she was supporting my decision), but I think for a lot of cases where dogs code at home for no obvious reason, the same thing applies, especially if the dog is already diagnosed with DCM and being medicated for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
It doesn't really make me feel any better. I prefer knowing there's something I can do. But that's a reality I need to swallow, I guess.

At husband's decision, and with the cardiologist's blessing, we've staggered her meds an hour apart so she isn't getting whammied. The Sotalol is first, then the Benazepril an hour later. Repeat in 12 hours. The Benazepril seems to knock her flat - she's been napping HARD about an hour after each dose. Really hoping her system adjusts. It's weird to have her this quiet.
 

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I guess I was directing my comment more to Fitzmar trying to bring Louise back…but I am fatalistic about a lot of things.

I guess more to the point for me would be that you do what you can do to the best of your ability, and then you don't have to kick yourself with what ifs and guilt later…
 

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I'm sorry to hear about Ripley but it sounds like you guys have a good plan with medical help.

I'm sure once she gets used to the meds she will get back to her normal self. Enjoy a bit of quiet, cuddly time with your girl right now.

I wish you guys all the best. Give Ripley a kiss from Sugar and I. Hugs to you.
 

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Well, it happened. I thought we'd escaped it - her mother dropped and never woke up before the age of 6 - but Ripley seems to have DCM.

I'm going to start a thread here to keep things straight in an easy to access (and publicly visible) place. I am going to try to remain unbiased in this initial diagnosis. Ripley was bred by Denmar/Mary Neupaver, and she hit her 7th birthday this July. She was the 4th litter out of Mary's foundation bitch, Triadel's 24 Karat Gold, by Fitzmar's After Hours Cha-Rish. Maverick also dropped and never woke up.

Yesterday, after a game of fetch in the yard, she collapsed in the house. She had excessive drool, lost control of her bowels, was listless. I grabbed my husband while I figured out what to do, and in that time she stopped breathing for 30 seconds or less. She did recover, and was back on her feet in about 5 minutes. We rushed to the vet. They put her on an EKG overnight, with the plan for the cardiologist to see her today.

As of 6am today, she had some irregular beats overnight, but no other collapsing episodes.

Watch this space for more updates as the vet gives a formal diagnosis and we formulate a plan for the short term and long term future.
I hope that Ripley does well on her meds.

Just curious as to what her yearly holters and echoes showed prior to this episode?
 

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I guess I was directing my comment more to Fitzmar trying to bring Louise back…but I am fatalistic about a lot of things.

I guess more to the point for me would be that you do what you can do to the best of your ability, and then you don't have to kick yourself with what ifs and guilt later…
I got to Louise within seconds of her going down (she was already lying down, but you know what I mean). She had had good cardiac testing results just 6 months prior at age 10 1/2, but even good hearts can have a fatal arrhythmia. The big problem for me was that I was home alone, we were outside and a thunderstorm was coming quickly. It sucked.
 

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I want to preface the following comment by saying my heart breaks for anyone who is dealing with this horrible disease. DCM is the scourge of our wonderful breed. I hope that medication works for Ripley and she leads a long and healthy life.

However, I want everyone reading this thread to take it as a cautionary tale and get your dogs tested early and consistently for DCM. First echo and holter at 18 months and yearly thereafter unless more frequently is indicated.

PLEASE, if you are going to own our incredible breed you must be proactive about health testing even if you never breed your dog. Breeders and owners of related dogs want to know this information. Testing won't prevent DCM but early detection and medical management by a Cardiologist familiar with our breed can extend life by months and sometimes years. Do your part, test your Dobes! Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter #40 (Edited)
Ripley has had echocardiograms every year since her second birthday. As she is not to be bred (nor were the others in her litter, one of whom died early from cardio), I felt no need to share this information.
 
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