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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey All,

It has been quite some time since I last logged in and I am sorry, my almost 15 month old son is keeping me quite busy, not to mention my husband, the household, and dogs....blah blah blah.. Anyway hi again!

I am posting this thread because recently 2 of my Malcolm's litter mates suddenly passed away from DCM. They were both females and the first one happened a couple months ago and the most recent a week ago. Neither showed any signs of illness just dropped :(

A little background on my boy, Malcolm is 7 1/2 years old and has always been super healthy. He weighs 77lbs and is very fit. I feed him all natural Eagle Pack as well as 2 all natural supplements. One supplement is simply a multivitamin and the other is an herbal mix called Veteran that is to help keep his organs healthy and functioning properly as he ages, this mix also has hawthorn which is very specific for the heart and regulating the circulation of the blood.

With that said I guess I don't know what to do. I have not had any testing done on him because this has all came to light recently and from what I understand you can have testing done and they can show no signs and still drop the next day :( If any of you would be willing to offer your experiences or thoughts I would greatly appreciate it. I know Monty's mommy is out there and because it has been so long I do not remember her user name but do know she has great knowledge in this area.

Thank you all in advance for your input, I want to do what is best for my boy!
 

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Really just enjoy your dog. There is nothing you can do to prevent this. It is something that just happens with the breed.

Sometimes it skips some of the littermates, other times it affects them all.

So just enjoy the days you have with your dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you! I am definitely enjoying him, just wanted to know is it worth having him Holtered or not, etc.

Stryker, I have a call into my vet to see what he knows about it and if he can offer the Holter. I also looked at vets in my area and the one in Akron you mentioned is the one closest to me!

Thank you again for your input! I will keep you updated!
 

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I would encourage you to do an echocardiogram and Holter. Even though you cannot prevent DCM (and he may not even have it), if you catch it early enough, you can start treatment which may slow the progression. My friend has a bitch whose 4 littermates died at 9 years of DCM and hers was diagnosed at 9 on echo/Holter but with treatment is still going strong at 11.

Jan
 

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Bless your heart that is a scarey situation but it does not mean all the puppies from the breeding are necessarily going to have the same problems.

Do you know if there wer necropsy's done to verify cause of death??? I only ask because I have personal experience with 3 dogs that dropped dead a 2 year old - Brain anurism, 7 year old - viral infection around the lining of the heart that caused a lesion, and a 5 year old that had either a lesion or anurism in the lung. All three just keeled over and had necropsy's not been done we would have assumed DCM.

At this point if you would have more peace I would have the holter and echo done. You only get half the picture if you only do one or the other not that either can guarantee you anything.

Sending you a special prayer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
With the 2 females, I do not believe either had testing done after just assumed as to how it presented itself. Malcolm's breeder is sending me more details in an email soon.

Thank you all for your kind thoughts and prayers. I am really hoping he doesn't have it, but as to do the testing or not. I think once I talk with my vet who has been our large and small animal vet for over 16 years, I will have a better idea. He is very honest with me and has known Malcolm since he was a pup so I think he will help point me in the right direction.

I am really thinking I should at least test him to see at this point because he is 7.5years old. Like I said I just want to do what I can for him and to give the best quality of life, this is why I spend extra to give him the best in food and vitamins!
 

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You are a very special person and he is a very lucky boy!!! Hugs to you both and keeping fingers and paws crossed for an excellent report from the breeder and the vet.
 

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I agree with some of the other posters, would have him echoed and holtered with a cardiologist. If you have some time, please read Baron's DCM thread.
http://www.dobermantalk.com/doberman-health/53082-baron-has-dcm.html

Hoping and praying he does not have this horrible disease. Also, lots and lots of other posts on DCM. I would also start him on fish oil. Baron's cardiologist is a firm believer. Baron gets 2,000 mg per day. Please feel free to pm me if you need to talk.
 

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Yes, you do want to have him tested. My first choice would be to ask your vet for a referral to a veterinary cardiologist... this is not really the forte of general practitioners.

He may or may not be ill... you will not know unless you test. If he is ill, he may or may not respond to meds by gaining an appreciable amount of extra time... you will not know unless you have him treated.

Hopefully, he is fine.
 

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Really just enjoy your dog. There is nothing you can do to prevent this. It is something that just happens with the breed.

Sometimes it skips some of the littermates, other times it affects them all.

So just enjoy the days you have with your dog.
Really? So, all of the folks who monitor their animals' cadiac health are just paying vets for expensive busy work?
 

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Really just enjoy your dog. There is nothing you can do to prevent this. It is something that just happens with the breed.

Sometimes it skips some of the littermates, other times it affects them all.

So just enjoy the days you have with your dog.
Seriously???? What the h*ll kind of advice is that??!! We all know that cardio may affect some littermates and not others, but to just ignore the fact that two of them have dropped dead is not exactly great advice!!

If you love your dog and want to try and do what you can, then I would suggest asking your vet right now for a referral to a veterinary cardiologist. Start with a cardiac ultrasound and short EKG strip. The holter monitor is a 24 hour EKG and to really check out what his heart looks like you should do both. If money is too tight, I would do the ultrasound and short EKG - about 3 minutes and see if the short EKG shows any abnormal heart beats - if it does, then really try to do the holter for a better picture. Based on these two things, the cardiologist can put your boy on cardiac meds if he is showing signs of DCM. Depending on where he is at, meds can prolong life for a few months to a few years.

Good luck to you!

Doberman clubs sometimes have cardio clinics where they will have a vet cardiologist come and do 25 ultrasounds and EKG strips for a very reduced price - so you may want to contact your local club and ask them if they know about any in the future... but I would not delay having testing done at this point .... you really need to know where he is at right now.
 

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Everyone has a different opinion on this one. I am entitled to my opinion and my own experience.

So I must say that I did all these things to my dogs and lo and behold never caught one prior to the event.

Just 2 weeks from the echo holter etc. my best dropped dead.

My specialist cardiologist vet does not put the high credience on those tests either. They are just a picture of what's happening at that moment.

I believe those that reley on those tests are putting false crediatabilty where it doesn't belong. If it helps you, then so be it. But for me as of yet, I have not seen any benefit in any dog I have had done. In fact, I will go a step further and tell you many are using the testing results as an excuse to breed heavily laden cardio dogs.

I'll buy into the tests when they prove more accuracy. I spent $25,000 on my last cardio dog in tests treatment etc and no test ever brought up this problem. I was treating for copper storage disease and monitering for cardio as prescribed by the vast supporters and gusss what?? No more dog. What a shock.

So I will never tell someone to use the tests inappropiately. I think many people are. And, that is my opinon and that of many others, who do not post here, but are also reputable breeders.

I disagree on this one, even though this forum is from people who do agree. My experience has not supported this avenue.

I stand that the answer is in the pedigree. It is inherrited; and, when breeders start looking more at pedigrees than winning in the ring, we may see less of such.
 

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I stand that the answer is in the pedigree. It is inherrited; and, when breeders start looking more at pedigrees than winning in the ring, we may see less of such.
I'm not sure about your "cardiologist" but until Kate Meurs moved to North Carolina, she was my dog's cardiologist and she certainly recommended screening, both with echo and Holter. Knowing these tests were pricey, she would come up to Spokane from Moscow (approximately 90 miles) and do an echo clinic for us (usually 15 or more Dobes and Bengal cats) to cut the price in half, $125 rather than the $250.

And, with respect to pedigrees, what I didn't say in my response to the OP was that I was the breeder of the litter of 5, four of which died of DCM at age 9 and the 5th was diagnosed with DCM at age 9. Both pedigrees had longevity, many with LC-10 or more. The dam to this litter lived to be 13+ and the sire was also in double digits when he died - neither showed any evidence of cardio and both had complete testing before they were bred. When I convinced my friend to test her bitch, she had no idea that her girl was having PVCs, couplets and triplets. She was immediately started on meds and on her last Holter she was having PVCs, but no runs. Without these medications on board, I have no doubt that her bitch would be gone by now, instead of snuggling with her on the sofa - she has gotten 2+ years on this girl!

With 2 littermates of the OP's dog dying of cardio, I certainly do not think these tests are inappropriate!

Again regarding pedigrees - there is NO pedigree out there that is free from cardio and it's pretty reckless of any breeder to breed based on a pedigree being "cardio free" and not doing the proper health testing!

Jan
 

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You might consider sending a PM to Luvbirds. She just recently went though something similar to you, but it was her that was forewarned and Petey's littermate's owner that wasn't.

I am sorry to hear. I know you must worry a ton. My thoughts are with you.
 

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Everyone has a different opinion on this one. I am entitled to my opinion and my own experience.

So I must say that I did all these things to my dogs and lo and behold never caught one prior to the event.

Just 2 weeks from the echo holter etc. my best dropped dead.

My specialist cardiologist vet does not put the high credience on those tests either. They are just a picture of what's happening at that moment.

I believe those that reley on those tests are putting false crediatabilty where it doesn't belong. If it helps you, then so be it. But for me as of yet, I have not seen any benefit in any dog I have had done. In fact, I will go a step further and tell you many are using the testing results as an excuse to breed heavily laden cardio dogs.

I'll buy into the tests when they prove more accuracy. I spent $25,000 on my last cardio dog in tests treatment etc and no test ever brought up this problem. I was treating for copper storage disease and monitering for cardio as prescribed by the vast supporters and gusss what?? No more dog. What a shock.

So I will never tell someone to use the tests inappropiately. I think many people are. And, that is my opinon and that of many others, who do not post here, but are also reputable breeders.

I disagree on this one, even though this forum is from people who do agree. My experience has not supported this avenue.

I stand that the answer is in the pedigree. It is inherrited; and, when breeders start looking more at pedigrees than winning in the ring, we may see less of such.
In this case, though, the OP's dog has littermates that have (probably) died of DCM. So I think it is very appropriate to be testing. It certainly doesn't hurt and it may give the OP early warning to extend her dog's life.
 
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I have to add this. Baron's VPC's went from 987 in 24 hours to 21 VPC's in 24 hours after approximately 6 months on the Sotalol and fish oil. If we had not had him tested, who knows what his VPC's would be now. I realize that every dog responds to meds differently but I am so very glad I had him tested and have, mostly likely, added a lot more time to his life.
 

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Thank you all for your concern. I have the full concerns too.

This is the biggest heart breaker of our breed so I can understand how people's emotions come on board.

Mine was the first in the litter of 11 to fall dead of this cardio. Most of the litter that I know of followed suit. From what I heard, interesting enough, the others died the sudden death cardio type as well not the slower type.

What's interesting is that those others in the same litter were holtered, ultra sound, etc. following my puppy's demise. None showed this problem. They just dropped the same.

I solemely miss that girl. She was the best dog I have ever owned. Why does it always seem to happen to our best?

Anyway, I sort of feel like its the same as someone coming on here and claiming since their dog is negative to the cardio gene, they are so much more confident.

My bitch is negative to the cardio gene. So is the dog that she is being bred to have negative status. But I am not convinced that I am scott free on this issue. The one gene is just one piece of the puzzle. It doesn't guarantee according to what they have found, no differently than the "physical" types of tests.

I shudder when I see even today dogs being shown, and purposely bred, that it is known that the father died of cardio and was affected with copper storage. Believe me choice was there to do it because it was done with frozen semen. This type of practice makes me shudder.

Yes all the pedigrees have cardio. It comes from the 7 original sires. But to blantely breed to it is where I have the problem. That makes the breeder no different than the BYB.

There is currently a litter being heavily campaigned by the same father to my girl who was copper storage diseased and cardio. Where is the ethics here? It was done with frozen semen the breeder wanted it so bad.

That is beyond reputable to me. They knew very well what they were doing and producing.
 
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