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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello DT! I just have a simple question and hopefully it is an easy one to answer!


At what age is it a good idea to have a DCM test performed? I know about making sure it is with a HOLTER MONITOR for results.

I would just like to take extra precautions with my Dobe girl for agility and the stories about DCM are very real and scary.

Her parents had the hip certifications but is it a good precaution to also have this done as well? I mean couldn't hurt one extra test?

I would really like to have both of these tests done at the same time and was informed that the hips are an age 2 test. I do realize that they are different tests completly and wasn't looking for them to be broken down step by step to me, I was just wondering if it would be something good to schedule for her 2nd. birthday same vet clinic and same vets working together I think would be the best for ME but, it's really what's best for her so please tell me your thoughts!

THANK YOU DT:nicejob:
 

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Sea Hag
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Hello DT! I just have a simple question and hopefully it is an easy one to answer!


At what age is it a good idea to have a DCM test performed? I know about making sure it is with a HOLTER MONITOR for results.

I would just like to take extra precautions with my Dobe girl for agility and the stories about DCM are very real and scary.

Her parents had the hip certifications but is it a good precaution to also have this done as well? I mean couldn't hurt one extra test?

I would really like to have both of these tests done at the same time and was informed that the hips are an age 2 test. I do realize that they are different tests completly and wasn't looking for them to be broken down step by step to me, I was just wondering if it would be something good to schedule for her 2nd. birthday same vet clinic and same vets working together I think would be the best for ME but, it's really what's best for her so please tell me your thoughts!

THANK YOU DT:nicejob:
A 24 hour holter is just one test that should be done for hearts, and it's done at home. You can rent a holter monitor from a few different sources or buy your own.

To really get a complete picture of the condition of the heart, you also need to do an echocardiogram, and that should be done by a board certified cardiologist.

I start doing cardiac testing at age 2, and do it annually through age 5. After that, I switch to checking hearts every six months.

Would I do both an echo and a hip xray for OFA on the same day? Doubtful, because I'd be using different vets at different practices. I'd use my general practice vet for the hip xray and a cardiologist for the echo-they're about 60 miles apart.
 

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Holter monitoring is usually started at 2. You would do it yearly after that. You can rent the monitor from a dobe club, or a member here on DT, and it will cost you about $100 total. If you have it done at a vet/cardiologist it could be over $300 depending on where you are located. Not all vets have Hoter Monitors. My personal vet doesn't, he has a cardiologist that he has come in if someone wants that test. Some dobe clubs offer health screening events, where you can get a holter and echo done low cost. http://www.albamedical.com/k9holteroverview.html

As for hips...your regular vet may be able x-ray hips and follow the OFA procedure so you can enter her info in the database. Orthopedic Foundation for Animals: Hip Dysplasia
 

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sufferin succotash
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The DCM test is a genetic test and can be completed at any time. To take part in Dr. Meur's research on DCM, go to: Veterinary Cardiac Genetics Laboratory :: Veteriry Health Complex :: North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine

Holters typically start at 2 years old. I would discuss holtering with your vet and/or a specialist as to the appropriate age to holter your dobe.

I use a board certified vet cardiologist to have Sam echo'd and EKG'd. I also holter him every 6 months due to his age, almost 8.

To find a specialist: ACVIM
 

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I was actually thinking about this and going to post a topic on this some day soon! :) I hope you dont mind me adding some questions!

I was going to ask about hip and elbow scoring, some but not all of Ruperts family have been hip and elbow scored so I was thinking about getting him scored. Is it advisable for a dog who's never going to be bred?

Does a bad score necessarily mean he will definitely have problems in the future? The reason I ask if that there is a reputable breeder here who's dogs have a hip score of around 14/15 in total instead of the usual 6-8 in total, yet they seem to have excellent movement? The KC recommends not breeding from dogs who have higher than average hip/elbow scores.
 

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I do an echo at 2 years of age, and depending on their personal and pedigree history, I may wait till 4 to do another. After that, I do them yearly. I will do them more often if it is warranted. I do holters less frequently - but I don't own one - again, depends on the dog and the pedigree.

I encourage my puppy owners to do heart testing, but for the most part they are not interested.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you for the advise! I actually called around and was refered to a local vet who's an Emergency Clinic. They have a cardiologist on staff at all times. I was told I could make an appointment (without the ER charge) to have Kira Hime's heart checked out properly. I have learned that many vets are not really breed specific knowledgeable and didn't want to waste $$$ by having this test done pre-maturely or incorrectly.

Are there any good questions I should ask before bringing her to them (at 2 years of age) to be sure they are the most qualifyed?


I also was told that they can do the OFA X-Rays for the hips as well at the same office. Which I was glad to hear because I really didn't want to have to run around back and forward to different vets with paperwork and vet records but, I would have if needed. :p

We actually chose Kira's regular vet because he is also the one who did her ear surgery! The office was wonderful with the ears! I couldn't be happier and everytime someone comments on how nice they are, I am thankfull again! However I'm not "so sure" they are the best for "The Doberman Breed" associated problems, which is why I started to search for an office to do these genetic tests.

I live in Melbourne Florida if anyone has some good local knowledge for me...
 

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Please be sure to find a worthwhile cardiologist. Though they are all "specialists," some are leaps and bounds better than the rest--just like other veterinarians.

I had an echo done by a crappy doc that told me Nietzsche appeared to have DCM and that the left ventricle was enlarged. I wanted a second opinion andhad another one done this past weekend by an excellent cardiologist who told me his heart was "exquisitely normal." I trust the latter of the two infinitely more.

Just try to read up on your vets before you take everything they say as gospel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
What do you think about this...
$450.00 FOR AN ECHO?
Is this all I need for the heart to be checked and cleared an Echo?
No mention again of the Holter???
 

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sufferin succotash
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I pay almost $700 for an Echo and EKG. Thank goodness I own a holter!

Again, due to Sam's age, I also have an EKG performed.


What do you think about this...
$450.00 FOR AN ECHO? Is this all I need for the heart to be checked and cleared an Echo?
No mention again of the Holter???
 

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I had both dogs echo'd this weekend for $180/pop, but it was part of a health clinic offered at the show. The vets around here charge anywhere from $250-500.
 

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What do you think about this...
$450.00 FOR AN ECHO?
Is this all I need for the heart to be checked and cleared an Echo?
No mention again of the Holter???
That's about right. You need both tests if you want a true picture of the heart. Echos looks at the heart structure and Holters looks at how it is working electrically. There are dogs on this forum who have normal hearts via Echos and are having hundred to thousands of VPCs. My own Peteys first Holters were less then 35 vpcs per 24 hours, which some don't even consider a problem, and yet his Echo showed significant changes at only 3 years old. Later in his disease his Echo showed his heart enlargement was down significantly due to meds, but it caused his VPCs to go completely out of control, he had thousands, with doubles and runs. He ended up dying suddenly 20 months after diagnosis. So with out one or the other, you really don't have a complete picture.
 

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Eat Poo and Die
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What do you think about this...
$450.00 FOR AN ECHO?
Is this all I need for the heart to be checked and cleared an Echo?
No mention again of the Holter???
Sounds about right. Ask if they reduce rates for repeat tests. I had no idea that the hospital did until I looked at the receipt. Our second echo was 65% of the first! :nicejob: I consider the echo JUST as important. Our schedule for this year is one EKG, one 24 hour EKG, 2 echos and possibly a b&p assay if the results of the second echo are inconclusive.
 

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What do you think about this...
$450.00 FOR AN ECHO?
Is this all I need for the heart to be checked and cleared an Echo?
No mention again of the Holter???
Yes, this is about right. We just had Baron's recheck today. Echo was $420.00 and 24 holter was $410.00.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
:doctor:
IT WASN'T THE PRICE $$ I WAS CONCERNED WITH, I ASKED ABOUT BOTH TESTS TO THE DR. THEY SAID THE ECHO WAS ALL I NEEDED???

THEY SAID I WOULDN'T NEED THE HOLTER???

PLEASE ADVISE...
I thought I needed both?
Or is it a , "Let's see how the Echo looks first" type of thing?

I really thank you DT-ers for helping me with this!

If anyone knows of a Doberman club or how to get in touch with a Doberman club close to me, I think it would be very helpfull for us.


:nurse:
 

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Sea Hag
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:doctor:
IT WASN'T THE PRICE $$ I WAS CONCERNED WITH, I ASKED ABOUT BOTH TESTS TO THE DR. THEY SAID THE ECHO WAS ALL I NEEDED???

THEY SAID I WOULDN'T NEED THE HOLTER???

I thought I needed both?
Or is it a , "Let's see how the Echo looks first" type of thing?

I really thank you DT-ers for helping me with this!

If anyone knows of a Doberman club or how to get in touch with a Doberman club close to me, I think it would be very helpfull for us.


:nurse:
Both *are* necessary. The two tests look for different things, and some dogs only show early symptoms in one of those areas.

I'd be looking for another doc if one tried to tell me an echo was the only cardiac screening needed for dobermans. My Florida geography is pretty bad, but I can recommend one board certified cardiologist in Florida very highly. His name is Dr. Nick Schroeder, and I dealt with him during her residency here in CA. I was sorry to see him finish his residency and leave the area.

If you go to the DPCA website, DPCA | Home you can find chapter club information.
 

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I agree with Murreydobe! Baron's cardiologist, Dr. Goodwin, definitely recommends both. In fact, after our initial visit to him (we had Baron's first tests done through Dr. Kim's clinic), he actually recommended doing a 48 hour holter to give a wider range of information. Now we only do 24 hour ones.
 

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I have a question about DCM testing too, hope you don't mind me hijacking this thread to ask it.

As Holter testing is only available in the Vet School here in Spain and only open to dogs that are ill (they limit who gets seen) is an ultrasound any good for testing your dogs heart, (measurements) followed by an eco-cardiogram?
 

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Sea Hag
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I have a question about DCM testing too, hope you don't mind me hijacking this thread to ask it.

As Holter testing is only available in the Vet School here in Spain and only open to dogs that are ill (they limit who gets seen) is an ultrasound any good for testing your dogs heart, (measurements) followed by an eco-cardiogram?
An echocardiogram and an ultrasound are the same thing. Doing an echo without an extended ekg is definitely useful, but it doesn't give you the whole picture. You get a short ekg done at the time of echo, but 15 minutes or so doesn't provide enough information about whether the dog has an abnormal cardiac rhythm, which can lead to sudden death. You really do need to do a minimum of 24 hours of checking cardiac rhythm with a holter.


I'd look into buying your own, then you could send the information to the USA for interpretation.
 
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