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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I am new to the forum, but not to dobies.

My 10 year old dobie Willie was just diagnosed with DCM 2 days ago. He got sick out of the blue. I lost my 12 year old female Kali to DCM 2 years ago. I am heart broken and having a really rough time.

I have puppies on the brain, I know it may sound kinda weird but I just can't see my self dobie less and feel like I need to make some plans, so I was actually looking for a breeder when I stumbled onto this group. 3 of the 4 dobies I have had have been Marionburg dobies and all 3 had cardiac problems. As much as I adored these animals I am not sure I can go there again. I know there are no guarantees but I feel I need to look elsewhere for a couple of reasons..... the cardiac issues but also my most recent female was wired a bit tight and quite a challange for the first 2 years of her life. Thanks to an amazing trainer I learned to manage her and she turned out to be a great dog. My current very very sweet male Willie is an absolute doll with the exception of some occasional dog/dog aggression, under certian circumstances. I have learned to manage that as well. A friend of mine who breeds Corgis also recommended I go with a different breeder this time around.

So I found myself here and looking forward to reading more and hopefully getting some help with finding a breeder.

Leslie
 

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Leslie,

I am so, so sorry to hear of your Willie's sickness. :( After having 3 dobes from the same place having the same issues I would definitely, without question be searching for another breeder. There are many, many peopel on here who have knowledge of reputable breeders throughout the U.S....hopefully someone will email you privately to help you find the perfect one. I wish I could help! I got my dobe from more of a rescue situation...(didn't pay for him just for his flight fee that was there from being shipped).

Thoughts and prayers being said for your dobe....hope you have a sucessful search in finding a puppy.
 

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First of all welcome to dobermantalk from myself and my girls,can't be much help to you finding a breeder as i am based in the U.K.,but there are some great people on here will certainly point you in the direction of some great dobe breeders.Sorry to hear about your boy,DCM is something i have not come across with any of my dobes(touch wood for luck)and i am in the same mindset as you i could never see myself without at least one dobe.
 

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welcome to Dobermantalk :) My girl is named Duchess and she is 2. She is my first Doberman that I am old enough to remember. Now Im 21 and Duchess is my best friend! I agree with you that once have great dobes going dobeless is not an option. What State or whatever are you located?
and Im sorry about both of your dobes. It just seems like no amount of time with them is ever enough. Could we see pictures of both of them possibly?
 

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First of all Welcome to the Board :)

Sorry to hear about your poor Willie, I can imagine how hard it is for you.

Tell us where you live and some of the pro's on this site can direct you in the right direction for a breeder in your area. Oh yah we want pics....
 

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Welcome Leslie. I'm so sorry to hear about Willie.

I totally understand about not wanting to Dobermanless. I have always felt that way. I went 3 months between my first Doberman Max and my second Doberman Cole and I was miserable.

Sadly I lost Cole to osteosarcoma recently and I got my girl from rescue just a couple of weeks later. I don't regret it all. She has helped to mend my heart. Doesn't make you forgot, but makes it easier.

This is a good place to start if you are wanting to get another pup from a breeder.

http://members.execulink.com/~korevaar/buyingguide.htm
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Thanks everyone.

I live in Southern CA, if anyone knows of a good breeder. My friend recommended Linda and Ron Mattson in Newberry Park, if that rings a bell for anyone.

I tried to post some photos but I can't seem to get the files to up load. I get a mesage that my file exceeds the limit. I resized the photos several times and can't seem to get them small enough to post.

Leslie
 

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Leslie said:
Thanks everyone.

I live in Southern CA, if anyone knows of a good breeder. My friend recommended Linda and Ron Mattson in Newberry Park, if that rings a bell for anyone.

I tried to post some photos but I can't seem to get the files to up load. I get a mesage that my file exceeds the limit. I resized the photos several times and can't seem to get them small enough to post.

Leslie
I'm not sure how much breeding Ron and Linda are doing anymore..it's been awhile since I've seen or heard of any new Foxridge puppies.

I live in the southern CA area, and to be honest, there aren't that many breeders I'd recommend around here any longer. My latest puppy came from Alaska. :)

If the Mattson's don't have any upcoming litters, you might contact the Monteleone's, Montwood is the kennel name..email addy is [email protected]. They're in the San Diego area. I know Vic and Angie do a lot of health testing on their dogs.

I'm sorry to hear about your dog being diagnosed with DCM..been down that road more than once myself..it's an awful, awful disease.

But you need to be realistic..cardiac problems are widespread in this breed. The latest estimates I've seen provided by reseachers is 50% of all dobermans will develop DCM at some point in their lives. So there are no "cardio clear" lines..the best chance you have is buying puppies from people who do routine cardiac evaluations on the dogs they breed..but that's far from an infallible system, due to the nature of the disease.
 

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Leslie:
welcome to the forum, I am glad you found us. I am so sorry to hear about willie. We lost our first dobe back in January, but now I have two rescues. we'll also be looking at puppies in the next year or so. Murrydobe is right. there are no health guarantees, but you can do your research and try to get the odds in your favor as much as possible.

cc
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yes thanks Mureydobe....I am being very realistic. I know there are no guarantees. I have done quite a bit of reading and was aware of the latest research and the precentage you mentioned. I had a serious chat with the cardiologist caring for Willie about the breed's cardiac problems and inability to predict or test for the disease as well. I actually considered another breed for awhile. I have a friend who breeds Rhodesian Ridgebacks. After Kali died she gave me a gorgeous puppy who is almost 2 now. I have thought about another Ridgeback but am having trouble imagining my life dobieless. She has a very sweet male she is has wanted give me for a while now but unfortunately 2 dogs is my limit due to time and space limitations.

I know there are no cardiac clear lines but would perfer to get a puppy as you mentioned from a breeder who at least does routine cardiac testing as well having a Longevity Certificate or Bred for Longevity Certification. It's bad enough going through this at the ages of 10 and 12 but I just cannot imagine having a 5 year old dog with the disease. I guess in some ways I am lucky all my dobies have lived past the 10 year mark. Lira died at 13 and the Kali at 12. I have a friend who always seems to lose them at about 5 or 6.

Leslie
 

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Leslie said:
Yes thanks Mureydobe....I am being very realistic. I know there are no guarantees. I have done quite a bit of reading and was aware of the latest research and the precentage you mentioned. I had a serious chat with the cardiologist caring for Willie about the breed's cardiac problems and inability to predict or test for the disease as well. I actually considered another breed for awhile. I have a friend who breeds Rhodesian Ridgebacks. After Kali died she gave me a gorgeous puppy who is almost 2 now. I have thought about another Ridgeback but am having trouble imagining my life dobieless. She has a very sweet male she is has wanted give me for a while now but unfortunately 2 dogs is my limit due to time and space limitations.

I know there are no cardiac clear lines but would perfer to get a puppy as you mentioned from a breeder who at least does routine cardiac testing as well having a Longevity Certificate or Bred for Longevity Certification. It's bad enough going through this at the ages of 10 and 12 but I just cannot imagine having a 5 year old dog with the disease. I guess in some ways I am lucky all my dobies have lived past the 10 year mark. Lira died at 13 and the Kali at 12. I have a friend who always seems to lose them at about 5 or 6.

Leslie
Yeah, after we lost our rescue girl to DCM last year, my husband said he'd never have another doberman as "his" dog..he just couldn't go through it again. So he brought a pound hound home..sweet dog, but "just a dog" to me.. I'm still being a glutton for punishment and taking my 50/50 chances with dobermans and DCM.

Luck really is a relative thing with this disease..so far, the dogs I've lost to DCM were all between 8-10 years old..the ones that didn't live an average lifespan at least came close. I can't even imagine losing a young dog..I heard about a couple of DCM dogs the other day..one had died, the other had been diagnosed-both 3 years old. It can't get much worse than that!

So is Willie still in occult DCM? Here's hoping he responds to treatment and you get some good quality time with him!

Just curious, what cardiologist in this area do you use? Kirstie Barrett, DVM at CA Animal Hospital has treated my affected dogs and does the regular screening I have done. I"m happy with her, but always interested in feedback about the other cardiologists in the area, so I can make suggestions to others who might be needing referrals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
No it's not occult. The Deva, my Ridgeback came home from a dog show and 2 weeks later came down with a mild case Kennel Cough. Willie started coughing about 2 weeks after that. He has always been really healthy. I just figured he had Kennel Cough. I didn't bring him to the vet because it seemed pretty mild and I am not big on antibiotics. It sort of dragged on longer than I thought it should and I got nervous and brought him in. In retrospect it's funny or weird....sub- consciously I think I knew something was going on. That whole week before I brought him to the vet I didn't take them on their normal morning beach run. I just didn't want to get up and go for some reason. It's a good thing because he was in CHF. I also had some weird dreams.

The vet did a CXR which showed an enlarged heat as well as fluid in his lungs. They gave him IV lasix and did some blood work. They put him on Lasix and Enalapril. They recommended a cardiac echo, but the radiologist who does it would not be coming to my vets office for another 2 weeks. I didn't want to wait, plus I had seen Dr. Lesser 2 years before with Kali and thought it would be best to take him there and have the Cardiologist do the echo himself. Willie had a normal screening cardiac echo there 2 years ago as well, so I knew he would be able to compare the 2.

I was lucky enough to get him in the next day..... a gift I guess. That was his only opening that coordinated with my work schedule for the next 3 weeks.

The place is called Advanced Veterinary Care Center in Lawndale, CA. The Cardiologist is Dr. Michael B. Lesser. He is board certified. I really like him alot. He seems to really know what he is doing and is nice as well. He is very responsive to questions and returns phone calls.

He did a cardiac echo and looked at my Vets lab results and X rays. Willie has the active disease. His fractional shortening is only 13%, the normal is 30%. He added Digoxin to the other drugs and increased his lasix a bit. He also gave me instructions to increase his dosage if the cough comes back or his respiratory rate increases. He is planning on starting him on Pimobendin a drug which is being used in Canada but is not FDA approved for use here yet. He has to get special permission from the FDA to use it. It apparently works best on dobies, humans and other breeds do not seem to do as well on it. He said the best results have been seen on dobies with fractional shortenings of > 15% and these dogs are living for up to an additional year.

We go back to see him on Tuesday.

The IV lasix and other meds are working well. Willie's cough was gone the same day they gave the IV lasix and his breathing is normal. Looking at him it is hard to believe he is even sick. He has a great appetite and is still very playful. Dr. Lesser said only short leash walks for now and I might be able to let him off leash at the beach again after the other med is on board a while.

Leslie
 

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Leslie said:
He is planning on starting him on Pimobendin a drug which is being used in Canada but is not FDA approved for use here yet. He has to get special permission from the FDA to use it. It apparently works best on dobies, humans and other breeds do not seem to do as well on it. He said the best results have been seen on dobies with fractional shortenings of > 15% and these dogs are living for up to an additional year.
Pimo isn't a miracle drug, it can't cure them. But it comes pretty darned close to a miracle to see a really *sick* dog become almost normal again within 48 hours!

A dog I bred/co owned had a FS of 14% and was in heart failure when he was diagnosed. He lived almost 9 months after that due to the Pimo-and he had GREAT quality of life until the last couple of days. He ran and played, he swam, he ate like a pig. I have pics of him taken about 2 weeks before he was PTS, you'd never know the dog was quite literally dying.

Some dogs have lived longer than that 8.5 months Zac had after diagnosis, some not as long..but MOST dogs have greatly improved quality of life for what time they have because of this drug.

The big problem is the FDA is so swamped with applications to use Pimo that it can take awhile to get the approval...and one thing you don't have with dogs with DCM is time to sit around. You also have to jump through all the hoops and reapply every 3 months. Maybe Dr. Lesser has some in stock, I dunno. Just in case he doesn't, I'm going to send you a private message about ways to get around this while you're waiting for a response from the FDA.

A couple of good friends use Dr. Lesser. One with dobermans. The other has a geriatric cocker that had another kind of heart problem which Dr. Lesser managed to correct with surgery to install a pacemaker..wouldn't it be great if DCM was so easily managed! Anyway, they both speak very highly of him, and yes..you were really lucky to get in to see him the next day.

There's a specialty clinic in Temecula that now has a couple of cardiologists on staff..a buch of us who live in the Inland Empire keep hoping we're going to run into someone that's used them to get an idea of what they're like..

Since you've gone through this before, I know I don't have to tell you to treasure every minute. It's still a tragedy that all these wonderful dogs are lost to this disease, but Pimo really is a great new weapon that's buying extra time for a lot of dogs.
 

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nine puppies

I have nine puppies that are two weeks old. If you want to contact me.

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hi Jeanette,

Thanks so much. I'm not quite ready yet, just doing my homework ahead of time but thank you for offering.

Leslie
 
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