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Kano's personal couch
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been doing some reading about it, but I haven't found anything like what the vet told me. I'll explain...

Kano had her Echo yesterday and the vet and I discussed the results. He asked me if she was athletic, and I told her she runs a lot and is high energy, but does not participate in any specifically athletic activities like agility or anything. He then told me that he ventricles are not completely closing and so blood is not being pushed through the body as well as it should. He said normally there is usually swelling, or part of the heart is oversized and indicates that they have heart disease or something else is wrong. He said other than that her heart is PERFECTLY normal and that the size and functions otherwise are fine. He also said that the technician checked her abdomen too to make sure there was nothing else down there. He said he wouldn't worry about it yet, but recommends we do another Echo in 6 months.
I asked if I should be concerned and do anything like change her diet or lower her activity, and he said no, that she's fine.

Has anyone else ever had this happen? I'm going to shoot my breeder an email and see if she knows anything or has any advice as well, but I'd love the opinions of all of you all too. My vet is a good vet, but he's not necessarily a dobie vet. If you guys know any vets that know dobermans real well in Atlanta or nearby, let me know. I'm more than willing to take her to a different vet in 6 months if I'm more likely to get a doberman-specific answer. I asked my breeder a while back and she recommended a vet about 2 hours east from me so if possible I'd like one a liiiittle closer, but if there isn't one I'm willing to make the journey!

Thanks in advance, everyone!
 

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Sea Hag
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It sounds like maybe she has mitral valve disease? It seems like the more dobermans get their hearts checked, the more we hear about dogs with MVD and valvular problems in general.

For the most part, people whose dobermans have MVD are told the dog will die of something else before the MVD becomes a problem, it's usually a slowly progressing disease in this breed. It's VERY common in cavalier king charles spaniels.
 

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Yes, I agree that it sounds like his valves are prolapsing or not closing totally. In humans, it is called mitral valve prolapse. It may or may not cause symptoms. Since the heart chambers are normal sized (not enlarged), that is good. When he gets checked again, the vet will compare the two to see if there are any changes.
You will want to balance having him in good shape (exercise is good for the heart which is a muscle) but not overtaxing his heart to where he is uncomfortable (for some, aerobic type exercises can cause discomfort). Your dog will let you know if he is tired from running - hehe.
 

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He then told me that he ventricles are not completely closing and so blood is not being pushed through the body as well as it should. He said normally there is usually swelling, or part of the heart is oversized and indicates that they have heart disease or something else is wrong. He said other than that her heart is PERFECTLY normal and that the size and functions otherwise are fine.
This sounds to me like your dog has "hypokinesis" of the ventricles. Which in turn causes a reduced ejection fraction. This is what happens BEFORE there is ever arrythmia.

When heart disease like DCM begins. It is actually a decrease in how the ventricles function. (in particular the LEFT ventricle) Because the left ventricle does not push the blood out adequately, the pressure of the reserve blood over time "enlarges" the ventricle. And the cycle continues, the more the ventricles don't work well, the larger the heart becomes.

When the left ventricle enlarges, it puts pressure on the mitral valve. It can stretch it out and cause it to not close properly. The mitral valve is the valve between the left atria and left ventricle. It is designed so when the MV closes, the blood does not back into the left atria where it came from. The back up of blood across the mital valve, back into the atria is called mitraal valve regurgitation. When someone has this you can hear a heart murmur.

After time, the left ventricle become more and more enlarged, and as it does not work properly, arrythmias occur. An arrythmia is an beat that is not normal for the heart. Some arrythmias are driven by the atria like afib. Smoe are driven by the ventricles like VPCs, Venticular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation.

The atria of the heart are important, but NOT as important at the big power house ventricles that pump the blood either to the lungs from the right side, or to the reat of the body from the left side. That is why afib is not a fatal arrythmia but v-tach and v-fib are.

I would suggest that you have an echo repeated with a qualified cardilogist. Here is why.... Your PCP can maybe hear or see something that may be a little abnormal, but it is NOT their expertise. I have seen PCPs misread EKGs and not give the best meds for cardiac patients. It does not make them bad doctors, it just means that is not what the are an EXPERT at. Same with vets. You may be able to start you dog on an ACE inhibitor wich reduces the work of the heart but actually reduces what we call "remodeling" of the heart. In essence, it can slow down the stretching ( remodeling) that the ventricle dooes in the very early stages of DCM.

I am in no way an expert with canine cardiology, but a sick heart is a sick heart. Its wonderful that you have done testing on your dog early. And hopefully there are no problems. I just think that the main reason why we do early testing is to find things out in the early, non-symptomatic time so that medications can be optimalized and quality of life and longevity can be preserved.

Jeez..... sorry this is so long. I guess I have submerged myself pretty deep since Tycoon has gotten sick. I hope that you have gotten a little useful info out of this. I hope everything turns out fine!
:)

Lisa
 

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Sirai Dobermans
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I agree with Murreydobe. My Kai had mitral valve disease and was started on enalapril. He was diagnosed at 8 via echo. He eventually went into CHF about 2 years later. Bloat took him, but surgery was not recommended due to the advanced CHF. Before CHF he had no activity or diet restrictions.
 

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Kano's personal couch
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
THANKS SO MUCH for all your input, guys. I REALLY appreciate it. I haven't been freaking out yet...I'm not really one to panic, but I was trying to get an idea if I SHOULD be panicking, haha. At this point, I'm going to wait and see what happens at the 6 months and possibly go to a cardiologist from there as well. My usual vet is on maternity leave and she had, and knows, dobermans pretty well so I think she may have some better insights than the other vet in the office. He's still a great vet, just doesn't know as much about dobes specifically as she does. I'm going to take a deeper look into MVD so I can be well armed with questions when I follow up with him in a couple of weeks. He said he's going to give the cardiologist a call as well as a university nearby with a good vet school and see if he can get any more info.

If anyone else has any other info or ideas, please share. I want as much info as I can get!
 

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Super Moderator
Hairy Dog, RIP Caesar, Katana, Kip, Capri
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Kalico- why don't you go to UGA.
I feel stupid.

I'm sitting here trying to figure out what these letters spell out to make this sentence the equivalent of "Why don't you go to h*ll!" and also wondering what Kalico did to make you get mad at her.

THEN I thought of University of Georgia. Duhhh.............
 

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It sounds like maybe she has mitral valve disease? It seems like the more dobermans get their hearts checked, the more we hear about dogs with MVD and valvular problems in general.

For the most part, people whose dobermans have MVD are told the dog will die of something else before the MVD becomes a problem, it's usually a slowly progressing disease in this breed. It's VERY common in cavalier king charles spaniels.
My lab mix was diagnosed with MVD at about 10 I think. She lived another 4 years and did not die from the MVD but "old age" in general.

The regular vet said it sounded like a horrific heart murmur. But when Dr. Siemens, cardiologist, say her she said itw as actually 3 minor murmurs. It pays to see a specialist.
 
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My lab mix was diagnosed with MVD at about 10 I think. She lived another 4 years and did not die from the MVD but "old age" in general.

The regular vet said it sounded like a horrific heart murmur. But when Dr. Siemens, cardiologist, say her she said itw as actually 3 minor murmurs. It pays to see a specialist.

There are many different types of heart murmurs. You can hear them at different places on the chest wall. Each place represents a different valve. There are also systolic murmurs and diastolic murmurs. A murmur means there is turbulant blood flow accross a valve. Diastolic murmurs are worse to have because it is heard during diastole or when the heart is at rest. It takes many years of listening to ALOT of hearts to get good at it.
 
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