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Discussion Starter #1
I hope this is the correct forum - wasn't sure if it should be in health.

Here's the background: I am on my 6th & 7th doberman - my husband and I always have two. Until now we managed to dodge the DCM bullet (hadn't even HEARD of it when I got my first dobe in 1982). But my Emma has been diagnosed.

Here's the question: One of Emma's grandsire's is Brunswig's Cryptonite...and I read in an old forum that he may have died of DCM. Thing is, maybe Emma owes her DCM to him, maybe not, but as also remarked in an old forum, this dog appears in a LOT of backgrounds.

I am overwhelmed now with the uncertainty of it all. How do I find out what dogs had DCM - if it hadn't been for this forum I wouldn't ever have been aware of this possibility in Emma's background? How do I know how far removed that background might be? I'm not blaming people for using a particular dog if it is something special but I am gun-shy now, as I look into the possibility of a new puppy.

Any words of wisdom on how to proceed with trust and confidence?
 

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It's still a gamble no matter what but if you seek out breeders with pedigrees with good longevity, who have extensive info on CODs (cardio) and other health issues, and have no problem with transparency about their breeding program that's going to stack the odds in your favor. dobequest.org is a great resource for researching these things. Very sorry about your girl Emma. DT has some great threads about DCM which I imagine you've already been reading.
 

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Unfortunately DCM is a silent killer and currently there are no solid tests to genetically avoid the disease.

About 50% of the breed will succumb to DCM.

While there is no cure for DCM, you can be proactive and have annual tests done to detect the disease early, and start medication right away to ensure your dog has a long and pain free life.

Only buy puppies from reputable breeders. Ask for health certificates, history of their breeding lines, and what they are currently doing with their dogs. NO Doberman is DCM Free. If a breeder says they are DCM Free, run away.

Owning a Doberman, you must accept DCM. It is so prevalent in this breed, but dont let it get you down. Just be pro active, and enjoy the years with your Doberman :)
 

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So sorry for Emma being diagnosed with DCM. We also have two boys that have DCM. One was diagnosed this past July and our other the begining of this past December.

Like DogsR4Life said.
Owners of Dobes must be very proactive with early Holters, Echo's, and Blood tests. These should start a 2yrs old! If caught early in the Occult phase with no other symptoms. Dogs can hopefully live longer and with a good quality of life.
I would also not be without Pet Insurance owning this breed.
 

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I'm so sorry about the diagnosis and I concur with what the others are saying.

I gather from your other post that you are in Rhode Island. We are lucky that we have a fantastic cardio vet in this area, Dr. Morris at Mass Vet Cardiology. I highly recommend her and if you haven't gone to her already you should consider it. She has a special interest in DCM in this breed.
 

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Unfortunately it is nearly impossible to get away from certain dogs in a pedigree and even then is not a guarantee you'll have a long lived dog and reporting on cods regarding dcm is a matter of the honor system.

Really the only thing anyone can do right now is try to find a breeder who is using long lived lines and support those with your money...even though that is not a guarantee, it encourages out of the box breeding practices.
There are some really exciting litters on the ground and in the works because of this btw! :)

JMO but collected dogs pre-pimodendan use that were unable to be medicated to double digits are more valuable IMO.

No quick fix. There are some helpful links in my signature below that can start one on a path of researching lines.
 

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Sirai Dobermans
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It has been confirmed that CH Brunswig's Cryptonite died of sudden death while breeding a bitch. For morbid curiosity, I've always wondered WHO that particular bitch was. As a breeder, that's pretty much your worst nightmare when the stud dog drops dead while breeding YOUR bitch.

As others have said, a lot of pedigree research is helpful. But one of the things I've found to be much more helpful is picking up the phone and asking other breeders about the dogs in a pedigree. Sometimes people are much more willing to be direct when it's not in writing. The same with show people. Most of you wouldn't even believe the things we know about a line that we've either directly seen at a show or heard about from someone else. Some false, but so much of it is very true. Which is why I, and many, many others literally cringe when certain breeders are recommended here so frequently. Find a show person...you'll get some info and a real nice history lesson on the breed too.

The crappiest part about DCM is that you don't ever know who it's going to strike. Just using Kafka as an example since the OP brought it up...he's less known for the longevity he produced. There are a number of his progeny that are longevity certified (living 10+ years). The same goes for Dagger, and Eddie, and Monty, Agador, and so on... How does that happen? Genetics in respect to DCM is so very tricky.

Like someone else mentioned...support breeders with longevity. Support breeders who health test YEARLY. Support breeders who are desperately trying to breed away from cardio. But also know, that even the best of breeders who do all of the above are still at the mercy of mother nature.
 

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Jalyn Live in the Moment ‘Helo Agathon’ Harper x Godric DOB 3/4/2019
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CH Brunswig's Cryptonite was in my second Dobe's pedigree. We lost him to DCM at age 7 in1995.

What I would do to have the knowledge about DCM then that I have now.
 

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And I had a Cryptonite son whom I had sold but he lived til 14 years old and a Cryptonite Grandson who lived till 11 and a half. The fourteen year old died of natural causes and the 11 and a half year old died of hemangiosarcoma. Instead of picking on Cryptonite we should look at some of these top breeders who are breeding pedigrees that are literally plagued with cardio. It's like they are breeding to produce dogs to come down with cardio. It's really sickening.
 

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And I had a Cryptonite son whom I had sold but he lived til 14 years old and a Cryptonite Grandson who lived till 11 and a half. The fourteen year old died of natural causes and the 11 and a half year old died of hemangiosarcoma. Instead of picking on Cryptonite we should look at some of these top breeders who are breeding pedigrees that are literally plagued with cardio. It's like they are breeding to produce dogs to come down with cardio. It's really sickening.
The health of Kafka offspring was a mixed bag as far as health, and so have the offspring of several other dogs that died of cardio way too young.

I too look at some of the breeding that is done today and just shake my head at the breeders who willingly double and triple up on pedigrees that have way too much cardio in it.... but by God they win.... and then people breed to them. It makes me sick. I get that we can't spay and neuter every dog whose parents died too young of cardio, but looking specifically for really healthy long-lived lines is the only smart way to move on .... and too many people don't do that. JMHO
 

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Jalyn Live in the Moment ‘Helo Agathon’ Harper x Godric DOB 3/4/2019
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Well, I just checked and Brunswig's Cryptonite was also in our last Dobe's pedigree and he lived to be 12. You just never know.
 

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One of Emma's grandsire's is Brunswig's Cryptonite...and I read in an old forum that he may have died of DCM. Thing is, maybe Emma owes her DCM to him, maybe not, but as also remarked in an old forum, this dog appears in a LOT of backgrounds.
You're right about that. He appears in a LOT of pedigrees.

However, I don't think it's ever fair to point a finger at one dog and say that one dog is the cause. That one dog is a product of his ancestors and it's not like the problem originated with that one dog. It's been around for a long time. He's not the first. DCM was in his pedigree already, just like it is in every one else's.
 

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Holier Than Now
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...Most of you wouldn't even believe the things we know about a line that we've either directly seen at a show or heard about from someone else. Some false, but so much of it is very true. Which is why I, and many, many others literally cringe when certain breeders are recommended here so frequently. Find a show person...you'll get some info and a real nice history lesson on the breed too...
Amen.

And not just about the dogs, but also about the character and practices of the breeders.

There are breeders absolutely hero-worshipped on here who are just ruthless, and negligent, and sometimes ignorant, and basically subject to all the foibles that humans can have, yet they are blindly recommended, over and over.

OTOH, there are some really great humans, trying to breed our Doberman right, who don't get the credit for that they so deserve.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Didn't mean that the way it came out

I apologize, as I didn't mean to pick on one dog for the breed's troubles. What I was trying to do was use that one as an example - as in, 'here's a dog that might have this in its background, and it was used liberally for breeding, and if it was, how many others were and are, and how do I know what the hell to do?'

I don't move in doberman circles, so when people make veiled comments that apparently you all understand - about breeders that are recommended here, that you don't feel are being responsible - it's frustrating. Dobermans are a wonderful breed - but it shouldn't take a secret handshake to find a good dog!

Again, I didn't mean to pick on one dog, or one line, or say there's an easy identifier - if genetics were that easy, DCM would be gone and there'd be no wobbler's and and and...I get that there are no guarantees either way.

I apologize for venting.
 

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I don't know who these breeders are either Spendthrift<G> So do a ton of research on pedigrees. There isn't always a cause of death listed, but if the dog died young I file that away. And no matter how nice a dog he/she may have been, personally I would try to avoid pedigrees where that dog shows up multiple times.
 

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Sirai Dobermans
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I don't think it's all about "secret handshakes." At all. It's more about not trashing someone's bloodline and not trashing their name publicly without them being here to explain themselves.

Here's the deal. You should be interviewing breeders. And I do mean interview quite like one does for a job. There should be lengthy discussions or emails if your breeder prefers that (I know it's hard for long phone discussions for me when I have puppies). Those questions should include health testing of both the sire AND dam. And I don't mean, "are they health tested? Ok. Good." I mean:
-do they have a recent thyroid test and what is the result
-do they have a recent echocardiogram and what is the result
-do they have a recent holter and what is the result
-do they have a recent kidney/liver panel and what is the result
-do they have a recent CERF and what is the result
-what is the vwd status
-what is the status of the hips and elbows
* By recent, I mean within one year of the date of the breeding *
And will the breeder send you copies of the results or provide them to you? I happily send test results to potential puppy buyers. I list them on my website and provide a link to OFA where they can view them as well. Additionally, each puppy leaves for their new home with a puppy packet that includes the health testing of the sire and dam.

I can't tell you how many phone calls I get where people don't even mention health testing. Not once. Not a single time. I can't tell you how many people never ever question a pedigree. Do you know how frustrating that is for a breeder? To put the time, effort and expense to have that testing done for both myself and puppy buyers and then no potential buyers even ask about it? I have had ONE...ONE...person ask me what my goals for the breeding were and what I was trying to accomplish in pairing those dogs together. OR--this is my favorite--the person who knew upfront that my breeding was a carrier to carrier and after I had the puppies DNA tested for vwd status and had only clears and carriers they told me they found another breeder they liked better who never would do carrier to carrier regardless of the results. The breeder they purchased from bred two dogs who were direct descendants for several generations with public COD listed as cardio. So, also know what those test results MEAN. This buyer couldn't stand the thought of a vwd carrier and purchased a puppy incredibly likely to die of cardio. How smart was that?

In short, most of the emails and phone calls I get are very much like this:
"Do you have puppies? When will they be available? What is the price? Thanks."

That's it. The minute one person is deemed reputable by whomever is determined as the authoritative source of info...people stop asking questions. Perhaps that allows people to do what they want with few consequences?

I strongly encourage people to schedule a phone call with a breeder. Have a list of questions ready. Or if time is an issue for the breeder, ask those questions via email so they have some time in between socializing puppies and cleaning up after them in addition to showing to answer those questions for you. I also strongly encourage people to meet me at the shows. I want to know you. I want to teach you about our breed. I want to tell you why I made the choices I did in this breeding. And guess what...if I don't have an answer to a question for you...my mentor will and she's probably at that same show. Or one of my many other breeder mentors is. We're a community joined entirely by the breed even if we don't always agree with each and every decision another breeder might make.

If all you want is a companion and have no interest in showing...that's great too. A lot of breeders forget that we're able to breed these litters for show and performance prospects because fabulous pet homes will love the others in the litter. But you've got to do YOUR research. What someone deems as fine may not be the same for you.
 

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Sirai Dobermans
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You can do a lot of pedigree research (and see COD, etc on some) at DobeQuest . Remember, as a database, that DQ is only as good as the info entered. And some people just don't enter any info. So, it's a starting place.
 
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