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DCM and Breeders

Wallongy

New Member
Our dog Jake has DCM and CHF diagnosed in late May. He’s now on his meds as diagnosed by a cardiologist, he seems to be doing well and no signs of any heart failure such as panting, lethargic etc at the moment, he’s also on a very good home made diet and supplements to help his heart and organs and generally maintenance.

My reason to post here about breeders is that since discovering our dog has DCM we are aware that there could be many other dogs and owners who are totally unaware that they have DCM, it may be that it’s still occult stage for them or that they were just lucky siblings etc.

At the moment we can’t help but wanting to advice any other dog owner that got their doberman from the same litter as we got ours to either warn them to be vigilant and have a check up for their dog, and at the same time to impart knowledge to them and perhaps to find out ourselves whether Jake was just a one off in his little or whether DCM runs through the entire litter or not, and hope people are coping right now?

We bought our Jake in September 2013 at a farm called Exclusive pups in Pickering North Yorkshire, the owner there is called Carol. The stud that came from Whitby but was not a family dog of the breeders I bought from.

Carol the breeder informed us that Jakes litter had been sold all around the country and also to Scotland etc. I cannot yet find or locate anyone who bought from this particular litter back in 2013 meaning your dog or bitch would be coming up to 8 years old at the end of this month.

Hope I’ll be able to make some progress here, I’ve contacted the breeder already and she isn’t been too forthcoming so can’t make much headway there, but from an ethical and moral standpoint I’f you become aware that a dog you sold has DCM or could possibly have you ought to make them aware of that in order to give that dog a chance in life, that goes first before any commercial considerations.
 

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Ravenbird

$ Forum Donor $
I'm sorry about your Jake and hope he responds to his meds.

This disease affects all of us, and even the breeders who try to do all they can to avoid it still come up with affected litters. There is no proven way to be able to predict a litter clear of DCM. That said, an ethical breeder will want to know if you find your dog positive so that they can contact others who have puppies from the same litter or breeding lines. And likewise, if one of the parents or relatives developed or dies of DCM the breeder should contact you so you can be aware.
 

Wallongy

New Member
Thanks for your reply Ravenbird.

Yes I totally agree that often breeders are totally unawares and can’t predict that their litter will be affected, at this present moment in time it would be more prudent for breeders to connect with owners of the litter they sold even if it were x years ago to make them aware that one of the litter has shown positive for DCM CHF etc because it’s a lot of suffering, stress and heartache for the owners to go through and if you were more concerned on animal welfare than the £$€ you make from breeding then it wouldn’t even cross your mind not to do so, should be a natural instinct. That being said I’m sure breeders are reluctant to do so because of repetitional damage etc.

The kennel clubs UK and US could be doing a better job of providing better information and warnings on their sites of the problem and occurrence of DCM in certain breeds but seems they do not have the inclination to do so, is this due to some financial invested interests?
 

Ravenbird

$ Forum Donor $
The kennel clubs UK and US could be doing a better job of providing better information and warnings on their sites of the problem and occurrence of DCM in certain breeds but seems they do not have the inclination to do so, is this due to some financial invested interests?
I imagine it's all down to money. If they talk about the breed and the negative things it would be a downward spiral in puppy purchases which = registration, which = money loss. Nobody wants to talk about it if they have money on the line. At over 50% of the breed developing DCM, I feel pretty hopeless for the breed at times. You can do all the homework and study pedigrees and breed to the most promising long-lived lines, and still you find it showing up. I'm not a breeder, but I did search for one who did all the tests including recent holter & echos on the parents and genetically my puppy came up clear of both DCM markers, but it means nothing since there are unknown markers still out there.
 

Two Dobes

Hot Topics Subscriber
I agree that breeders should keep owners informed, but I am not aware of many who do. And I have looked on Dobequest, and seen dogs that have died of DCM, and the breeder claims "Clear by parentage".
The upside is, that heart meds seem to be working well when DCM is caught early. It sounds as though your Jake is doing well on them. He looks real sweet too :love: It is extremely heart breaking...I have been through it twice; once sudden death, and once CHF.....but it is the only breed for me :hearteyes:
 

Ukesox

$ Forum Donor $
Given how huge an issue DCM has become for the breed it seems like there is a lot of denial / wilful ignorance on the issue with breeders which boarders on criminal. It’s estimated that 58% of Doberman in Europe are carriers!
How can anyone that cares for the breed & it’s future not be aware & be taking all steps to monitor the progress of pups sold. Also, in my experience many vets here in the U.K. seem unaware of the symptoms & scale of the problem.
Having lost my last Dobe to DCM at 7 it would be of great value to hear of how dogs have responded to meds once they’ve been diagnosed & any other relevant info.
I know that it’s only been identified fairly recently but as a cause of death it wasn’t a factor in any of my previous 4 Dobes from 2012 going back to 1985. Was I just lucky or it it on the increase as a cause deaths in Doberman?

Lola 2012 - 2019

6D00FBC5-A935-4E09-BABB-BA52D3EE9815.jpeg
 

Two Dobes

Hot Topics Subscriber
Lola was gorgeous. I feel it just wasn't diagnosed as often 10 years ago....and people didn't do a necropcy if they lost a dobe at 8 or 9 -
I owned a girl from a very reputable breeder, and her grandfather had died at 7 - breeder told me he just dropped dead. Sounds like cardio to me; but she denied it, saying that the "vets couldn't find anything" in the necropcy...and I don't think they would have if he had arrythmia without the enlargement....his heart would have just stopped.
I believe she denied it, because the boy had been bred ALOT.
I don't know if it can ever be fixed...and we just have to love them each day. My family thinks I am insane to keep getting Dobermans, because we lost 2 to cardio....only Doberman people can understand why we continue in this breed :hearteyes:
 

Ukesox

$ Forum Donor $
Thank you.
I can remember my mum (who worked for a nation wide pet charity) saying that big deep chested breeds don’t live as long because of the strain on their hearts. This was over 55 years ago, way before DCM had been identified. Quite possibly the same cause just without a name!
My first one just dropped down dead mid-walk on a beach summer of ‘96 but at nearly 12, though it was a terrible personal loss i put it down to a heart attack in old age (& probably the best way for her to go).
Never mind my relatives & friends….I think I’m insane for continuing to get this breed :)
 

tiffan

New Member
Lola was gorgeous. I feel it just wasn't diagnosed as often 10 years ago....and people didn't do a necropcy if they lost a dobe at 8 or 9 -
I owned a girl from a very reputable breeder, and her grandfather had died at 7 - breeder told me he just dropped dead. Sounds like cardio to me; but she denied it, saying that the "vets couldn't find anything" in the necropcy...and I don't think they would have if he had arrythmia without the enlargement....his heart would have just stopped.
I believe she denied it, because the boy had been bred ALOT.
I don't know if it can ever be fixed...and we just have to love them each day. My family thinks I am insane to keep getting Dobermans, because we lost 2 to cardio....only Doberman people can understand why we continue in this breed :hearteyes:
Are you able to share who this "reputable breeder" is? It sounds like POR or Vital Screen to me...
 

Two Dobes

Hot Topics Subscriber
I would prefer not to...if you do some research on Dobequest you can follow pedigrees and health status. The DPCA Doberman Pincher Club of America has encouraged people to list health status and reason for death on their site - which I think is a very good thing. Transparency is important.....I don't want to bad mouth any breeders, but it's just a fact. And I will continue to have dobermans in my life....possible DCM is always going to be a factor unfortunately :sorry:
 

tiffan

New Member
I would prefer not to...if you do some research on Dobequest you can follow pedigrees and health status. The DPCA Doberman Pincher Club of America has encouraged people to list health status and reason for death on their site - which I think is a very good thing. Transparency is important.....I don't want to bad mouth any breeders, but it's just a fact. And I will continue to have dobermans in my life....possible DCM is always going to be a factor unfortunately :sorry:
No problem!
 

Ajc87

Notable member
My male Doberman has heart failure.he’s only 4 years old. Fed him on raw food diet all his life. I don’t think I could have another doberman. Having to put a dog down prematurely is horrible.
 

Ukesox

$ Forum Donor $
My male Doberman has heart failure.he’s only 4 years old. Fed him on raw food diet all his life. I don’t think I could have another doberman. Having to put a dog down prematurely is horrible.
So sorry to hear of your loss.
Besides losing Lola at seven to DCM my previous Dobe had to be pts at only five years old due to a problem with her liver…very sad times:disrelieved:. My first 3 made it to over 10 though :)They’ve been so much of my life it’s hard to imagine living without one.
 

Ajc87

Notable member
He’s getting put down now. I thought his cough was kennel cough but then he became lethargic and couldn’t eat. He was the best dog I’ve ever had after having dogs for over 30 years. I can’t go through this again. When I put other dogs down at the end of their lives it’s not as bad. But to loose a dog at just 4 years old is even worse. He had his whole life ahead. Surely there is something we can do
To help this breed. What a great breed Doberman’s are but this issue needs to be addressed.
 

Two Dobes

Hot Topics Subscriber
So very very sorry....I too have lost one at 3 to DCM, and one at 4 to DCM. :(Heartbreaking. Have had 9 over the years, and have 2 currently. The best we can do is have cardiologist exam yearly - echo and holter starting at 2 years old. The meds seem to be giving them 2 years or more....but no guarantees. It is truly the best breed for me....as heartbreaking as it is. I have felt the same losing them young...can't imagine going through it again...but when you bring a new one into your life; it is just so wonderful again. A good friend told me; I would rather have loved one and lost it early, then to not experienced that love at all.
 

Ajc87

Notable member
He was my first ever doberman. I think the breeders need to acknowledge there is a major problem with Doberman genetics. It’s so sad how this beautiful breed is cursed by this horrible disease.
 

Ukesox

$ Forum Donor $
He was my first ever doberman. I think the breeders need to acknowledge there is a major problem with Doberman genetics. It’s so sad how this beautiful breed is cursed by this horrible disease.
Its estimated that nearly 60% of European Dobes are carriers of one or both of the defective genes that have been identified as causing DCM, but there may be others as yet unidentified as forum members have posted of DCM related deaths to dogs that had tested negative! Given the relative newness of the breed & that the numbers in Europe were decimated shortly after it had been established as a result of 2 major wars on Continental Europe, the gene pool was shallow to start with. DCM has only been identified relatively recently so post 1945 there were 50 - 60 years of breeding from a very shallow gene pool by people who were completely unaware that there was a problem. Add to this more recently that there are people who breed dogs who are only in it for the money & really don’t care about the long term future of the Doberman as a breed & we have the current state of affairs.. Though I love the look, I can’t help thinking that the importing of “cropped & docked” pups over the past 10-12 odd years completely unregulated from Eastern Europe into the U.K. at 3 times the price of UK bred pups with ”natural” ears and tail, has fed into this greed & added to an already serious problem.
 

Ajc87

Notable member
You are right my dog was imported to the UK from Eastern Europe. Hunnoterra kennels in Hungary. They have a bad reputation for producing dogs with this disease.
 

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