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Sad but hopeful

Discussion in 'Doberman Health Issues and Questions' started by GennyB, Oct 31, 2017.

  1. GennyB

    GennyB Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    Drake was diagnosed with occult stage DCM. :(
    I am very hopeful we caught it early enough that it won't affect his lifespan.

    Just to fill you in on the details:
    I holter on a regular basis. Drake had his annual cardiac visit about a month ago. His holter looked good. I was feeling pretty good until last week. His behavior changed. He just wasn't my Draker Dude. Some little voice inside me screamed call the cardiologist. I did last Thursday and made an appointment for Monday (yesterday). We did an echo and an ECG. Not good news. His heart muscle functions was diminished and he had a couple arrhythmias. We decided to repeat the holter to see where he is with arrhythmias and start him on meds and supplements.
    So there you have it in just a month. The moral of the story....holter! It's the difference between life and certain death.
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  2. Oh Little Oji

    Oh Little Oji Formerly Tad Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    I'm so sorry to hear of this, Genny! Drake's awesome and lucky to have you! I hope this does not too adversely affect your lives!
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  3. Drogon

    Drogon Hot Topics Subscriber

    I'm so sorry, Genny! I'm stunned that a holter a month ago was good. I didn't realize DCM comes on so quickly
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • I was wondering about that too! I was wondering about that too! x 2
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  4. Rits

    Rits Admin Administrative Staff Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    Again, so sorry of the news Genny. I hope you two have many more years because of how adamant you are with health testing. Thank you for sharing so others realize just how important health and health testing is in this breed.

    Prayers...stay strong with Drake!
    • Agree Agree x 8
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  5. JanS

    JanS DCF Owner Administrative Staff Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    This is devastating and scary news indeed, but as stated, the regular testing is important and thankfully it was caught early. Prayers are sent that he does still have many more years with you and the technology is improving all the time so that gives us all hope.
    • Agree Agree x 4
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  6. Doberman Gang

    Doberman Gang Hot Topics Subscriber

    So sorry Genny, we are thinking about you and praying for you and Drake.
    • Agree Agree x 2
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  7. MyBuddy

    MyBuddy Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    @GennyB You know that You and Drake are in my thoughts and prayers! I know Drake is in good hands and pray that he has a long and happy life with you and your family. [[[HUGS]]]
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  8. GennyB

    GennyB Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    It certainly can. One of the reasons some think testing is a waste of time.
    In the big picture, we know so little about this disease, sad cause it's a killer of so many.
    I'm a believer that the more people test and treat when necessary, the more answers we get.
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  9. Kaiser2016

    Kaiser2016 Active Member

    It's good that you followed your instincts with Drake's behavioural changes. I'm sad to hear this but relieved that you caught it as well. Sending big hugs to your Dober boy :love: He is lucky to have you taking such good care of him!
    • Agree Agree x 3
  10. GennyB

    GennyB Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    I won't kid anybody, I was devastated to hear the diagnosis. Drake is my boy! But I now realize it could have been so much worse. What if we didn't have the tests we do? Researchers are working to find a cure. Repuable breeders do their part but they both need our help. We as owners must continue the testing. I believe it leads to answers.
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  11. Viemarangelrock

    Viemarangelrock Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    So sorry @GennyB! I’m just so glad that you picked up on his odd behaviour early and got him tested (again!) Medication and monitoring and he’ll live life to the fullest.

    Bottom line - annually screen your dogs. Early detection is crucial moving forwards. They are to precious to us.

    You are all in my thoughts and prayers.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2017
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  12. AresMyDobie

    AresMyDobie Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    I'm so sorry Genny ! This is very sad :( Drake is in the best hands possible. It definitely is important to health test, and this just proves it. Thank you.
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  13. LifeofRubie

    LifeofRubie Active Member

    How scary! What kind of behavior changes did you see, @GennyB ? I, admittedly, am not really up to speed on DCM and the signs...
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • I was wondering about that too! I was wondering about that too! x 1
  14. strykerdobe

    strykerdobe Hot Topics Subscriber

    So sorry Genny to hear this news. But hopefully catching it early can help. And sooner to be put on meds and supplements.

    How old is Drake?

    What is his Fractional Shortening and how bad were the VPC's?

    Dogs can have a longer life the sooner its caught.

    Our boy Yago was diagnosed with Occult DCM in Dec. 2015 We just Holtered him (4 VPC's, No Pairs, No Triplets or Runs) this week and he had his Echo yesterday. Still has a lower FS but he is still in the Occult Stage!
    If you want to talk about supplements we are giving please PM me.

    For other Dobe owners. Holtering is great, but also getting an Echo done is the best. A dog can have a great Hotler but a lower heart function!!!!! Which a Holter can't see!
    This was the case with our boy Yago.
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  15. Gelcoater

    Gelcoater Expert ThreadCrapper $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber

    I'm so sorry to read about this. :(

    And, quoting you here to second that answer to Drogon.
    Daisy was at the vet for some minor thing I can't recall and they didn't hear anything abnormal.
    2 months later we're at the ER vet late at night about an eye issue and the vet detected what he described as a "significant murmur"

    2 months.
    So yes, apparently when it sets in its a quick process.
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  16. WiglWerm

    WiglWerm Hot Topics Subscriber

    So sorry to hear this Genny. DAMN DCM!!! Glad you caught it so quickly making for the best chance at a full life.
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  17. Prushanks

    Prushanks Hot Topics Subscriber

    Oh Genny I’m so sorry!!! As others have said.. he couldn’t be in better hands!!! You are so vigilant and he is so damn lucky to have you!!!

    If you can share his behaviors that lead you back to the Cardiologist (when he wasn’t acting himself) would be such a huge help for us!!
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  18. WiglWerm

    WiglWerm Hot Topics Subscriber

    @GennyB when you are feeling up to it, I have some questions...When you say " I Holter on a regular basis," what is a regular basis? How old is Drake ? Was he going to a Cardiologist for any other reasons? What were the symptoms that made you go back? I'm a bit confused on the difference of Holter, echo and now ECG....is this something we should all be adding to our wellness checks? regularly? Spike is getting older and I worry...
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  19. Gelcoater

    Gelcoater Expert ThreadCrapper $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber

    Well, I'm not Genny and I don't have all the answers but

    Holter is a devise that measures cardio activity over a 24 hour period.

    The ECG measures the same function but is usually a temporary measurement.
    In the hospital, that graph paper with the up and down line thingy :D

    The echo is the same devise docs use to look inside human bodies to check out the growing baby inside. Or, to look at the heart, etc.
    My daughter gets an echo once yearly. In the first years after her surgery it was quarterly then twice a year and now we're down to one.

    Advise on dogs I have read has been mixed.
    I think at about two years an echo should be done. This establishes a base line to be measured from moving forward.
    I've read an echo a year after that till 5, then twice a year if you really want to stay on top of it.

    DCM symptoms usually crop up at 5-6
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  20. GennyB

    GennyB Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    Honestly probably mostly paranoia on my part. :wacky: I've been here before.
    He had put on some weight for no apparent reason. Not a lot, but definitely heavier than I like to see him. We are struggling to get it off. I took him in for a blood draw just to make sure everything was okay, especially his thyroid. Blood work was good.
    Then he started acting listless. That worried me. When he started not participating in things he really loves, I got worried. Last Thur. was a perfect day. The kind Drake would stay out all day chasing the ball or whatever. He didn't stay out much and when he did, it was usually just laying out in the yard. Something inside said call the cardiologist. I did and she happened to be off that day. The next day she called me concerned because it hadn't been that long since we had been seen. After talking, we kept the appointment.
    Drake is a very high energy dog. To see him acting so lethargic scared me. It could have been anything, why I thought cardiac I can't answer. Ya might think I'm crazy but Drake and I sort of have our own radar. We just know. When he first came home I was diagnosed with breast cancer. He sort of zoomed in on me from the start. That treatment and recovery was HELL and my dogs stayed right at my side the whole time. Then some of the experiences we had doing therapy work sort bonded us at a whole new level.

    He turned 7 in September

    FS was 18% He had 58 VCP's 3 of which were while still on the ECG but they counted them in the total.

    Great point! Holtering or an echo is minimum, both are best. I holtered annually until Drake turned 5. At that point we added the echo and started the holter 2 X's a year. He did have a random echo the first one being right before he turned 2. Rumor will start hers when she turns 2.

    I think I answered all your questions above. I think @Gelcoater covered everything else If I missed something just let me know. I will add an answer to this....

    YES! I absolutely would. DCM is a killer. Caught early there is hope of no affect on his lifespan. Once you get past the occult stage you are talking usually 6 months. I did get 8 months with my first dobe.
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