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Sad but hopeful

strykerdobe

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For those that want more info!

A 24 hr Holter will record each beat of the Heart for a set period of time. Usually 24hrs. They can record longer. Looking for any (PVC's) Premature Ventricular Contractions. This is the lower left Ventricle chamber of the Heart which is most affected by DCM. These beats (which are all abnormal) can range from Single PVC's, Pairs and Triplets. There are also Runs which can lead to Sudden Death. The Holter can also record how many and how long these abnormal beats are. Are they over a very short period or longer period.

There are 2 readings Ventricular Ectopy (which is the lower area of the Heart which is most affected by DCM) and Supraventricular Ectopy (which are the upper chambers of the Heart.


Holter can also record:
Total Heart beats for the 24hr.
Maximum Heart Rate and at what times
Minimum heart Rate and at what times
Total Runs
Beats In Runs
Longest Run
Fastest Run

So they say anything under 50 Single VPC's they would not worry about!!!!!!!!! But I don't believe that at all!!!!!!!!!!!! Our boy Yago only had 7 Singles. But I took him for an Echo. Which showed he had a Lower Heart Function or Fractional Shortening. His was 18% (25-40%) is considered normal. This is why it very important to have both tests done.
Also they recommend if you get an abnormal Holter is to get a Full Thyroid Panel done. Yes the Thyroid can screw up your Heart Beat!

So yes you could have a dog (like our boy Yago) with very low amount of Single VPC's with no Pairs, Triplets or Runs and have a lower Heart Function.

The Echo measures how much the heart is contracting. Checks wall thickness. How much the chambers are filling up with blood. Also how big they get. Also looks at the heart valves opening and closing. Also lots of other measurements. Then they take all these measurements into consideration.

So when to start Holters and Echos???? Well lots to consider.
Do you know the back ground of your pup? Look at the Pedigree lines. Does the breeder keep in contact with all owners who have pups? Have they had DNA Testing for DCM1 (PDK4) or DCM2? But Neg. does not guaranteed not to get DCM. Have any of the parents or grandparents or litters had any Sudden Deaths before 2-4yrs.
DCM usually can show up between 5-8yrs old.

Usually in 30% the first sign of DCM is Sudden Death!
Or usually their dog develops a cough! Which could mean they are already going into CHF!
Have they passed out?

When we had Stryker down at NCSU for his DCM. They recommend with Dobes is to start Testing at 2yrs old with a 24hr Holter and Echo every year up until 5yrs old. After 5yrs. Echo every year but Holter every 6mo.!!!!


This is what a Holter printout looks like. Besides the printout of every heart beat. This was Yago's a few days ago.

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strykerdobe

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Forgot to mention that's its also important while during the Holter period is to keep a detailed list of times as to what the dog was doing. Just in case the Cardiologist wants to go back for a certain time frame and see what they were doing.

Something like this:

0800 Start
0810 Outside potty, some running, barking, play chasing ball
0820 Inside resting, sleeping
 

LifeofRubie

Active Member
So Rubie will turn 2 in December and as far as I'm aware, there's only one case of DCM related death in her lineage ("Blue" passed away at the age of 7 - her great, great grandsire). Maybe I'll touch base with her breeder who is local around then and see if she had some suggestions on resources or who is familiar with this testing. I love our vet but I don't know what their knowledge on this sort of thing is. Thank you for all the information!
 

Gelcoater

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So Rubie will turn 2 in December and as far as I'm aware, there's only one case of DCM related death in her lineage ("Blue" passed away at the age of 7 - her great, great grandsire). Maybe I'll touch base with her breeder who is local around then and see if she had some suggestions on resources or who is familiar with this testing. I love our vet but I don't know what their knowledge on this sort of thing is. Thank you for all the information!
Talking with the breeder is a good idea.
I'd ask your vet for a referral to a cardiac specialist.
I'd talk with other vets in the area too.
I asked two vets about it here in my area.
I saw a pattern when they both gave me the name of the same place.

A few phone calls to local vets could be rather informative.
 

GennyB

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as far as I'm aware, there's only one case of DCM related death



Not trying to scare you but....DCM is considered genetic but doesn't always show up. One thing I read is it lies dormant sometimes for generations.
The other thing to consider is a dog dying of DCM is devastating to a breeding program. Not saying this is true of your breeder but I know that some breeders conceal it. Keep in mind there are lots of breeders in your dogs pedigree.
I have researched this to death and found a few breeders that were not forth coming. I actually contacted dobequest with 2 that I could prove and had them get the cause of death changed. I'm working on the third one now. In some of the cases I know of it was simply a case of the breeder rehomed a dog after breeding so they never updated on dobequest. Another problem is a breeder can just log on and put whatever they want as a COD. There are no checks and balances.
I personally feel a breeder should have a necropsy on every dog they have ever bred. It's only fair to puppy buyers. Not sure how it could be handled to verify all COD's because most the the organizations are volunteers and work on the honor system.
 

GennyB

Moderator
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Talking with the breeder is a good idea.
I'd ask your vet for a referral to a cardiac specialist.
I'd talk with other vets in the area too.
I asked two vets about it here in my area.
I saw a pattern when they both gave me the name of the same place.

A few phone calls to local vets could be rather informative.


Good idea talking to several vets.
I got lucky. We have a fantastic Cardiologist and she is about a mile from my house.
Then the University of Missouri @ Columbia has a great cardiology department and it only about 1 1/2 hours away.

It's kinda sad when you are on a first name basis with a Veterinary Cardiologist. :(
 

Kaiser2016

Active Member
I personally feel a breeder should have a necropsy on every dog they have ever bred. It's only fair to puppy buyers. Not sure how it could be handled to verify all COD's because most the the organizations are volunteers and work on the honor system.
Totally agree with this. There are some famous Doberman deaths that opened the floodgates to speculation. On the "other" forum I had read that ppl thought a certain dog was dead because he hadnt been seen in months and that the breeder was keeping it a secret. Sounded crazy to me but if it devastates the breeding program like you said, then of course they would hide it. When I looked at those pedigree sites, I noticed very few dogs whose COD was listed. That's just wrong.
 

GennyB

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I think it's awesome of you to go the distance and have that information updated :thumbsup2: Not everyone would!



It just pisses me off. I'm truly sorry things go wrong in breeding programs but lying about it only makes it worse for everybody. Tough luck but that's life sometimes.
 

LifeofRubie

Active Member
I personally feel a breeder should have a necropsy on every dog they have ever bred. It's only fair to puppy buyers. Not sure how it could be handled to verify all COD's because most the the organizations are volunteers and work on the honor system.

She did. His COD is listed as cardiac in dobequest.
 

GOD'S GRACE

Notable member
No doubt if I were paying "BIG Bucks" for a show dog I'd have every test done and want a complete history of the dog's Pedigree.
It's awesome that tests and Vets/ Breeders/ Owners are aware and take steps to correct issues. Canine medicine has come a long way....
That being said I've always looked for canine friends who need a friend, so I'm more inclined to over look issues, if a dog has an issue it won't disqualify them from coming home with me...If that were the case, THEY MIGHT NOT come home with Me! I've got issues TOO!...LOL
:dobe::usa::cool:
 

GennyB

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She did. His COD is listed as cardiac in dobequest.


I meant other dogs in Rubie's pedigree.


No doubt if I were paying "BIG Bucks" for a show dog I'd have every test done and want a complete history of the dog's Pedigree.
It's awesome that tests and Vets/ Breeders/ Owners are aware and take steps to correct issues. Canine medicine has come a long way....


Most of the dog's here are not show dogs. Most are much loved pets. This is not about what the dog does, it's about the breed. It's estimated that up to 58% of dobermans die of this horrible disease. We want answers for the breed we love. Hopefully testing is one way to find them.
 

GennyB

Moderator
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Forgot to mention that's its also important while during the Holter period is to keep a detailed list of times as to what the dog was doing. Just in case the Cardiologist wants to go back for a certain time frame and see what they were doing.

Something like this:

0800 Start
0810 Outside potty, some running, barking, play chasing ball
0820 Inside resting, sleeping




The tech used to give me just one copy of the log sheet. After about 2 or 3 holters she started giving me at least 4. Because I already knew the results of the echo, she gave me a whole stack. She said in all her years nobody is as thorough as I am with the log.
IDK if Drake is anymore active but he is ALWAYS doing something. Here's a ball Mom, let's play! Somebody is at the door, gotta check it out. Wait, a dog walking in front of my house, gotta watch him so he doesn't get too close. There's Rumor, gotta play!
Those logs can be a lot of work! I wish I could just put 9:15 resting.
 

GOD'S GRACE

Notable member
The tech used to give me just one copy of the log sheet. After about 2 or 3 holters she started giving me at least 4. Because I already knew the results of the echo, she gave me a whole stack. She said in all her years nobody is as thorough as I am with the log.
IDK if Drake is anymore active but he is ALWAYS doing something. Here's a ball Mom, let's play! Somebody is at the door, gotta check it out. Wait, a dog walking in front of my house, gotta watch him so he doesn't get too close. There's Rumor, gotta play!
Those logs can be a lot of work! I wish I could just put 9:15 resting.

You're a Trooper for sure...(my comments were not designed to detract from others), but to show how this breed needs love...I'm happy that there are folks pushing for ways to improve the health of the Breed, because they give us so much in return. Personally both Grace and I have health issues that We both work through and at the end of the day We love each other and We both smile.

Research in Humans and Canines will help Us both as We move forward, but until that day We'll live life as the Almighty laid it out for Us, one day at a time...:dobe::usa::cool:...

Thanks for sharing, I can identify with Your story. :paw:
 

strykerdobe

Hot Topics Subscriber
The tech used to give me just one copy of the log sheet. After about 2 or 3 holters she started giving me at least 4. Because I already knew the results of the echo, she gave me a whole stack. She said in all her years nobody is as thorough as I am with the log.
IDK if Drake is anymore active but he is ALWAYS doing something. Here's a ball Mom, let's play! Somebody is at the door, gotta check it out. Wait, a dog walking in front of my house, gotta watch him so he doesn't get too close. There's Rumor, gotta play!
Those logs can be a lot of work! I wish I could just put 9:15 resting.

I do the same thing with the logs. I put barking on them! Very thorough!
 

Drogon

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So Rubie will turn 2 in December and as far as I'm aware, there's only one case of DCM related death in her lineage ("Blue" passed away at the age of 7 - her great, great grandsire). Maybe I'll touch base with her breeder who is local around then and see if she had some suggestions on resources or who is familiar with this testing. I love our vet but I don't know what their knowledge on this sort of thing is. Thank you for all the information!
You can have the genetic test done easily. Just order your kit from NC state, pay your money, 1 swab each cheek, send it in and wait. Of course the genetic mutation is only one test and just gives a % likely. Drogon is clear (negative) for both DCM genetic markers but that certainly doesn't mean he can't or won't develop DCM.

I'm still stunned that one month ago the Holter didn't report any issues. It makes me wonder if Holter testing every year is of much value.
 

GennyB

Moderator
Hot Topics Subscriber
Drogon is clear (negative) for both DCM genetic markers but that certainly doesn't mean he can't or won't develop DCM.



So is Drake.

It makes me wonder if Holter testing every year is of much value.


Exactly why we need to know more.
For now I think it's the combination of the test we have along with more testing being done. Right now it's only breeders doing the testing for the moist part. I think we would all be surprised at how many breeders just do the inital to clear a dog for breeding and then never again. I'm no research scientists or a cardiologist but it seems to me that we need more testing with what we have to see a pattern or something develop to help lead to answers. But is expensive so many just don't do it. Same goes for a dog that is diagnosed, treatment is expensive so dogs get put down or just allowed to live till their heart fails.
I am holding on to hope that there is an answer out there.
 

strykerdobe

Hot Topics Subscriber
So is Drake.




Exactly why we need to know more.
For now I think it's the combination of the test we have along with more testing being done. Right now it's only breeders doing the testing for the moist part. I think we would all be surprised at how many breeders just do the inital to clear a dog for breeding and then never again. I'm no research scientists or a cardiologist but it seems to me that we need more testing with what we have to see a pattern or something develop to help lead to answers. But is expensive so many just don't do it. Same goes for a dog that is diagnosed, treatment is expensive so dogs get put down or just allowed to live till their heart fails.
I am holding on to hope that there is an answer out there.

The biggest problem is that breeders start breeding at around 2yrs old for Females. When usually most DCM can start showing up in a dog between 5-8yrs old. So how many offspring are born already? Yes their are the incidences of Sudden Death as the first sign in about 30% of dogs and some DCM turning up before 5yrs.

Should breeding be done at a later age? Don't most breeders stop breeding females at 4-5yrs old?

Then you have the BYB's who don't test at all. But working with a Doberman rescue (which most of them come from BYB's) there have been some that DCM doesn't show up until after 10yrs old!!!

Some DCM can be caused by improper diets. I know I mentioned this in a different post. Back in the 70's thousands of cats were dying from DCM because the lack of Taurine in pet food. Is the problem back??

If researchers can find out what causes these certain Genes or it could be a combination of Genes turn on to cause DCM and how to stop them?

Do we start supplementing our dogs starting at 1-2yrs old. Which I'm starting to think about and researching. I also follow a few human Heart doctors and some nutritionists.

If all we have right now is testing with Echo's, Holters, certain blood tests that look for certain enzymes and the 2 Genetic tests. And besides researching a pedigree before buying a pup. Then we need to do it to catch it early.


Good read on what I mentioned about what happened back in the 70's

The Importance of Taurine for Dogs and Cats

The Importance of Taurine
for Dogs and Cats

By Dr. Jean Hofve, Holistic Veterinarian

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Back in the 1970s, thousands of dogs and cats were mysteriously dying due to a form of heart failure called dilated cardiomyopathy. At the same time, there were reports of cats going blind that were often associated with cats being fed dog food. But within a few years, the same problems were discovered in cats eating a “premium” cat food sold by veterinarians. Finally, in the late 1980s, the problem, in cats at least, was traced to the deficiency of a basic amino acid called taurine.

There are 22 amino acids, the basic building blocks of protein. Animals can manufacture many of them in their liver, but some must be obtained in the diet—these are called “essential.” In humans and dogs, taurine is not essential, but it turned out that in cats, it is. Taurine is found primarily in muscle meat, and is completely absent in cereal grains. The lack of taurine in the diet caused serious eye and heart diseases to develop.

But what happened to the cat food? Thousands of cats had been eating the same “complete and balanced” cat food since it came on the market in the 1960s, so why should they suddenly start dying a decade later?

The answer lies in a part of the history of pet food that the big manufacturers don’t want you to know.

Before WWII, more than 90% of commercial pet food came in cans, and contained mostly meat. However, metal was needed for the military, and by the time the war ended, 85% of pet food was dry kibble. It still contained a good amount of meat, and this is what prevented taurine deficiencies from occurring.

The primary machinery for producing what is familiar to us today as dry food is called an extruder; it was introduced in the 1950s. However, to get the right crunchy texture, the recipe called for a higher proportion of starch. This started the trend of ever-increasing quantities of cereal grain, such as corn, in dry foods. At the same time, meat processors were getting more proficient at getting more meat from livestock carcasses. Less meat was available (and what was available was getting more expensive), so pet food makers substituted other animal tissues leftover from slaughter, officially called “by-products.” Over time, the result was a high-grain, low-meat dry food, for which the profit margin was—conveniently—much higher than for canned food.


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"Taurine is found primarily in muscle meat, and is completely absent in cereal grains. The lack of taurine in the diet caused serious eye and heart diseases to develop."


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Unfortunately, cats were about to pay for the pet food companies’ profits with their lives. With virtually no muscle meat in even the premium dry foods of that period, cats eating that food were missing crucial taurine, and suffered the consequences of corporate greed as sickness, blindness, and death.

When studies fingering taurine deficiency as the cause of these ailments were published, pet food manufacturers hastened to supplement taurine in their diets. Curiously, because bacteria in the cat’s digestive system evidently prefer canned food to dry, they needed to put three times more taurine in canned food than dry. The problem disappeared, and everyone lived happily ever after…or did they?

Because dogs make their own taurine from other amino acids, it’s been thought that they didn’t need such supplements. But in the last few years, researchers have discovered that a few dogs evidently can’t supply their own taurine needs; at least not on a diet of cereal grains and by-products. Certain lines of spaniels, retrievers, and particularly Newfoundlands developed the same form of heart disease that was killing cats. Now, this disease is actually pretty common among dogs of all breeds, but what was interesting about these particular dogs was that supplementing taurine could reverse their heart disease. As it turned out, many of these dogs were eating lamb and rice dog foods. Lamb meat has a relatively low level of taurine compared to chicken, the most common pet food protein. (Beef, venison, and rabbit are also much lower in taurine than poultry.) Consequently, a few pet food makers have started to supplement taurine in some (but not all) their dry dog foods.

However, the basic reason remains the same for dogs as cats: there isn’t enough real meat in the food to sustain a meat-eating predator like a dog or cat. The vast majority of dry pet foods out there contain little or no real meat, but instead use cheaper substitutes like grain proteins (corn gluten, wheat gluten, soy protein), and by-products such as meat and bone meal.

Here at Only Natural Pet Store, we stock only the best natural pet foods. You won’t find any low-end foods full of by-products here, so you can be confident that your pet is getting the best nutrition available. Shop now for your dog or cat!

While all processed cat foods and some dog foods are supplemented with taurine, in some cases more might actually be better. Taurine is a helpful and valuable supplement for pets with liver disease, seizure disorders, and Type I diabetes (the most common form in dogs). Here are some products that contain extra taurine:

  • Only Natural Super Daily Feline Vitamins
 

Kaiser2016

Active Member
Then you have the BYB's who don't test at all. But working with a Doberman rescue (which most of them come from BYB's) there have been some that DCM doesn't show up until after 10yrs old!!!
That's a puzzling detail. If stress contributes to human illnesses then you'd think the stress of being in a rescue situation would cause them more harm. What else is unique about a rescue situation? Exposure to more dogs? Exposure to more ppl that care for them?
 

strykerdobe

Hot Topics Subscriber
That's a puzzling detail. If stress contributes to human illnesses then you'd think the stress of being in a rescue situation would cause them more harm. What else is unique about a rescue situation? Exposure to more dogs? Exposure to more ppl that care for them?

I think what really helps in a rescue situation is getting the animal into a foster home ASAP!

Well lots of things today can cause stress and inflammation (in the body of humans and pets are no different) especially puts stress on the immune system. Inflammation can cause disease.
Bad Genetics
Diet (a Crap one)
Crap water especially Fluoride and other chemicals and meds that people flush
Environmental Pollution
Pesticides such as Lawn Pesticides, use of Pesticides on our foods, use of Flea and Tick Topical and Internal ones
House hold cleaners
Vaccines Over Vaccinations
If I remember right there are over 60,000 man made chemicals today
Over use of Antibiotics that destroy good gut bacteria. Some antibiotics just one 7-10 round of them. It can take the human body up to a year to replace good bacteria in the gut. This is especially bad because almost 80% of the Immune System is located in the Gut.

After taking antibiotics, this is what you need to do to restore healthy intestinal flora
Especially giving our pets PreProbiotic and a Probiotic during and after Antibiotics.
 

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