Shared Stories, you are not the only one fighting disease along side your Doberman



Dog name:Hismerh Prince Piere *Petey*
Your name:Carol Linguanti
Diagnosed with: DCM on 12/10/2009

How did you find out?
Did a routine 24 hour Holter from ALBA it came back bad, SHOCKED would describe my reaction. The following day I took him for an Echo-cardiogram with a Board Certified Cardiologist, his heart already showed changes. He had DCM, and it was not considered to be early.
What tests were first ran? How was your dog diagnosed, and was it difficult to determine?
Very easy to see the changes in his heart, no question that he had DCM. I went to 3 different Cardiologists over the course of 4 months, all agreed.
What meds, supplements, diet, or procedure did you try first?
First two Cardiologists didn't treat with anything more then an Ace-Inhibitor. Third Cardiologist treats very aggressively. I believe in my heart, he has given my Petey more time.

April 10, 2010 First visit with new Cardiologist Meds prescribed:
Benazepril 40 mg tablet: give 1/2 tablet every 12 hours.
Carvedilol 12.5 mg tablet: give 1/2 tablet every 12 hours.
Spironolactone 25 mg tablet: give 1 tablet every 12 hours.
Furosemide 80 mg tablet: give 1/2 tablet every 8 hours.

August 10, 2010 Echo showed disease progressing rapidly. Holter was only 29 single vpcs
Benazepril 40 mg tablet: give 1/2 tablet every 12 hours.
Carvedilol 12.5 mg tablet: give 1/2 tablet every 12 hours.
Spironolactone 25 mg tablet: give 1 tablet every 12 hours.
Furosemide 80 mg tablet: give 1/2 tablet every 8 hours.
Pimobendan 12 mg capsule: give 1 capsule every 12 hours.

February 11, 2011 Echo showed heart shrank 20%, but Holter showed severe runs of arrhythmia.
Benazepril 40 mg tablet: give 1/2 tablet every 12 hours.
Carvedilol 12.5 mg tablet: give 1/2 tablet every 12 hours.
Spironolactone 25 mg tablet: give 1 tablet every 12 hours.
Furosemide 80 mg tablet: give 1/2 tablet every 8 hours.
Pimobendan 12 mg capsule: give 1 capsule every 12 hours.
Sotalol 80 mg tablet: give 1 tablet every 12 hours.
Mexiletine 200 mg tablet: give 1 tablet every 12 hours.

Vitamin therapy given since December 2009
COQ10 100mg 2x
L-Carnitine 1000mg 2x
Lycopene 10mg 1x
Taurine 500mg 1x
Fish Oil 1200mg 2x
Magnesium 500mg 1x

Also I feed Raw whole prey model, lots of heart meat.


What long/short term treatment plan was set up?
Echos and Holters every couple of months to adjust medications.
How did your dog do on the treatment plan? What did you feel helped?
He is doing great....has not had any problems due to the medications.
What were they like prior to being diagnosed, then after.?
I've had many dogs, lost many dogs over my lifetime. DCM in a young dog is far more heart breaking then any other illness I've ever been through. The way it affects each dog is different, there is no real time line that you can wrap your head around, they can go sudden or they can deteriorate and go into CHF. They can last years, months or just days. It really gives meaning to the saying LIVE IN THE MOMENT.
How did your life change while living and fighting this diesease along side your Doberman?
Each moment with my Petey has become so precious. I treat him like each day is his last.



Dog name:Springston's Mystic Angel
Your name:Lyn Martin
Diagnosed with: Addison's Disease on 3/18/2008

How did you find out?
She got real lethargic, uninterested in eating or drinking, playing, and would only lay around.
What tests were first ran? How was your dog diagnosed, and was it difficult to determine?
Blood tests (cbc, gen health profile w/electrolites; EC8 Electrolites, etc) urine test, radiology, Marshfield ACTH Stimulation.
It wasnt difficult to diagnose, but it was a process of elimination of other problems to determine that it was Addisons. They had to rule out several other things first.
What meds, supplements, diet, or procedure did you try first?
She was put on Prednisone to regulate her system and bring her levels back to normal then given an injection of Percorten after a couple days to maintain stabilization.
What long/short term treatment plan was set up?
Long term treatment was Percorten injection every month to maintain electrolite levels and short term was Prednisone for any stressful situation she might encounter.
How did your dog do on the treatment plan? What did you feel helped?
She did well on the plan, there were a few rocky times when we were not sure if she would make it out of what are called "Addisonian Episodes" but with proper care she made it through all except the final one when we lost her. I feel that both the Percorten and Prednisone helped her tremendously, had she not gotten those meds she would have passed much sooner than she did.
What were they like prior to being diagnosed, then after.?
Prior to being diagnosed she was depressed, inactive, lethargic. After she got treatment she was normal again, playful, happy and energetic.
How did your life change while living and fighting this diesease along side your Doberman?
I cherished every day I had with her, especially after the scary times we almost lost her. We were careful not to let her get too stressed out, and always had to keep Prednisone on hand in case she did. For the most part it was as easy as dealing with her thyroid disease, making sure she got her shot each month. It makes you much more aware of your dogs moods, her little signs that something might be wrong, and you pay real close attention to them.



Dog name:Springston's Mystic Angel
Your name:Lyn Martin
Diagnosed with: hypothyroidism on 8/10/2004

How did you find out?
through our vetrinarian
What tests were first ran? How was your dog diagnosed, and was it difficult to determine?
blood tests, x-rays to eliminate other causes of her lethargy and weakness. It was easy to determine from her appearance, weight, and inactivity, combined with test results.
What meds, supplements, diet, or procedure did you try first?
she was put on Thyrozine, and an anti-inflammatory for her stiffness from being overweight. She was put on a diet to reduce her weight, and exercise to get her joints back into good working order once she lost some weight.
What long/short term treatment plan was set up?
Short term was to reduce her weight and get her comfortable walking again, and long term was hormone therapy, she took Thyrozine daily and regular blood work to maintain correct levels.
How did your dog do on the treatment plan? What did you feel helped?
She did wonderful on the treatment, once the initial phase of treatment was complete and she got down to a manageable weight she returned to normal activity, she was active, and seemed as if nothing was wrong at all. I feel that her treatment made all the difference in the world for her. The daily medications were wonderful in maintaining her health.
What were they like prior to being diagnosed, then after.?
Prior to her diagnosis she was lethargic, stiff, and had no interest in playing, going for walks or anything else. She had been working on training for the CGC and she lost all interest in training, which she had loved to work on, but after her treatment began she bounced back to her youthful self again.
How did your life change while living and fighting this diesease along side your Doberman?
The only real change was having to give her a pill each day. I think it brought us closer because we shared a common illness, I have the same low thyroid and my husband often teased me that we were made for each other, but I think we were. Our routine was for the both of us to take our meds together every day and we exercised, once a week we went to do therapy work and she was my pal always by my side.



Dog name:Eli
Your name:Patrice
Diagnosed with: DCM

How did you find out?
A routine examination.the vet listened to his heart and did not like the way it sounded. she said, he had DCM! Offered no treatment,nothing except,just let him be a dog,have fun with him!!! FUN. Our boy was dying at 4yrs old! And this from a vet that raised dobermans! We did not know dobies had thyroid problems, and "our vet" (not anymore!)never even mentioned that fact to me.He did however have a thyroid problem,which may have led to his CDM. OF course we will never know,because that lousy vet never checked through out his short life. We took him to a cardio man who affirmed DCM which was already advanced. He was a wonderful vet kind thoughtful,and very sympathetic,and he had a plan.Eli was put on pimbobendin,enalapril,and one that started with an S.We were devastated!Eli,we were told would more than likely die suddenly.What grueling days filled with tears and depression.We would let him lie in the sun with his older best friend,Noah and fed him anything he wanted from salmon,chicken,steak to popsicles.On the night of Sept.6,Eli was tucked into bed with his bear,and his fleese blanket pulled up to his neck,we kissed him goodnight along with Noah.We checked on Eli at 1am he was warm and cozy and "talked"to us while we petted him and told him how much we loved him.On the morning of the 7th i got up early to check on him,he was gone!He had died in his sleep.In the same position we had last seen him.My husband and I sat with him,and cried and petted him for a few hours before burying him next to our 31yr.old horse who died last may.So,from routine exam to confirmed diagnosis, 8 weeks! Eli had showed no symptoms. From all appearences, he was a big shinny,powerful beautiful boy with boundless energy. What a stunner.Even knowing how wide spred this is,(DCM) amoung dobermans, we will still get another doberman on day.What fabulous dogs they are. None to compare.The king of breeds. Our hearts are still broken,and Elis best friend Noah is grieving terriably,and that is very hard to watch also.Noah is 11yrs old and we love him dearly. I wonder if this could affect him adversely?
What tests were first ran? How was your dog diagnosed, and was it difficult to determine?
The first test that was run on Eli was an ultrasound. His heart looked terriable even to our untrained eyes.The very sloppy left ventricle, it was extreemly painful to see.There was no need for further testing. The cardio man gave an estimate on the time he may have left, he was right,very short.
What meds, supplements, diet, or procedure did you try first?
no diet or supplements just anything Eli wanted,he got
What long/short term treatment plan was set up?
The medication pimbobendi and enalpril were given as directed by the cardio vet and lasix,but Eli, after three weeks on the meds was losing his desire for food. We stopped all meds except for lasix.Why make him sicker with the meds. he started eating again and played with his bear. sometimes the medication can make you feel as bad as the diease. What time he had left we wanted him to feel as good as possiable.
How did your dog do on the treatment plan? What did you feel helped?
In Elis case,looking back we would have only given him the Lasix and no other medication.Obviously the medication was going to do him absolutely no good. The meds did not help him live 8 weeks longer.Thats all he had regardless.
What were they like prior to being diagnosed, then after.?
we never saw a change in Eli prior to being diagnosed. The last two weeks of his life were different of course, slower, slept alot and drank copious ammounts of water,and that was noticed before he was diagnosed,more water than usuall. Then, more water than normal.
How did your life change while living and fighting this diesease along side your Doberman?
From the day we found Eli had DCM the saddness invaded every aspect of our life.It killed your desire to eat,difficulty sleeping, lack of concentration,if there was any good news,it killed it.The whole process of mourning starts before they even die. Because there is no more future with them,even that looks bleak! OH HOW YOU LOVE THESE PRECIOUS MAGNIFICIENT DOGS! As dobie owners we can really feel one anothers grief over the loss of our beloved dogs.














PLEASE share your stories with us! I'm ask so many times, questions such as what is it like living with a dog with DCM, or how did you find out your had cancer. By sharing our experience we can help others know they are not the only ones out there facing the horrible diesease that try to take us away from our Dobermans!

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**** Many of us are not vets or even close to an expert on these topics. Many articles have come from hours spent online reading and talking with others while trying to figure out what is best. If you have any questions, or information to add, feel free to contact me at web@dobermandata.com
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