Have you ever had an experience with CARDIOMYOPATHY in any of your dogs? [287 votes total]

breeder of one (51) 18%
owner of one (36) 13%
have had more than one experience (42) 15%
have not had any experience with it (158) 55%

Post Info  Comment
Posted By: JP Yousha

Posted On: 8 days ago
Views: 293

For a current discussion on cardiomyopathy specific to the Great Dane & focused on breeder issues, see:
This article discusses various forms of congestive heart failure (CFH), what exactly is "Dane DCM," how other ideas about heart disease fit into the scheme of things and so on.

For the limitation of OFA Cardiac testing, see:
It's worth nothing that nothing restricts Dane breeders from doing OFA Cardiac testing on mature animals and including echo data. In fact OFA records this information & specifically notes when an echo has been performed as part of the examination.

Currently the most valuable tool the breed has to control the spread of DCM is correct and comprehensive pedigree knowledge. To that end not only are routine echo examinations of signficant value, but necropsies should also be considered. For more on the value of necropsies to the health of a breed and a breeding program see:
PM (post mortem) data is potentially particularly relevant to health situations involving heart disease.

To see where we are, we must make some effort to go look? And naturally none of the information gathered is of practical use unless appropriate disclosure and action is taken once the information has been found. Regards, jpY

Posted By: Sandy

Posted On: 8 days ago
Views: 313

The top of the page mentioned posting "useful" comments.

My original post was in response to Nikki's comment that there is no current definitive DCM test.

That while true, the current tests CAN show you that your dog HAS CARDIOMYOPATHY. IMO that is a useful thing to learn as others posted allows you to care for your own dog and treat the disease faster, possibly prolonging and at least improving it's life.

Posted By: Kathy

Posted On: 8 days ago
Views: 336
what was the question?

.........but the subject was CARDIOMYOPATHY.

Posted By: Sandy

Posted On: 9 days ago
Views: 405
what tests can test

Yes it's true that a dog that clears any of the current cardio tests has not been cleared for DCM. In fact OFA explains that on it's website.

But that does not mean that the test cannot clear the dog of other heart-health problems. And if a dog does not pass the test - it does signal there is a problem, and can find DCM that has not yet been diagnosed.

Also as someone mentioned to me, aside from "clearing" a dog for it's use in the breeding pool, health testing is a BENEFIT to the dog itself, who from testing may be diagnosed early enough to be put on meds or supplements to improve or extend it's life.

Whether or not the inability to process taurine correctly is inheritable has yet to be shown, but I did just recently (maybe on this thread) see a rebuttal to the idea that diet (especially L/R) ~causes~ heart disease. As L/R is a popular food, it's not shown by the % of dogs with these problems that the diet alone does anything. That some individuals can't absorb it or need more is another issue.


Posted By: Nikki Riggsbee

Posted On: May 23
Views: 653

I was recently told by a vet (interist, specializing in cardio) that heart testing identifies birth defects and murmurs and such, but does not indicate that a dog will not get DCM. He also said that there are many causes of DCM, including virus and bacteria. In some families of dogs, there can be a protein deficiency which is why L-Carnitine and Taurine are sometimes/often effective.

Posted By: Mary DeRouchie

Posted On: May 23
Views: 672

I was very moved by Zee's post and could not agree more. Exactly how is it that we are supposed to figure this out if we don't share the information on dogs/pedigrees affected? I had a litter in 1994, and one of the 4 dogs in the litter died of cardio at 18 months. I had kept a bitch from that litter, and she had two abnormal heart ultrasounds, one at 2 1/2 and one at 3 1/2. Although they never diagnosed her as having DCM, two cardiologists used for both work ups both said the expanding of her heart was not normal. I spayed her and she lived to be 9. The rest of the litter all lived to be 8+ (none were ever bred). I can't tell you how often I've seen the same dogs on my pedigree on pedigrees of dogs I personally know had cardio. Please look it up on Just type in my last name and DeRouchie's Spice of Life will come up. The pedigree currently has a dead end extension that I have submitted the additional information for so they can correct it.

Also, I would ask Ray to please keep this poll up for a few more weeks. It would appear that it is just now really getting around to people.

I would also like to thank those who have made the bold move to post here.

Posted By: Zee daSilva

Posted On: May 22
Views: 676

I lost my baby at the age of 3 yrs and 28 days to DCM with left sided CHF. I had no clue he was sick until 5 days before my world fell apart. He was my life, my world, my heart, my everything. I almost gave up on life and dogs. I had totally lost it. No words can EVER describe the love I had for this dog. None.

He was bred only once to my bitch, and we opted to not breed his offspring to try and do our part in stopping this disease.

One thing I see though time and again is people complaining about the disease and they have had this experience or that experience or know of a particular line that has had it, but what chaps my hide is NO ONE wants to 'get it out in the open!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!' Come on folks what good are we doing this breed if all you do is sit there and complain about it!!!!!!!!!!!!! Telling me you had an 'experience' with the disease or know of someone/bloodline that has 'experienced' the disease is about as useless as TITS ON A BOAR HOG!!!!!!! Don't talk to me about it if you aren't willing to let anyone know who the dogs are. That is how the breed stays in trouble. I don't fault anyone for breeding these dogs UNLESS they knowingly continue to breed that problem!!! FOR REAL PEOPLE!!!

Thank you for letting me rant and rave!!

Zee daSilva
SisCo Great Danes
In memory of Ch. SisCos Series Premier (Oct.19, 1998 @ 7am~Nov.17, 2001 @ 8pm)

'There is only one thing that lasts longer than time, and that is love.'

I love you baby boy, my little 'sweetcheeks', wait for me please. Until then we will be together again in yesterday. In the meantime take care of your daughter and brother and mind your dad okay.

Posted By: Michele Andreetta

Posted On: May 22
Views: 692

My first great dane, Sarah, (bought in 1990) was diagnosed on echo with DCM at 6 years of age by a cardiologist. We were told she would live 3 months. We elected to put her on meds, which I did together with CoQ-10 and other supplements. She lived to be 9 1/2 - died from liver failure, we put her to sleep in the final hours of her liver failing.

Posted By: Betsy Phelan

Posted On: May 19
Views: 847

My fawn champion male BISS Ch. Orion's Gage
was cardio clear, and died at the age of 9 of old age. However, one of his son's,
(outcrop breeding)died of cardio. at the age of 3. No other of his get has died of cardio.

Posted By: Ray Cataldi

Posted On: May 12
Views: 1193

I have produced one Dane that had it and he died at about three years of age, CH. ROJON'S DR. LY.

Posted By: JP Yousha

Posted On: May 12
Views: 1206

Bravo Kathy! This one message may have done more good that ten articles
on the topic and any number of educational messages posted by someone like me.
I cannot tell you how GRATEFUL I am to see that someone of your stature would
take this public approach to the topic. We have got to take a rational approach to
disease, recognize it's not a "scarlet letter" situation, but a scenario that affects us all.
It means so much to the breed to have leaders. So many will follow if someone will
only be willing to set a good example. Thank you for being so brave and so caring
of the breed as a whole. To me, that is the short definition of a good breeder; someone
who cares for the whole of the breed, not just the dogs they bred. It's hard to put
dogs and facts ahead of people and gossip in this little world we have, but it's so
important to do so. Thank you for showing us all the way.

Best Regards, JP Yousha
Chmn., Health & Welfare, GDCA

Posted By: Kathy Varian

Posted On: May 9
Views: 1425

I have an 8 year old male RECENTLY echo positive for DCM. No symptoms. I was in totaly denial about the possibility of this dog being "affected". I only tested him to disprove the current inheritance theory about DCM. I, of course, was proven wrong. He is affected and he is the sire of affected sons and daughters. I would STRONGLY recommend that everyone evaluate their males. I am trying to get some testing at a discount done at the National this year in October in private. Please notify me if you are interested in discounted testing at the National.

Posted By: yvette kornfield

Posted On: May 5
Views: 1700

My experience has been nothing but alot of nasty rummors. My boys are both cardio excellent.