Please Don't Learn The Hard Way.

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Astrodobeguy's picture
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To my Brother and Sister Doberman Parents,

I have been blessed in having several Dobermans over 40 years. Boys, Girls, Cropped and Natural Ears.  All were magnificent, loyal, loving friends to me and my family.  Each one was special in their own way.  They all had big personalities, but I am in awe of their unconditional love.  We can all certainly learn some lessons from our wonderful Dobermans.

I have recently had to endure the pain of losing another love of my life.  We Dobe parents have all had to suffer with this hole in our hearts.  My beautiful Mischa was only 6 years old and in prime health. (Or so I thought)

Mischa came in after playing with my daughter in the backyard.  When she came in, my wife wiped her paws before allowing her in.  She appeared fine and walked into the family room and layed on her bed.  Within a minute she let out a weird howl.  I heard this from the basement and ran up to see what was going on.  At the same time my daughter and wife were calling for me.

When I got to Mischa within 10 to 15 seconds,she was no longer breathing.  She had no pulse, her eyes were dialated and her tongue was turning blue.  I began with mouth to nose breathing and CPR.  However, sadly my Mischa was gone.  We were all so devistated our beautiful girl was gone.

Even though she was not officially diagnosed with DCM, I am certain it was and my Vet feels the same.  All of our Dobermans had annual check ups and if anything was bothering them or if they appeared under the weather, we would always take them to the Vet.  We always thought to be better safe than sorry.

So how did this happen to our Mischa and our family.  We didn't know enough to get her a chest x-ray once a year during her wellness visit.  Plus our Vet never suggested it to us.

Please be aware of this and protect our Dobes.  Also make sure your Vet is familar with the breed and all their possible ailments.  From what I understand, DCM is always fatal; however, if detected early, there are meds that can prolong their lives.

Even though when I loss a Dobe, they take a piece of my heart. I am far better off with a Doberman in my life.  I always honor my fallen Dobes by adopting a Doberman from a rescue who needs a forever home as much as we need their love in our home and hearts.  I am currently in the adoption process again.

Please care for your Dobes heart both physically and emotionally.

We love you sweet Mischa.  Run Free My Beautiful Girl.

Sincerely,

Rich (Astrodobeguy)

First, condolences on the loss of your Mischa. Sudden death is really hard to witness, and I know this as I've lost two of my personal Dobermans to it - at age 9 & 11. 

Heart testing is key to catching DCM of either type early, and it is possible to prolong their life with medication - sometimes for years. 

I would tell you to find a vet cardiologist in your area, and then see if you can find a Doberman club in your area that offers cardiac ultrasounds. These should be done first between 2 & 3 years of age, and then yearly after that. A cardiac Ultrasound will catch traditional DCM.  The other test that needs to be done is a 24 hour holter monitor - this is basically a 24 hour EKG.  Most vet cardiologists will rent you a holter, but the least expensive way to do one is to see if someone in your area or a club has one for rent.  I'd recommend doing the first 24 hour holter monitor somewhere before age 4, and then repeat once a year.  This is the test that will pick up irregular heart beats that cause sudden death. 

By the time your regular vet could pick up a heart issue, it might be too late to do much as it would already be pretty advanced. 

Astrodobeguy's picture
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Joined: 2020-04-02

Thank you for your sympathy. Man it stinks. I will never make that mistake again. I guess sometimes it takes a tragedy to open your eyes and realize these creatures are not superdogs. She appeared so healthy.

I will certainly and gratefully take your advice.

Thank you sincerely,
Rich

There are plenty of people who know the risks of heart disease in Dobermans and choose to do nothing.... because they don't want to know......so don't feel bad.  DCM in Dobermans is in the breed, and no matter what you do, many will die of it.  The good news is testing can catch it early and medication can often extend their life significantly. 

Good reputable breeders do all the testing before they breed their dogs, but the testing is on going, and the average age for DCM to rear its ugly head is 6-8.... well past the age we need to breed.  Studying pedigrees helps us to minimize the risk, but the disease is in every line and the mode of inheritance is tricky and not fully known.  The breed is fabulous so those of us who LOVE this breed live with the risk, and do what we can.  Hugs to you.  Take comfort in knowing that dogs live in the moment, and don't fear death. She had a good life with you, even though it was much too short. 

Astrodobeguy's picture
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Joined: 2020-04-02

You are absolutly right.  Approximately 40 years ago, I purchased my 1st Dobe from a good breeder in NY.  He lived a good life to 11 years old.  After he passed, we decided to take another path.  Our hearts belonged to the breed; however, there were so many Dobes who were abandoned by owners who could not understand and handle the needs of the breed.  There were so many abused and others who never had a good and stable home.  We decided to open our home to these Dobes who want a forever home and to provide proper guidance, which they want and need.

I admire breeders who guard the standard of the breed.  They are truly the gatekeepers of the Doberman Breed.

However, sometimes people obtain the breed not fully understanding their needs and not being able to invest the time in proper training and socialization.  Then it gets to the point were they are fed up with their Dobe and wind up abandoning, abusing and or surrendering these poor animals.  I think that is a big reason why so many Dobermans are in resuces.

In fact during this crazy pandemic people are home and adopting pets of every kind, as per the daily news.  Why? Most likely boredom.  I fear, that when the dust settles these animal will be returned to the shelters or locked up for 8, 10, 12 hours a day when everyone returns back to work.

Sorry to go sideways with the comment, but it is frustrating.

Thank you again,

Rich

I absolutely agree with you about all the adoptions going on. My breeder friends are getting tons of calls for puppies too.  So glad I don't have a litter right now.  I do think that when life gets back to normal, there will be a bunch of dogs turned into shelters or returned to breeders. 

DobermanGuy's picture
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Good reputable breeders do all the testing before they breed their dogs

 

How did that work out for you with respect to the dogs YOU bred that came down with DCM later in life?

All those 'tests' you did on the parents came back negative so you bred the dogs, sold the puppies and then...

Your adult that you made all of those puppies with drops one day like a box of rocks thanks to DCM and you do what?

 

That crap is 'reputable' HOW?

 

 

 

DobermanGuy's picture
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Joined: 2017-12-11

So glad I don't have a litter right now.

 

No doubt you will before long because why?

 

Astrodobeguy's picture
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Joined: 2020-04-02

I just read an article about a report from the FDA saying that grain free dog food is showing considerable amounts of K9's are falling due to DCM. What raised the red flag was the amounts of breeds that rarely contract DMC are now falling to this illness most likely to grain free food.

I thought a quality grain free dry food was healthy for them. So now what. Grain included formula?-

Yes, it seems there is an issue with grain free kibbles..... some more than others.  The Doberman world does not know if grain free is an issue with Dobermans or not as our DCM is more genetic.  I've been feeding a grain free for many years that is locally made and not well known.  However, after all the grain free stuff came out, I added a grain inclusive kibble to the mix from the same company.  I feed Annamaet Aqualuk - a fish grain free, and mix with Annamaet Option - a fish based wheat, corn and soy free kibble. My dogs also get a lot of fresh foods every day: eggs, plain yogurt, cottage cheese, veggies and fruits. 

A lot of Doberman people have always fed Purina Pro Plan, so it is recommended a lot. 

 

Doberman Guy, your weird vendetta continues. I truly just scratch my head as to why .... 

You do remember than in my 27+ years in Dobermans I've had a whole total of 3 litters? Each litter has at least one AKC Champion in it.  My last litter turned 8 in February.... so yeah, I guess you think that makes me a puppy mill or something?? HAHAHAHAHAHA. 

If my Mabel passes all of her health tests this year, she will most likely be bred. She has her AKC Championship, and had just started on her Grand Championship just before Covid 19 came on. She won a 5 point Grand Championship select major at a DPCA regional specialty - there were 20 AKC champions in the ring.... so not a small win. She is seriously a beautiful girl, and I take no credit for that as I bought her from another breeder friend who co-owns her with me. 

So in answer to your question of Why?  If we don't breed the top dogs like my Mabel, who are we supposed to breed to carry on the breed?  I'm kinda confused as to why you would even ask a question like that. 

Astrodobeguy's picture
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This past Thursday, I adopted my 6th Doberman. She is 11 weeks old. She is my first red dobe. She is blind in her right eye. The rescue either doesn't know the circumstances behind the injury or just isn't saying. It appears the injury occurred after docking the tail and removing the dewclaws. There are bite marks above the injured eye, as well as her lip and ears.

So I am assuming this happened during that time period because why would a breeder dock and declaw a birth defected dog. I'm assuming they would put the dog down. I don't know because I am not a breeder.

Anyway she is safe and now has a good forever home. The rescue recommended a puppy kibble "Chicken Soup for the Soul". It suppose to be a grain inclusive formula using high quality grain and no fillers or byproducts. Obviously we want to provide our dobes with the best healthy food we can. Its difficult when we feed them grain free food and then we hear grain free can be bad for them.

CRDobe's picture
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Joined: 2014-11-06

Pet Profiles

Congrats on your new pup! Post some pics!

DobermanGuy's picture
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You do remember than in my 27+ years in Dobermans I've had a whole total of 3 litters?

And how many of your dogs have had DCM?

 

Ought to be required that breeders list that sort of stuff in their contracts so potential owners can have some sort of clue just how 'reputable' their breeder really is...

 

Doberman Guy, you need to stop with this vendetta. I don't understand what your issue is.  Everyone of my listed dogs has their cause of death listed on Dobequest.  Most people don't put every one of their dogs on dobequest and I don't either, but I have listed most of them.  Also, when any of my personal dogs or a dog I bred dies, I post it on my facebook with cause of death.  I am perfectly happy to discuss cause of death on any of my dogs with anyone.  Yes, some have died of cardio..... when at least 50% of all Dobermans die of DCM, it would stand to reason that all breeders have lost dogs to cardio.  Any breeder that says they haven't are most likely lying. 

Please feel free to go on the DPCA website, go to Dobequest, and search for "Fitzmar".  You will find cause of death listed for every single Doberman I've produced that has died.  Out of the 19 Dobermans I've produced, there is only one that I don't have contact with the owner.  She was from my first litter, and was the puppy back to the breeder of my Louise.  I've tried many times over the years to connect with her owners, and they would never give me the time of day. They broke the contract with the breeder they bought her from and would not keep in contact with her either.  It broke my heart. That girl is not listed under Fitzmar, as she went back to her dams breeder. 

So please go ahead and look - please feel free to report back on what you find.  Peace out. 

Astrodobeguy's picture
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Joined: 2020-04-02

Thank you CR Dobe. I was looking to post a few pics of Ginger. But it appears i can't simply attach a photo. I guess I have to create a gallery.
I will but i have to reduce the size for them to fit the format.
I forgot what a handful a 12 week old doberman puppy is. Lol. Yikes.

They are evil little creatures.

CRDobe's picture
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Joined: 2014-11-06

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But worth it!

Astrodobeguy's picture
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Absolutely. I wouldn't want it any other way.