My 9 year old stopped eating

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twowheelflygirl's picture
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Hi All,

My gentle girl has stopped eating. She was just at the vet Monday, she ate clothing. She is fine now, x-rays are clear, received a clean bill of health.

However, she stopped eating yesterday and of course I am concerned, no clothes, etc. around for her to eat. She has really slowed down over last year after she spent a week in the hospital for eating goose poop, she was close to death. Since that time, our walks are now blocks instead of miles, no more long hikes in the woods. It's heart breaking, I know she misses our hikes too. She gets a good joint supplement and eats top quaility food, no changes to anything. 

I would really appriciate first hand experience of anyone who has experienced something similar and on the aging of these beautiful dogs. Website's are good, but doesn't compare to living with Dobie's on a day to day basis.

Thank you all,

Pam

 

 

First of all, xrays are not concluesive when it comes to obstructions - you really need to have an ultrasound. If she is not eating, then there is a serious problem. Is she pooping?

I don't know where you live, but have you ever had her heart checked out by a vet cardiologist? We do cardiac ultrasounds and 24 hour holter monitors on a regular basis as heart disease in Dobermans is a huge killer. 

I hope you are able to find out what is going on with her - please go back to the vet! You may need to see a specialist. 

Kaia's picture
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Joined: 2019-10-30

DCM IS KILLING DOBERMANS AT A RATE OF 52%. stop feeding grain free food. Get them on Purina pro plan  - trust me. Fromm & the greats are not for dobies or feed them raw. get that holter on. The 5 min monitoring at the vet doesn't do crap. The dog has to wear it 24 hours. Bloodwork must be done. I'm passionate about this my eight-year-old best friend died suddenly without warning of DCM Monday morning on a diet of Fromm.
 

 

 

I agree with you 1 hundred million percent.

 

 

Kaja - we really don't know how much grain free food is affecting our breed as their DCM is genetic not diet induced. It is probably wise to not feed grain free kibble with nothing else. 

I still mainly feed a very high end grain free kibble and my oldest is almost 12 with a great heart ( I test yearly).  What I do now is mix in some not grain free, but still from a higher end kibble ( Annamaet).  I also give a lot of fresh food and always have. 

I have nothing against pro-plan, but I don't think we need to abandon a good high end kibble - I just think we need to use some common sense. 

DobermanGuy's picture
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Joined: 2017-12-11

DCM IS KILLING DOBERMANS AT A RATE OF 52%. stop feeding grain free food.

 

Please cite some sources where you get this 52% number from and what exactly it even pertains to.

There are also NO studies that prove a link to DCM and grain free foods. If there were such 'proof' there would be recalls, warning lables, lawsuits, etc.

 

 

eileennellie's picture
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Joined: 2008-04-21

My vet only recommends feeding grain free if the animal has a genuine allergy. One of my cats does, he scoots his butt on the ground if he eats any food with grain. I fed grain to my dogs for the first half of their lives, and grain free for the second half. Hard to say if it made a difference. Dobie died from a heart arrhythmia, Paris had no heart problems that I knew of. I knew something was going on in the last 2-3 months with Paris. She slowed down a lot, she still tried to play fetch, but she knuckled over when she tried to pick up her toys, so we stopped letting her do any activities that could hurt her. She ate normally up until the very end, she didn't miss a meal. She did refuse water in the morning of her last day, and she wouldn't go to the bathroom. Those were factors in deciding it was her last day.  She made it very clear that she was just tired and done. She came inside, lay with her head on my lap, and I could just tell. She seemed relieved when I made the arrangements and told her she could just stay where she was. She actually lifted her head, and sighed and relaxed after that. She had been sort of anxious and wide eyed prior to this. All the advice I can give is just spend as much time with her and watch for any changes in behavior. Dogs are excellent at telling us things. They are also excellent at hiding things, too, but we know our dogs, so just keep a close watch.

Phil Tippett's picture
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Joined: 2020-08-13

Hi my dog has just been diagnosed with DCM three weeks ago has been given under three months to be with us its the biggest killer of Dobermans worldwide yet many breeders not having breeding dogs tested so wrong

DobermanGuy's picture
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Joined: 2017-12-11

Hi my dog has just been diagnosed with DCM three weeks ago has been given under three months to be with us its the biggest killer of Dobermans worldwide yet many breeders not having breeding dogs tested so wrong

 

You can test all you want and still not be able to tell if the dog develops DCM in the future... Long after puppies have been sold to whoever...

Or the parents may never develop DCM and live to be ripe old ages but one or more pups DO develop DCM later in life.

If you honestly believe that the testing of the parents will guarantee you a puppy that never develops DCM - Have your breeder put that in writing in your contract. Have them 'guarantee' in writing your money back + money for all of your training expenses if your puppy ever develops DCM.

 

Phil Tippett's picture
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Joined: 2020-08-13

We don't have contracts with the breeders in the UK the same way you do but since this problem has now been known about for a considerable time I would have thought breeders would have been more into stopping this disease being so widely spread it was my understanding that dogs that carry genetic strand can be identified with dna tests i know its going to take more than testing alone but it must start somewhere

DobermanGuy's picture
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We don't have contracts with the breeders in the UK the same way you do but since this problem has now been known about for a considerable time I would have thought breeders would have been more into stopping this disease being so widely spread it was my understanding that dogs that carry genetic strand can be identified with dna tests i know its going to take more than testing alone but it must start somewhere

Many of the breeders here that like to brag about how their breeding stock is 'tested' and DCM 'free' are not doing DNA testing. While that sort of DNA testing IS available here and can be done - They would rather depend on tests that only give them a snapshot of what is going on at that exact moment in time (cardio, ultrasound, holter monitor, etc) and then make claims based on those tests alone.

Dogs tested like described above can often pass those tests just fine and STILL drop dead as hell years later due to developing DCM but those breeders will swear up and down all day long that they are 'reputable'.

They are not. They are using tests that are proven to have no ability to predict what may develop years down the road as a way to milk more money out of their customers by saying 'we had these dogs tested and they are DCM free'. Many, if not all will leave out the most important part 'we had these dogs tested and they are DCM free at this moment in time only'.

Sadly, we have lots of idiots here that fall for the scam and pay good money for dogs that were 'tested' and led to believe that the dogs were 'free' of DCM. It is a half-truth scam that seems to work well for many of our 'reputable' Doberman breeders. True in the respect that the dogs that were tested are not currently suffering from DCM but not-true in the respect that those tests fail to tell you anything at all about the future.

 

I lost one not too long ago to DCM. Knowing full well that this disease is genetic I spent a good bit of money and time on really good Vets having her sister checked out for any signs of heart issues. Had some of the monitoring test results sent off elsewhere to doggie heart 'specialists' so that they could look and give opinions.

That dog passed every heart / cardio test we threw her way... 

About 6 months later I watched her develop the same exact symptoms her sister did and in short order she was gone. It was as if a light switch was flipped fast. 

Took this picture before we left that last time to the Vet.

 

Made me cry just to look at that picture and think about / remember what an awesome member of the family that Doberman was just now. Welled up some more when I previewed my post and saw the picture again... :(

 

 

 

 

 

It is heartbreaking to lose a dog to DCM - I've lost two personal dogs to sudden death at age 9 and 11, but not to regular DCM. I have lost dogs from my litters to DCM, and it is very hard. 

DCM is a big killer of Dobermans everywhere in the world - it is a breed problem.  The issue is that the number of genes controling DCM in Dobermans could number in the 20's. We have a DNA test for two genes that MIGHT contribute to DCM - unfortunately, there has been no evidence that shows that the two DNA tests actually have anything to do with DCM rates.  Some Dobes that test clear of both DNA tests have died of DCM, and others have lived long lives with no DCM that tested positive. We are still really in the beginning of trying to get a handle on this disease. Anyone who does just the DNA tests and then advertises them as "CLEAR OF DCM" is ignorent at best and delibrately misleading at worst. 

So at this point in time, the DCM DNA tests are more for research than any real predictive proof of DCM or not.  As breeders, the best thing we can do is do Cardiac Ultrasounds and 24 hour holters on a regular basis. A healthy heart before breeding is the best any breeder can guarantee when they test.  We also look at pedigrees and try to avoid close up DCM - it is impossible to totally avoid it. Testing should have a date given with test results. It is not a "one and done" type of thing.  I have test results for year after year for my personal dogs.  

DCM is usually a disease of middle age, and the problem is that we can't wait until middle age to breed.  You can also breed a litter and have long lived parents/grandparents etc.... but still have young DCM deaths in the litter.  There is just no guarantee in this breed. A good breeder does their very best to produce healthy Dobermans, but this breed can break your heart.  I go over all of this with every puppy I've sold..... and it has been 8 years since my last litter. 

Testing should not just be for breeding dogs, but I admit that it isn't cheap. A lot of clubs do cardio clinics where a Veterinary Cardiologist will do a bunch of ultrasounds in a day for a reduced cost. My club does this once a year and it fills up fast.  If DCM in its early stages is detected, medicine may extend their life for years.  Any dog that has a test that detects DCM should be removed from breeding, and anyone owning one of their puppies should be notified. It's not perfect, but it is what we have at this point in time.