Dilated cardiomyopathy

(6 Posts)
Ihuntmonsters Wed 13-Jun-18 20:38:48

Just wondering if anyone has any experience with DCM as my dog has just been diagnosed. He had a heart murmur originally picked up about a year ago and then got a cough (probably kennel cough) which took us back to the vet who said the murmur had got worse and advised an ultrasound. The USS shows significant DCM and so he is going on medication (vetmedin first). He is 9 so not a puppy but it's a bit of a shock. The vet did say that as there's no obvious hereditary issues (he is a rescue mutt, mum said to be an American Water Spaniel, dad unknown) there was a possibility it was a taurine deficiency (he has been eating Orijen for the last few years which I thought was good but she described as 'boutique' and might have quality control issues). So he is going on supplements too (along with the supplements he has for possible arthritis in his elbow).

I was wondering if anyone had any experience as a vet or owner especially around diet. Reassuring stories about dogs with DCM that live for at least a few happy years after diagnosis would be very welcome too!

OP’s posts: |
Isitwinteryet Thu 14-Jun-18 13:57:19

We had a doberman with dcm. She lived for 14 months happily after she was diagnosed. It's a heartbreaking illness and I'm sorry you're going through it.
Hers developed into heart failure after 13 months and she lived just short of a month with the heart failure until we had to have her pts.

Ihuntmonsters Thu 14-Jun-18 16:55:21

Thanks isitwinteryet. We almost lost our dog when he was three and got a cyst in his spine (initially thought to be an aggressive cancer) so the years since have felt like a gift to some extent. In some ways I wish we didn't know about the DCM as it feels like a bit of a sword of Damocles over him right now.

OP’s posts: |
Isitwinteryet Thu 14-Jun-18 20:04:58

I understand, our same doberman that we lost to dcm also had a lump removed from her leg when she was 2. That did come back as cancer but we were lucky the cancer never came back.
I wish you and your dog all the best and really hope his dcm doesn't progress into heart failure, it's truly horrible. flowers

Micheala4398 Wed 09-Jan-19 00:45:00

Hi, I have a cocker spaniel diagnosed in December 2013 with DCM following what we thought was kennel cough but turned out the cough was a symptom. Chest x-rays and scans showed DCM. Started on vetmedin and cardalis. I did some research online and came across info on possible taurine deficiency in cockers so talked to my vet who sent off bloods for taurine levels. Turned out Jake was deficient so we started him on taurine supplements. The taurine deficiency can be caused by poor metabolising. I thought the DCM was a death sentence and braced myself for my boy not living long after diagnosis. However he is still here and doing just great. He is 16 years old in April and still walks every day for between 40 mins and 90 mins without any problems. He is amazing. I have adhered strictly to giving him his medication, health checks and to all veterinary advice. I hope your dog does well too.

Ticcinalong Wed 09-Jan-19 09:24:25

Sorry to hear about the diagnosis. Join taurine deficient dilated cardiomyopathy Facebook page for more information.
A lot of dogs on that page (mostly US / Canada) are being diagnosed and are fed boutique/ grain free diets, the good news is many are improving rapidly with a change of diet.
So those diets demonised for the last few years (Hills, Purina, RCW) are the ones that have been extensively tested and formulated to be safe for dogs and are reversing and preventing taurine deficient DCM. It’s a big shock in the dog community, and I feel UK are somewhat behind US with it all, including veterinary professionals.
A change of diet, not just supplementation is required as the working hypothesis is that it is the legumes and potatoes in the boutique diets that are blocking the taurine absorption.

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