DCM in the doberman
The following is a brief article on DCM in the doberman and the severity it has in afflicting the breed.
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Proposal: To examine the utility of Holter recordings of a.symptomatic Doberman Pinschers to predict the likelihood of developing dilated cardiomyopathy in the near future

Implications of this work:    .
I The identification of early markers for the impending development of dilated cardiomyopathy will provide an opportunity to intervepe with newer medications with a view to aborting the progression of this disorder or at least delay its progression.
2. This project wil1 provide an opportunity for the owners of Dobennans that Ii ve somewhat removed tram a center of Doberman cardiac research to take an active role in helping their own dog and helping to irradiate this devastating disorder in their breed.
3. (n that this will be an intercontinental project. we will be able to determine if the incidence of dilated cardiomyopathy is less prevalent in several
   countries. This will help select breeding stock.    ¬

Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is an irreversible and universally fatal disorder in the Dobennan Pinscher breed. The COVE Study Trial demonstrated that DCM is more prevalent in the Doberman than in all other breeds of dogs combined (I). Ongoing work at the University of Guelph has indicated that the prevalence ofDCM ranges from 31 % to 47% in the breed in this region, with only a slightly higher occurrence in the male gender (2):
In addition., we have demonstrated that death due to DCM occurs due to euthanasia, progressive pump failure. or as sudden death (3). Sudden death occurs when ventricular premature contraCtions become frequent and progress to ventricular fibrillation. fn one study, sudden death occurred as the very first symptom ofDCM in 31 % of Dobermans that were destined to develop DCM. And finally we have demonstrated that if one starts an asymptomatic Doberman with markers of occult DCM on an angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor, the prevalence of sudden death as the first sign ofDCM is significantly reduced and the asymptomatic period is significantly prolonged (4).
A Holter recording provides one with an opportunity to look for premature ventricular contractions over an extended time period, usually 24 hours. In addition to looking for electrical irritability that is so prevalent early in DCM (during the asymptomatic period). we can also use this test to determine heart rate variability and the. signal average electrocardiogram (ECG). These two tests have been demonstrated to be of outstanding value in people to predict cardiac death, especially sudden death, and cardiac weakness (5~8). Although these tests can be determined without a Holter recording. most Dobermans cannot completely relax in a hospital environment to provide
meaningful information (work trom the University of Guelph and the University of Georgia). From the Holter we can select a period when the dog is relaxed, as when sleeping. and extract a segment of20 minutes for analysis of heart rate variability and signal average BeG. And finally, a Holter can be placed on a dog and data obtained by

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owners far removed from a veterinary facility Thus dogs from literal1y anywhere in the world could be entered into a study utilizing Holter recordings.

       1 To determine the incidence and frequency of premature ventJ:"icular
       contractions in asymptomatic Doberman Pinschers.
       2 To determine the relation betWeen geographic region and the incidence and
       fTequency of premature ventricular contractions in asymptomatic Dobennan
       3. To detennine the relation between age, coat color, and gender and the
       incidence and frequency of premature ventricular contractions in
       asymptomatic Doberman Pinschers.
       4. To detennine the range of nonnaIity for heart rate variability and the signal
       average ECG for asymptomatic Doberman Pinschers.
       5. By following these dogs for the rest of their lives to determine:
       . The frequency of premature ventricular contractions that predict dogs
       destined to develop OCM or sudden death.
       . The level. of abnormality of heart rate variability that predicts dogs
       destined to develop OCM or sudden death
       . The level of abnormality of the signal average ECG that predicts dogs
       destined to develop DCM or sudden death.
       6. To investigate newer therapies that have the potential to abort or retard the
       progression of occult DCM in the asymptomatic Doberman Pinscher.
       7. To investigate newer therapies that have the potential to reduce the
       incidence of sudden death.

Experimental Design:
This is a long-tenn study. We are familiar with such long-term efforts as. demonstrated by our activities for the last 10 years of work with the natural history of OCM in Doberman Pinschers. We propose to identify small groups of asymptomatic Dobermans with owners that are willinS to allow us to Holter their dogs at least annually on a long-tenn basis. The principal contact person for each group will receive a videotape instructing them on the proper placement of the Holter recorder. a Holter recorder. cassette tape and battery. This person will then arTange to have the Holter placed on each dog in the group on successive days. A new cassette tape and battery will be required on each dog. After each dog in the group has been taped. the collection of tapes, the Holter recorder, and the video will be returned. The tapes will be analyzed in batches, owners of dogs will receive a report, the Holter recorders and videotapes will be mailed onto the next group. We propose to begin with 10 Holter recorders and add more as demand increases. Presently, we have been contacted by groups throughout North America, Europe, South America and AustralialNew Zealand interested in participating.
As some of these dogs will ultimately go onto develop overt congestive heart failure (CHF) or sudden death (SD), prospectively we will be able to determine the frequency and type of premature ventricul~r contractions that were detected on the examinations prior to these endpoints (CHF or SD) and the time to these endpoints


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Similarly, rhe changes to the heart rate variability and signal average ECG tests will be . monitored for dogs that move toward over1 CHF or SD.
As markers of risk become apparent, the owners of these dogs will be offered participation in therapeutic trials to determine the ability of various medications to reduce the risk of overt DCM or sudden death.
. Note that we propose to seek out owners ofDobermans with a long-term vi"ew and commitment. and not individuals that wish a one-time Holter examination/Also we propose to request a nominal donation of$250 for each dog examined. This will serve to support an individual to analyze all these tapes, collate the data., and generate reports for the owners. You might be interested to learn that the 10 years of research on Dobermans at the University of Guelph has been funded entirely by small individual donations at the time of each examination tram the owners of each dog that has participated in our work.

AT AVO Dobermans health is first and foremost;and we have the test results to prove it.  All of our active breeders are holter monitored annualy. We also monitor Raisa the Grand Dame now 11 years old and retired from breeding who is normal and cardio free.

Hello Alan,

I hope everything is well with you. I have reports for all three of your doberman which all three look fantastic.  There is not a single VPC in any of their holters which is great news.  I can either scan the results to you or I can just sent the originals in the mail, which do you prefer?

Tracy Wienk
Research RVT
Cardiology Service
University of Guelph

AVO dobermans enrolled in longterm annual cardio monitoring
Hello!                                                                                                                         3/13/2016
I am so sorry for the delay. Here are your results- everything looks great!

Thank you!

Kathryn M. Meurs, DVM,PhD
Diplomate ACVIM (Cardiology)
Assoc Dean of Research and Graduate Studies
North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607

919.513.6213 phone
919.513.6452 fax

2016 Holters awesome as always
2017 Holters
These all look great!
Thank you!

Kathryn M. Meurs, DVM,PhD
Diplomate ACVIM (Cardiology)
Assoc Dean of Research and Graduate Studies
North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607