(follows on from Secret Diary of Maximilian Thorn aged 13 3/4)
Woke up and thought 'My mum loves me' (actually I think that when I wake up every morn...
Secret diary of Maximilian Thorn aged 14 3/4
May 7, 2012
Well, I made an appointment for Max to have semen taken for storage and later AI. He's still very fit at almost 13, clear of all the main genetic dis...
World's most expensive hand job?
June 27, 2010
Satchmo BOB and shorlisted in group at Crufts
March 12, 2013
New heart tests for Dobermanns
September 2, 2011
The Dobermann Breed Council (1) has announced new tests for early detection of heart disease in dobermanns. Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) can occur at any age, but is more common in older dogs. One of the challenges, therefore, is to identify young dogs that are at risk of developing the disease before they are used as breeding stock.
Troponin I is a protein that is present in cardiac muscle tissue. Increased levels of Troponin I can indicate heart muscle cell injury, as researched by Gerhard Wess and colleagues (2). This could be caused by a number of problems, not just by DCM, but a raised level of Troponin I indicates that echo and Holter testing are needed to test more specifically for the presence of DCM. As the tests only identify whether there is any heart damage at that time, it is important to retest regularly throughout the dog’s life. The Troponin I test is a simple blood test, so it is clearly more feasible to start young and repeat regularly than with echo and Holter testing.
Another possible marker, but with less clear evidence at present, is lactate levels. Lactate is a form of lactic acid, which is produced naturally by animals and increases during exercise or severe illness. If lactate is produced at a faster rate than it is being cleared from the dog’s body, even when it is not being exercised, there is some evidence from Bitten Jönsson’s work in Denmark that this may be a very early marker indeed of the dog’s potential to develop DCM later in life. At present, this assay is for research more than for diagnosis.
The Dobermann Breed Council (DBC) is working with Dr Jo Dukes-McEwan at Liverpool University to carry out Troponin I and lactate assays and the DBC will pay up to £50 towards costs for breeders who are member of a breed club affiliated to the DBC.