HEALTH PROBLEMS IN THE DOBERMANS
Dilated cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart muscle in which it becomes progressively weaker and enlarged. Eventually affected dogs die from heart failure. Early signs might include depression, coughing, exercise intolerance, weakness, respiratory distress, decreased appetite and even fainting. Sudden death may be the first clue that something was ever wrong. Routine thorough veterinary examinations are very important, especially in young and middle-aged adults. There is no cure for cardiomyopathy and once clinical signs appear they usually will die within one to six months. Treatment may lessen symptons but may or may not increase longevity. Early detection and treatment may increase the quality and quantity of life.
VON WILLEBRAND DISEASE
Von Willebrand's disease (vWD) is the most commonly inherited bleeding disorder of the dogs. It is an abnormalilty of the blood-clotting system, similar to a hemophiliac person. Some dogs test positive and are only carriers and have no problems, while for others a small cut can be a huge problem. Mortality from vWD is low, but surgical procedures on vWD dogs can lead to uncontrolled bleeding, which may lead to death.
Hypothyroidism is the most commonly diagnosed endocrine problem in the Doberman breed. The disease itself refers to an insufficient amount of thyroid hormone being produced. The process usually starts between one and three years of age in affected animals, but doesn't become clinically evident until later in life. Hypothyroidism is quite variable in its manifestations. Most often affected animals appear fine until they use up most of their remaining thyroid hormone reserves. The most common manifestations are lack of energy and recurrent infections. Hair loss and obesity can also be a sign. The fawns and blues most often (although it can occur in blacks and reds) become hypothyroid as they get older. Treatment is relatively inexpensive.
Wobbler syndrome (cervical vertibral instability) is caused by an instability in the intervertebral disks in the neck area. When the disk destabilizes and puts pressure on the spinal cord, the result is severe neck pain. Dobermans who are predisposed usually develop clinical signs between four and ten years of age. Strict rest and anti-inflammatory therapy are used initially to quickly reduce the amount of inflammation in the spinal canal. This conservative therapy will often improve the clinical signs but cannot be expected to correct the underlying spinal defect. Some dogs can be maintained on long-term cortisone therapy with adequate control, but most other eventually develop progressive problems. If permanent damage is not evident, surgical decompression and stabilzation is the treatment of choice.
COLOR DILUTE ALOPECIA
Color dilute alopecia refers to the patchy poor haircoat that develops usually in the blues and fawns. The colors may be interesting, but the hair folicles that produce them eventually become dysplastic and a variety of skin and fur problems result in virtually every blue and fawn Doberman.
DANCING DOBERMAN SYNDROME
Dancing Doberman Syndrome develops between 6 months and 7 years of age. Affected dogs have a tendency to flex and straighten 1 and then both hind legs while standing. The gait remains normal while walking. Affected Dobermans may eventually develop weakness in their hind legs and be reluctant to stand. Dancing Doberman Syndrome progresses very slowly and affected dogs remain acceptable pets for many years.
MEDICAL CARE FOR YOUR DOBERMAN IN GENERAL
All dogs have health issues and need yearly check-ups. When Dobermans come in the program they are immediately taken to the vet and treated for any conditions that they may arrive with 95% only need vaccinations, heartworm test, spay/neuter, fecal and they are good to go. We do not run routine blood test, x-rays and skin scrapings unless there is a reason to do so. If you buy a puppy from a breeder they usually have one distemper/parvo vaccination and fecal unless you pay the big bucks $$$$ then they will have run a health screen on them. Please check with your vet before you adopt and they can explain to you what the cost of owning a Dog could be. Check and may sure you can afford the yearly check up which includes vaccinations, fecal, heartworm test and yearly heartworm prevention.