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Our beloved golden passed away last week from a fatal arrhythmia. 2 yrs ago he was diagnosed with mitral valve disease, which seems to be pretty rare for goldens and he had been on six different medications since then. Both parents had OFA heart clearance, and I just don't understand how this could have occurred. Just a genetic anomaly? It makes me scared to get another puppy without understanding whether this could happen again or if I could find out in some way whether the puppy is susceptible.
 

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Our beloved golden passed away last week from a fatal arrhythmia. 2 yrs ago he was diagnosed with mitral valve disease, which seems to be pretty rare for goldens and he had been on six different medications since then. Both parents had OFA heart clearance, and I just don't understand how this could have occurred. Just a genetic anomaly? It makes me scared to get another puppy without understanding whether this could happen again or if I could find out in some way whether the puppy is susceptible.


I’m so sorry for your loss. How old was your Golden?

My six year old Golden was diagnosed last October with beginning stage degenerative mitral valve disease. I had been feeding him grain free/gluten free. His taurine level was 194. With change in diet and supplements we saw improvement at his last echo. His heart murmur was not detectable at his most recent check up.

Have you followed NM DCM? Still a lot to learn, but a theory that BEG diets may be contributing in some way.


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I am so sorry for your loss. I've never heard this being a problem with goldens, but very common in cavalier spaniels. I hope you contacted the breeder, they will want to know. The cavalier spaniels have a great website with lots of information that might help answer you questions. This problem does appear occasionally in other breeds. You might want to enter your dog in K9data database for information to people that may be looking at this breeder. I can help with that if you like.

Not that it matters now but be sure and check back at least 3 generations to see if there are any relatives... siblings, half siblings as well as grand parents on OFA when picking a puppy. My girl has some eye issues and didn't do this. I only looked at parents. After she failed her eye clearance I did more digging and realized at there was a long history of eye issues on both sire and dam lines. I even found dogs with PU just 3 generations back ... on both sire & dam lines. I didn't do my homework and clearly this breeder wasn't thinking about the health of this litter.

But again, I'm so sorry.
 

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I have nothing to offer on mitral valve disease but just wanted to say I'm so sorry for your loss. Maybe when you're up to it you can start a thread and tell us a little bit about your pup. We'd love to see some pictures of him too. May your wonderful memories with him bring you some comfort.
 

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@jennretz I am just now really looking into the diet issue. I thought I was feeding him the best diet possible and I can’t remember exactly but I know it was Acana for some time, possibly grain free because I thought a grain diet wasn’t as healthy and could cause skin issues?
I’ve been in touch with the breeder and she denies knowing any history or other problems with the mom or dad’s offspring but I also don’t know how much that is accurate if other people aren’t reporting.
We are possibly picking up my dog’s half sister from the same mom, but want to make sure there aren’t any similar issues!! It’s killing me though thinking we may have caused this from his diet.
 

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Also he was almost 6 yrs but diagnosed 2 yrs ago when he had congestive heart failure. We managed to give him two more years.
 

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Thank you it has been very difficult as I was the one who spent the most time with him and found him. Here are some pictures. He was so happy and loving. Everyone in the neighborhood knew him as he liked to hang out in the front yard.
 

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@jennretz I am just now really looking into the diet issue. I thought I was feeding him the best diet possible and I can’t remember exactly but I know it was Acana for some time, possibly grain free because I thought a grain diet wasn’t as healthy and could cause skin issues?
I’ve been in touch with the breeder and she denies knowing any history or other problems with the mom or dad’s offspring but I also don’t know how much that is accurate if other people aren’t reporting.
We are possibly picking up my dog’s half sister from the same mom, but want to make sure there aren’t any similar issues!! It’s killing me though thinking we may have caused this from his diet.
Your boy was gorgeous. And such a happy boy in the pictures :)

There's no way you could have known. It's only recently that they've started to suspect a possible linkage. And the marketing from the BEG companies is very effective. I fed my boy Zignature Lamb for 4 years and thought I was feeding him the best food. I only found out about the heart murmur because he pulled a groin muscle and I have a very good primary vet. We were referred right away to a cardiologist who confirmed the mitral valve disease. that is when I started paying attention to the possible link to diet. I don't know if switching foods will change things for him yet. It's too early to tell. His 4 month check-in was encouraging.

I would not beat yourself up. The only reason I share my story is to raise awareness for any future pups you may have.
 

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My 5 year old Golden Tess was just diagnosed with myxomatous mitral valve degeneration, a shock, she also had early changes to her heart from taurine deficiency, but this is improving. This is her second echocardiogram.
 

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I hope that your experience will not prevent you from bringing another golden into your life. Reviewing clearances, as recommended, is always essential, but at the end of the day you never know. I have grieved the loss of two goldens but have found so much joy in our newest family member. The loss will always be hard to bear no matter how long they live. My sympathies to you for your loss.
 

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I lost Winston Saturday. He was a healthy 3 year old but started coughing and not bringing the ball back as fast or laying down before he came running back about a month ago. I took him to our vet and a cardio specialist. Winston was diagnosed of being in the final stage of DCM.

I never heard of DCM before but obviously, after receiving the news that the condition was irreversible and the Winston had maybe four week left, I spent a lot of time on the internet to see if there was anything that could be done to save him or make his final days with us less stressful.

I did discover that the "best" food I gave him for 2.5 years may have been the reason that he was dying! I feed him Zignature Kangaroo, as recommended by my vet and the shop owner that has two Goldens. What a mistake, Zignature is one of the brands that is associated with DCM in Goldens, according the the FDA reports.

It is so hard to lose a friend like Winston but we did everything we could.

Wednesday I purchase a month's supply of the meds. that he was on, hoping that we would need them. He left us three days later.

I want to donate these meds. to someone that is fighting this terrible DCM condition. Contact me and I can list the specific meds. and strengths. The most expensive is the Pimobendan which I had compounded in a liquid format since it was less stress on Winston to squirt 1.5ml in his mouth rather than force feeding him two large tablets twice a day.

I am new to the site so I am not sure how contact should be made. I am located in Chagrin Fall, Ohio.
 

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I lost Winston Saturday. He was a healthy 3 year old but started coughing and not bringing the ball back as fast or laying down before he came running back about a month ago. I took him to our vet and a cardio specialist. Winston was diagnosed of being in the final stage of DCM.

I never heard of DCM before but obviously, after receiving the news that the condition was irreversible and the Winston had maybe four week left, I spent a lot of time on the internet to see if there was anything that could be done to save him or make his final days with us less stressful.

I did discover that the "best" food I gave him for 2.5 years may have been the reason that he was dying! I feed him Zignature Kangaroo, as recommended by my vet and the shop owner that has two Goldens. What a mistake, Zignature is one of the brands that is associated with DCM in Goldens, according the the FDA reports.

It is so hard to lose a friend like Winston but we did everything we could.

Wednesday I purchase a month's supply of the meds. that he was on, hoping that we would need them. He left us three days later.

I want to donate these meds. to someone that is fighting this terrible DCM condition. Contact me and I can list the specific meds. and strengths. The most expensive is the Pimobendan which I had compounded in a liquid format since it was less stress on Winston to squirt 1.5ml in his mouth rather than force feeding him two large tablets twice a day.

I am new to the site so I am not sure how contact should be made. I am located in Chagrin Fall, Ohio.
When my Golden passed away from cancer I had so many medications still on hand. I called my vet and they said they had a donation program.
 
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