Golden Retriever Dog Forums banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
631 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
We learned over the Thanksgiving holiday that one of Denver’s full siblings passed away suddenly after coming inside from playing in the yard. Her owner informed me that Willow came in from playing, and when her owner turned back around she was slumped awkwardly against a wall. Her owner could see her tongue turning blue. They rushed her to the E-Vet where they tried to revive her to no avail. They declined to do an autopsy. The vet speculated that it was an undiagnosed heart problem or a sudden heart attack.

She was not eating grain free food.

I called a specialty vet referral center the very next business day and have an appointment with a cardiologist on New Years Day. We were going to wait to go to a health clinic until spring to do eyes/heart but obviously I want to go ahead and get his heart clearance ASAP.

They asked me if I want to do an echo...which is what they have Denver scheduled for, and I want to know if I am doing the right thing by getting an echo or if an auscultation is sufficient. Both of Denver’s parents have OFA heart clearances.

Thanks in advance!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,667 Posts
That kind of sudden death usually means either poisoning or SAS.
If both parents had echos (shown on clearance ) it's not as likely but still a possibility.
If they had auscultations, more likely. I know of a bitch who recently failed an echo (SAS/ridge) and her owner took her to another cardio for an auscultation which she passed. It went in to OFA. I've been watching her OFA page because I've been super curious what will happen when the research copy comes in and someone notices a week later a passing listen that the echo earlier made obviously wrong. I dk if OFA looks @ research copies (and I know this cardio sends them in) until the client copy comes in- or if they are input and any discrepancies are noted or what happens but that was in August/early September and I looked yesterday again and nothing has changed on her page.

Long way of saying- if I had a dog whose sibling died in that way, I would do the echo.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
631 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
That kind of sudden death usually means either poisoning or SAS.
If both parents had echos (shown on clearance ) it's not as likely but still a possibility.
If they had auscultations, more likely. I know of a bitch who recently failed an echo (SAS/ridge) and her owner took her to another cardio for an auscultation which she passed. It went in to OFA. I've been watching her OFA page because I've been super curious what will happen when the research copy comes in and someone notices a week later a passing listen that the echo earlier made obviously wrong. I dk if OFA looks @ research copies (and I know this cardio sends them in) until the client copy comes in- or if they are input and any discrepancies are noted or what happens but that was in August/early September and I looked yesterday again and nothing has changed on her page.

Long way of saying- if I had a dog whose sibling died in that way, I would do the echo.
Thank you. That's what my gut told me. I'm really heartbroken for their family, though I understand why she did not want to do an autopsy (she said she couldn't think of them doing that to Willow) I think I would have done it to get answers.

SAS has some sort of genetic component, correct?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,667 Posts
Thank you. That's what my gut told me. I'm really heartbroken for their family, though I understand why she did not want to do an autopsy (she said she couldn't think of them doing that to Willow) I think I would have done it to get answers.

SAS has some sort of genetic component, correct?
It does. And it's worth imo the extra money to be sure your baby's heart is fine.. be sure to send it in to OFA!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
631 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
It does. And it's worth imo the extra money to be sure your baby's heart is fine.. be sure to send it in to OFA!
You know, when I made the appointment I wanted to make sure I could get the OFA clearance and they would have the correct paperwork. The receptionist said "oh...I guess. Are you planning to breed him?" and I said "No...I just want an OFA clearance!"

So yes, of course I'll be sending it in!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
We learned over the Thanksgiving holiday that one of Denver’s full siblings passed away suddenly after coming inside from playing in the yard. Her owner informed me that Willow came in from playing, and when her owner turned back around she was slumped awkwardly against a wall. Her owner could see her tongue turning blue. They rushed her to the E-Vet where they tried to revive her to no avail. They declined to do an autopsy. The vet speculated that it was an undiagnosed heart problem or a sudden heart attack.

She was not eating grain free food.

I called a specialty vet referral center the very next business day and have an appointment with a cardiologist on New Years Day. We were going to wait to go to a health clinic until spring to do eyes/heart but obviously I want to go ahead and get his heart clearance ASAP.

They asked me if I want to do an echo...which is what they have Denver scheduled for, and I want to know if I am doing the right thing by getting an echo or if an auscultation is sufficient. Both of Denver’s parents have OFA heart clearances.

Thanks in advance!
It isn't all about grain free, it is now thought that diets that do not meet the WSAVA are lacking in the expertise in formulation (by veterinary nutritionist), research and feeding trials. Dogs eating grain inclusive, raw, dehydrated, home cooked and grain free are being diagnosed with DCM. I would be going ahead with an echo as this is the only way to ascertain your dogs heart health. I have a dog with changes to her heart from diet and mitral valve disease. Both of her parents had health clearances.
 

·
Golden Ret Enthusiast
Joined
·
1,524 Posts
It isn't all about grain free, it is now thought that diets that do not meet the WSAVA are lacking in the expertise in formulation (by veterinary nutritionist), research and feeding trials. Dogs eating grain inclusive, raw, dehydrated, home cooked and grain free are being diagnosed with DCM. I would be going ahead with an echo as this is the only way to ascertain your dogs heart health. I have a dog with changes to her heart from diet and mitral valve disease. Both of her parents had health clearances.
To me that's kinda crazy to think that all but 4 or 5 foods are contributing to this DCM issue. I don't believe that for a second (that they must be a WSAVA food) that would mean like half or 3/4 of dogs would be dieing from DCM which just isn't the case. The number of dogs is small in the grand scheme of this issue.

To the OPs concern... Do the echo. There's evidence in the litter that justifies nothing less then an echo, especially since the opener didn't have a necropsy performed.
 

·
Debbie624
Joined
·
340 Posts
Since OP talked about taking pup to health clinic for an echo, where do we find these and can anyone go even if you are not showing/competing with your dog? Coco just turned 9 months and wondering if I should take her to a cardiologist for a baseline echo or if I am being overly anxious. Or take her to a health clinic? At what age is everyone doing these or are you all doing a baseline without reason to suspect problems?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
770 Posts
I take mine to Ohio State. They start with auscultation and if they hear anything, they do an echo. Health clinics are for anyone. They are much less expensive for the same test. I drove one of my dogs 3 hours each way for the discount.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Since OP talked about taking pup to health clinic for an echo, where do we find these and can anyone go even if you are not showing/competing with your dog? Coco just turned 9 months and wondering if I should take her to a cardiologist for a baseline echo or if I am being overly anxious. Or take her to a health clinic? At what age is everyone doing these or are you all doing a baseline without reason to suspect problems?
It depends on what you are feeding, a dogs as young as 9 months (Golden) was diagnosed with DCM and passed away a couple of months later. That dog was fed Acana. If you have been feeding Royal Canin, Purina, Iams, Eukunuba or Hills then I wouldn't bother with the echo.You can make an appointment with a cardiologist yourself, but most health clinics are usually for breeding dogs for OFA. Many dogs don't present with symptoms, but owners will do an echo for peace of mine.
 

·
Kate
Joined
·
20,724 Posts
It depends on what you are feeding, a dogs as young as 9 months (Golden) was diagnosed with DCM and passed away a couple of months later. That dog was fed Acana. If you have been feeding Royal Canin, Purina, Iams, Eukunuba or Hills then I wouldn't bother with the echo.You can make an appointment with a cardiologist yourself, but most health clinics are usually for breeding dogs for OFA. Many dogs don't present with symptoms, but owners will do an echo for peace of mind.
Sandy, just fyi - there is more than one thing that causes heart disease... but primary issue is genetics. I don't have a problem seeing that since I come from a family where like it or not, we have heart disease galloping through the family tree.

Currently speaking, one parent has heart failure and my other parent had a heart murmur all her life, had multiple small strokes two years ago, and is going to need surgery to fix the condition that probably caused her strokes.

All my grandparents except 1 died before 65 because of heart disease. And most of their relatives died of the same.

I am under strict orders by my doctor to avoid eating rice (which is my favorite food and I very likely would be perfectly happy is rice was all I ate meal to meal) because it was hiking up my bad cholesterol which can cause heart disease. That's me.

That's people. With dogs and goldens in particular, we have most breeding dogs checked for heart problems after 12 months. Previously, this was believed to be all that was necessary for the rest of the dog's life and good thing for lowering the risk of SAS and other heart problems by breeding that dog vs one who had not been checked and cleared. That was typically all that was needed and it was pretty typical for people to check eyes (one time) anytime after 6 months, and heart (one time) anytime after 12 months.

With the identification of onset of hereditary eye disease (PU) later in life - GRCA changed the recommendations from checking eyes just once in a dog's life to yearly eye checks.

And then possibly related to information derived from the golden retriever lifetime study or the very least a respected heart specialist who also specializes in this breed taking a deep interest in causes of SAS and other heart diseases..... the latest studies indicate that SAS (and other heart issues) do not just develop very early so as to be noticed/identified at a 12 month check. There was a realization that dogs who had been cleared at 12 months for SAS - were developing the disease later on.

Right now that specialist is recommending that people get heart clearances done close to 2 years. And he recommends/pushes echoes on the basis of them being the gold standard check. But even simple auscultations are recommended close to or after 24 months.

Previously, you had a mixed opinion on getting echoes done. Going back to the 90's, that I remember, there were breeders who were already mainly getting echoes done on breeding dogs (this includes both parents for one of my prior boys who got rave reviews for the good condition of his heart when he got an echo done after age 10). Other people apparently saw echoes as an indication that a breeder had a reason to be extra worried about hearts in her lines.

Separate discussions that I've seen - people have become very enthused and adamant about only doing echoes now and going forward - and even strong arming stud owners into getting echoes done before having their dogs considered for breeding purposes. Some of that stems from them either having dogs develop heart problems like SAS after being cleared.... or they produced a lot of heart problems with litters - and anything from murmurs to dogs dropping dead.

This, by the way, coincides with hush hush treatment when puppy owners experience serious health problems with their puppies. And those owners and friends are warned not to post anything publicly or risk burning bridges with a lot of people in the golden community.

And that latter point is a very strong reason why I suspect that DCM has a very strong hereditary link.

This is less about Acana where it might be suspected that there is a sourcing or chemical problem with the foods. Go back to 2015 or 2016 and they changed where the food was being manufactured. And a lot of people became very unhappy with the condition of the food. There were quality issues showing up. <= Very least, I vaguely have wondered if that could be the root of the problem with Acana. And I point out that particular brand because the actual number and consistency of reports concerning that brand and specific formulas was notable.

Similar to any broadcasted problem - there are a lot of reports falling into the same bucket and obfuscating the actual problems. I think. And among else, I think it's causing more people to pay attention to heart problems and not just assume any sudden death is simply hemangio. My concern is simply blaming food and promoting a few brands is just like that "feeding grain free food will prevent cancer" mentality. Or it's literally the same people who are trying to avoid asking questions about health behind their dogs or in the dogs they breed, and putting all focus on something that they can control (ie food).

Which is halfway right in that - I'm a dog food snob and would never feed a cheap kibble that's sold in grocery stores!

But don't assume that feeding an "approved" and very select (1 of 5) brand of food will prevent heart disease or heart related deaths.

I actually know of a golden fed Purina Pro Plan (mix of peformance and sensitive skin and stomach) who had his heart clearance, but later on dropped dead while running across the yard. Necropsy was done, but no cancer was found. Heart disease was suspected but not identified in the necropsy. <= That case did not cause me to immediately assume that it was the FOOD (although hysterical people out there would have, there's a reason why dog food debates caused many conversations on FB and places like here to be shut down by moderators and that was years before this DCM thing).

All 3 my goldens were fed Purina Pro Plan puppy food - and 2 of the 3 had come home eating something else but I quickly switched over to PPP because I think the puppy food is wonderful. I've not had health issues or any digestive issues or any skin problems or anything while starting a new pup off with the regular chicken and rice formula.

PPP Adult foods? I've heard and experienced dire reactions depending on what the dogs were eating... and that's a reason why I'm not a fan in general and switch my guys to foods that they thrive on. <= This includes my practically 6 month old who is now fully switched to adult food (different brand). My take is the greatest advertisement for a brand or formula is how healthy and problem free the dogs are while eating the food. You should not have to give probiotics or anything else to dogs while feeding them a good kibble.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Sandy, just fyi - there is more than one thing that causes heart disease... but primary issue is genetics. I don't have a problem seeing that since I come from a family where like it or not, we have heart disease galloping through the family tree.

Currently speaking, one parent has heart failure and my other parent had a heart murmur all her life, had multiple small strokes two years ago, and is going to need surgery to fix the condition that probably caused her strokes.

All my grandparents except 1 died before 65 because of heart disease. And most of their relatives died of the same.

I am under strict orders by my doctor to avoid eating rice (which is my favorite food and I very likely would be perfectly happy is rice was all I ate meal to meal) because it was hiking up my bad cholesterol which can cause heart disease. That's me.

That's people. With dogs and goldens in particular, we have most breeding dogs checked for heart problems after 12 months. Previously, this was believed to be all that was necessary for the rest of the dog's life and good thing for lowering the risk of SAS and other heart problems by breeding that dog vs one who had not been checked and cleared. That was typically all that was needed and it was pretty typical for people to check eyes (one time) anytime after 6 months, and heart (one time) anytime after 12 months.

With the identification of onset of hereditary eye disease (PU) later in life - GRCA changed the recommendations from checking eyes just once in a dog's life to yearly eye checks.

And then possibly related to information derived from the golden retriever lifetime study or the very least a respected heart specialist who also specializes in this breed taking a deep interest in causes of SAS and other heart diseases..... the latest studies indicate that SAS (and other heart issues) do not just develop very early so as to be noticed/identified at a 12 month check. There was a realization that dogs who had been cleared at 12 months for SAS - were developing the disease later on.

Right now that specialist is recommending that people get heart clearances done close to 2 years. And he recommends/pushes echoes on the basis of them being the gold standard check. But even simple auscultations are recommended close to or after 24 months.

Previously, you had a mixed opinion on getting echoes done. Going back to the 90's, that I remember, there were breeders who were already mainly getting echoes done on breeding dogs (this includes both parents for one of my prior boys who got rave reviews for the good condition of his heart when he got an echo done after age 10). Other people apparently saw echoes as an indication that a breeder had a reason to be extra worried about hearts in her lines.

Separate discussions that I've seen - people have become very enthused and adamant about only doing echoes now and going forward - and even strong arming stud owners into getting echoes done before having their dogs considered for breeding purposes. Some of that stems from them either having dogs develop heart problems like SAS after being cleared.... or they produced a lot of heart problems with litters - and anything from murmurs to dogs dropping dead.

This, by the way, coincides with hush hush treatment when puppy owners experience serious health problems with their puppies. And those owners and friends are warned not to post anything publicly or risk burning bridges with a lot of people in the golden community.

And that latter point is a very strong reason why I suspect that DCM has a very strong hereditary link.

This is less about Acana where it might be suspected that there is a sourcing or chemical problem with the foods. Go back to 2015 or 2016 and they changed where the food was being manufactured. And a lot of people became very unhappy with the condition of the food. There were quality issues showing up. <= Very least, I vaguely have wondered if that could be the root of the problem with Acana. And I point out that particular brand because the actual number and consistency of reports concerning that brand and specific formulas was notable.

Similar to any broadcasted problem - there are a lot of reports falling into the same bucket and obfuscating the actual problems. I think. And among else, I think it's causing more people to pay attention to heart problems and not just assume any sudden death is simply hemangio. My concern is simply blaming food and promoting a few brands is just like that "feeding grain free food will prevent cancer" mentality. Or it's literally the same people who are trying to avoid asking questions about health behind their dogs or in the dogs they breed, and putting all focus on something that they can control (ie food).

Which is halfway right in that - I'm a dog food snob and would never feed a cheap kibble that's sold in grocery stores!

But don't assume that feeding an "approved" and very select (1 of 5) brand of food will prevent heart disease or heart related deaths.

I actually know of a golden fed Purina Pro Plan (mix of peformance and sensitive skin and stomach) who had his heart clearance, but later on dropped dead while running across the yard. Necropsy was done, but no cancer was found. Heart disease was suspected but not identified in the necropsy. <= That case did not cause me to immediately assume that it was the FOOD (although hysterical people out there would have, there's a reason why dog food debates caused many conversations on FB and places like here to be shut down by moderators and that was years before this DCM thing).

All 3 my goldens were fed Purina Pro Plan puppy food - and 2 of the 3 had come home eating something else but I quickly switched over to PPP because I think the puppy food is wonderful. I've not had health issues or any digestive issues or any skin problems or anything while starting a new pup off with the regular chicken and rice formula.

PPP Adult foods? I've heard and experienced dire reactions depending on what the dogs were eating... and that's a reason why I'm not a fan in general and switch my guys to foods that they thrive on. <= This includes my practically 6 month old who is now fully switched to adult food (different brand). My take is the greatest advertisement for a brand or formula is how healthy and problem free the dogs are while eating the food. You should not have to give probiotics or anything else to dogs while feeding them a good kibble.
Good points and good luck with your dog.

In regards to Nutritional Dilated cardiomyopathy I prefer to follow science rather than opinion.

Everyone educate your selves on the science https://taurinedcm.org/taurine-dcm-faq/
My dog had no symptoms only an echo showed her heart health. Which showed her heart was affected by all the diets she ate. Second echo showed mild improvement in heart health in regards to DCM but also diagnosed mitral valve disease which is progressive. So she has a double whammy here, the second in her case is the most concerning and not related to DCM.
 

·
Kate
Joined
·
20,724 Posts
In regards to Nutritional Dilated cardiomyopathy I prefer to follow science rather than opinion.
Doll, right now there's more opinions jumping ahead of the science. That's the problem.

Again it's not different than the SAME people blaming food for cancer and switching to raw or grain free and castigating people who are continuing to feed foods that their dogs are healthy and living long lives on. Now those SAME people are switching to Pro Plan or whatever and castigating people who again CONTINUE to feed their dogs foods that they are healthy and living long lives on. It's the same people round and round. That's not science. That's bandwagoning.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
631 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Since OP talked about taking pup to health clinic for an echo, where do we find these and can anyone go even if you are not showing/competing with your dog? Coco just turned 9 months and wondering if I should take her to a cardiologist for a baseline echo or if I am being overly anxious. Or take her to a health clinic? At what age is everyone doing these or are you all doing a baseline without reason to suspect problems?
Go to the OFA website, and under the health clinics tab will be a calendar with all the upcoming clinics on it. There isn't much listed for 2020 yet.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
631 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
It depends on what you are feeding, a dogs as young as 9 months (Golden) was diagnosed with DCM and passed away a couple of months later. That dog was fed Acana. If you have been feeding Royal Canin, Purina, Iams, Eukunuba or Hills then I wouldn't bother with the echo.You can make an appointment with a cardiologist yourself, but most health clinics are usually for breeding dogs for OFA. Many dogs don't present with symptoms, but owners will do an echo for peace of mine.
Denver eats Purina Pro Plan. I do not believe that his sibling's case had anything to do with diet. I am going to bother with an echo because I want that piece of mind that he is A-OK. If he isn't, we will be able to know what's going on and treat accordingly. The GRCA recommends that golden retrievers get hearts/eyes/hips/elbows. They don't discriminate on the basis of breeding/non breeding. Most breeders I'm sure don't wait around until clinics happen and get clearances as their dogs need them. I don't care whether I am breeding my dog or not (and I am not) but why would I not want to have a full picture of my dogs health. It's 2020...dogs are our babies and what it really comes down to is wanting the best for them.
 

·
Debbie624
Joined
·
340 Posts
Go to the OFA website, and under the health clinics tab will be a calendar with all the upcoming clinics on it. There isn't much listed for 2020 yet.
Thank you. i will definitely check this out. I wasn't sure if pet parents can get the health tests at these events but it looks like we can based on what others are saying. Thanks
 

·
Kate
Joined
·
20,724 Posts
Yes, dog owners absolutely can and SHOULD get OFA's for eyes and heart done. They will cost you about $50 each. Or cheaper at dog show clinics.

IF you purchase a pup from a breeder like Gaylan (really good breeder), I think she has it in her contract for all puppy people to get clearances done. A friend of mine is a breeder who was mentored by Gaylan and follows the same philosophies. She requires by contract all pet owners to get full clearances on the pups. (I've actually been meaning to talk to her about DCM - because I know she raw feeds her dogs - but also does all the clearances and gets full clearances on every puppy she produces)

Personally speaking - regular auscultation should be fine, though per what the heart specialist I mentioned above, I would wait until closer to 2 months to get the heart checked. Jovi will be getting his heart checked next summer.

I make appointments at a cardiologist office by choice as opposed to doing the clinics at shows. I just like choosing who does the heart clearance.

If you decide to get an echo done (and I think you should if there's a family history of heart disease, including DCM) - you will need to make an appointment. They are not typically done at dog show clinics.
 

·
Debbie624
Joined
·
340 Posts
Yes, dog owners absolutely can and SHOULD get OFA's for eyes and heart done. They will cost you about $50 each. Or cheaper at dog show clinics.

IF you purchase a pup from a breeder like Gaylan (really good breeder), I think she has it in her contract for all puppy people to get clearances done. A friend of mine is a breeder who was mentored by Gaylan and follows the same philosophies. She requires by contract all pet owners to get full clearances on the pups. (I've actually been meaning to talk to her about DCM - because I know she raw feeds her dogs - but also does all the clearances and gets full clearances on every puppy she produces)

Personally speaking - regular auscultation should be fine, though per what the heart specialist I mentioned above, I would wait until closer to 2 months to get the heart checked. Jovi will be getting his heart checked next summer.

I make appointments at a cardiologist office by choice as opposed to doing the clinics at shows. I just like choosing who does the heart clearance.

If you decide to get an echo done (and I think you should if there's a family history of heart disease, including DCM) - you will need to make an appointment. They are not typically done at dog show clinics.
Thank you Kate. I did talk to my vet about an echo for Coco and she said it cost about $500. It sounds like you're saying auscultation should be sufficient. What exactly is this and will it identify if DCM? Do you also do taurine blood tests? Because the taurine testing only shows the levels of taurine and a dog can have DCM with normal taurine levels, I figured it may be pointless to do taurine testing as a preventative measure.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top