Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is an inherited progressive heart disease that affects up to 45% of Doberman pinschers. 

“The hallmark of the disease is systolic dysfunction, which means that the heart pumps less strongly, eventually leading to cardiac enlargement and congestive heart failure,” Giulio Menciotti, assistant professor of cardiology at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine.

Current screening for DCM is costly and time consuming, so the college’s cardiology team has started research to test a new technique to diagnose this disease in a more efficient and accessible way. 

“What we are trying to do with this study is to see whether some new advanced echocardiographic tool that we have will help us identify that subset of dogs with very early disease,” Menciotti said.

Upon learning that the study may not be able to continue without the purchase of new equipment, Doberman breeders and owners banded together to donate the funds to move forward with this important project. 

“Without the addition of the three new Holter monitors, it would not have been feasible to continue the study,” Menciotti said. “These donations are allowing us to work towards a better life for Doberman pinschers and other large breed dogs commonly affected by this disease.”

Written by Kevin Myatt for the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine


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