My 5-Month old English Lab has dilated cardiomyopathy
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Thread: My 5-Month old English Lab has dilated cardiomyopathy

  1. #1
    Alex1041 is offline Junior Member
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    DefaultMy 5-Month old English Lab has dilated cardiomyopathy

    My wife and I spent nearly a year researching breeders, their breeding practices and following up on references. We finally settled on a breeder about 3 hours away. After many phone calls we decided it was a go.

    Fast forward a few months and our pup arrives, a few trips down there and 8 weeks later she arrives home.

    The puppy was always 'lazy' and simply loved to eat and sleep. Rarely did she exert herself, wanted nothing to do with going for a walk longer than a few houses down, and only played outside for a short bit each time. She loved to be inside, relaxing and laying around. We thought nothing of it.

    Her weight gain has been good, she LOVES food and loves people. She is a little people person and a big baby! Currently she is 5 months old and 50lbs; very thick and extremely strong.

    About four weeks ago she tore into one of her toys and swallowed some of the stuffing. We took her to the vet, they checked her out and made sure everything passed. The doctor noticed fluid in her lungs and prescribed RX as it appeared to be pneumonia. 10 days later the pup was doing great and back to her normal self. Eating, and playing 'normally'.

    This weekend my wife and I noticed that her stomach had swollen and gotten very large. She also suddenly stopped eating and her stool was like soft-serve ice cream. We took her to the vet. Doctor noticed fluid in her lungs again, swollen heart on the right side and her stomach was extremely full of fluid.

    We have been at the vet quite a bit this week. We were referred to another get had an echocardiogram performed today. The referred doctor advised that her heart was indeed swollen and stomach was full of fluid.

    He advised that it is extremely rare (read non-existent) that a 5-month old puppy have dilated cardiomyopathy.

    I have contacted the breeder, who is also extremely concerned and advised of the situation. They are as upset as we are and offered another puppy or anything that they could do to help us get through this.

    Long story short, with the RX prescribed, our pup will be lucky to make it 6-12 months. Her pedigree is flawless, parents were flawless, etc. This is more or less a hell of a shock.


    Has anyone heard of such a thing happening to a young pup? I know the outlook is grim and we are trying to prepare for the worst, but are willing to do what we can to possibly correct it.

    Thoughts?

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  3. #2
    BigBrownDog is offline Senior Member
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    No advice for you, but I am so, so sorry about your pup's condition. I hope the prognosis is wrong and she recovers completely. I guess there is no surgical option?
    Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.

  4. #3
    Shelley is offline Senior Member
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    Hi there, I am so very sorry for the diagnoses of your puppy. I hope that she can be managed with medications and she lives much longer than you are anticipating.

    While I have not experienced dilated cardiomyopathy here, it is not "non existent in Labrador Retrievers. She must have a severe case of it to show up so young. Do you know if the parents of your puppy had echocardiograms of their hearts? I am just curious if their hearts have been examined, and if they showed any signs of enlarged hearts, not blaming anyone at all. Do you know if this shows up clinically with a murmur or not, or can be heard with ausculatation?

    I did a quicky Google search and found this PDF from the U of Penn, and they have documentation and information of dilated cardiomyopathy occurring in Labs.

    http://www.vet.upenn.edu/portals/0/m...iomyopathy.pdf

    There is also a group on Facebook, TVD in Labrador Retirievers, you might join there and see if anyone there has advice for you.

    Best wishes for you and your puppy.
    Last edited by Shelley; 07-24-2013 at 09:07 PM.

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    tammyhuffman is offline Senior Member
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    I am so sorry for what you are going through, that is heartbreaking. Would you please tell us the name if your puppy? I would like to include her in my prayers.
    Tammy
    Maxx & Emma Jean
    Ozzy - 10/16/02 - 06/28/11 - Always in my heart.

    Sometimes the hardest part isn't letting go - but learning to start over.

  7. #5
    Mandi_S is offline Junior Member
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    Unfortunately, I have no advice I could offer. I'm so sorry she's not going to live a full life. I can't imagine what you're going through. Give her the best life she can have, even if it's going to be short. Our thoughts are with you.

  8. #6
    Alex1041 is offline Junior Member
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    The pup's name is Lucy. Thank you all so kindly for your prayers and thoughts. The hardest thing is trying to explain this to our 4-year old.

    Both parents were cleared hips, eyes, cardio and have an impressive pedigree. The parents were absolutely beautiful - dad had a huge blockhead and was well over 100lbs and mom also had a fantastic presentation. Both were a true representation of a labrador. The breeder has one of the sisters to my pup and there are no problems.

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    bett is offline Senior Member
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    so sorry for your awful diagnosis.

  10. #8
    tammyhuffman is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex1041 View Post
    The pup's name is Lucy. Thank you all so kindly for your prayers and thoughts. The hardest thing is trying to explain this to our 4-year old.

    Both parents were cleared hips, eyes, cardio and have an impressive pedigree. The parents were absolutely beautiful - dad had a huge blockhead and was well over 100lbs and mom also had a fantastic presentation. Both were a true representation of a labrador. The breeder has one of the sisters to my pup and there are no problems.
    Thanks for giving me a name to go with my prayers.

    I am so glad your breeder is being supportive. A good, reputable breeder has invested so much time, blood, sweat and tears in to a litter of puppies I don't doubt this is devastating to them as well. I really hope this is something manageable with proper care and meds. I can not begin to imagine losing a puppy so young and helping a 4 year old to deal with something so traumatic, my heart just aches for you. Please keep us posted.
    Tammy
    Maxx & Emma Jean
    Ozzy - 10/16/02 - 06/28/11 - Always in my heart.

    Sometimes the hardest part isn't letting go - but learning to start over.

  11. #9
    LuvBrown is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shelley View Post
    While I have not experienced dilated cardiomyopathy here, it is not "non existent in Labrador Retrievers. She must have a severe case of it to show up so young. Do you know if the parents of your puppy had echocardiograms of their hearts? I am just curious if their hearts have been examined, and if they showed any signs of enlarged hearts, not blaming anyone at all. Do you know if this shows up clinically with a murmur or not, or can be heard with ausculatation?

    I did a quicky Google search and found this PDF from the U of Penn, and they have documentation and information of dilated cardiomyopathy occurring in Labs.

    http://www.vet.upenn.edu/portals/0/m...iomyopathy.pdf

    There is also a group on Facebook, TVD in Labrador Retirievers, you might join there and see if anyone there has advice for you.
    This isn't TVD and while vets believe it's inherited there is no test.
    Dilated Cardiomyopathy in Dogs

    But I guess it's possible that if the parents' hearts were cleared at least you know that the parents' had clear hearts, but just like TVD, while we know its inherited, we also know that we don't have a genetic marker to test for. So a parents with a clear heart is nice, but it doesn't guarantee anything.

    Sorry to hear about your dog, but did want to add
    The parents were absolutely beautiful - dad had a huge blockhead and was well over 100lbs and mom also had a fantastic presentation. Both were a true representation of a labrador....
    Labs are medium sized dogs. A male with a huge head and over 100# is actually not in standard, so not a true representation.

    Good luck with your pup. Unfortunately, this sounds like just one of those congential things that can happen.

  12. #10
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    labby is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex1041 View Post

    Thoughts?
    First of all, I'm sorry you are dealing with this.

    My thoughts.....shit happens, unfortunately. Breeders are human, not God. We can do every clearance on the planet and sometimes we're still thrown a curve. We're dealing with genes and not all clearances are gene tests. Sometimes something unexpected slips in. This is where dealing with a reputable breeder comes in. They will either refund part/all of your purchase price or they will offer you another puppy. Unfortunately, it doesn't heal the puppy you have or your heartache having to deal with this and the inevitable outcome. Know that they do care and wish that this never happened.



    Laura





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