Embark for Veterinarians

Applied Clinical Genetics Case Library
Case 8

Signalment & History
  • 8-year-old 
  • Spayed female 
  • Doberman pinscher
  • History of food allergies. Eats Royal Canin Rabbit and Sweet Potato kibble.
Presenting Complaint
  • Owner noticed that this dog was panting at odd times.
Physical Exam
  • Temp: 100.8 F; Pulse: 75 bpm; Respiration: 25/min; MM: pink/moist CRT: <2 sec; BCS: 4/9; Eyes: wnl; Ears: wnl; Mouth: wnl; LN’s: wnl; Cardio: wnl; Resp: wnl; Abd: wnl; GI: wnl; MS: wnl; CNS: wnl; Weight: 75 lbs (34 kg)
  • Thoracic radiographs recommended based on the results of her genetic screen, breed, and clinical signs.
  • Echocardiogram
  • Holter monitoring
  • Radiographs showed enlarged cardiac silhouette with dorsal displacement of the thoracic trachea and lateral displacement of the mainstem bronchi (“cowboy legs”). Increased sternal contact of the cardiac silhouette.
  • Referred to cardiologist for echocardiogram.
  • Consult with Royal Canin veterinarian to see if the diet is exacerbating.
  • She is currently taking pimobendan. 
  • Wait for cardiology consult as she is currently not in heart failure.
  • DCM confirmed through echo and EKG. Royal Canin consult led them to conclude the diet did not contribute to the development of DCM. This dog remains on this former diet for her food allergy.  
    • Understanding the risk of DCM in Dobermans through genetic screening can tailor monitoring plans and diet recommendations. When caught early, DCM is more readily managed and the affected dog’s quality of life and overall longevity can be improved.
  • DCM is a complex disease: 
    • Two known variants associated with disease (DCM1 and DCM2) 
    • Some Doberman Pinschers with cardiologist-confirmed DCM lack either mutation
    • Significance of these mutations in other breeds is of unknown significance (low-risk)
    • DCM in other breeds might be due to nutrition or other genetic/epigenetic causes

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