Help and be part of it! - Together for our Great Dane
On Feb. 11, 2023, Dr. Höpfner and Dr. Kresken from the Collegium Cardiologicum presented us the evaluation of our DCM study from 2014 to 2016. Also in the years from 2017 to 2022, the data of the scaled dogs were evaluated, and the CClers came to an almost identical result as in the pilot study. Approximately 700 dogs were sounded in both time periods. Unfortunately mainly dogs with a young age up to 4 years. With the result that there is a need for action on our part.
DCM is dominantly hereditary, but because the mode of inheritance is so complex, no mutation to develop a genetic test has been found to date. Currently, only a cardiac ultrasound is conclusive. DCM cannot be completely prevented or eradicated. However, the goal of the DDC is to reduce the disease to a tolerable level, and this should be the goal of every club at home and abroad! Following the VDH phase model, the DDC has brought the VDH Scientific Advisory Board on board and asked for a recommendation.
What is to be done now?
At the moment the DDC can only make a recommendation, we are in a transitional phase.
DCM disease usually does not occur until after the dog is four years old. That's why we need dogs to be scanned regularly, especially dogs over 6 years old and older. This is the only way to determine which dogs remained healthy in the end, these are valuable for breeding. Therefore, the dogs should be sounded by a member of the CC. These veterinarians are specially trained and examine all in the same way. Only in this way can comparable data be collected and compared. And only in this way, in cooperation with the Collegium Cardiologicum, can we obtain meaningful figures on the development of DCM in Great Danes.
All breeders should go to the sound with a CCler with their breeding dogs before a mating. Mating of young dogs with older dogs is recommended, for example a 3 year old female with a male that is 6 years old. The age of both breeding partners in total should be 8 years and above. Of course, the ideal matings are when both breeding partners are over 5 to 6 years old and DCM free sounded. Also, when using males from abroad, care should be taken to have a heart ultrasound.
Why CC, why is our DDC sheet not sufficient?
Please have your dogs sounded by a CC member. All members of the CC have passed a training and examination, they are permanently educating themselves. All CC members sound and measure according to strict guidelines, there are standardized measurement values for Great Danes, which are taken for evaluation. These are checked regularly and adjusted if necessary. This procedure ensures a high and uniform standard, which is necessary for the preparation of expert opinions on health in the context of hereditary heart diseases.
As the questions from breeders regarding hereditary heart disease to the veterinary cardiologist have become more complex and the legal aspects of providing an expert opinion have also changed, the need for quality assurance has arisen. Therefore, the foundation of the CC e.V. was also initiated 20 years ago by the German Kennel Club Verband für das Deutsche Hundewesen (VDH) in order to ensure a nationwide distribution of examiners and quality assurance within the framework of consumer protection.
The examination form of the CC is an expert opinion, which is created with the strictest quality characteristics.
The DDC examination sheet cannot meet these requirements. Increasingly, veterinarians who do not have advanced training in cardiology are also performing examinations, and the resulting evaluations are not based on a uniform examination method. In other words, the data from our DDC examination form are not meaningful for drawing conclusions about the heart health of our Great Danes. These data are also not entered and evaluated in any database. Therefore, in your own interest and that of the health of your dogs, have the HUS done only at the CC veterinarian.
You can find the addresses of the CC vets here: www.collegium-cardiologicum.de
In 1880, a standard for the Great Dane for the first time was set on the occasion of show in Berlin. It has been supervised by the "Deutsche Doggen Club 1888 e.V." since 1888.
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