This piece on Dilated Cardiomyopathy is an overview of the disease. For a more scientific interpretation of DCM we will be adding information under the LUPA Project together with their progress and results and linking to other clinical papers from around the world.
DCM is a disease of the heart and is one of the most common heart problems in medium-sized and giant breed dogs. Great Danes are particularly predisposed to this heart condition, second only to the Dobermann. It is progressive in nature and there is no cure.
DCM in the Great Dane is usually characterised by a ‘sick heart’ in which typically the left ventricle becomes enlarged. The wall of the affected chamber stretches requiring the heart to work harder to adequately pump blood. Thus the heart fails to function effectively leading to heart failure.
As the condition advances the dog may exhibit the following problems: