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Many dog related websites have a health section. This one is intended to include health information where we have personal experience of particular conditions. In this section we have featured Bloat, which can affect a variety of breeds, and DCM (Dilated Cardiomyopathy) which various breeds are prone to, including dobermanns.


Our beautiful boy Beau would have died in November 2008 if we hadn't recognised the signs of bloat and rushed him to the vet immediately. Big thanks to Clinton Jefferies who saved Beau's life. Our other dobermann, Roxy, suffered bloat in 2011 - thanks to Marcus who saved her life - an even riskier operation as she had DCM. If you experience a combination of the following:

  • Your dog retches from the throat but nothing is produced other than small amounts of frothy mucus
  • Your dog tries to defaecate unsuccessfully
  • Your dog adopts the 'Sphinx' position
  • Your dog's tummy goes hard and/or swells up like a balloon and is as taut as drumskin
  • Trying to bite, or worry, the abdomen
  • Your dog is very unsettled

CONTACT YOUR VET IMMEDIATELY. Bloat is a true emergency - be prepared to drive to the surgery straightaway. The chance of survival decreases alarmingly if you delay getting the dog to the surgery more than 60-90 minutes after the first signs.

We have produced the above information in poster format if you would like a copy to display or circulate - we have four versions - Dobermann, Golden Retriever, Spinone and Great Dane. Just drop us an email to request one. If you run a veterinary surgery, dog training club, boarding kennels, grooming parlour - or any other dog related business then we're happy to send out packs of A5 flyers for you to hand out to your clients. These will be the dobermann version.


Thanks to Marc Abraham for displaying our bloat posters on his stand at Crufts 2011. To see some other high profile dog people who are supporting the bloat awareness campaign please click here.



Having lost a previous Dobermann to this horrible disease, we were naturally very interested to hear that a screening programme was available to Dobermanns aged 5+. Beau was found to be clear of the disease, but Roxy, pictured right, was shown to be suffering pre-clinical signs of DCM.

She's now on a drug trial which will hopefully help dobermanns (and other breeds) in future.

Sadly I have to report that Roxy collapsed and died suddenly on Sunday 10th July 2011 at just six years old. Rest in peace my pretty girl. x

The results of the trial indicate that the administration of pimobendan to Dobermanns with preclinical DCM prolongs the time to the onset of clinical signs and extends survival. Treatment of dogs in the preclinical phase of this common cardiovascular disorder with pimobendan can lead to improved outcome. We are pleased that Roxy was able to contribute this study which will have the result of prolonging other dogs' lives.

And finally, just a reminder that chocolate, grapes, sultanas and raisins are all poisonous to dogs. If your dog eats any of these then please call your vet for advice.


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