The Health of the Dobermann2019-05-02T13:27:31-04:00

The Health of
the Dobermann

WHEN I STARTED MY RESEARCH AND STEPS TO BECOME A BREEDER, I HAD NO IDEA HOW MUCH I HAD JUST OPENED THE PANDORA’S BOX. I WANTED TO SEE HARDWORKING, ACTIVE AND BALANCED DOGS AGAIN. I WANTED HEALTHIER DOGS, BUT I QUICKLY REALIZED THAT I WOULD HAVE TO DO A LOT MORE RESEARCH AND THAT I WOULD HAVE TO RECONSIDER MY BREEDING MODEL.

HEALTH TESTS RECOMMENDED BY THE CHIC / OFA

Hip x-rays


Cardiac: Echocardiogram and Holter


Hypothyroid


von Willebrand’s Diease


CEAR eye examination by an ophthalmologist

HEALTH TESTS I DO

Hip x-rays


Elbow radiographs


Cardiac Echocardiogram and Holter annually


Hypothyroide


von Willebrand’s Diease


CAER eye examination by an ophthalmologist


DCM1 possibly related to Doberman’s dilated cardiomyopathy


DCM2 possibly related to Doberman’s dilated cardiomyopathy


DM Degenerative Myelopathy


MDR1 ( Multidryg Sensitity )


DINGS Deafness associated with vestibular dysfunction


HC Inherited Cataracts


Coat dilution gene


 Oculocutaneous Albinism ( Z FACTOR ALBINISME)

WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?

Is today’s Doberman-pinscher on the verge of extinction? This working dog breed, once known for its iron health and strength, is now affected by an incredibly high prevalence of deadly diseases such as: cancer, dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), Wobbler’s syndrome and hepatitis (liver inflammation). This problem is the logical consequence of the serious decline in the breed’s genetic diversity. In the past, attempts have been made to eliminate these diseases by selecting different genes, but these attempts have resulted in a series of resounding failures.

This result is explained by the lack of diversity in genes and the absence of instruments that could have allowed breeders to produce litters with a lower rate of homozygous genes and a lower percentage of consanguinity (inbreeding coefficient) than those of their parent dogs.Over time, the Doberman’s genetic heritage has deteriorated further as a result of the creeping use of popular spawners, the cumulative effects of uncontrolled inbreeding (including family selection) and the genetic bottleneck caused by World Wars and political upheavals. Today’s Dobermans, whether in America, Europe or Asia, have very similar genetic backgrounds.

To give you an idea, the Doberman Diversity Project tested more than 1400 dogs in more than 39 countries, they found that in this sampling all came from 17 founding females and only ONE founding male, this genetic relationship accentuates the genetic mutation through which fatal genetic diseases develop. These diseases are very serious and often cannot be effectively treated or cured. Veterinarians have long been desperate when they receive Dobermans with a genetic disease, as there is often no effective treatment to cure or treat these diseases. Doberman dog owners have also suffered for a long time with their beloved dog, seeing them die prematurely or suddenly. Dobermans breeders have often made several efforts to contain these diseases, which are making life difficult for people at ever earlier ages. Despite these efforts, this working dog breed known for its strength and created by Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann faces an uncertain future.

-From the website of  The Doberman Diversity Project.

“THE PREVALENCE OF DILATED CARDIOMYOPATHY (DCM) IS 58.2%. THE DOBERMAN-PINSCHER OFTEN DIES SUDDENLY..”

-MAUSBERG ET AL 2011.

THE EVIDENCE OF THE DOBERMAN’S POOR GENETIC HEALTH TODAY IS SOBERING:

  • Cancer. Dobermans breeders worldwide believe that cancer is the leading cause of death in this breed.

  • dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM): It is a condition of the heart muscle that causes the heart to dilate, leading to abnormal contractions. Dobermans suffering from DCM live an average of only 7.8 years, 30% shorter than dogs lucky enough to live without the disease. Unfortunately, it is estimated that more than 58% of Dobermans in Europe are diagnosed with DCM.

  • chronic hepatitis: Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. Compared to other breeds, the proportion of Dobermans Pinschers affected by liver diseases is much higher. A study conducted in 2000 revealed that among a random sample of Dobermans, 20% suffered from hepatitis without clinical signs and copper accumulation in the liver. Liver diseases are difficult to treat because the liver plays the central role in metabolizing toxins and regulating the body’s enzymes. Although the number of deaths related to this disease is lower than with CMD, hepatitis greatly affects quality of life

  • Wobbler’s syndrome: The percentage of Dobermans affected by Wobbler’s syndrome is about 5.5%. Wobbler’s syndrome is a neurological disease that causes instability of the neck (cervical vertebrae). This condition, also commonly referred to as spondylo-myelopathy, is extremely painful if left untreated.

  • Degrees of inbreeding (COI): A recent study conducted at the UC Davis Genetics Laboratory showed that the breed was very undiversified and had a high rate of inbreeding. These results were much more serious than in any other breed. It is not surprising that Dobermans have a lower variety of genomic genes responsible for immunity than other dogs. The terrible effects of untested inbreeding and genetic strangulation are as predicted by conservation geneticists. The effects of the ever-increasing inbreeding coefficient are now beginning to be felt among Dobermans around the world.

WHY BREED “CARRIER” OR “AFFECTED” DOGS ?

As mentioned in the text above, the gene pool of the Dobermann is very small. To allow us a diversity we must evaluate all the possibilities, including the possibility of reproducing a dog that is affected/carrier of a problem, but that reproduces with a dog that has no strain of the same problem so “Clear”, will give puppies, “carrier” or “clear”, therefore that will not develop the disease in question. The importance of genetic testing is crucial to achieving this.

WHICH WE CANNOT GUARANTEE:

DEGENERATIVE CARDIOMYOPATHY OF DOBERMANN ( DCM)

 Although several tools are at our disposal and we use them, we cannot guarantee that your dog will not be affected by this disease. I would also like to tell you that if a breeder can guarantee you the opposite at 100%, run away.

There are 2 genetic markers that have attracted the attention of researchers during the last research on this disease (DCM1 and DCM2), yet some dogs with no strain of these two genes have died of Cardiomyopathy. Others who were positive for these markers died at a venerable age and from another problem. The more we try to break through this disease, the more we realize that in reality we know nothing.

Good news is that Embark Laboratories in collaboration with the Doberman Diversity Project has just hired a cardiologist solely for our project and in charge of finding new markers.

OUR TOOLS TO PREVENT DCM

  • Holter yearly

  • Echocardiogram yearly

  • Pedigree study

  • DNA Tests ( DCM1 et DCM2)

  • Breeding dogs that have a good family longevity

 

WOBBLER SYNDROME

There are currently no tests to prevent Wobbler, the only tool we have is not to breed a dog that has Wobbler’s disease or has a family history of Wobbler. According to our research and communications with breeders and owners of dogs in our pedigrees, there are no dogs in our pedigrees ( however, we must rely on their good willingness to disclose information)

EDUCATIONAL VIDEO ON WOBBLER SYNDROME

References
Mausberg TB, Wess G, Simak J, Keller L, Drogemuller M, Drogemuller C, Webster MT, Stephenson H, Dukes-McEwan J, Leeb T: A locus on chromosome 5 is associated with dilated cardiomyopathy in doberman pinschers. PLoS One. 2011, 6 (5): e20042-10.1371/journal.pone.0020042.

P.J.J. Mandigers , T.S.G.A.M. van den Ingh , B. Spee , L.C. Penning , P. Bode & J. Rothuizen (2004) Chronic hepatitis in Doberman pinschers. A review, Veterinary Quarterly, 26:3, 98-106, DOI: 10.1080/01652176.2004.9695173

Genetic Diversity Testing for Doberman Pinschers. (n.d.). Retrieved November 19, 2016, from https://www.vgl.ucdavis.edu/services/dog/GeneticDiversityInDoberman.php