The Scottish Deerhound and dilated cardiomyopathy: prevention, detection and treatment

Dog owner question

"Hi!I would like to adopt a ScottishDeerhound, but I have read that this breed is prone to dilated cardiomyopathy. What can I expect, how can I spot the symptoms and what steps can I take to treat the problem?"

Veterinarian's reply

"Hi! Your commitment to the care of the Scottish Deerhound and your foresight in informing yourself about the health problems specific to the breed is very commendable!

Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is indeed a common problem in Scottish Deerhounds and other large breeds of dogs.

Dilated cardiomyopathy

DCM is a heart condition in which the left ventricle of the heart becomes abnormally enlarged and the heart muscle weakens. This results in the heart being unable to pump blood efficiently to the body.

The first symptoms of the disease are often difficult to detect and may include lethargy, poor appetite, rapid breathing or coughing.

To diagnose DCM, it is important to monitor your dog's health with regular veterinary checks!

Ultrasound scans, X-rays and ECGs can be useful for early detection of the disease.

If your dog is diagnosed with DCM, your vet may recommend medication to improve heart function and manage symptoms. These may include ACE inhibitors, beta-blockers, diuretics and digoxin.

In addition to medical treatment, it is also important to ensure you are eating properly and exercising in moderation!

Although DCM cannot be cured, early detection and proper treatment can significantly improve your dog's quality of life and longevity.

In summary, living with a Scottish Deerhound can bring many joys, but breed-specific health problems such as DCM should be taken seriously. However, with the right knowledge and care, you and your dog can enjoy each other's company for many years to come!"