Congestive Heart Failure
…We as owners have
known for decades longer then the researchers our
Dobes tend to hold their paws up if we asked if they
hurt their little foot for the but when their life
is on the line most times we don’t realize this
until late in the process because of their stoic
Remember we run to our doctors if we think our
indigestion is not from what we ate – this just an
example of course. We also tend to have regular
check ups but our Dobes well until they appear to
have obvious problems do we judge by their
appearance and or actions and again they tend to
mask the more serious conditions.
Recently during a detailed physical of our new ‘next
generation’ boys Lex and Marshall which was their
first full examination that began with a general
examination along with Blood Pressure, Chest X-rays,
Ultrasound, ECG, what is called a Blood Chemistry
Panel or Superchem and a Complete Blood Count plus
an echocardiogram on my boys who are just two years
old with my girl Marti and one of our future mothers
I was told about a in-home heart test. In the end I
also asked for update information of Cardio –
nothing new yet but was surprised to learn about the
following test we all can do at home. We need only
our Hoytt Dobe, a quiet time and a free hand.
+ Use your I Phone or a watch with a second hand.
Observe the breathing rate over 30 seconds by
placing a hand on the kid. Since Marti sleeps in bed
I waited until she was sleeping but all they have to
be is relaxing. Sitting on the floor with them on
their favorite rug or bed works well.
+ One breath is counted every time the chest rises
and falls. The count should be less then 35 breaths
per minute. Marti’s came between 18 & 20 per minute.
(I did sixty second tests and also the first few
nights I checked Marti at least ten different times
– why not?) However they (who ever they are) say
once a day is enough.
+ Keep a daily chart for one week to establish the
kid’s base line. (I did Mari for 14 days)
+ If while resting the Resting Respiratory Rate (RRR)
is greater then 35 breaths per minute or increases
from the base line you’ve established by 25 percent
its time to have the kid checked –but first…
+ If the kids RRR increases repeat the test in 30/60
minutes just to be sure your count was correct. Real
elevations in RRR will be consistent.
Now here’s what generally is considered warning
+ Coughing …. Not throwing up as we know our Dobes
are grazers. Experience back in 1984 with one of my
boys came as a cough I did not consider I heard
before after a play time outdoors with his mate. The
next day I again heard the cough – the following day
I was at the vets and whatever tests were suggested
back then was done.
+ Changes in breathing of course.
+ Shortness of breath – my 1984 boy showed no
shortness of breath and the cough came only after
playing outdoors with his friends just two days
before the tests. I had noticed after the fact that
he had lost a bit of weight but thought it was
because of the girls he would have wanted to date
but had no offers. So even a slight but visible
weight drop or a change in coat quality should be
considered not just for heart health but other
conditions – with Hoytt Dobes parasites are
extremely rare. But this could be time for at least
a blood profile which can as I understand detect
even many types’ cancers.
+ Being restless at night may mean the kid is
beginning to have breathing difficulties – I expect
our ‘family’ to know their Dobes well. Separating
their Guardian side as well as their picking up on
some animal roaming their yard would be just the kid
+ Hormonal changes in the girls would also cause a
restlessness even after being spayed they can have
imaginary feelings during a few weeks of when they
would have cycled if not spayed.
+ Lack of appetite is of concern but not a panic
situation initially because like our selves
sometimes we are not interested in food just be sure
they will take their most favorite treats – if they
don’t throw up at least you know they have not
swallowed your favorite under ware
Last but not least I have talked with more folks
over the years who’s kid was diagnosed wrong so be
sure what you are told sounds right - again you know
your ‘kid’ the doctor does not unless your vet lives
with you. Plus in today’s world of internet
information always follow up once home and read up
on what drugs your Dobe was given and the diagnosis.
Too many times I think we are given a trade off and
a drug that seems to correct the immediate believed
problem will bring more serious consequences in the