As an active member of the heart testing panel, and having attended numerous breed shows over the years, I am excited and honoured to be participating in a new study. We are currently actively recruiting deerhounds for a project which specifically aims to establish normal echocardiographic dimensions in deerhounds. The study will also identify the prevalence of preclinical DCM in the deerhounds screened. With the normal values, the hounds could then be screened for disease and the diagnosis of DCM could be made earlier (i.e. before the dog develops clinical signs). We need to identify a large number of dogs which are free of clinical signs and over the age of 4 years.
They would all have echocardiographic examinations as well as repeat investigations approximately twelve months later to ensure that they remained free of heart disease. In addition, DNA would be collected and stored, as collating information about dogs known to be suffering from DCM may help determine mode of inheritance. Affected dogs are likely to be under the care of their veterinary surgeon. We welcome owners and the attending veterinary surgeon to share information, which would be analysed confidentially. We would be very keen to discuss any cases which may be suitable for this study. This research has been funded by generous donations from Mrs Bev Doyle and The Deerhound Club.