Sudden Death 4 year old German Shepherd - Page 3

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by Prager on 03 September 2016 - 02:09

After further reading on this topic, I have found out that the condition is not necessarily genetic - hereditary . Even OP's links states that is is congenital. Which means; dating from prenatal or fetal state. While Ventricular tachycardia may occur in structurally normal hearts, as hereditary arrhythmias, or may be a consequence of myocardial abnormalities associated with cardiomyopathy (heart muscle disease), significant valvular disease, or myocarditis(heart muscle inflammation). Other causes are not or may not be hereditary.
They are:
Cardiomyopathy (disease of the heart muscle)
Congenital defects (especially subaortic stenosis – narrowing of the aortic passage)
Chronic valve disease
Gastric dilation and volvulus (stomach turns and flips on itself)
Traumatic inflammation of the heart
Digitalis toxicity (heart medication)
Cancer of the heart
Myocarditis - inflammation of the heart muscle
Pancreatitis - inflammation of the pancreas
None of these conditions are proven hereditary. And many may be triggered by environmental conditions.

by Prager on 03 September 2016 - 23:09

Excellent article. Which gives excellent perspective.

by KellyPeet on 02 January 2017 - 08:01

I'm really sorry for your loss! How horrible!

I haven't read all the posts above, but I'd seriously recommend that you research smart meters, wi-fi, the Internet of things, 4G, 5G, cell towers, haarp, etc, and how they cause serious health problems including heart problems, death, etc.

Below are some Google links from a search I just did. I haven't read most of these pages, but they should be a good start in the research. I've watched many of the videos with Dr. Barrie Trower and Deborah Tavaras and consider both to be experts in their knowledge. Haarp is also something you might want to research.

The chemicals in our environment can also cause heart problems. Dog food is usually loaded with many chemicals including MSG and aspartame. They usually call those two ingredients "Natural Flavoring" in human and dog food. Both can cause heart problems in addition to many other serious health problems. Dryer sheets, fabric softener and all man made fragrances are extremely toxic and can also cause heart problems in addition to other serious health problems. GMO's in our food actually change our DNA, and our animals DNA and are very toxic.

Anyway...I just listed some things that popped into my mind. But there are many other toxic things such as vacines, flea and tick meds, wormers, all medications. etc.

von Kazmaier

by von Kazmaier on 02 January 2017 - 14:01

Sorry for your loss. I lost a great GSD suddenly too. Heart. And no one knew she had a problem....til she did. (that is undetected, even by the Vet)

by JonRob on 02 January 2017 - 15:01

I am real sorry for your heartbreaking and devastating loss.

You did a great job with your research. No it wasn't cell towers or dog food or bloat. It was most likely what you and your vet think it was. And yes it probably was genetic in your dog's case.

Would be helpful to know your dog's breeder and pedigree. One guy who posted here had his 6-month-old GSD pup suddenly drop dead, likely from the same thing. The breeder didn't give a crap. Wondering if it was the same breeder?

Appreciate your sounding the alarm about this because it will warn some future puppy buyers that having ancestors with fancy titles and a price tag through the roof says nothing about the pup's health.

Where to go for a GSD with a better chance of a long, healthy life? Best bet for you is breeders who do NOT breed for show, titles, or performance. They breed for a sound, healthy, straight-backed, long-lived, calmer GSD who makes an excellent family dog. (I'm assuming you don't want to do Schutzhund or other sports with your dog.) The really good breeders like this have long waiting lists (6 months to over a year) and will be happy to talk health and longevity with you and show you their breeding dogs' health certifications.

This recommendation will make some folks on this forum get real ugly real fast but that doesn't change the fact that this has been my experience working with dogs and their people for more than 30 years. Their opinions are the ones that matter to me. Seen an awful lot of heartbreak that could have been avoided if people had only known.

BTW Shiloh Shepherds do sometimes have decent heart health testing but they have become real skittish in recent years due to bad breeding. I no longer recommend them to my clients. No sense having a dog who lives 15 years but is a nightmare to live with.

This is my only post on this one. I have dogs to train and take care of.

by Jenni78 on 02 January 2017 - 15:01

Right, because people breeding for performance and working ability are cool with dogs dropping dead on the field during their long-bites.

How about taking a common-sense look at the pedigrees of the dogs dropping dead on a somewhat regular basis? If you don't have the peds, how about photos? It's like the DM "crisis." Big problem, but in small segments of the breed. The breed is far from doomed. People just need to get better educated on the lines producing the horrid $h!+ and call it like it is, instead of worrying about hurting someone's feelings. The dogs do not benefit from being politically correct.

by JonRob on 02 January 2017 - 16:01

OK I lied. One more post and then I really am gone. The dogs want to rock and roll.

"Right, because people breeding for performance and working ability are cool with dogs dropping dead on the field during their long-bites. "

This is how genetics works: A dog does not have to have a disorder in order to pass it on to his pups. So two dogs who are only carriers for degenerative myelopathy and won’t develop it themselves can and likely will produce pups who will develop degenerative myelopathy. And a dog without a heart defect can produce pups with fatal heart defects. If you’re buying a pup, it’s what the parents produce that matters to you.

Many performance/working breeders would be totally cool with a superstar performing dog that wins all the top awards and therefore produces pups that can be sold for a mint—and never mind that the dog is a carrier for a fatal heart defect that kills some of the pups. Heck, anything can happen to any dog anytime. . . .

Buyer beware.


by RedwoodRuns on 10 January 2017 - 07:01

So very sorry for your tragic loss. A beautiful life, bringing joy to the family gone so suddenly and without warning. I pray you find some peace.
I wonder if the cardiac testing could help with the possible genetic component for breeders to consider.

by Jenni78 on 10 January 2017 - 14:01

Hate to break the news, but the pups of "superstar performance" dogs are typically sold for a lot less than show dogs, LOL. I can buy one from a world champ. in Europe for 600-1000 euros. Neurotic black and reds with seriously questionable health history and breeder ethics go for $3500 in my area. I know this, because people turned off from that racket call me looking for a healthy pup with a sound mind. So much for the idea that the performance breeder doesn't care because they can "sell them for a mint." PERFORMANCE breeders of all kinds care about health. They aren't the type of folks who typically molly-coddle inferior examples of the breed, whether in body or mind, and they aren't going to pour all that time, work & money into a prospect that has a 60/40 chance of keeling over in the b&h or during the Itidarod, or in the middle of an all-out manhunt.

The other asinine part of that "logic" is the fact that if progeny from top dogs were dropping like flies, we'd hear about it. In the era of social media, there is no way if the progeny of top performance dogs were having these problems that it would be a secret. The isolated incident might be a secret for a short time, but if it's happening more than once or twice, you're gonna hear about it from an angry owner.

I am all for people being allowed to keep the kind of dog they choose, but I get very frustrated with this pervasive ignorance and refusal to acknowledge that some branches of GSDs are, in general, healthier and hardier and have different sets of problems. This is my biggest pet peeve with the DM thing. POST these pedigrees of affected dogs, and if you didn't necropsy your dog, post that also. And tell us what you did to ascertain it was really DM. Maybe I see it differently because I do breed and I get the phone calls from the heartbroken people who lost a dog too soon after dumping thousands upon thousands into it from the time it was 6 months old because of some phantom illness they just can't figure out. They have learned their lesson and want a working line dog, or they still don't know the difference. They "just wanted a pet" so they bought from a "straight-backed, old-fashioned" (please, someone pass me a bucket) breeder most of the time, or they had to have the gorgeous, rich black and red color so they bought from the closest breeder of GSL they could find, and here they are, penniless and heartbroken.

I am NOT saying all ASL or GSL breeders have unhealthy lines. I have a small handful of GSL breeders I refer people to who call and really want a SL. So, don't anyone get the idea I am saying GSL dogs are all unhealthy- I have no desire to get into a work vs. show battle because I am more than willing to acknowledge some excellent SL dogs exist, just as I am willing to acknowledge some horrid working lines exist (in terms of health). I am simply saying as a WHOLE, the pet/show world is more tolerant of "special needs" dogs and that tends to create a more permissive attitude among breeders and buyers alike. The other reason it's more common to find these problems in those lines is that more of them do go into pet homes, often very novice pet homes, and they don't know enough to blame the genetics. A breeder could get away with having 10 unhealthy pups sold to 10 homes who never interact. In the performance world, I think the buyers are better connected, the dogs are worked, the dogs are followed by people throughout their performance careers, and word gets around. A simple Google search will often tell you where your dog's siblings are and allow you to contact the owners.

So, JonRob's posts, to me, reek of someone who thinks they have a lot more experience about what they speak than they actually do. Sounds like a rescue-minded individual (which is wonderful) who has seen only the dark side of all the subsets of GSDs and hasn't really gotten an accurate perception of the breed as a whole and is soured as a result. I am not a wealthy individual, and if my dogs were as unhealthy as people make the breed out to be, I'd never be able to keep them. It cannot just be luck that while some folks who prefer other types have one unhealthy dog after another, or 3-4 dogs and ALL have problems, I have never had a working line dog with chronic illness, sudden death, or any other money-pit issue that seems to plague the other types with such regularity and I have owned and/or raised exponentially more GSDs than the average pet household. I'd be broke in a millisecond if these were big problems in my preferred lines.

No line is perfect. These are, after all, living beings. Environment also plays a role, so the flukes have to be regarded as such. But when they're *not* flukes, they cannot be ignored or buried. Dogs need to quit suffering for human ego.

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