Dilated cardiomyopathy in juvenile Portuguese water dogs

Margaret M. Sleeper, Paula S. Henthorn, C. Vijayasarathy, Donna M. Dambach, Tim Bowers, Pierre Tijskens, Clara F. Armstrong, Edward B. Lankford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Dilated cardiomyopathy recently has been recognized in juvenile Portuguese Water Dogs. The purpose of this study was to evaluate unaffected and affected puppies by physical examination, electrocardiogram (ECG), echocardiogram, specific biochemical assays, and ultrastructure to document disease progression and to develop a method of early detection. Results of segregation analysis were consistent with autosomal recessive inheritance. Of 124 puppies evaluated clinically and echocardiographically, 10 were affected. No significant differences were found between unaffected and affected puppies for blood and myocardial carnitine or taurine concentrations, serum chemical variables, results of ophthalmological examinations, ECGs, or measurement of urine metabolites. Ultrastructural examination of myocardium from affected dogs revealed myofibrillar atrophy and small regions of myofibrillar degeneration, most prominently at the region of the intercalated discs. Only echocardiography allowed detection of affected puppies before clinical signs became evident. Echocardiography revealed a significant difference in the shortening fraction, E point to septal separation, and the end systolic and diastolic left ventricular internal diameters. Affected puppies were detected 1-4 weeks before the development of acute congestive heart failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-62
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • veterinary(all)


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