This past Friday my wife and I ended up rushing our Great Dane Calliope to MedVet (an emergency veterinary hospital) because she was in a-fib.
A-fib is short for Atrial fibrillation and basically means the heart is beating irregularly.
Once Calliope was examined and diagnosed my wife’s worst fears were confirmed, she has Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM).
DCM is a common heart condition often found in Great Danes and Doberman which causes the heart to enlarge and unfortunately is eventually fatal. The median survival time is four to six months–which means that 50% of dogs who are diagnosed live four to six months while 50% live longer. However it is rare that those in the lucky half ever make it a year.
While usually found in older dogs, our beautiful three year old was just unfortunate to have bad genetics.
If you’ve ever had an animal before you know that they often make it difficult to notice they’re sick, and when they are down and out it can be stressful to try to take care of someone who can’t tell you when they’re in pain.
So Jami (my wife) and I decided to use this tragedy to try to help others who may be in the same situation by sharing our journey as well as tips and tricks as we figure them out.
Feel free to let us know if you have any questions or specific things you’d like us to address!