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Prevalence of cardiomyopathy in the Irish wolfhound
The Irish Wolfhounds are one of the most predisposed and one of the best evaluated breeds for cardiomyopathy, especially dilatative cardiomyopathy. This study from Germany includes 500 animals and thus precise information regarding the prevalence of DCM can be given.

The prevalence of cardiomyopathy in Irish wolfhounds was evaluated by retrospective review of the results of cardiovascular examinations carried out in 500 dogs presented for veterinary services at the author`s practice.

Abnormalities were found in 209 (41.8%) of the dogs examined.

Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) was diagnosed in 121 (24.2%) of the dogs and was accompanied by atrial fibrillation in 106 dogs. Seventeen dogs were suffering from advanced congestive heart failure (CHF), and 55 dogs were suffering from mild to moderate CHF as a result of DCM.

Congestive heart failure was most commonly characterized by mild to severe pleural effusion due to right-sided heart failure in addition to pulmonary edema.

Rhythm disturbances without evidence of DCM were detected in 48 dogs.

Forty dogs had echocardiographic abnormalities without signs of DCM.

Soft to moderate mitral regurgitations were diagnosed in 13 (2.6%) of these 40 dogs examined.

In 39 dogs that died as a result of DCM, the median survival time from the time of diagnosis was 5.1 months, and in 59 dogs with DCM that are still alive, the median survival time is 15.7 months.


Source: AC Vollmar (2000): The prevalence of cardiomyopathy in the Irish wolfhound: a clinical study of 500 dogs. In: Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association, Vol 36, Issue 2, 125-132





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