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DCM in giant breeds: consider concurrent hypothyroidism
Hypothyroidism is considered to be the most common endocrinopathy in dogs and is occuring especially in large or giant breed dogs - which are also prone to dilated cardiomyopathy. Both diseases can occur in the same patient, and T4 substitution can improve the DCM dramatically, as this study shows.

Two Great Danes were evaluated for signs of congestive heart failure. Dilated cardiomyopathy was diagnosed in each dog.

Both dogs were diagnosed concurrently with primary hypothyroidism.

Following appropriate supplementation with levothyroxine, both dogs showed significant improvement in myocardial contractility, as demonstrated by increased fractional shortening and reductions in left atrial size, and left ventricular end-systolic and diastolic diameters.

These observations suggest that hypothyroidism may lead to myocardial failure in Great Danes that is partially or fully reversible following thyroid hormone replacement therapy, and that hypothyroidism should be considered in all Great Danes presenting with systolic failure.

Source: Dianne E. Phillips, Kenneth R. Harkin (2003): Hypothyroidism and Myocardial Failure in Two Great Danes. In: Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 39:133-137 (2003)




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