Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Happy 8th Birthday London!

Nothing really solidifies the passage of time like having children and dogs. Children grow up so fast leaving you wondering where the time went and dogs…well, you swear yesterday they were just a puppy and today they look at you with those sweet grey muzzles and eyebrows and you realize they are growing older right under your nose.

London as a puppy was as different from Lexi as night and day. She was wildly happy all the time with a tail that never quite wagging, and a tongue that never quit licking. Lexi was much more reserved, quietly loyal with a strong sense of right and wrong. With London everything was a party. Somehow these two were the perfect counterpoint for each other. Lexi used to worry about riding in the vehicle and would get sick if the trip lasted more than five minutes, having London along was exactly what she needed and she stopped the drooling almost immediately. Lexi taught London that you must come immediately when you're called, and showed her through good behavior how to be a well behaved dog. Together they are the perfect team.
London is a group placing champion and has her CGN. She also has one leg towards her CD and who knows..maybe one day we'll get the other two. She is the dam of five champions as well as many more much loved companions.

So today, Happy 8th Birthday to you my London Bridges….here's to many more birthdays to come!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Some picture updates

As you all know I LOVE seeing pictures of the Braebrook pups and I love sharing them here for all to enjoy. Here's the newest crop!

This is Mocha (Braebrook's Mocha Mission) with "her" new baby Brooks. I just love this picture…so sweet.

Here's Rush (Ch Braebrook's Black Russian) with buddy Kaleb, and the toy he apparently thinks is his baby…carries it everywhere…too funny.

Here's Rueben (Braebrook's The Devil at Supernova) caught mid cookie chomp.

And this pic just makes me laugh… that comfortable Maverick (Braebrook's Daredevil)??

Here's Amadeus (Ch Braebrook's Hugo Boss Holmrun CGN), I can hardly believe this litter is nearly six years old already.

Amadeus has a new baby too…this is Viktor.

Love this picture of Phoenix (Braebrook's Viognier) and her buddy Quinn.

And here's Bristol (Braebrook's Bristol Cream)….are you sensing a theme here? Dobermans love their people and make wonderful family dogs. 

Here's Bristol with her owner Caitlin, she just recently passed her CGN!

Here's Kat (Ch Braebrook's Pinot Noir) with her little buddy Sid.

Here's a photo from last summer, but I don't think I have included it before. This is Jinx (rescue) Soter (Braebrook's Going to Jackson…he's getting so handsome) and Coco (Ch Braebrook's Coco Chanel Holmrun). Didn't you know Dobermans are like Lay's potato chips….you can't have just one. ;)

And here's a picture of new arrival to Braebrook and Wind River Dobermans….Harrison, getting used to the winter weather. For more about Harrison click here.

And speaking of winter weather….here's Lottie (Braebrook's Merlot) enjoying some of her own.

Thank you so much everyone for the photos! I love getting them both via email and on Facebook…so keep sending/posting! :)

Monday, February 10, 2014

Exciting news!!

I am extremely pleased to share some exciting news here at Braebrook. My friend Michelle Rowton of Wind River Dobermans and I had been talking about finding a nice male to co own together. We decided that whatever boy we found would live with her as she had just lost her old male and was really missing him. I went to work searching for a male that would fit the criteria we were looking for and when I came across this gem from Backbone Kennels I shared it with Michelle immediately. 

She loved him and plans were set in motion to import him all the way from his hometown in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It was a long flight with a very long layover in Houston but he finally arrived in Portland Oregon just after 9pm on Feb 7th.

He settled in quickly after his flight…full of vim and vigor and on a completely different time zone which meant a long night for Michelle as puppy wasn't tired!

He is quickly adapting to both the time change and the fact that he left his tropical home to arrive in a snowstorm (which poor Michelle had to drive in!) and is worming his way into Michelle's heart.

Puppy's official name is Backbone Harrison Ford, call name Harrison.

He is sired by BISS/BIS Multi Ch Rock de Akido San

And out of BPISS Backbone Dolce Gabana

 This is his pedigree (all pictures can be clicked on for a larger view):

I am thrilled with this new addition and also thrilled to be partnering up with Michelle.

There are many more good things in store for 2014 so stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Holter testing

It was time at Braebrook for the annual holter monitor testing. We holter test our dogs for DCM. If you don't know anything about DCM or holter testing I think this explains it well;

What is dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM)? Dilated cardiomyopathy is an acquired disease that is characterized by a markedly enlarged and weakened heart muscle. In the Doberman it affects mainly the left ventricle and left atrium. It results in electrical abnormalities (irregular or abnormal or premature beats). These electrical abnormalities may result in sudden death (described below) as the very first clue of a problem in your dog. Most dogs experience symptoms of pulmonary edema with respiratory distress. DCM is observed in dogs, cats and humans, as well as a number of other species.
Dilated cardiomyopathy is always rapidly fatal in Dobermans.

What is a Holter monitor? A Holter monitor or recording (also called ambulatory electrocardiography) is a recorder (usually a cassette recorder although some now hold and use a small computer chip) that is placed or attached to the chest of the dog with bandage material. It enables one to collect all the heart beats a dog (or person) will produce in 24 hours. Also importantly this is done in the environment of the dog, that is in the dog’s household and while the dog is running at the park, etc. Hence we are able to relate any abnormalities to the activity of the dog should there be a relationship.
What does a Holter examination tell us? A Holter exam is used to tell us:
  • If an apparently normal Doberman has reached the second stage of DCM (also called occult DCM). If this is the case it means the dog should be started on medication to delay the progression to the third and final stage of DCM.
  • That the dog is at risk for developing sudden death.
As of today (May 2000), the Holter exam provides us with 24 hours of ECG (this will collect about 130,000 heart beats). This test will allow us to determine the presence and number and complexity of abnormal heart beats (called PVCs) (potentially a very strong marker for dogs in stage two of DCM and destined to die of DCM if the frequency and or complexity of PVCs is substantial). In addition, this test will allow us to measure Heart Rate Variability (a measure of the balance of adrenalines in the body and a risk marker for people and presumably dogs at risk for sudden death).
Most Holter exams are analyzed by human laboratories. As a result the data usually carries many errors, due to the differences between dogs and people. Overall, it should be able to tell you if PVCs were present or not but an accurate count is usually not available.
I recommend you have your Holter exam analyzed by a veterinary institution. At the University of Guelph we employ a rigorous quality control program on all analyses such that each 24-hour exam requires from 2 to 5 hours of work to correct/review the automated analysis by the analyzer to ensure an accurate report.
What are PVCs or VPCs? PVCs refer to premature ventricular contractions. VPCs refer to ventricular premature contractions. These are identical; two short forms for the same thing. They can only be identified on the ECG whether it is a short study (up to 3 minutes) or a 24-hour study (Holter exam). PVCs occur in the second and third stages of DCM.
PVCs are of most interest to us in symptom free Dobermans because their presence serves as a marker for Dobermans in the second stage of DCM (occult DCM) if they are sufficiently frequent. We used to believe that all symptom free Dobermans with as few as 1 VPC on a 3 to 6-minute ECG identified dogs in stage two of DCM. However, we have observed a number of dogs with very few VPCs on a routine ECG that over many years never went onto develop DCM. Thus, dogs with very few VPCs may or may not be destined to acquire DCM.

If you'd like to read more you can follow this link where the above passages came from.

 I generally start holter testing at approx 3 years of age, and even that is on the early side. I think better safe than sorry however and once you have a holter, which can be a considerable expense, or you can rent or borrow one, the test itself is only $30 per dog.

My testing this year included five dogs. Here is Ch Modadobe Sunset Dreaming "Phoebe" getting kisses from Marshall early in the day.

And finally crashed out on the couch at the end of the day. Each dog is tested for 24hrs. Phoebe's results came back showing 0 PVCs which is exactly what I want to see.

Here's Ch Esquire's Celtic Woman "Enya" sulking when the monitor first goes on. She wasn't sure why she had to wear a vest, but got over it about 2.5 seconds later. Her results came back showing 0 PVCs as well. Both Phoebe and Enya are four years of age.

Next was Esquire's Haiku "Hadley". Hadley is only turning two years old this month so is pretty young to be holter testing but because I was doing everyone else I decided to do her too. She came back with 0 PVCs.

Next was Holmrun's Glitterbug Bruda CD CGN "Lexi". Lexi will be nine years old in April and she too came back with  0 PVCs which I was thrilled about. Often times as they get older they will have a few or even a lot as DCM usually strikes in the older years so a nine year old dog with none makes me very happy.

Last but not least was Ch Holmrun's Bo Jolais Braebrook CGN "London" who is turning 8 this month. I didn't get a picture of her (bad owner) but she came back with 8 single PVCs which is still very much in the "safe" zone, and is quite good in a dog of her age.

If you have any interest in purchasing a holter for yourself you can contact Alba Medical who sells them and who run some great monthly specials.

Or if you have just one or two dogs and would like to rent a holter many local Doberman clubs have them available. If you are in BC like me you can contact the BC Doberman Pinscher Club.