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Old 11-23-2012, 10:50 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Subaortic Stenosis any other GSDs have this condition out there

My 1.5 y/o female was diagnosed with subaortic stenosis at about 6 months. She is on Atenolol for life. The vet says most dogs with this only live to about 3 y/o. I have not noticed any signs (fainting, seizures or anything like that yet).

Gem is very active and has a high drive. She loves fetch, frisbee, tug, find it...just about everything and anything. Im not planning on slowing her down. I just want to provide her the best life possible if she has to leave this world early.

Is there any other GSD owners out there that are dealing with this condition as well and what are your thoughts of activity level?
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Not my dogs - or GSD's - but our herding trainer has had 2 beaucerons with SAS. Both were on medication and lived very active lives as herding dogs. Both passed away at about 4-5 years old. I wasn't around to meet the first dog, but his other male just passed away last year. He had a normal life, working hard every day, until about a month or two before he passed. Then he went downhill pretty quickly.

That male was a super high drive dog, and he was happiest at work. If his activity had been restricted, he would have been miserable. He was happiest at work, so he lived a happy life.

I am very sorry about your dog's diagnosis
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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so very sorry about your dogs diagnosis.

My experience comes not from GSD but through the people that contact me for information on supplements and referrals for vets practicing alternative health care.
Rare is the GSD -- but if you want some good research I would look in to ROTTWEILER sites . Good grief !!! I see that GSD and even Golden Retrievers are seeing more heart disease Canine Congestive Heart Failure - Heart Disease In Dogs

My interest into researching nutraceuticals began when I got a customer who had heartbreak after loosing his much loved "baby" Boxer , who had a different problem , not uncommon in that breed and that was cardiomyopathy . The man was in his kitchen preparing the dogs meal, swung around to put the bowl down , the dog leaps in the air out of happiness and falls to the ground stone dead .
The other personal experience was with a fit (fantastic) rottweiler that was 4 year old , training with a police dept . , doing an excercise where they were running up a fire escape type spiral staircase surrounding a grain silo . The handler keeps going , by the time he is mid way up he turns to see why his dog isn't keeping pace , sees him lying on the ground , thinks he is just sitting it out (very hot day) and discovers that the dog had passed away , instantly. I don't mean to be morbid or scare you.

What I found that can be helpful is heart healthy supplements . You may even want to research them for yourself - take them, give them to the dog , even for propylactic benefit !!

One is CoQ10 -- ubiquinol form . There is a third type which I would be interested into looking into further and that is KANEKA NUTRIENTS L.P. : What is CoQ10 : History

Other heart healthy functional foods are HAWTHORN .

The boxer owner friend added Taurine , which some dog foods such as Orijen are now adding to food. There is even some thought in Boxers that the heart problem is because there is some requirement for greater taurine while in fetal development .
L-Carnitine - heart healthy.

Omega 3 , to keep that blood flowing . (flax often recommended but I would avoid because it is far too unstable and oxidizes almost immediately creating a pro-inflammatory )

already running late ... will keep on thinking on stuff - chlorella , spirulina, dulse, kelp, rosehips ..........
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Old 11-23-2012, 08:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thank you for the information. The vet did warn me of sudden death which is kind of scary due to her constant activity and drive. She is on atenolol now. Ill research other heart healthy meds and vitamins. Maybe a different food. I'd love to keep her alive and well as long as possible.
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Old 11-23-2012, 09:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runnershigh108 View Post
My 1.5 y/o female was diagnosed with subaortic stenosis at about 6 months. She is on Atenolol for life. The vet says most dogs with this only live to about 3 y/o. I have not noticed any signs (fainting, seizures or anything like that yet).

Gem is very active and has a high drive. She loves fetch, frisbee, tug, find it...just about everything and anything. Im not planning on slowing her down. I just want to provide her the best life possible if she has to leave this world early.

Is there any other GSD owners out there that are dealing with this condition as well and what are your thoughts of activity level?
I'm so sorry to hear this!!!

I've posted about my girl Too, a WGSD, before. She was diagnosed with SAS as a young pup and I was told she would never live to celebrate her 2nd birthday, she'd probably live until she was around 18 months old before it took her. She was an active dog, having only two speeds FASTER and FASTEST!!! My friend who gave her to me, her breeder and I all agreed that I'd let Too be herself, no restrictions, just let her enjoy whatever time she had on this earth, and let God worry about how long she lived.

She fooled the specialists and had a grand 2nd birthday celebration. We celebrated her 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th (she caught and killed a neighbor's trespassing chicken on this birthday), and 12th birthdays ... she had slowed down a little over the years, could keep three fence fights going at the same time racing around in a triangle to agitate my neighbors dogs who lived on all three sides of my house. Yes, she keeled over in the yard a few times/white gums/etc. which always scared me to death. She developed several old age problems like arthritis and vestibular syndrome, but she kept chugging along.

On June 13, 2003, when she was 12-1/2 years old she had a seizure and died while we were at the vet's office getting her Adequan injection. Since it was so sudden, I had a necropsy performed. Did her heart kill her? NOPE ... she was on Deramaxx which caused massive internal bleeding, large blood clots had formed on all her internal organs, she had a seizure and died.

Enjoy your dog, make sure she takes her meds, and appreciate each and every day you spend with her ... and just keep in mind ... sometimes miracles happen, the vets are wrong and every so often a dog with a death sentence hanging over her head can live well into her senior years.

GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR GIRL!!!


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Old 11-23-2012, 10:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Gayle - that is INSPIRING - I hope the same for the OP's dog!!!

Subaortic stenosis | Canine Inherited Disorders Database | University of Prince Edward Island

German shepherd | Canine Inherited Disorders Database | University of Prince Edward Island
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thank you Gayle that is very inspiring! Thank you Jean for that website it had a lot of information.

I intend to keep doing what I've been doing. Im sure Gem will surprise myself and the vet. Either way I will make sure she has the best possible life short or long.
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Still looking to connect with any current GSD owners whose dog has this heart condition. Thanks for the info everyone else.
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Our Jasmine has this, as well as epilepsy. Both were diagnosed this past summer at less than 2 years of age. The aortic stenosis appears to have not been present until after the seizures started (evidenced by no heart murmer detected on several visits then a sudden very severe and obvious heart murmer detected after she'd had a few seizures).

She has been to a canine cardiologist at MSU twice, and his theory is that probably there was a mild malfunctioning of the heart all along, but not sufficient to cause a detectable murmer so nothing short of of major testing would have shown it. But then the seizures damaged the muscle further creating a more severe heart problem that was now detectable with just a stethoscope. In her case, we know the seizures started before the heart condition worsened, and the seizures are responding to epilepsy meds so they don't appear to have been caused by the heart condition. Of course Jazz was tested for every possible infectious disease and anything else anyone could think of that could cause the heart murmer, seizures or both, and everything came back negative. So she appears to be a dog who lost the genetic lottery not once, but twice, developing both aortic stenosis and idopathic epilepsy at the same time.

With Jazz we have not noticed any symtoms of the stenosis. She leads the same lifestyle she did prior, with the exception of no more SchH training. But from an activity standpoint there's no change. She still chases balls, plays frisbee, does some fun training, and plays the run and chase, tackle and wrestle games our other dogs every day. The cardiologist opted to not put her on any meds for the aortic stenosis, as he felt that between her not having any symptoms of the heart condition and the epilepsy being a bigger challenge to tackle with medication, that medicating for her heart would be unwise at this time. She is to have cardiology check ups with echo every 6 months to see if there is any worsening. At her last one a couple months ago everything was the same, no better or worse than when she was first diagnosed. If she starts showing heart symptoms or her cardio check ups show worsening of the heart, then he would want to put her on medication. But for now we're just treating the epilepsy and finally have gotten that under control.

We were also given the same news you were with regard to long term prognosis, and told to prepare for the likelihood that she wouldn't live very long. I really, really hope Jasmine and Gem follow in the footsteps of Gayle's Too. But of course we'll never know until the time comes. In the meantime, we figure that we aren't going to inhibit Jazz in any way and will let her do what she wants, as much as she wants, whenever she wants and let her enjoy life to the fullest for as long as it will be.
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Old 12-06-2012, 04:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Our Jasmine has this, as well as epilepsy. Both were diagnosed this past summer at less than 2 years of age. The aortic stenosis appears to have not been present until after the seizures started (evidenced by no heart murmer detected on several visits then a sudden very severe and obvious heart murmer detected after she'd had a few seizures).

She has been to a canine cardiologist at MSU twice, and his theory is that probably there was a mild malfunctioning of the heart all along, but not sufficient to cause a detectable murmer so nothing short of an ECG would have shown it. But then the seizures damaged the muscle further creating a more severe heart problem that was now detectable with just a stethoscope. In her case, we know the seizures started before the heart condition worsened, and the seizures are responding to epilepsy meds so they don't appear to have been caused by the heart condition. Of course Jazz was tested for every possible infectious disease and anything else anyone could think of that could cause the heart murmer, seizures or both, and everything came back negative. So she appears to be a dog who lost the genetic lottery not once, but twice, developing both aortic stenosis and idopathic epilepsy at the same time.

With Jazz we have not noticed any symtoms of the stenosis. She leads the same lifestyle she did prior, with the exception of no more SchH training. But from an activity standpoint there's no change. She still chases balls, plays frisbee, does some fun training, and plays the run and chase, tackle and wrestle games our other dogs every day. The cardiologist opted to not put her on any meds for the aortic stenosis, as he felt that between her not having any symptoms of the heart condition and the epilepsy being a bigger challenge to tackle with medication, that medicating for her heart would be unwise at this time. She is to have cardiology check ups with ECG every 6 months to see if there is any worsening. At her last one a couple months ago everything was the same, no better or worse than when she was first diagnosed. If she starts showing heart symptoms or her cardio check ups show worsening of the heart, then he would want to put her on medication. But for now we're just treating the epilepsy and finally have gotten that under control.

We were also given the same news you were with regard to long term prognosis, and told to prepare for the likelihood that she wouldn't live very long. I really, really hope Jasmine and Gem follow in the footsteps of Gayle's Too. But of course we'll never know until the time comes. In the meantime, we figure that we aren't going to inhibit Jazz in any way and will let her do what she wants, as much as she wants, whenever she wants and let her enjoy life to the fullest for as long as it will be.
Very sorry to hear about Jazz. I hope you and her the best. I agree with not restricting much of her activity. Do you feel her any different or special food or give her any sorts of vitamins that might strengthen her heart?

The vet told me that Gem will most likely experience seizures at some time during her life. I have yet to see one. I am having a hard time refilling her medication. The veterinarian informed me that after one year it is unlikely the SAS will get worse and that if it has there is little to nothing that can be done except some very expensive surgeries that are not proven to be 100% effective. The veterinarian specialist wants me to bring her in so they can give her another ultra-sound of her heart before they authorize another refill. Well that costs 400-500 bucks. To either find out that it is the same (nothing will be done) or find out it got worse (nothing will be done). It doesn't make sense to me. I talked to the local veterinarian and he is willing to refill the medication without the ultra sound.

The only thing I can think of is that if the SAS did get worse from when she first had the ultra sound at 6 months old to now. That they might change the dosage on her medication. Anyways, just venting a bit.
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