From Dog

Cardiomyopathy (literally a pathological disease of heart muscle) is a genetic heart disease of dogs with a number of causes and clinical presentations.

A number of cardiomyopathies have been identified in dogs. These are often asymptomatic (occult) and result in sudden death, such as during a surgical procedure, but in older dogs may result in congestive heart failure.

Diagnosis in some cases is difficult and may require 24-hour Holter ECG monitoring and echocardiography.

The forms of canine cardiomyopathy recognized include:

Disease Breed affected
*Arrythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy Boxer, Dalmatian, English Bulldog
*Dilated cardiomyopathy Doberman[1], Irish Wolfhound[2], Newfoundland[3], Portuguese Water Dog, Boxer[4], Huntaway[5], German Shepherd[6], Labrador Retriever[7], Cocker Spaniel[8], Estrella Mountain Dog[9], Great Dane[10]
*Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy Rottweiler, Dalmatian


  1. Wess G et al (2010) Prevalence of dilated cardiomyopathy in Doberman Pinschers in various age groups. J Vet Intern Med 24(3):533-538
  2. Philipp U et al (2008) Evaluation of the titin-cap gene (TCAP) as candidate for dilated cardiomyopathy in Irish wolfhounds. Anim Biotechnol 19(4):231-236
  3. Wiersma AC et al (2008) Evaluation of 15 candidate genes for dilated cardiomyopathy in the Newfoundland dog. J Hered 99(1):73-80
  4. Martin MW et al (2009) Canine dilated cardiomyopathy: a retrospective study of signalment, presentation and clinical findings in 369 cases. J Small Anim Pract 50(1):23-29
  5. Munday JS et al (2006) A possible predisposition to dilated cardiomyopathy in Huntaway dogs. N Z Vet J 54(5):231-234
  6. Summerfield N et al (2010) Immunohistochemical evidence for expression of fast-twitch type sarco(endo)plasmic reticulum Ca2+ ATPase (SERCA1) in German shepherd dogs with dilated cardiomyopathy myocardium. J Vet Cardiol 12(1):17-23
  7. Schneider C et al (2011) Juvenile dilated cardiomyopathy in a Labrador Retriever. Tierarztl Prax Ausg K Kleintiere Heimtiere 39(1):39-44
  8. Moneva-Jordan A et al (2007) Pulsus alternans in English cocker spaniels with dilated cardiomyopathy. J Small Anim Pract 48(5):258-263
  9. Lobo L et al (2012) Dilated cardiomyopathy and sinoatrial dysfunction in an Estrela mountain dog. J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 48(1):54-59
  10. Stephenson HM et al (2012) Screening for dilated cardiomyopathy in Great Danes in the United Kingdom. J Vet Intern Med 26(5):1140-1147