DCM Project

Great Dane Volunteers required for Ground-Breaking Research.

Do you have/know someone who has a healthy Great Dane aged 6 or over? If so, LUPA at the University of Liverpool are offering screening FREE OF CHARGE for DCM at the Small Animal Teaching Hospital in Wirral

The LUPA project is a Europe-wide association of vets and geneticists dedicated to investigating genetic diseases of dogs and people. As part of this project, researchers at the University of Liverpool Small Animal Teaching Hospital are investigating dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in Great Danes and other breeds.

This is a disease causing massive enlargement and impaired pumping ability of the heart. Great Danes with the disease will eventually develop heart failure and/or serious heart rhythm disturbances, and will eventually die of the disease. DCM is currently difficult to control in dogs as it is an adult-onset disease that can be inherited. Affected dogs have therefore often already been used for breeding before they are diagnosed.

With the help of a large awareness campaign started by a few breed members, the project surpassed the 50 Dane mark. The Great Dane Breed Clubs collectively raised additional funding to continue the good work, totaling £11,500. The Kennel Club Charitable Trust granted a further £18,275 taking the total to £29,775.

This additional funding will allow those who have already taken part repeat scans to see if there has been any change. It will also allow more Danes over six to be scanned for the first time and there is a hope that the age limit may at some point be reduced, in order to include another generation of Great Danes. Whilst £29,775 seems a lot it will not last long and therefore we need to continually think of ways of fund raising.

Hannah Stevenson attended the Great Dane Breeders' & Owners' Associations Championship Show held at the Kennel Club building on the 27th March 2010. Hannah gave an excellent 30 minute talk on DCM during the lunch break whilst the judging was suspended. She covered the following topics;

  • The heart - structure and function
  • What is Dilated Cardiomyopathy?
  • Why is it relevant to me and my dog?
  • What do we know about Great Dane DCM
  • Why should I get involved?
    • Not only was the talk and handouts well received she was kept very busy during the day talking to those who wanted more information.

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