The Pathology of Irish Wolfhound Dilated Cardiomyopathy
|Study End Date:||Ongoing|
|Enrollment Status:||OPEN to new enrollment|
|Lead Researcher(s):||Dr. Philip R. Fox and Gaetano Thiene, M.D.|
Irish Wolfhounds have a high incidence of dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition which frequently leads to congestive heart failure and early death. Dilated cardiomyopathy, or DCM, occurs when the heart enlarges and the muscle weakens and beats less strongly. It is usually asymptomatic until the disease is quite advanced.
Although the pathology of cardiomyopathy in the Doberman and Boxer breeds has been studied, the microscopic pathology of Irish Wolfhound DCM has not been well-documented. Dr. Neil Harpster, veterinary cardiologist at Angell Memorial Animal Hospital in Boston, MA, reported on the pathology of a small number of IWs with atrial fibrillation, but the nature of the gross and microscopic lesions of IW DCM is unresolved.
The Irish Wolfhound Foundation is now funding a study to examine these lesions in wolfhounds with DCM. Knowledge of the histopatholgic features of this disease may assist in formulating treatment strategies.
Dr. Philip R. Fox, veterinary cardiologist from the Animal Medican Center, New York, is principal investigator. Co-investigator is Gaetano Thiene, M.D., from the University of Padua in Italy. Knowledge of the histopatholgic features of this disease may assist in formulating treatment strategies.
*Donors Needed for this Study*
In order to further his investigation into this disease, Dr. Fox needs actual wolfhound hearts to study. Although it may be difficult and upsetting to think about while your wolfhound is still alive, the best results can be achieved by contacting Dr. Fox before your hound dies so he can contact your veterinarian and establish the proper protocols. To fit study criteria, wolfhounds must have either an echocardiogram showing decreased left ventricular function, or a clinical history along with a chest film showing pleural fluid. Heart failure does not need to be the cause of death of the hound. Your wolfhound may have received any medication prior to his death, as long as a record of these medications can be provided.
Funding approved by the IWF Board will provide up to $200 per dog for the preservation of the heart and its shipment to Dr. Fox in New York.
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