Juvenile Dilated Cardiomyopathy (JDC)
Juvenile Dilated Cardiomyopathy is an inherited, fatal disease seen in young dogs caused by a recessive gene. The disease can cause the sudden or rapid death of a puppy averaging between the ages of six weeks and seven months. In some cases, there are no physical signs or symptoms whatsoever while in others, signs including a loss of appetite, decreased energy level, vomiting and difficulty breathing may be seen 12 to 48 hours in advance. Sadly, there is no known cure or treatment at this time and no genetic testing is available. Prospective owners of breeds susceptible to this disease — the Portuguese Water Dog is one breed known to have this as a inherited disorder — should discuss this with Breeders and inquire if the disease has been produced within their breeding program or genetic lines of the dogs they are working with.
Note: This section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website is intended as a source of information only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional care. Always consult with your Veterinarian about health related matters.