Bottom line, as we all know research surrounding Dobermans and their hearts is muddled. As a result research continues in earnest. There are genetic tests available but consistently provide inconsistent results proving them essentially worthless. For screening purposes Holters have been found to be fairly worthy in identifying dogs who may later develop DCM as well as helping to identify dogs who may experience sudden cardiac death due to lethal arrhythmia. And echocardiograms -the gold standard for identifying and diagnosing true DCM when it occurs.
Ritz, Remedy, Getka, Serious, and Galtero all fell within the guidelines of normal on Holter exam as did Majestic. Ritz had a blip in the middle of her report that was read as V-tach which I found alarming. But the blip and it's accuracy of interpretation was also one I questioned. The Cardiologist at UF was kind enough to provide input on the rhythm strip in question and confirmed my suspicion that the reading was incorrectly read as V-tach when in fact it was an idioventricular rhythm. While not normal, not sinus rhythm, it isn't associated with DCM. It's basically an autonomic response to a slow rate (bradycardia) where the ventricle kicks in essentially acting as a back up pacemaker. His opinion was appreciated and fell in line with my thoughts regarding future breedings for Ritz. Today he would not withhold her from a breeding program based on Holter reports. But he reminded me of what I already know... a normal echo or Holter today doesn't mean the same tests taken a year down the road will be normal. For any Doberman. It's just the sad but very real truth.