Doberman Pinschers with overt dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and atrial fibrillation (AF) have shorter survival times and higher risk of cardiac-related death than those without AF
Journal citation

Friederich, J., Seuß, A.C., Wess, G. (2020)
The role of atrial fibrillation as a prognostic factor in Doberman pinschers with dilated cardiomyopathy and congestive heart failure.
Veterinary Journal 264: 105535

Published October 2020

Type of study
  • Retrospective study
  • n = 48 dogs
Key points
  • 48 Doberman Pinchers with DCM and congestive heart failure (CHF) were split into two groups (with or without AF)
  • Dogs with AF had significantly higher mean heart rates (201 beats per minute) than dogs without AF (132 beats per minute)
  • Only dogs in the AF group had biventricular and right atrial dilation and concomitant right-sided CHF
  • Right atrial enlargement was a strong and significant predictor of AF
  • For dogs with AF, mean and median survival times were 88.2 days and 22 days respectively
  • For dogs without AF mean and median survival times were 150.7 days and 98 days respectively
  • Additional AF was associated with >50% mortality within the first 3 weeks


  • Due to the retrospective nature of the study, some data was incomplete
  • Cardiac dimensions could have been underestimated due to the methods of echocardiography used or the effects of diuretic therapy
  • Decisions for euthanasia were subjective and could have influenced survival times
  • The presence of AF in Doberman Pinschers with overt DCM significantly increases the risk of cardiac-related death. Dogs with AF had significantly higher heart rates and significantly shorter survival times than dogs without AF