1656: Cellular, Biochemical and Molecular Biological Analysis of Dilated Cardiomyopathy in Portuguese Water Dogs

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $49,990
Joseph Alroy, DVM; Tufts University
July 29, 1998 - July 28, 2000

Sponsor(s): Movers & Shakers Portuguese Water Dog Club, Portuguese Water Dog Club of America, Inc.

Breed(s): Portuguese Water Dog
Research Program Area: Cardiology
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Project Summary

Researchers in this study found that giving taurine supplements for several months to Portuguese Water Dog puppies affected with infantile dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) improved their cardiac function and prevented early death. Taurine is an amino acid essential for contraction of the heart muscle. The cause of infantile DCM appears to be a metabolic disorder that leads to low blood levels of taurine. Occurring shortly after weaning, infantile DCM is different from the DCM affecting other breeds. This project established that infantile DCM in Portuguese Water Dogs in inherited as an autosomal recessive trait. The research provides an important basis for further study that can lead to the development of a molecular test that would allow Portuguese Water Dog breeders to identify carriers and eliminate the disease entirely.


Alroy, J., Rush, J. E., & Sarkar, S. (2005). Infantile dilated cardiomyopathy in Portuguese water dogs: Correlation of the autosomal recessive trait with low plasma taurine at infancy. Amino Acids, 28(1), 51–56. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00726-004-0149-6

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