Dilated cardiomyopathy in an American Cocker Spaniel with taurine deficiency



An American Cocker Spaniel with low plasma taurine concentration (< 2 nmol/mL) was presented with dyspnoea associated with pulmonary oedema and a left ventricular shortening fraction of 9%. Emergency therapy with furosemide, dobutamine, nitroglycerine and oxygen supplementation led to a good response. Chronic therapy was started with enalapril, furosemide, digoxin and taurine. Improvement in all echocardiographic indices were noted over a 22 week follow-up, most notably an increase in left ventricular shorteningfraction to 20%, a decrease of E-point septal separation from 14 mm to 7 mm and marked left ventricular remodelling. This degree of improvement in myocardial function may represent a direct link between dilated cardiomyopathy in the American Cocker Spaniel andplasma taurine deficiency. Alternatively, this response may reflect a breed-related cardiomyopathy with a natural history and therapeutic response not commonly seen in the morecommon large breed cardiomyopathy presentations.