I encourage everyone to read the actual reports and am providing direct links to all parts of the report below. Some have commented that this amounts to just a miniscule percentage of all dogs eating grain-free or other suspected diets. I hope this list emphasizes how difficult it is to accurately answer the question of how many dogs are affected, but the bottom line is that this problem is likely more extensive than what has been reported to the FDA. And, more importantly, a single dog developing DCM as the result of diet is one too many! We, the FDA, and many others are hard at work trying to determine the cause of diet-associated DCM as quickly as possible, as well as to better understand the response to diet change and heart medications for affected dogs. We hope a discovery will happen soon, but this is a challenging problem that has been hard to solve thus far. We know this is concerning to pet owners and we share in their worry, stress, and desire to get an answer quickly. If your dog has been eating a grain-free or other diet mentioned in the FDA update, my last post on diet-associated DCM provides some recommendations. We also encourage pet owners to use resources like the FDA, Petfoodology, and others listed below to learn more about diet-associated DCM and to make more objective decisions about their pet food.
It is believed to be less common in small and medium breed dogs. Plant proteins are devoid of taurine. To better characterize diets reported in DCM cases, product labels were examined to determine whether the product was grain-free did not contain corn, soy, wheat, rice, barley or other grains, and whether the products contained peas, other lentils including chickpeas and beans, or potatoes including sweet potatoes.
By the late 80s, pet food regulators identified a lack of taurine in the carbohydrate-rich foods as the cause. Currently, it appears that there may be three separate groups of dogs with DCM although this may change as we learn more. Another study published in January examined the effects of diets containing different carbohydrate sources on taurine status in dogs. This blog was originally published on October 4, I submitted my report to FDA. Based on the data collected and analyzed thus far, the agency believes that the potential association between diet and DCM in dogs is a complex scientific issue that may involve multiple factors. Some differences in bile acid secretion were observed between the two diet groups, which may indicate that different carbohydrate sources impact gut bacteria populations and taurine metabolism.
However, because home-cooked diets are not tested for safety and nutritional adequacy like good quality commercial diets, deficiencies could still develop. If you notice any of these, get your dog checked out by your veterinarian who will listen for a heart murmur or abnormal heart rhythm although not all dogs with DCM have any changes that can be heard with a stethoscope. While we change our minds about what we want to eat, the pet food companies are happy to cater to us … they sell us what we think we want. I have had Cocker Spaniel and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breeder clients dogs have significantly less DCM and also congestive cardiac disease over many years when they changed from annual vaccination to titre testing instead. On June 27th, , the FDA released their third status report related to their ongoing investigation. These include both grain-free and grain-containing diets in all forms kibble, canned, raw, home-cooked. As we delve further into the role that diet may play in these cases, we plan to explore additional avenues about ingredient concentration, bioavailability, sourcing, and processing to determine if there are any common factors. What potential connection is the FDA investigating?