Learn more about Grain Free Diets and the potential link to Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy – including symptoms to be on the lookout for in your pup.

 Grain Free Diets

Why You May Want to Reconsider

by Dr. Eileen Savier CVA, CVCH

In July 2018, the FDA published an alert to pet owners and veterinary professionals stating they were investigating an increase in the number of reports of canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs that were fed diets containing peas, lentils, other legume seeds, or potatoes as main ingredients. This was suspicious because the dog being diagnosed with the condition are not breeds to have been known to be genetically prone to the disease. High levels of legumes and potatoes appear to be common in diets labeled “grain free.” It is not yet known how the ingredients are linked to DCM. In one documented case the dog had low blood Taurine levels (Taurine deficiency is a known to lead to DCM). Other dogs had normal Taurine blood levels. Diet changes for your pets, especially pets with known chronic disease, should be made in conjunction with a consultation with your veterinarian. There is still a lot of research needed. There are a few problems that need to be investigated regarding grain free canine diets:

  1. Taurine deficiency
  2. Legumes
  3. DCM unrelated to diet

What signs should you watch for?

Signs of DCM vary depending on the breed and stage of disease, but loss of appetite, coughing, episodes of weakness or fainting, coughing, and increased respiratory/ heart rate are some common signs. If you have been feeding a grain free diet or your pet has any of the signs listed above contact your veterinarian for a consultation.

Your Partner in Healthy Pups – Dr. Eileen

 

About Dr. Eileen Savier

Dr. Eileen SavierBarks & Recreation is proud to feature Dr. Eileen Savier CVA, CVCH as our Veterinary Blogger in our “From the Vet” Series. Currently part of the team of doctors at Keystone Veterinary Clinic, Dr. Savier is a 2012 Graduate of the Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, She completed her clinical experience at The Ohio State University and after veterinary school she pursued further education and certification in Veterinary Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine, and Fear Free veterinary visits. Dr. Savier has a special interest in integrative medicine, animal behavior, and internal medicine and is committed to improving animal health care by integrating Eastern and Western philosophies. She enjoys working with fearful & aggressive dogs and cats and she has had additional training in low stress handling techniques and encourages positive reinforcement during exams and procedures. Her clinical interests include pain management, animal behavior, geriatric patient care, and internal medicine. Dr. Savier is a member of the following associations:

Dr. Savier shares her home with two (soon to be three) dogs, two cats, and a toddler. She lovingly refers to her two dogs as Coconut Retrievers as they were rescue dogs she brought home from the island of St. Kitts. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family, going to the beach, and planning her next Disney vacation.

Join us every month for Dr. Savier’s “From the Vet” series to get more information related to the health and welfare of your furry family members!

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