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.
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:
- Taurine deficiency
- 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