Dogforge Alert: “grain-free” dog food linked to heart disease

Discussion in 'The Green Room' started by Quest, Jul 13, 2018.

  1. Quest

    Quest Hail, Columbia Staff Member Administrator

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    Dogs fed "grain-free" food based on peas, lentils or potatoes are developing an unusual condition that can cause an enlarged heart, the Food and Drug Administration warned Thursday.

    The condition, called canine dilated cardiomyopathy, is more common in certain breeds, but it’s turning up in breeds that are not usually susceptible, the FDA said.

    The agency is not naming brands, but said the ingredients seemed to be more important than the brands. The affected dogs appear to have been fed certain types of pet foods.

    “We are concerned about reports of canine heart disease, known as dilated cardiomyopathy, in dogs that ate certain pet foods containing peas, lentils other legumes or potatoes as their main ingredients,” said the FDA’s Dr. Martine Hartogensis.

    “The FDA is investigating the potential link between DCM and these foods. We encourage pet owners and veterinarians to report DCM cases in dogs who are not predisposed to the disease,” Hartogensis said in a statement.

    Dogs with the disease develop an enlarged heart, which then struggles to function properly. They can develop congestive heart failure, which can be fatal.

    Symptoms include lethargy, weight loss and, sometimes, a cough.


    "Heart function may improve in cases that are not linked to genetics with appropriate veterinary treatment and dietary modification, if caught early," the FDA said.

    Some breeds of dog have a genetic predisposition, including great Danes, Newfoundlands, boxers, Doberman pinschers and St. Bernards.

    “However, the cases that have been reported to the FDA have included golden and Labrador retrievers, whippets, a Shih Tzu, a bulldog and miniature schnauzers, as well as mixed breeds,” the FDA said.

    A dietary deficiency may be one cause, according to the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. Heart drugs can be used to treat the symptoms.

    The FDA wants to hear from veterinarians who have treated cases of DCM.

    "Diets in cases reported to the FDA frequently list potatoes or multiple legumes such as peas, lentils, other 'pulses' (seeds of legumes), and their protein, starch and fiber derivatives early in the ingredient list, indicating that they are main ingredients," the FDA said.

    "Early reports from the veterinary cardiology community indicate that the dogs consistently ate these foods as their primary source of nutrition for time periods ranging from months to years. High levels of legumes or potatoes appear to be more common in diets labeled as 'grain-free,' but it is not yet known how these ingredients are linked to cases of DCM," it added.

    "Changes in diet, especially for dogs with DCM, should be made in consultation with a licensed veterinarian."

    Taurine deficiency is one potential explanation. Taurine is an amino acid -- a building block of protein -- that is essential for carnivores. "Taurine deficiency is well-documented as potentially leading to DCM," the FDA said in a statement.

    "The FDA encourages pet owners and veterinary professionals to report cases of DCM in dogs suspected of having a link to diet by using the electronic Safety Reporting Portal or calling their state’s FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinators." The agency has online guidance on how to report on pet food problems.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/dog-heart-disease-linked-food-fda-says-n891011
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018
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  2. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 light & lethal

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    thank goodness my dog has none of these symptoms. He didn't make the hotel pet policy weight a couple of weeks ago (50 pound limit and he weighed in heavy at 60 pounds at home) but luckily they don't actually put them on a scale. He has plenty of energy too, and no cough. But I will keep an eye on this.
  3. Quest

    Quest Hail, Columbia Staff Member Administrator

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    As long as you feed him standard commercial dog food and not any kind of paleo grain-free blend you should be fine.
  4. oldfella1962

    oldfella1962 light & lethal

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    I feed him slightly higher priced commercial dog food, versus the cheapest generic shit I can find. Grain is important - dogs (like cats) eat a variety of grasses and whatnot when they are outside for a reason - fiber, better digestion, etc. Honestly I don't know enough about the non-protein segments of dog food. All I can do is go off of my dog's stool samples.
    Full bodied, frequent, and moist versus hard & dry.
  5. Zombie

    Zombie dead and loving it

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    I feed my dog Crave. I also give him real meat as a topper. Real meat being refrigerated meat that pet stores sell. I use Fresh Pet Select right now. He likes it.

    Of course, he loves human food and steals or begs for whatever he can get. :lol:

    Grain Free is good but you have to buy a grain free brand that has the meat as the first ingredients. If the first ingredients in the dog food are peas, lentils or potatoes than that's a problem. You also have to buy a higher quality food. Cheap dog food is bad. Cheap grain free dog food is really bad because those first ingredients will be non-meat.

    I like Crave because it's a food that he will actually eat. Even if I don't have real meat to top it off.
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  6. ed629

    ed629 Morally Inept Banned

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    I feed my dog 4Health Untamed. The first ingredients are meat, and he seems to like it. His weight is healthy and I've noticed that his shit doesn't smell as bad, and is smaller than when he eats a different type of dog food.
  7. Dinner

    Dinner 2012 & 2014 Master Prognosticator

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    "Luxury dog food" which is bad for dogs?