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FDA probes connection between dog foods, canine heart disease

The agency named 16 pet food brands most frequently identified in the more than 500 reported cases.

News 12 Staff

Jun 28, 2019, 9:57 PM

Updated 1,817 days ago


The FDA says its investigating a potential connection between certain dog food ingredients and a type of canine heart disease called dilated cardiomyopathy.
The FDA investigated more than 500 cases of dogs with DCM that eat certain brands of food. It identified 16 brands with the most frequently reported cases.
The list includes Acana, Zignature, Taste of the Wild, Blue Buffalo, Natural Balance, Nutro and Rachel Ray Nutrish.
Veterinarian Neil Weiss says the report indicates the problem could be grain-free diets.
"Not a hundred percent certain what the causative agent is, but they feel that possible a lack of certain grains that are in these diets are possibly the reason," says Dr. Weiss, of Manetto Hill Animal Hospital.
Weiss says grain-free diets don't have ingredients like corn, soy, wheat or rice.
"They are deficient in a element known as taurine and that may be what's linked to this issue," says Weiss.
Weiss says the report, which also included some cats, only shows a potential link and that it doesn't ask for any food recalls. But he advises pet owners to talk to their vets.
The FDA says it will continue to investigate and gather more information as to whether there is an actual link between certain foods and DCM.
Check HERE for a complete list and more info.
Full statement from Champion Pet Foods, maker of Acana:
On June 27, 2019, the FDA released an update saying that it is “continuing to investigate and gather more information in an effort to identify whether there is a specific dietary link to development of DCM.” More specifically, its update provides no causative scientific link between DCM and our products, ingredients, or grain-free diets as a whole. Our hearts go out to every pet and Pet Lover who have been impacted by DCM. We take this very seriously and will continue to work internally and with other industry leaders on research into the cause of DCM in order to help Pet Lovers understand the facts. Our own research, and the millions of pets who have thrived by eating our food over 25 years, have shown that Champion pet foods are safe. DCM is a serious but rare condition. Of the 77 million dogs in the U.S., 0.5% to 1% have DCM, and of those dogs with DCM, fewer than 0.1% are speculated to have DCM related to diet, although that is not scientifically proven. In the recipes Champion makes, we emphasize fresh and raw meat with total animal-derived ingredients ranging from 60 to 85 percent of the finished product. Legumes are not a significant feature in Champion's recipes, and never have been. Champion’s mission is to provide high quality foods that are biologically appropriate and enhance the long-term health and well-being of cats and dogs, and we carry out state-of-the-art nutritional research to ensure that our products remain that way. As Pet Lovers ourselves, everyone at Champion will continue our unwavering commitment to maintaining the highest standards for ingredients and food safety. If you have any questions about DCM, please call our customer care line at 1-877-939-0006.

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