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DCM Due to Diet - FDA UPDATE 6/27/19

Discussion in 'Doberman Nutritional Care' started by Rits, Jun 21, 2017.

  1. Rits

    Rits Admin Administrative Staff Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    FDA UPDATE: 6/27/19
    FDA Investigates Potential Link Between Diet & Heart Disease in Dogs


    Original Post: June 21 2017
    Sharing this post from the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study group (a lifetime study on 3,000 golden retrievers to learn more about canine cancer, Abbey is in this study) on FB:

    "I would like to alert my fellow study participants and golden lovers re: grain free diets. I may have missed dialogue here, but grain free foods seem to be resulting in low taurine levels and serious cardiac complications. Taurine is an amino acid from meat. Canine's are not able to utilize vegetable protein. Goldens, in particular, may be a breed at higher risk of taurine deficiency and developing Dilated Cardiac Myopathy. It is also seen in cocker spaniels historically. At this time, it isn't known.

    Dogs eating Foods that were thought to be top shelf are just as at risk as those who are on lesser quality kibble.

    The only way to know if there is a problem is to do the following:

    1. Get a whole blood taurine draw (do NOT supplement taurine prior to the draw)
    2. If taurine levels are low, the dog will need an ECHO performed by a vet cardiologist to determine heart function and if DCM is present.

    My 3 yo golden has been eating a highly rated gf food for 2.5 years due to colitis. Her heart is asymptomatic. Fortunately, she hasn't yet developed DCM, BUT she has poor left ventricular contractility. The hope is that this can be reversed with taurine and omega fish oil supplementation. University of MN and UC Davis are starting to look into this closely as it is believed that this is the tip of the iceberg."
    • Informative Informative x 10
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  2. Rits

    Rits Admin Administrative Staff Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    Read labels. Many pet foods elevate the protein levels with vegetable protein which is not as easily digestible. If you can, swap proteins to provide a healthy variety. Even better if you can manage raw as there is plenty of taurine in a raw diet with a variety of proteins.

    I'm not sure if Dobermans are susceptible to taurine deficiency but I do know they are to DCM, so I felt it important to share this here as something to keep an eye on for my Doberman friends.
    • Informative Informative x 5
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  3. Regalis

    Regalis Notable member

    I wonder if feeding even just a partial raw diet would suffice (that's what we do since going full raw is just not practical).

    I do know I've changed my kibble mix because of the vegetable protein issue. Now only one of the three has a lot of vegetable matter, the other two are very meaty.

    Are certain meats higher in taurine than others? Would maybe adding them in, even on a partial raw diet, be enough maybe?

    Just general questions that came to mind :)
    • I was wondering about that too! I was wondering about that too! x 1
  4. Drogon

    Drogon Hot Topics Subscriber

    Just add some Red Bull to their diet :usa:
    • Funny Funny x 6
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. Kaiser2016

    Kaiser2016 Active Member

    Or cat food :smileycat:
  6. GennyB

    GennyB Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    Maybe or maybe it's just being on grain free food??
    When Drake goes to the cardiologist it is one if the things checked. That's one question I have never asked when we go. And believe me, I ask a lot of questions.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Rits

    Rits Admin Administrative Staff Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    Since I raw feed my cats I've had to look into this before starting. Here's what I have:
    • Shellfish – Excellent sources of Taurine, with high levels in clams, scallops, krill and shrimp.
    • Fish – Cold water fish such as sardines or salmon
    • Meat – All meat contains Taurine, with dark poultry meat being one of the best sources. The harder working the muscle the more taurine so dark meats, organs and hearts.
    • Eggs
    • Dairy products
    • Supplements (consult vet)
    Because Taurine is a free amino acid, it is easily lost with cooking (over 50%). If meat must be cooked, make it as ‘rare’ as possible, searing the outside to lock in the juices. Avoid cooking in water.

    You can research taurine levels here https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search/list
    • Informative Informative x 4
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  8. strykerdobe

    strykerdobe Hot Topics Subscriber

    We Taurine supplement our boy who has Occult DCM with 2,000mg a day. Plus what he gets from Raw Red meats and Cow Heart.

    There are some studies in cats that have heart issues. That supplementing with Taurine can reverse heart issues.

    At one time they had an issue with cat food. Cats seemed to be dying by the thousands! Then finally they found out about the taurine!

    Thousands of Cat Deaths Traced to Pet Food Deficiency
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Kaiser2016

    Kaiser2016 Active Member

    Now that Kaiser is on raw I feel like we should do the same for the cat. I bet she would love it and it would help her gain back a few years lost by Kaiser's arrival :hearteyecat:
    • Agree Agree x 2
  10. strykerdobe

    strykerdobe Hot Topics Subscriber

    Any fresh raw meat foods you add during the week will help.
    And cats should not be on any kibble. They should be on at least a canned food.

    Cow Heart has lots of Taurine. If you go the way of Traditional Chinese Medicine. If you have a problem organ, you should feed that organ.
    • Informative Informative x 2
  11. strykerdobe

    strykerdobe Hot Topics Subscriber

    Yes Cats are true carnivores.
    • Like Like x 1
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  12. Kaiser2016

    Kaiser2016 Active Member

    Thanks for the helpful tips!

    We upgraded the cat to Acana same time as Kaiser, but I'm ready to ditch her kibble.
  13. Kaiser2016

    Kaiser2016 Active Member

    How ironic that I suggested this already. But let me check before I do anything: I don't suppose I CAN ACTUALLY feed the leftover cat kibble to Kaiser? :woot2:
  14. mag062367

    mag062367 Novitiate

    I was really confused by this issue at first. Vet told us that grain free food was the problem, but grains contain ZERO taurine. I am assuming that grain free food could be a problem if most of the protein comes from veggies. Is that a correct assumption? I currently feed my dogs Merrick Grain Free which has deboned meat as first ingredient and also added salmon oil. All of which are loaded with taurine.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. JanS

    JanS DCF Owner Administrative Staff Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    I don't know the answer to your question but I just wanted to say welcome. :)
  16. Rits

    Rits Admin Administrative Staff Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    The problem is dog food companies raising the protein count with vegetable protein. The food can have meat in it but some are finding that there is not enough protein coming from meat, which is where you get your taurine from.
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  17. Rits

    Rits Admin Administrative Staff Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    Another instance... Check that your grain free food has protein from meat, not plants!! This is DCM brought on by low taurine levels. Taurine comes from meat.

    Shared from Julie Carter:
    "Hero #2803 is the latest Face of Dilated Cardiomyopathy:

    After seeing repeated FB posts concerning Diet Related Cardiomyopathy, I brought this subject up to the veterinarians who routinely treat my Oliver and Riley. Although the interest was there, the concern wasn’t. Not because they didn’t care, because they were unfamiliar with the research and unaware of the increasing number of dogs being diagnosed.

    Fortunately, I tend to be stubborn, so when the FB concerns persisted, so did I. During Oliver’s recent Study Visit, I came prepared with a copy of the GRLS article titled “Researchers getting closer to understanding dietary taurine and heart disease in dogs”. This article highlights Dr. Josh Stern’s research at UC Davis with taurine deficiency related Dilated Cardiomyopathy. Before Oliver was even examined I handed it to my veterinarian. While he politely accepted my paper, he wasn’t overly interested in it… until he listened to Oliver’s chest and heard something he’s never heard before… a heart murmur.

    Less than a week later, Oliver was seen by a cardiologist, had an echocardiogram and was diagnosed with Dilated Cardiomyopathy at only 3 years old. Our lives have not been the same since. Between the heart medications and the Taurine and L Carnitine supplements Oliver now takes 11 pills a day. We’re also in the process of slowly changing his and supporter Riley’s food.

    Unfortunately, we continue have more questions than answers, which is why we’ve decided to seek a second opinion. We will be taking Oliver to see a cardiologist at the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary Hospital on March 5th. Hopefully this trip will lead to some answers and once I get them, I promise to share them with all of you.

    In the meantime, I would urge you to share the article I referenced earlier with your veterinarians and do not give up until they understand the importance of this research and it’s findings. Please don’t look down on your veterinarians if they are not aware of this growing threat to our dogs, because I don’t. My veterinarians are dedicated professionals who would never ignore known research at the expense of their patients. I truly believe there is a gap in educating our primary veterinary community about Diet Related DCM, especially as it relates to Golden Retrievers. So, if they aren’t aware… let’s help educate them and make sure this growing problem remains fresh in their minds."
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  18. Rits

    Rits Admin Administrative Staff Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    "* Oliver Update and info on DCM - Thank you all for being patient with me. I know you’ve been waiting a long time for my update. It took much longer for me to digest everything I heard yesterday. I also want to apologize in advance for the length of this post. I’m trying to pass along everything I’ve learned about Dilated Cardiomyopathy and how you may be able to prevent it. If what you read here can prevent one dog from going through what has happened to Oliver, it will be well worth it.

    Oliver was evaluated at UPenn’s Veterinary Hospital. His cardiologist, Dr. Anna Gelzer and her team were absolutely amazing. Here is my understanding of what I learned yesterday:

    Dr. Gelzer confirmed Oliver’s diagnosis of Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM). What isn’t clear to them yet, is what caused it. The answer to that question holds the key to his long-term survival.

    Until recently, Dilated Cardiomyopathy has not been a condition seen with any regularity in Golden Retrievers. While they have seen an occasional Golden or other atypical breed show up with DCM in recent years, something has changed in the past few months. There has been a noticeable rise in the number of calls UPenn has rec’d from Veterinarians reporting cases similar to Oliver’s and they are concerned. They are also beginning to make a direct correlation between these new cases and the diets the affected dogs have been fed. While they suspect MANY different brands to be problematic, one brand that has shown up several times is Zignature Grain-Free… The brand I have fed Oliver and Riley for several years.

    They suspect most grain free formulas and/or legume-based diets (think peas, beans, lentils, chickpeas etc) may be causing this problem because they either lack an adequate amount of Taurine in their formula, or the legume based diet interferes with the dog’s ability to absorb the Taurine in the food.

    If they determine Oliver has Taurine Deficiency related DCM his prognosis may be more optimistic, depending on how he responds to the medication and supplements he’s getting daily. However, if he has Idiopathic DCM, the cardiac medications and the supplements will slow the progression of the disease, but cannot stop it.

    Since Idiopathic and Taurine Deficient based DCM look IDENTICAL on an Echocardiogram, there’s no way for the cardiologist to determine which version of DCM Oliver has until he has his next Echocardiogram in May. If it shows an improvement in his heart muscle, then we’ll know he has Taurine Related DCM, because the Idiopathic version will never show any improvement.

    I KNOW this is A LOT of information, but I hope you will take it to heart. Check your pup’s food and speak with your Veterinarian. Insist on a dog food that has Veterinary Science behind it. You may be saving your pup's life.♥️♥️"
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  19. Kaiser2016

    Kaiser2016 Active Member

    Thanks for the update.

    It's a trend for people to be going grain free. Now dogs are too. I never knew what to make of it. Might be fair to say that if you/your dog don't have an issue with grains, don't mess around with them.
  20. Tropicalbri's

    Tropicalbri's $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber $ Forum Donor $

    I do not think any dog food is truly grain free.
    • Agree Agree x 1

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