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UC Davis Advisory on Diet Related DCM (Important Read for Kibble Feeders)

Discussion in 'Nutrition News and Articles' started by Rits, Aug 26, 2018.

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  1. Rits

    Rits Admin Administrative Staff Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    • Informative Informative x 7
  2. Rits

    Rits Admin Administrative Staff Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    Also to note, the theory is that the legumes and potatoes are blocking or inhibiting the absorption of taurine so supplementing would have no effect. Speak to your vet first.
     
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  3. Gelcoater

    Gelcoater Expert ThreadCrapper $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber

    So avoid kibble with legumes and potato.

    Maybe grain free isn’t the best bet after all?
     
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  4. JanS

    JanS DCF Owner Administrative Staff Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    Interesting info!
    I was sort of wondering about that too. I had to download the PDF to go to the provided links but it's worth saving anyway.
     
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  5. Rits

    Rits Admin Administrative Staff Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    It's not just grain free, sadly. Grain foods can also have these ingredients.

    Stick to Kibble that has little legumes and potato. The first 10 ingredients should not have either. I haven't checked other foods, but Orijen for example doesn't have any until the 16th ingredient and the first 15 ingredients are purely meat.

    Or go raw. Which I know isn't ideal for everyone.
     
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  6. GennyB

    GennyB Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber


    Nor does it work for every dog. Epic fail for us.:(


    Another thing to consider is amino acids, especially taurine need a specific vitamin B for absorption. Can't remember which one because I was told that a b complex would be best.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  7. Rits

    Rits Admin Administrative Staff Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    L-carnitine I believe?

    Again to be clear for anyone else reading, supplementing taurine is not recommend unless discussed with a cardiologist and the dog is showing DCM and/or is deficient in taurine.

    If your food has legumes and or potatoes, the best bet is to test. If you plan on testing they say to not change food until after you test. Your vet can draw the blood for you and you can ship the blood to UC Davis yourself should you want to save some money, or you can pay for the vet to do the shipping and everything. It's $76 for the whole blood taurine test.


    Sorry couldn't find the link for this PDF on my phone. I'm sure you can find the submission form on UC Davis website.
    Screenshot_20180826-235109~2.png

    Screenshot_20180826-235115~2.png
     
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  8. Jasmine0430

    Jasmine0430 Jr Member

    Dang that means TOTW is out as sweet potato is always within the first couple of ingredients... :(
     
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  9. Kaiser2016

    Kaiser2016 Active Member

    Too bad about the sweet potato as its in a lot of kibble, and it is considered to be healthier than potatoes in human diets so you just know people won't catch on to that one very quick. We have fed potato pieces to Kaiser when we have leftovers, but no more.
     
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  10. Jasmine0430

    Jasmine0430 Jr Member

    Same. Jasmine loves her some smashed sweet potatos stuffed in her kong as a special treat, but with DCM so common in dobes (even when tested) I don't want to risk it.

    As I mentioned in another post, Penny passed way before her time due to DCM and if I can avoid it/prevent or delay aggravating it if Jasmine does have it then I will do my best. Being scarred once in life due to DCM is enough.

    It's true though. As I looked through all the best kibble brands, all have peas, sweet potatoes, legumes, and lentils as an ingredient somewhere on the list. :facepalm:
     
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  11. GennyB

    GennyB Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber


    VERY IMPORTANT to supplement with the help of an expert. Supplementing is more complicated than just giving a pill. A living body works best with balance. Too much of one thing and not enough of another can do more harm than good. Then of course there's always the one that is just a waste of money because it's just being flushed out.
    While I am happy to see lots of research being done, I sometimes wonder when the right time to go public is. This news came out and people were running to buy taurine thinking they are now safe. We have to remember that DCM was a problem in the doberman long before there was grain free food. While it may be a contributing factor as seen with other breeds not predisposed to DCM, I hardly think it is the cause in the dobie.
     
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  12. strykerdobe

    strykerdobe Hot Topics Subscriber

    Also I always tell people that NOT all supplements are created equal.
     
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  13. Rits

    Rits Admin Administrative Staff Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    No probably not the cause for Dobe's genetic DCM but for sure can't hurt to closely follow this information. I would hate Dobe owners to not be aware and have their dogs die due to diet induced DCM. I just saw a German Shepherd die due to DCM...18 months old. It can happen to anyone. Who knows, maybe some DCM that dobes are facing is diet related and it was just shrugged off as a genetic issue? The more people that test the better info Dr. Stern will get and hopefully find a definite cause.
     
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  14. LifeofRubie

    LifeofRubie Active Member

    I almost wonder if that's how legumes ended up in dog food... it's good for us so much be good for dogs!

    We've actually have had a tough time sourcing pea protein powder (for a drink mix) and I suspect it's because it's in a lot of dog food to (more cheaply than meat) boost protein content.
     
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  15. strykerdobe

    strykerdobe Hot Topics Subscriber

    One thing all of us have to remember is all dog food is really animal feed regulated by AAFCO! They just gave it a nicer name. Pets and farm animals have become a dumping ground of human food waste.

    The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO ...
    https://petfood.aafco.org
    AAFCO does not regulate, test, approve or certify pet foods in any way. AAFCO establishes the nutritional standards for complete and balanced pet foods, and it is the pet food company's responsibility to formulate their products according to the appropriate AAFCO standard.
     
  16. NikiL02

    NikiL02 Formerly Nlr02 $ Forum Donor $

    There was some previous research that suggested in dobermans that the L-carnitine being too low was the cause for their DCM. I think it's been disproved at this point but I remember googling that.

    Nero's food supplements with L-carnitine and taurine. But it's still a grain free food. I haven't figured out a food to switch to that doesn't cost me both arms and legs!
     
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  17. Gelcoater

    Gelcoater Expert ThreadCrapper $ Premium Subscriber $ Hot Topics Subscriber

    Looks like I also need to find new treats.
    Rocky loves his dehydrated sweet potato chews but it looks like we need to find a replacement ASAP
     
  18. strykerdobe

    strykerdobe Hot Topics Subscriber

    Well it will not hurt supplementing with L-Carnitine, Taurine, CoQ10, D-Ribose and lots of others. We are supplementing with low doses in our 2 1/2yr old.

    Our 8 1/2yr old has been supplemented (because of his brother dying at 6yrs 7mo from DCM) just before he turned 6yrs old. He was diagnosed at 6yrs with Occult DCM. And has been on them. He turned 8yrs 8mo old and is doing well with No progression.
    Also on 4 Heart meds and Thyroid med.
    As always check with your vet.
     
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  19. strykerdobe

    strykerdobe Hot Topics Subscriber

    Below is a good read for info. In this (highlighted her name) is our boys Cardiologist Dr. Lori Hitchcock, who has joined up with UC Davis to help collect cases and funnel them to the FDA.
    I will try and get an update from her (but not until Nov.) when we go for his next appointment.

    www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/news/uc-davis-investigates-link-between-dog-diets-and-deadly-heart-disease

    [​IMG]
    Dr. Josh Stern (left) examines a dog in the cardiology exam room. Hannah Webb, a cardiology technician, and Dr. Weihow Hsue, a cardiology resident, assist.

    July 19, 2018
    Posted by Trina Wood


    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently issued an alert about reports of canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs eating certain pet foods containing peas, lentils, other legume seeds, or potatoes as main ingredients. DCM is a disease of the heart muscle that leads to reduced heart pumping function and increased heart size. The alterations in heart function and structure can result in severe consequences such as congestive heart failure or sudden cardiac death. While the most common cause of DCM is genetic, on rare occasions other factors can also result in the condition, particularly in breeds that are not frequently affected.

    Dr. Josh Stern, a veterinary cardiologist and geneticist at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, began seeing an alarming trend in cases at the veterinary hospital two years ago. Golden retrievers were being diagnosed more frequently with DCM—a disease not commonly associated with this breed. This diagnosis of DCM was coupled with another finding that many of the dogs were eating the same grain-free diet and had blood tests confirming low taurine levels. Taurine is an amino acid that dogs get naturally in their diets and manufacture from other building blocks contained in the food. Although dogs have the ability to manufacture taurine, it has been known for some time that low levels of taurine are associated with a potentially reversible form of DCM.

    Since this initial observation, Stern has been recruiting and studying golden retrievers with DCM and taurine deficiency. He has observed that the vast majority of these patients respond favorably to taurine supplementation and diet change, a prognosis that is not usually noted with traditional, genetic DCM. Stern alerted the veterinary cardiology community to his finding, leading to the formation of a larger collaboration between multiple institutions and clinicians. Although golden retrievers appear more commonly affected by a taurine deficient form of this condition, the problem was noted in dogs of many breeds eating similar diets across North America.

    Stern is no stranger to golden retriever research. He is the proud pet parent and veterinarian of a golden retriever enrolled in Morris Animal Foundation’s Golden Retriever Lifetime Study, as well as a researcher into genetics of cardiac disease in purebred dogs including golden retrievers. It is important to realize that in the population of golden retrievers that Stern studies with taurine-deficient DCM, the condition is not able to be explained by inheritance, as many of the dogs are completely unrelated with no familial history of prior DCM.

    UC Davis is fortunate to have Drs. Andrea Fascetti and Jennifer Larsen, two of the world’s experts in veterinary nutrition and specifically taurine studies. Stern, Fascetti, Larsen, and veterinary cardiology resident Joanna Kaplan have been working together to understand the dietary link in golden retrievers with taurine deficient DCM and are in the process of submitting a manuscript documenting these findings.

    Additionally, Dr. Lisa Freeman (veterinary nutritionist from Tufts University), Dr. Darcy Adin (veterinary cardiologist from North Carolina State University), Dr. John Rush (veterinary cardiologist from Tufts University), Dr. Lori Hitchcock (veterinary cardiologist from private practice in Ohio) and Dr. Ryan Fries (veterinary cardiologist from the University of Illinois) have joined forces with UC Davis to collect cases of diet-related DCM (many of which involve other breeds and do not appear to be caused by taurine deficiency), funnel case data to the FDA, and develop protocols to provide up-to-date information to the public, veterinary community and veterinary cardiology group.

    Upon investigation of all of the diets associated with both the taurine deficient and non-taurine deficient forms of DCM, a few key associations were apparent. Many dogs were being fed some variety of boutique (small manufacturer), exotic ingredient (non-traditional protein sources), or grain-free diets. These findings make up the basis of recommendations that have come from each study group and now the FDA.

    The veterinary cardiologist and nutrition group has pieced together a few brief guidelines to help pet-owners navigate this complex issue:

    1. Evaluate the diet that you are feeding your pet. If the diet is boutique, contains exotic ingredients, or is grain free, you may consider a diet change to one without these properties. Talk to your veterinarian about the FDA announcement and what diet may be best for your dog.
    2. If you are concerned about your dog based on what you are feeding, watch closely for signs of heart disease such as weakness, slowing down on walks, coughing, fainting or trouble breathing. Your veterinarian may also recognize early heart disease by hearing a heart murmur or abnormal heart rhythms. If you observe these things or your veterinarian is concerned, additional testing may be indicated such as x-rays, blood tests, EKG, or heart ultrasound (echocardiogram).
    3. If your dog is diagnosed with DCM, particularly if eating a diet that meets the criteria listed above:
    • Ask your veterinarian to test blood taurine levels.
    • Report the findings to the FDA.
    • Change your dog’s diet as directed by your veterinarian’s recommendations.
    • Ask your veterinarian to help you identify a dose for taurine supplementation.
    • Seek guidance from a veterinary cardiologist.
    • Follow the instructions from your veterinarian or veterinary cardiologist as repeat evaluations and other medications may be needed. It can take multiple months to see improvement in many cases of diet-related DCM.
    More info and a statement from Nutrition Support Services at UC Davis Veterinary Hospital here.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2018
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  20. Rits

    Rits Admin Administrative Staff Moderator Hot Topics Subscriber

    I hear ya. I've been researching on my own to find a food I'm comfortable with feeding until this blows over and they pinpoint exactly whats going on. I decided personally, I would rather avoid the common denominators all together. That means I will have to switch back to a food with grains, but I did find a 5 star food with no wheat, no corn, no soy...and no legumes or potatoes. Fortunately, they've been on it before (a long time ago) and I was satisfied with their coat and energy levels when they were on it.

    Basically, it comes down to either finding a food with some grains but without the top offending ingredients like wheat corn and soy, or finding a grain-free food that is a bit more expensive and maybe has legumes and potatoes but much further down the list (ex:Orijen), or feeding freeze-dried, air-dried, premade raw (ie:expensive) like Ziwi Peak. Or feed raw. There is a table on the facebook group that includes the taurine levels, what food they were feeding, the breed, etc. that may help you make a decision. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1952593284998859/

    I'm not sure if you plan to test his taurine levels at all, but if you do, they ask that you don't switch food until the results come back so that it doesn't affect the results.

    Right now, I've decided to wait and not test. With 2 dogs it is quite expensive and not to be morbid, but they both are seniors going on 11 and 12...and I've been blessed that they've both had long and relatively healthy lives. I think a diet change will be the best I can do for them until more definitive info comes out. My opinion may change then.

    It really all comes down with absorbing all the information that is so far available, researching foods, and decide for yourself what is best for you and your dogs. :)
     
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