Since our last blog post on grain free diets and cardiac disease, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has published a new update.
Since 2014, The FDA have been collecting reports on dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) cases. There have been 16 pet food brands have been named on at least 10 cases of the disease, with Acana being the most commonly implicated.
Ingredients and formulation:
After analyzing the implicated diets, the FDA reports that 90% of diets were “grain-free”. Another common factor was that 93% of diets contained peas and/or lentils.
While chicken and lamb were the most common sources, other unconventional proteins (eg. Kangaroo, venison) were reported as well. Overall, there was no predominant protein found.
Majority of the implicated diets were dry formulations.
It may not necessarily be the lack of grains, but the change in amino acid and protein profile that alters the amount of taurine available to the body. This may be impacting the amount of protein intake, or the synthesis and absorption of taurine.
While we are still far from learning the exact link between heart disease and diet, it is clear that the association is multifactorial. Consider the diet your pet is on and discuss with your veterinarian about dietary concerns. If your pet is on a BEG diets (boutique, exotic or grain-free), watch for signs of heart disease such as coughing, weakness and exercise intolerance.