Recent reports released by the FDA have created an environment of panic and shock after various cases of canine dilated cardiomyopathy were reported amongst dogs that do not have a genetic predisposition to develop this disease.
Pet owners are constantly striving to give their canine best friends a healthy and nutritious grain-free diet, recent research reveals that this grain-free diet is actually increasing their risk factors for developing various life-threatening and crippling ailments.
On 12th July, 2018, the FDA issued an alert upon receiving countless alarming reports of the emergence of canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) amongst dogs who were given pet foods that contained ingredients such as legume seeds, lentils and potatoes.
For those who don’t know, canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a heart muscle disease that tends to cause an abnormally enlarged heart. Gradually, as the heart begins to enlarge, it gets extremely challenging for the heart to pump blood and the valves start to leak, causing an excessive amount of fluid build-up within the abdomen and chest areas. In certain severe cases, DCM can increase the risk factors of congestive heart failure.
Researchers have yet to discover the exact cause that leads to the development and progression of DCM, however, experts used to believe that there must be a genetic predisposition for this disease. DCM tends to much more common and prevalent amongst larger dog breeds, for instance, the Saint Bernards, Great Danes and Boxers.
However, more recently, the FDA has received reports of cases of DCM occurring amongst dog breeds that are typically not considered to have a genetic predisposition for suffering from this ailment. The FDA has recounted cases of DCM amongst dogs that were given diets consisting of legumes and potatoes as the primary ingredients for nutrition. Dogs that consume higher concentration of legumes and vegetables tend to be grain-free diets, which are supposedly considered much healthier.
Researchers from the FDA have yet to understand how ingredients like lentils and potatoes amongst other grain-free diet sources can be associated with DCM symptoms. Experts from FDA’s Veterinary Medicine and Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network are currently conducting investigations and research to understand the potential link between the onset of DCM and grain-free diets.