A message to pet parents about canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and its possible link to grain free foods. First we want you all to know that we at Kibbles & Cuts have been monitoring the information on this subject for some time and are watching closely as new information comes out.
To date there is not significant scientific data to determine the cause for the rise of DCM in some breeds and the FDA states “based on the data collected and analyzed thus far, the agency believes that the potential association between diet and DCM in dogs is a complex scientific issue that may involve multiple factors”.
On June 27, 2019 FDA updated information on its investigation into potential link between certain diets and DCM. In summary it said that between January 1, 2014 and April 30, 2019 they had received 524 reports of DCM (515 canine and 9 feline) with approximately 222 of these reports coming between December 1, 2018 and April 30, 2019. They associate this spike in cases to response from an earlier report pointing out the possible correlation. DCM is a rare but serious condition, of the 77 million dogs in the U.S. between 0.5% and 1% has the condition and of those with DCM approximately 0.1% is speculated to have DCM related to diet.
The speculation is that if diet is part of the cause it is due to a lack of taurine. It is thought that the legumes, potatoes and pulses that are used in these formulas may inhibit the absorption of taurine or prevent the dogs’ body from synthesizing it naturally from cysteine and methionine.
In response to this possibility many of our brands have increased the amount of taurine in their formulas as a better-safe-than sorry precaution while these studies on the potential cause progress.
Our recommendation is to continue caring for your pets in the way that you are most comfortable with. Our preferred approach to nutrition is to rotate foods on an ongoing basis and to supplement in as many raw elements as is practical for you. That has not changed. We are more than happy to help you with suggestions as you go. If you want to change foods, we can help you select food that does not contain these ingredients.
Our Certified Pet Nutrition Specialist's will continue to monitor the progress of the ongoing studies and will share them here as new information becomes available.