All About Dog Food Forum
Other doggy topics => Dog news => Topic started by: Dottie on Jul 17, 2018, 11:41
An item of news from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (preliminary report):
FDA investigating potential link between diet, canine heart disease. (http://www.feedstuffs.com/news/fda-investigating-potential-link-between-diet-canine-heart-disease)
Dog heart disease linked to grain-free food, FDA says. (https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/dog-heart-disease-linked-food-fda-says-n891011)
They report that they are seeing “.....unusual level of reports of heart condition in dogs eating certain pet foods containing peas, lentils, pulses or potatoes as main ingredients.” They mention some dogs having low taurine levels. This is an amino acid necessary for heart health - link. (https://www.allaboutdogfood.co.uk/dog-food-ingredients/0096/taurine)
Interesting. I see they are suggesting that the issue may be due to having nutrients missing from the diet. I read something about dogs being unable to process pea protein well so it just passes through. Can't remember where though so I don't know how reliable it was. I usually avoid foods with peas as when I fed a food containing quite a few, my dog lost weight on more than the recommended daily amount. She did seem to be passing the peas straight through but I thought it was because they were dried. She didn't do as well on it as she does now. I suppose if potato or pea/ lentil makes up a good percentage of the food, the dog would need to consume more food to get enough nutrients.
Interesting post Dottie. Dr Karen Becker mentioned DCM, on Mercola, Healthy Pets recently "Dogs Fed Grain-Free Kibble May Be at Risk for Heart Disease"
Here is a response I received from Butternut Box regarding this research-obviously their comments relate specifically to their own food but it does echo a lot of the information contained in the Dr Karen Becker article shared by Seaweed. Hopefully it may be useful to other forum members :)
"Recently, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an alert to pet owners and veterinary professionals about reports of canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs eating certain pet foods containing peas, lentils, other legume seeds, or potatoes as main ingredients.
Diets in cases reported to the FDA frequently list potatoes or multiple legumes such as peas, lentils, other “pulses” (seeds of legumes), and their protein, starch and fibre derivatives early in the ingredient list, indicating that they are main ingredients. It is not yet known how these ingredients are linked to cases of DCM.
Previous other studies have linked very high fibre, lamb and rice foods (that is, lamb and rice fed together), and very low protein diets to this DCM heart condition.
Studies have also found that animals fed heat processed diets have lower taurine concentrations that animals fed non-heat processed diets. This is thought to be related to the Maillard cooking reaction. The Maillard reaction is a chemical reaction that gives food its browning colour and occurs with rapid heating at temperatures above 140°C.
Our meals’ main ingredient is 60% high-quality fresh meat and 40% pulses, vegetables, seeds and botanicals. Of this 40%, 10% of our ingredients are lentils and 7% are peas.
Lentils are a rich source of protein, B vitamins, iron and soluble fibre. Iron is an essential nutrient, meaning you must get it from food. Iron carries oxygen in blood around the body and is needed to support red blood cells. Fibre does more than just keep your dog regular. Evidence shows that diets higher in this ruff stuff slows down the rate of digestion, leading to a slower absorption of glucose and regulates blood sugar levels.
Based on research and the advice of our vet nutritionists, we choose to add fresh vegetables, herbs and seeds to our food to provide a balanced diet, rich in vitamins, omega fatty acids and antioxidants.
Taurine is found in red meats, heart, liver, dark white meats (i.e. the dark meat of chicken and turkey), white fish and shellfish. Our meals contain 60% meat from a combination of prime muscle, heart and liver.
As we gently cook our meals at low temperatures (90°C), the Maillard reaction does not occur."
Our veterinary nutritionists have assured that due to our high animal-protein content and our gentle cooking process, our meals are rich in available taurine.”
17% of lentils and peas seems quite high a percentage particularly on a dry matter basis.
It'll be interesting to see how the current news focus will impact the pet food market. Grain free over the past few years has become the in thing and as the famous saying goes "not all grain free foods were created equally..."
This post interests me a great deal - thank you for the information and the links. The article by Dr K Becker mentions both my breeds.
We had a dalmatian who we fed on a grain-free expensive dry food for the second half of her life due to runny stools and she developed DCM for the last 2 years of her life. Now we have a rescue golden retriever and I automatically put him on the same food but now it seems as if I'm not doing him any favours and would be better reverting to a normal dry food possibly with grains rather than legumes and potato/sweet potato.
Now to trawl through the choices weighing up price against ratings and finding an acceptable food that suits him.
Hello and welcome to the forum. This might be of use to you. (https://www.facebook.com/allaboutdogfood.uk/?ref=br_rs) It is David's response which he recently published on his Facebook page. If you are not a FB user, here is the text:
Since the FDA's investigation into the potential link between diet and canine heart disease was announced last month, the pet press has been whipping up a frenzy but before we all get carried away, let's look at the facts -It seems far too early to say whether there is a link and that there needs to be properly controlled studies.
1. Cases of canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) appear to be on the rise, at least in the US, particularly in breeds not usually associated with the condition.
2. Of the cases under investigation, the diets "frequently" (not universally) contained significant amounts of potatoes or legumes (primarily peas and lentils) "but it is not yet known how these ingredients are linked to cases of DCM".
3. The amino acid taurine may or may not have something to do with it.
And that's really all we know so far. Not a lot.
And yet pet commentators, pet food manufacturers and even respected news outlets are throwing around sensationalistic, unfounded and often contradictory headlines like it's going out of fashion.
Interestingly, though, their conclusions usually seem to back up their previously held opinions. For example, some producers of grain based pet foods are pinning it on potato. Those that use potato are blaming peas. For the raw lobby, dry foods in general are to blame. And for any blogger trying to boost their reach, a good old *INSERT INGREDIENT HERE* IS KILLING YOUR DOG headline is always going to go a long way.
And that's the problem, the information so far available is so patchy that you can make it fit basically any narrative you want to push. So until the investigation sheds at least a little more light, I urge you to take all of the speculation with a huge pinch of salt.
I'll of course keep you posted with the findings as they come out so stay calm and watch this space.
Many pet owners believe the hype that goes with grain free products and assume that grain is bad for their dogs. That isn't always correct. Not all grains are equal - some are better nutritionally for the dog. The Dog Food Ingredient Glossary (https://www.allaboutdogfood.co.uk/dog-food-ingredient-glossary.php) has more information. Brown rice (https://www.allaboutdogfood.co.uk/dog-food-ingredients/0002/rice-brown-whole-grain) in particular is thought to be useful. One of my dogs doesn't do well on potato and pea products so I choose to give her food containing brown rice and it suits her very well. If I give her grain free wet food for a change I choose sweet potato or butternut squash.
IMHO a lot depends on the dog and what suits them but I would imagine that for the majority of dogs grain would be OK as long as there isn't too much of it - it is all about balance and the right type.
The latest from the FDA. https://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/ResourcesforYou/AnimalHealthLiteracy/ucm616279.htm
An article on DCM by Dr Conor Brady. https://dogsfirst.ie/grain-free-dry-foods-linked-to-dcm-in-dogs/
interesting reading , it all makes sense. :)
Truth about Pet Food on the FDA and DCM. https://truthaboutpetfood.com/the-most-recent-fda-betrayal/
Susan Thixton, Investigating the Grain Free Link to Heart Disease with Blinders On.
Susan Thixton, Diet associated heart disease in dogs, “what we know” https://truthaboutpetfood.com/category/pet-food-news/
Interesting. The apparent improvements made after supplementing with taurine in dogs showing a deficiency and having DCM are promising.
There still seems to be lots of unknowns. Presumably the condition happens over an extended time period so not sure how useful recording treats and other things fed on top of the diet and keeping the packet info would be. I tend, not to feed the same treats or extras. So what I would record after diagnosis, wouldn't necessarily be what may have contributed towards the disease.
For anyone reading BEG diet is Boutique, exotic-ingredient, and grain-free. The abbreviations were explained at the end. ???
Susan Thixton, DCM Study Misses the Big Picture. https://truthaboutpetfood.com/dcm-study-misses-the-big-picture/
Evidence Update: Grain-free and other “BEG” Diets Associated with Heart Disease in Dogs
I am following the case. According to a group ( https://www.facebook.com/groups/TaurineDCM/ (https://www.facebook.com/groups/TaurineDCM/)) , there are quite a lot of dogs affected. There is another group questioning the study https://www.facebook.com/groups/613256769040202/ (https://www.facebook.com/groups/613256769040202/) And here is the study (I would say micro-study even) https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0209112&fbclid=IwAR2IV5x8t9bwydEc8-5njRrwvh3HDLz4Zatj6fQpVaueQAY3HK1W3RdDLQg (https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0209112&fbclid=IwAR2IV5x8t9bwydEc8-5njRrwvh3HDLz4Zatj6fQpVaueQAY3HK1W3RdDLQg)
Dilated Cardiomyopathy (heart disease) in Dogs and Why Some Dogs Eat “Exotic” Ingredients.
FDA asks pet food industry for DCM-related information. https://www.petfoodindustry.com/articles/7887-fda-asks-pet-food-industry-for-dcm-related-information
FDA provides update on DCM investigation, Truth about Pet Food. https://truthaboutpetfood.com/fda-provides-update-on-dcm-investigation/
It’s Very Real, and Very Deadly. https://truthaboutpetfood.com/its-very-real-and-very-deadly/
Thank you Seaweed - interesting informative links. My attention was drawn to this paragraph:
Because EVERYTHING is different with feed grade pet foods/feed grade ingredients, adding some fresh ‘food’ (real food not feed) to your pet’s diet daily is a great and simple thing to do. Not everyone can afford to provide their pet with minimally processed food as the sole diet, but we all can add some.This is something that I have believed in for a long time. Although I have used this before, I will repeat it here for convenience: Why Fresh ‘Human Food’ is so Important for Dogs (Rodney Habib). (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=sjvaKyFD4Iw)
Lots of pet owners are on a tight budget and need to feed economically but fresh food toppers a few times a week may be affordable. There is a lot of information online about those protein sources that have higher amounts of taurine, chicken and muscle meat being two.
Two articles from Linda P Case of "The Science Dog."
DCM in Dogs, Taurine's Role in the Canine Diet, Whole Dog Journal.
Mind Your Peas and Potatoes, https://thesciencedog.com/2018/12/06/mind-your-peas-and-potatoes/
In an effort to simplify this information for concerned pet owners I have asked for further advice from David, the site owner. At some point he might be able to write an article about taurine deficiency but meanwhile he suggests reading the PetMD article When Taurine and Carnitine Supplements Are a Good Idea. (https://www.petmd.com/blogs/nutritionnuggets/jcoates/2012/june/when_taurine_carnitine_supplements_are_good_idea-24604) He also mentioned the Aniforte Taurine for Dogs powder (https://www.aniforte.co.uk/products/taurin-for-dogs-100g) as being a useful supplement. David agrees with topping up with taurine containing food as being another useful strategy.
The industry thinks a band-aid is sufficient fix for DCM. https://truthaboutpetfood.com/the-industry-thinks-a-band-aid-is-sufficient-fix-for-dcm/
I am sure like many aspects of nutrition, the issue is complex. Definitely more research needed.