Pet foods linked to causing heart disease in dogs.

For years Dr. Marsig, Veterinarian in Markham taught his clients to be careful when choosing a diet for their pets. Food is most important in keeping pets healthy and you can control what your pet eats. However food is being sold on beliefs and emotions, not on facts and testing.

There are a lot of “belief-based” diets out on the market that lack scientific testing. They are being recommended by breeders, pet store sales clerks, chat rooms, etc. but they have never undergone independent third party evaluations.

They may have formulations and ingredients which seem appealing, but most company never go through the painstaking process of balancing all nutrients. For Dr. Marsig’s handout with valuable hints how to evaluate a pet food click here:

https://unionvet.ca/2019/07/09/which-nutrition-is-optimal-for-your-dog/

Heart disease caused by dog food.

Veterinary Cardiologists observed in 2018 an increase of a heart disease in dog breeds that were not common to acquire this disease: Dilative Cardiomyopathy (DCM). This increase prompted some fact checking and at current we know the following:

DCM occurs genetically in several breeds of dogs.

The newer cases reported that were not from these breeds had been eating newer brands of dog food, often grain-free and / or rich in legumes (beans, peas etc.) It is believed that these foods are imbalanced and a nutritional factor causes the development of DCM. It is being assumed at this point that some nutrients are missing or in excess. Further we know, that when you give a dog that just developed DCM food that has been established and tested for a long time, these patients improved their heart condition again.

This is very exciting and convinces researchers to continue looking into the food/ DCM issue. We will monitor this development and update here.

In the meantime we would like to publish the press release written by the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association:

“Sixteen pet food brands may be linked to increased risk of canine heart disease

July 2019 – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released a list of 16 pet food brands that may be linked to increased risk canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). The investigation, which began in July 2018, was conducted to determine a cause of the drastic increase in reports of DCM in dogs, including breeds without genetic predisposition.

Brands named in the report include Acana, Zignature, Taste of the Wild, 4Health, Earthborn Holistic, Blue Buffalo, Nature’s Domain, Fromm, Merrick, California Natural, Natural Balance, Orijen, Nature’s Variety, NutriSource, Nutro and Rachael Ray Nutrish. Many of the foods identified are labeled as “grain-free” and contain a high proportion of peas, lentils, other legume seeds and potatoes.  

Although most commonly reported in larger dogs, some smaller dogs and a few cats have also developed the disease.

Due to the complexity of the issue, the FDA has announced it will continue to investigate the link between pet food ingredients and DCM.

To read the full report and learn more, visit the FDA website. “

 

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