Skip to main content

Some FDA Answers Regarding Investigation into a Possible Connection Between Diet and Canine Heart Disease

Related News


  1. Janice

    It is good that the FDA is issuing updates, but couldn’t they give more information about the foods that were fed to the dogs who became ill? How about protein percentage as well as the percentage of protein from meat or fish? Any commonalities here? How about the kind of animal proteins? What about the nutritional profiles–including the amino acid profiles? Just because a food is said to meet AAFCO standards does not mean there are no imbalances relative to the NRC recommendations. The public really deserves more information.

    1. Martha Glew

      The FDA is working amazingly fast!

      People are welcome to join one or both Facebook groups to learn which diets have caused DCM, how to get your dog’s taurine level tested, an open letter to vets from Dr. Joshua Stern, the Prof of Cardiology at UC Davis leading the study, etc.

      ** Taurine-Deficient Dilated Cardiomyopathy [for all breeds]

      ** Taurine Deficiency in Golden Retrievers (Goldens only, please)

  2. Toby

    So sad. My dad’s lab was on a limited ingredient diet due to chronic ear problems. The main ingredients were sweet potato, duck and peas. She had these exact symptoms. We took her to the vet and they kept her for a week and she improved. However, we brought her home and continued the same food. Within a week she got worse and we had no choice but to end her suffering. This was 5 years ago and I was convinced then as I am now more than ever it was the “commercial” pet food. It doesn’t help my girl now but hopefully this will help put a stop to all the crap they put in pet food and if not encourage pet owners to become better educated when it comes to their pets diet. I for one, now feed my cats raw and homemade food.

    1. Heidi Mignogna

      I feel they also need to look into what methods and countries these ingredients are grown in. This may be an issue with pesticides and conditions these items are grown in. Just my opinion…

  3. Janet Blume

    Does anyone k ow if the food reported so far are one that add additional taurine ans dl methionine?

  4. Hope

    Glad FDA updated but obviously there’s no answers. I’m actually questioning the preliminary conclusions reached. There are so many variables. Thanks for keeping us posted Susan!

    1. Martha Glew

      Please see the FB groups I listed above.

      The preliminary conclusions reached are correct. There was an enormous body of work completed before the FDA became involved.

      The data was so overwhelmingly bad, that the FDA has begun to alert the public before any official guidelines are written. A team of scientists are working together across the country at different research facilities to uncover the mechanisms involved.

      Read your dog food labels.
      No peas, lentils, garbanzo beans, pinto beans, potatoes or sweet potatoes in the first 5 ingredients.

      1. Janice

        Actually, based on the above statement from the FDA, that agency counts as a main ingredient any food ingredient listed before the vitamins and minerals. So that’s all the food ingredients, as ingredients are usually listed. I find that surprising, and it rather makes questionable the meaning of “main ingredient”: (from above: “We generally consider a ‘main ingredient’ to be listed in a food’s ingredient list before the first vitamin or mineral ingredient.”

        1. Martha Glew

          UC Davis (the lead research institution on this) has commented that the suspect ingredients should not be in the first 5 ingredients indicated.

          The golden FB group has almost 4,000 members, and the allbreed close to 3,000.

          1. Janice

            Good to know. Thank you. Makes more sense than the FDA statement.

  5. Lisa

    I also think that the FDA needs to look into where these ingredients are grown and what pesticides and/or hormones that may be involved (i.e. genetically engineered). Just my opinion….

  6. Eloisa Hernandez

    All this about DCM and grain free diets looks to me, if you allow me the words, something a bit like paranoia… I would also like to see a COMPLETE study that show us all how much diabetes, how much obesity…how many pet DEATHS grocery food have been caused by the three main companies EVERY year. But just NOW nobody seems to be interested in this SUBJECT…

    1. Jane Democracy

      Because what you are asking for it nearly impossible to study… there are far too many variables to do a real scientific study (not sure what you mean by COMPLETE study) on them aside from perhaps diabetes caused by grain free diets and grain inclusive diets. Although unless you are feeding the same brand of food and no treats and not overfeeding and providing your dog with adequate exercise each and every day this is also very difficult to attribute to just the food. To focus mainly on the big 3 does nothing to improve the way dry kibble dog food is commercially produced, I promise you the vast majority make it the same way, all from the same ingredient suppliers often same/similar recipes and therefore all the same risk. To focus on them allows all the smaller perpetrators sales to skyrocket and this does nothing to improve the pet food out there.

    2. Martha Glew

      I certainly wouldn’t call it paranoia. I know many, many dogs with low taurine DCM.
      How do scientists know it’s the food? Because when the diet is changed, the heart recovers.
      I agree that huge, multi disease studies are needed, but who is going to design, manage, and fund them.
      The Morris Animal Foundation’s 3,000 Golden Retriever, multi year study investigating cancer is the largest ever.

      I don’t know anthing about cats. I see peas in cat foods and it worries me, that’s my only thought.

  7. Eloisa Hernandez

    . .. And what about CATS? They DO need TAURINE and are ALSO eating Grain Free, PEAS, Lentils, and PINTO BEANS… formulas from the same companies that are now at the stake because of this MATTER with dogs! Are cats developing also DCM?… It’s true, their food do have taurine added. .. But we are saying that peas block its absorption, aren’t we? So what?

  8. rfloydcvicurn

    I believe Dr. Karen Becker and Dr. Judy Morgan both advocate adding fresh food to any pet food fed to an animal. We use Honest Kitchen at Susan’s recommendation but we also feed raw liver and cooked meats and veggies.
    I have to say that I am wondering why the FDA is so quick to sound the alarm on this when it has been known since the 1980s that taurine deficiency was linked with DCM in cats and also why they have no problem with mycotoxins in petfeeds. Also, I am perplexed as to why this is such a major issue for them when they allowed thousands of animals to die without sounding the alarm about the many chicken jerky type products sourced from China.
    Adding fresh foods for animals seems to be a very reasonable answer to most of the problem here. I have used Honest Kitchen because I am not sure of vitamins supplements and have chosen to trust that company -again because of Susan’s recommendation. It was reported that many vitamin mixes were sourced from China even though they were listed as being produced in the US. I have read that this is also true of many human vitamin supplements and even prescription meds.
    I would certainly appreciate knowing any trustworthy supplements. I just had a 17 year old maltese pass away who has been on grain free diets along with fresh home cooked for the last 10 years. She had a heart murmur but never had DCM and died because of canine cognitive dysfunction and not because of heart valve disease. Her 5, 9 and 11 year old siblings are doing well.

Leave a Reply