FDA DCM clarity

Dog Food Advisor Forums Diet and Health FDA DCM clarity

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  • #142024 Report Abuse

    Patricia A

    Pet owners have – previous to this June 2019 FDA update – been told far too many times that the cases of DCM were directly linked to boutique brands of pet food. Thanks to this FDA update we know that information wasn’t very accurate. The U.S. leaders in pet food sales are Mars, Purina, General Mills, Smuckers and Diamond; all listed with high numbers of FDA DCM reports.

    Pet owners have also been repeatedly told – previous to this June 2019 FDA update – that exotic protein ingredients were directly linked to cases of DCM. This update proves that information wasn’t very accurate either. The FDA provides this information on protein types linked to DCM cases:

    What would have been a proper investigation by FDA (but hasn’t been discussed thus far), is determination of the quality of the Chicken, Lamb, Salmon and so on ingredients of each pet food.

    Example: when “Chicken” is listed on a pet food label ingredient panel – the ingredient can be USDA inspected and passed chicken, USDA inspected and condemned chicken, whole chicken, chicken bones (no meat), chicken skin (no meat) and/or a slew of other types of chicken.

    Also, the FDA did not clarify if in the above chart “Chicken” or “Lamb” is chicken or chicken meal or lamb or lamb meal which have quality variations as well.

    It would be very telling information for pet owners to learn the quality of the animal protein ingredients used in the pet foods reported to FDA. (FDA did not allow us – Association for Truth in Pet Food – to participate in their investigation as they did Pet Food Institute. We certainly would have asked for that investigation if they would have allowed us.)

    The FDA also released data of common ingredients used in the pet foods linked to DCM reported to the Agency.

    Another interesting perspective that FDA failed to determine (or at least failed to provide pet owners) would have been to determine what percentage of each of these diets were peas or lentils or potatoes (or the combination). Such as, were some of the reported brands using 30% peas and lentils, 40%, 50%? This again would be very telling information that would benefit pet owners (though clearly it would not be beneficial to manufacturers for pet owners to know).

    FDA also provided an update to the types of pet foods involved.

    Dry/kibble pet foods remain the leading style of pet foods linked to DCM.

    FDA mentioned in numerous places of their update how they continue to work with industry. As reminder, we have been provided evidence that the FDA was working with industry long before they even notified pet owners of their investigation.

    While the June 2019 update is information and is of value, it remains fact that more than 1 year into this investigation pet owners are left with little assistance to protect their pets. While we wait for answers, FDA continues to allow pet food to violate federal law, continues to allow waste to be disposed of into pet food with no warning or disclosure to pet owners, continues to facilitate a means for AAFCO to own the legal definitions and regulations of pet food keeping pet owners in the dark about their pet food purchases.

    • This topic was modified 2 weeks, 6 days ago by  Patricia A.
    #142026 Report Abuse


    Susan Thixton is not a veterinarian. She is not a veterinary nutritionist. Therefore she is not a reliable source of information.

    We have had this discussion before:
    (excerpt from article below)
    Susan Thixton
    Ms. Thixton is a vehement activist at war with the pet food industry, government regulators, and anyone who doesn’t share her views about pet nutrition. She blames the death of one of her dogs on a preservative in pet food and identifies this experience as the genesis of her crusade.
    Unfortunately, her passion is not matched by a respect for science or evidence or a very sophisticated understanding of epidemiology, nor does she have any apparent willingness to consider she might be mistaken or others might know more than she does about such issues.
    Ms. Thixton is one of these “experts” whose expertise consists of all the information she can find that supports what she is determined to believe no matter what. She has served as a public member of AAFCO, the group that generates much animal feed regulation, but was dismissed in 2017 for personal attacks against other board members. She expresses deep contempt for science and for anyone who doesn’t see the industry/government conspiracy poisoning our pets that she warns about, and her participation in this series illustrates the degree to which it is ideologically driven.

    #142029 Report Abuse


    excerpt below
    To put this issue into proper context, the American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that there are 77 million pet dogs in the United States. As of April 30, 2019, the FDA has received reports about 560 dogs diagnosed with DCM suspected to be linked to diet. Tens of millions of dogs have been eating dog food without developing DCM. If you are concerned about the diet you are currently feeding your dog, FDA recommends working with your veterinarian, who may consult a board-certified veterinary nutritionist, to determine the best diet for your dog’s need.

    #142042 Report Abuse

    Patricia A

    Anon Thixton is NOT giving her opinion and she is NOT formulating dog food. You wrote “Ms. Thixton is a vehement activist at war with the pet food industry, government regulators, “. And she has no reason for this since we can trust them all 100% for our pets safety?????
    The FACTS she listed on in the new FDA report which shows graphs high to low brands/manufacturers. most associated with DCM in their study .Then the graphs with the protein in the kibble with the most cases. All along there was the thought that there wasn’t enough knowledge in regard to the proper formulation of food with “exotic” proteins. The chart FDA showed the protein being fed with MOST cases of DCM was chicken with the more exotic ones being less implemented in DCM cases.
    Please read the questions she has regarding the the new FDA study. They are right on relevant questions even though you don’t agree with her type of advocacy for the health of our pets.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 6 days ago by  Patricia A.
    #142045 Report Abuse

    joanne l

    Patricia most dogs eat chicken recipes and exotic meats probably not that many dogs eat it. So chicken is not the problem b/c there are a lot of grain free chicken dog food and that seems to be more popular. So it is the fillers in the chicken grain free diet, example pea and lentils. I would not think it is chicken it is the peas and lentil and pea protein in the chicken grain free diets. Like I mentioned that is more popular than the exotic meats. Not saying that exotic meat is good just saying that it is not as popular. That is why it is lower on the list.
    For example Acana is very popular and so is Zignatures.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 5 days ago by  joanne l.
    #142099 Report Abuse

    Patricia A

    Thank’s Joanne. Makes sense. I wish they broke down let’s say the Acana and tell us what percentage in the kibble actually comes from meat as opposed to peas. That would clear up for me if the ingredient/protein splitting is the problem with the lack of animal protein . But other foods have the legumes high up on ingredient list that are popular brands without being on their list . I give Stella chewys as a very small base and they assured me that a higher percentage of protein is from meat and not the peas.I rotate the kibble and will be using Wellness core for a while. All very confusing . Glad I have small dogs who at this time not high on the DCM list.

    #142104 Report Abuse


    Acana and orijen both break down amounts of meat vs protein. So does natures variety instinct. Says right on the back what’s from veggies and what’s from meat. You can also get the carb vs carb %s with just the info on the nutritional analysis.

    #142176 Report Abuse

    joanne l

    I was reading article after article about the FDA warning, and I read that the FDA is taking it seriously and they mentioned that they wanted to know if companies changed something and or sourcing. So they will probably look into were the companies are sourcing their ingredients. Which I think is good that they do that.

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