well??? The dogs that were tested including “goldens” that ate Pro Plan by Purina did not have DCM and they DO NOT add taurine in their diets!! What do you guys think about that???
I think they know how to formulate their food correctly. They’ve had years of testing and research behind them. They have board certified veteranarian nutritionists with PhDs on their staff. They use ingredients with the correct amino acids that allow dogs to synthesize their own taurine as needed. That’s why!
I’m sorry it took me so long to realize this. The marketing and Internet world sucked me in too. Quit looking at the ingredient panel. They know what you’re looking for and can split ingredients and weigh ingredients in different forms (wet vs dry) to make that label look just like what you want to see. Plus, you can’t tell the quality of ingredients by the label. Is that chicken meal mostly bone or muscle meat? Btw, by-products can be very good and more digestible than muscle meat. Just trust the big companies that follow the WSAVA guidelines.
My dogs are doing just fine on Purina ProPlan. Good luck!
It is usually not necessary to add taurine to dog food.
In some cases, the diets and disease has also been associated with a deficiency in the amino acid taurine. This is an amino acid that dogs do not normally require in the diet since they can make as much as they need. However, in some breeds there appear to be genetic factors that make individuals more susceptible to taurine deficiency, and associated heart disease. These may include reduced production of taurine, increased loss of taurine, or increased need for taurine. Certain diets that have low levels of the ingredients from which taurine is made or that contain substances, such as legumes and some types of. Fiber that make reduce absorption or synthesis of taurine and its precursors or that encourage taurine loss make act in con cert with these genetic factors to lead to deficiency and disease in some dogs. Many of the details in this hypothetical series of steps remain to be understood.
http://skeptvet.com/Blog/2018/08/grain-free-diets-and-heart-disease-in-dogs/ excerpt below, click on link for full article and comments:
Dr. Jennifer Larsen, a nutritionist at UC Davis, has written an excellent summary of the nuances of this issue, and she has agreed to let me share some of it here:
Taurine is not required to be present in dog foods. Taurine is an amino acid that is not nutritionally essential for dogs; however, there are dietary factors (such as protein source, fiber type and concentration, and cooking or processing methods) and individual dog characteristics (such as breed and calorie needs) that impact how efficiently taurine may be made and used by the body. The sulfur amino acid content and bioavailability in food is important though. The problem with dietary deficiency-related cardiac disease is multifactorial and is not just seen in goldens.
1- in many grain free diets, legumes are used to provide the carb (starch) but also protein and fiber – you cannot tell which ingredients are providing various proportions of nutrients from an ingredient list
2- legume protein is low in sulfur amino acids (methionine and cystine- the precursors for taurine synthesis)
3- some fiber types/concentrations increase fecal taurine content and promotes bacterial degradation of taurine (dogs and cats must use taurine to conjugate bile acids) so taurine recycling is not as efficient and more is lost
4- dogs need an adequate supply of precursors and to be able to make taurine fast enough to replace obligatory as well as excessive losses. When Newfoundlands and beagles were compared (during the Investigation into the lamb and rice issue with DCM in the 90s), it was found that Newfoundlands made taurine more slowly, so there are differences among breeds and probably individuals
5- dogs with lower than predicted calorie needs (“easy keepers”) also might not eat enough food and therefore enough protein to supply adequate precursors
6- some grain free diets (and other types of diets), are not high in protein (and therefore sulfur amino acids) since they use more expensive exotic or uncommon sources.
Any of these or a combination may impact taurine status in the dog.
There have been recent cases seen in our hospital and elsewhere of dilated cardiomyopathy secondary to taurine deficiency in dogs that have been associated with commercial diets containing certain ingredients (such as legumes – beans, lentils, and peas – and root vegetables – white and sweet potatoes). Data collection and interpretation is ongoing for these recent cases.
In the past we have also seen cases of dilated cardiomyopathy and taurine deficiency in dogs eating home-prepared diets (with either cooked and raw ingredients and those with and without meat), and other commercial diets with various ingredients and nutritional profiles. Some of those cases and investigations have been published (others can be found on PubMed):
Hi joanne l:
I disagree that a company adding taurine to their OTC diets is a good thing. Two that come to mind are Fromm and Zignature. Why do they need to add taurine to their diets? Neither employ full time credentialed small animal nutritionists for the vast amount of recipes they produce. What research have they conducted on their diets? How are they determining how much taurine is needed? Are they adding too much, too little? Are they currently testing their diets to determine if adding taurine is beneficial? Last time I contacted these companies the answer was no.
I used to feed Fromm because they checked most of the WSAVA guidelines. As more DCM cases were reported I decided it’s not worth the risk. They have been in business a long time, but apparently when their nutritionist retired years ago they opted not to replace him.
One dog diagnosed with dietary DCM is too many IMO. Until this is figured out I am feeding only pet foods that employ full time Vets & PhD’s credentialed in small animal nutrition (not human or large animal), own their manufacturing facilities, have safety protocols in place, and contribute to research among other things.
I feed mostly Purina and have had them in my rotation for about five years so it wasn’t a matter of transitioning to a new food for me, just eliminating suspect companies. I will be trying a few RC & Eukanuba recipes in the future. Good luck on your search! 😉
My friend just asked her vet what to now feed her dog?
The vet told her that they no longer recommend any grain free dog foods.
BTW: Her dog has a minor cardiac condition (not diet related)
He told her to feed whatever brand of dog food that she likes as long as it includes grains.
In other words, until we know more, don’t overthink it.
For who,ever would like to reply: what dry foods do you think are good considering all that is going on lately?
Fromm Classic Adult (1949 recipe), Pro Plan Focus sensitive skin and stomach, Blue Buffalo (grain inclusive).
PS: My friend decided on Nutrisource (grain inclusive) as per the pet shop’s recommendation.
I have to add that the dog has been doing great on Zignature for a few years, as have my dogs.
The vet said don’t throw out the Zignature, just mix it in with the new food.
We would like a listing of dry kibble that is acceptable for our taurine deficient dog. Obviously the listing must be longer than just Royal Canine and Purina
December 18, 2018 at 9:05 am
There is no such list. If you have read my articles on the subject, you know that the relationship between diet, taurine, and DCM is complex and evolving, so there is no way to make a simple “good food/bad food” distinction. I would suggest looking at the resources on the subject available the Tufts University Veterinary Nutrition Service or arranging a personal consult with a veterinary nutrition specialist.
Awsome post!! Now that is an excellent reply from a Vet with up to date knowledge of the issue because just avoiding GF or feeding grain inclusive diets does not appear to be the answer!! “I would suggest looking at the resources on the subject available the Tufts University Veterinary Nutrition Service or arranging a personal consult with a veterinary nutrition specialist.” ~ Skepvet
I would be uncomfortable and disappointed with my Vets if their advice were, “…to feed whatever brand of dog food that she likes as long as it includes grains.” Or, “The vet said don’t throw out the Zignature, just mix it in with the new food.”
“I would be uncomfortable and disappointed with my Vets if their advice were, “…to feed whatever brand of dog food that she likes as long as it includes grains.” Or, “The vet said don’t throw out the Zignature, just mix it in with the new food.”
Quite the contrary. I am satisfied with that advice. My dogs are doing very well.
Some of us are on fixed incomes and cannot afford to throw out any food, especially if it has not caused an adverse reaction.
Hi Bobby, I don’t necessarily agree that companies should add taurine, but on their behalf they don’t want to take a chance I suppose. However, I do agree that adding taurine is not quite the answer as I mentioned Purina pro plan don’t add it and the dogs are doing fine. I feed Pro plan myself, and I just wanted to explain that if these dogs are eating pro plan and do not have DCM that raises a question that how can it be a totally taurine problem with these other dogs? I am on Purina’s side with this only b/c I know a lot of Goldens that eat pro plan and were tested for DCM and their test result were clear. So Purina is doing something right without the taurine added. Doesn’t that make people think that it is not just a taurine problem!! It is a shame that these companies are going crazy adding taurine like mad. And CrazyCats I agree the other companies don’t have much of the knowledge they need to make a good balanced dog food, years of experience is key to some of these issues. Also, too much fiber in grain free foods can’t help dogs absorb nutrition like they need to. Like Anon mentioned. I guess the bottom line is grain free foods have not been around long enough and maybe it is a poor diet for dogs in the long run. I myself with chose grain in diets for now.
All I can say is dogs make their own taurine period!! If the grain free diets are prohibiting taurine absorption then, I would not feed it even if companies are adding taurine that is just putting a band aid on the problem and giving dogs a over load of supplements, I don’t really like that idea. Diet change IMO is key right now! Oh and one more thing, that is like us eating something that steals our nutrition and then taking a bunch of supplements. That is crazy, I would just not eat those foods.
I am commenting on the topic of this thread not suggesting or directing anyone do something they do not want to or cannot do. 😉
Absolutely I would be disappointed with that advice and that is my opinion.
If adverse reaction is in reference to DCM only specific blood work and an echo can determine that.
Labs are perfect. Physical exams reveal no cardiac issues.
An echo would be recommended only if anomalies have been detected via routine exam and lab work.
It’s all good!
PS: Taurine levels are an expensive lab to have done and not indicated in most cases.
Again, listen to the vet that has examined your dog, see what has been recommended.
Bobby Dog…..hi! Do you have an opinion on foods?
(Hope this posts….tried posting a thank you to Anon but it’s not showing)
@ Inked Marie
Didn’t see your thank you post, but I appreciate it 🙂
Anon: it didn’t post. Kept loading. Working now. Thanks for the response!
Hi Marie and Merry Christmas!!!
I do, I mentioned them above in my post I wasn’t ignoring your question!!
I’m sticking with the big 3 as of now until it’s figured out. I mostly feed Purina canned & kibble; they fit into my budget more so than others.
I already had Purina and some SD canned in my rotation. I hope to add a few kibble recipes from Eukanuba and some RC canned in the future. RC kibble is out of my price range!!
For kibble I had been feeding various Purina lines for about five years along with Fromm, Annamaet, Wellness, and Exclusive. Looked back on a food chart I used to keep!! From that kibble rotation I only kept Purina.
He does really well on Pro Plan weight management recipes, Beneful Select 10, and Dog Chow Naturals.
Thanks Bobby Dog and merry Christmas! I appreciate your answers!
“well??? The dogs that were tested including “goldens” that ate Pro Plan by Purina did not have DCM and they DO NOT add taurine in their diets!! What do you guys think about that???”
I remember hearing from the beginning that this was not as simple as a taurine deficiency issue, because several of the cases included dogs that had non genetic forms of DCM, but were NOT deficient in taurine. Possibly, the ones that were deficient were only so because of the extent and severity of the heart issue? IDK. This whole thing seems to be still up in the air.
Anyway, here’s an updated article from Tuft’s, discussing the confusion re: grain free & taurine deficiency.
My point was that Goldens are prone to this condition, but the ones that were feed Pro Plan DID NOT have DCM. It seems that some of the higher end foods they ate and were tested positive for DCM and low taurine. Are you missing something here? I do understand that it is not ONLY a taurine deficiency. The point is that in some cases dogs were low in taurine, the dogs that were feed Pro Plan did not have low taurine or DCM.
Hi everyone I just found this from the FDA but no outcome yet. This was posted 3 days ago. Here is the link: https://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/NewsEvents/ucm630993.htm
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