Linking Diet to Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)

Dog Food Advisor Forums Diet and Health Linking Diet to Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)

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    Member (excerpt from article below)
    Your Pet’s Diet
    Cooperation between veterinary cardiologists, nutritionists, and the USFDA has confirmed that the increase in canine and feline DCM is linked to grain-free diets. The dogs and cats affected are often being fed boutique diets that contain exotic meats and are grain-free. On the ingredient list, the first 5 items listed are often non-traditional proteins (anything other than chicken or beef), potatoes or sweet potatoes, and legumes such as lentils or peas. Over twenty food brands have been identified, including home-cooked meals. While a small number of patients may require grain-free diets for management of chronic illness, most dogs and cats are being fed these diets as the result of heavy marketing and the misconception that grains cause illness.
    While the link between DCM and grain-free diets has been confirmed, the exact cause is still under investigation. These diets may be deficient in an amino acid called taurine, or the components of the diet may not allow for appropriate taurine metabolism. This is of concern, as taurine is necessary not only for cardiac health, but also normal eye and brain function. Taurine levels in many patients are very low; however, only some patients improve with taurine supplementation. Other theories include a thus far unidentified toxin or lack of other essential nutrients.

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