In light of some current events in the pet food world, The FDA has pointed out that grain-free diets may be a cause of a heart condition called dilated cardiomyopathy, or DCM. Though we are unsure as to the exact cause, it seems that the condition is onset by low levels of the amino acid taurine found in the blood. Taurine helps build up the strength of muscles in the heart, among other places, and since this protein is not binding, the heart muscles lose their strength and become like old elastic, and ultimately can lead to heart failure in our pets.
The studies so far are very preliminary and as stated before, we are unsure of the exact cause of the taurine inability to bind appropriately. Veterinary cardiologists have found that as long as the food is changed before symptoms arise, the outcome is generally good. Some dogs who have gone into heart failure because of these diets have been saved when put back on normal diets, but may continue to need heart medications for life.
Grain-free diets have greatly risen in popularity over the years and as a result, unfortunately this is becoming more of an issue. We at the Animal Health Clinic feel a responsibility to our clients to share this information because we value the health of your pets and want what is best for them. If you have ANY questions or concerns, please feel free to give the clinic a call and we will do our best to answer any questions you may have regarding this issue.
For more information on Grain Free Diets link to DCM visit the FDA’s website.