Shared Articles – More on the FDA, DCM and Pet Food

< A short link to this post – http://bit.ly/FDA-DCM-Food-10JUL19 >

< Updated – 11JUL19 >

Yesterday my inbox received four new posts discussing the FDA’s recent press release (June 27th, 2019) on their investigation into increased cases of canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Each post provides some valuable additional information. Two of the posts come from well respected, independent authorities on pet nutrition. I have included links to both articles. Two of the post come from pet food industry publications.

Hemopet Responds to the FDA Implicating 16 Brands of Dog Food That May Cause Heart Disease in Dogs

This article by veterinarian, Dr. Jean Dodds, is dated July 7th and can be found at the Hemopet website at https://www.hemopet.org/fda-updates-dcm-heart-disease-dogs/.

In the first paragraph, Dr. Dodd’s states: “On June 27, 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) named 16 brands of dog food that may cause heart disease in dogs. The specific heart condition is called dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). This release has caused national and international concern bordering upon hysteria, without any admitted good reason for listing these food brands. In our opinion, the listing of specific brands was premature and unwarranted.” [Emphasis Added]

Dr. Dodds then goes on to discuss the nutritional science behind this investigation and what we know so far, including some research on this subject that Dr. Dodds believe was flawed. She again criticizes the FDA for causing a public panic “…by not presenting definitive conclusions but implying risk by inference in listed certain pet food brands.” I concur with her statement.

An interesting note in Dr. Dodds article reports that the researchers who initially reported DCM concerns not only focused on grain-free foods but novel protein sources (animal protein other than chicken) used in pet foods, yet “…chicken was the most common protein identified by the FDA – 113 times.” in the DCM cases reported, and not novel protein sources.

She also notes that the FDA investigation has been biased towards Golden Retrievers and that the FDA created an additional bias towards grain-free diets in their press release of July 12, 2018.

Dr. Dodds recommends the FDA review previous studies that have addressed specific diets and a potential connection to DCM. That seems logical, and one must question why it has not been done or has been ignored.

Dr. Dodds than reminds us that many people stopped feeding their dogs feeding grain “…to prevent leaky gut syndrome, to help curb food sensitivities or intolerances to a particular grain, to maintain optimal weight in your dog, etc.” The grains used in pet food do cause problems for some pets.

I encourage you to read Dr. Dodds article.

Update on grain-free diets and DCM cases in dog

This article by Nancy Kerns was published on the blog of The Whole Dog Journal on July 9th at – https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/blog/update-on-grain-free-diets-and-dcm-cases-in-dogs/

Kerns and The Whole Dog Journal have been offering an independent review of dog food since their inception and are a source I value when researching pet food. Kerns is also concerned about how DCM and how is it being reported is causing misconceptions about what we know and don’t know. She is also not comfortable with how the FDA is handling this situation, stating: “It’s a bit puzzling, then, why the agency named the brands of foods that were reportedly fed to some of the 560 dogs whose DCM cases they are investigating (and even more puzzling: why they didn’t include the varieties of foods that were implicated, just the company names). Naming the companies suggests that those companies were responsible for the dogs’ illnesses, even as the agency denied this as an explicit causation. We’re not usually conspiracy theorists, but this move undoubtedly gave a boost to these companies’ competitors.” She later goes on to note that some of the companies unfairly implicated also manufacture foods that do not contain any of the ingredients potentially linked to DCM, stating “In the case of these companies, naming only the brand and not the varieties implicated in the reports was a disservice to the companies and consumers alike.”

I share Kern’s concern. I think it is also important to note that so far all of the foods tested have been within specifications. The suggestion that any company did something on purpose to cause DCM is laughable. It does, however, and in my opinion, that the pet food industry needs far tighter regulation that is independent of the pet food companies, which is not the case today.

Kerns concludes with her recommendations, which are very similar to our as noted in my last post. [ FMI –  http://bit.ly/FDA-DCM-Food-7JUL19 ]

I encourage you to read Kerns article as it provides an additional perspective to this complex issue.

Articles in Industry Trade Journals

In an article on PetfoodIndustry.com dated July 8th they state: “No causation found between dog food ingredients and DCM – While the FDA has found correlations between certain grain-free dog foods and DCM, they have found no causality. Thousands of dogs have eaten the same diets as the dogs stricken with DCM without becoming ill. FDA lab analysis of grain-free versus conventional dog foods revealed little difference in levels of minerals, amino acids, taurine, protein or other nutrients.”

Jen Goetz wrote an article for Pet Business entitled Why The FDA’s Latest Statement On Grain-Free Foods Is Dangerous, stating: “Publishing the names of 16 pet food brands that have been anecdotally connected with cases of DCM, without significant weight behind those claims, is misleading to the general public and could undermine a general understanding of the disease itself.

Many of the stories in the mass media have used headlines for this story that also implies the companies named have done something wrong when there is nothing to substantiate those claims. This is a complex issue, but because complicated does not fit into a 2 minute or less sound bite, the general public is not getting the whole story.

Anyone that knows me is very aware that I am not a defender of the pet food industry but often criticize the industry as a whole for lack of consumer transparency. However, in this case, I agree with all of those that have stated that naming individual companies was premature and inappropriate.

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog
( http://www.words-woofs-meows.com )

FDA Update on Heart Disease in Dogs & What Should You Do? – http://bit.ly/FDA-DCM-Food-7JUL19

Shared Blog Post – FDA Updates on Heart Disease in Dogs – Hemopet – Dr. Jean Doddshttps://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2019/04/12/shared-blog-post-fda-updates-on-heart-disease-in-dogs-hemopet-dr-jean-dodds/

UPDATE! – Pet Nutrition – Grain-Free Foods and FDA Reports of Increased Heart Disease in Dogs – WDJ Blog Post –  https://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2018/08/06/update-pet-nutrition-grain-free-foods-and-fda-reports-of-increased-heart-disease-in-dogs-wdj-blog-post/

UPDATE! – Pet Nutrition – Grain-Free Foods and FDA Reports of Increased Heart Disease in Dogs –  https://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2018/07/27/update-pet-nutrition-grain-free-foods-and-fda-reports-of-increased-heart-disease-in-dogs/

Grain-Free Foods and FDA Reports of Increased Heart Disease in Dogs –  https://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2018/07/22/pet-nutrition-grain-free-foods-and-fda-reports-of-increased-heart-disease-in-dogs/

Things I Wish I Had Known… The Importance of What I Feed My Petshttp://bit.ly/Things-Nutrition-1

Podcasts from The Woof Meow Show
( http://www.woofmeowshow.com )

Podcast – Is Feeding A Grain-Free Food to Our Dogs Dangerous?, with Linda Case, MShttp://bit.ly/Podcast-FDA-Grain-Free-LindaCase-29SEP18

Web Sites

FDA Investigation into Potential Link between Certain Diets and Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathyhttps://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/news-events/fda-investigation-potential-link-between-certain-diets-and-canine-dilated-cardiomyopathy

Tuffy’s Pet Foods (NutriSource/PureVita/Natural Planet) – A Message Regarding DCM Concernshttps://nutrisourcepetfoods.com/images/content/Tuffy’s%20DCM%20Statement%20(7-1-19).pdf

Fromm Response to Updated FDA DCM Complaint Reportinghttps://frommfamily.com/connect/fda-dcm-20190701/

Zignature Statement in Response to FDA Findingshttps://www.zignature.com/statement-on-dcm/

________________________________________________________________________
Don Hanson is the co-owner of the Green Acres Kennel Shop ( greenacreskennel.com ) in Bangor, ME where he has been helping people with their pets since 1995. He is a Bach Foundation Registered Animal Practitioner (BFRAP), Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC), Associate Certified Cat Behavior Consultant (ACCBC), and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA). Don is a member of the Pet Professional Guild (PPG) and is committed to PPG’s Guiding Principles and the Pain-Free, Force-Free, and Fear-Free training, management, and care of all pets. Don produces and co-hosts a weekly radio show and podcast, The Woof Meow Show, that airs on Z62 Retro Radio WZON (AM620) and WKIT 103.3-HD3 and is streamed at http://bit.ly/AM620-WZON every Saturday at 9 AM. Podcasts of the show are available at http://woofmeowshow.libsyn.com/, the Apple Podcast app, and at Don’s blog: www.words-woofs-meows.com.  The opinions in this post are those of Don Hanson.

©11-Jul-19, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
< Click for Copyright and Use Policy >

FDA Update on Heart Disease in Dogs & What Should You Do?

< A short link to this post – http://bit.ly/FDA-DCM-Food-7JUL19 >

If you are concerned about the latest news from the FDA and Grain-Free pet foods, please take the time to read this post. Much of what you hear in the mass media is misleading. Here are some of the facts.

  • There is currently no FDA recall of any brand of pet food related to canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).
  • While the loss of a pet to DCM is tragic, there have been only 524 cases reported to the FDA since January 1, of 2014 out of an estimated 77 million dogs in the USA. The number of dogs corresponds to 0.000007% of cases possibly being related to diet.
  • Genetics plays a significant role in DCM, with typically larger breeds being more predisposed. The majority of these reports have been submitted in the last year, suggesting an increase in reporting.
  • While the situation certainly warrants further investigation, there is currently no corroborating scientific evidence that the increased cases in DCM are related to diet.

From the FDA

On June 27, 2019, the Food and Drug Administration issued a press release entitled FDA Investigation into Potential Link between Certain Diets and Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy updating the investigation that began a year ago based on reports of canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs eating certain pet foods, many labeled as “grain-free.” In my opinion, the most significant statement in this press release is “Based on the data collected and analyzed thus far, the agency believes that the potential association between diet and DCM in dogs is a complex scientific issue that may involve multiple factors.” In other words, there is still much research that needs to be done, and at this point, we can still not draw any definitive conclusions as to the specific cause for the rise in cases of DCM.

Other statements of note in the FDA press release include:

“The American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that there are 77 million pet dogs in the United States. Most dogs in the U.S. have been eating pet food without apparently developing DCM.” [ Emphasis added ]

Another puzzling aspect of the recent spike in DCM cases is that they have occurred just in the last few years. The FDA is working with the pet food industry to better understand whether changes in ingredients, ingredient sourcing, processing or formulation may have contributed to the development of DCM.” [ Emphasis added ]

Grain free foods have been available for many years, with increases in DCM only reported recently. As previously indicated by the FDA, the possible link between diet and DCM may be based on a variety of factors, and there is still much research to be done. The FDA press release encourages anyone with a pet that is showing possible signs of DCM or other heart conditions (decreased energy, cough, difficulty breathing, and episodes of collapse) to seek veterinary care immediately. That is excellent advice and will help to further our understanding of any link between DCM, diet, and genetics as well as other possible environmental factors that may be at play.

While the FDA report lists several brands of food that have been reported to have been fed to pets diagnosed with DCM, they did not list all brands nor specific formulas; this is unfortunate. If there is a link between DCM and diet, it would be beneficial to know which specific formulas are involved, as not all formulas of a particular brand may be of concern.

Green Acres Kennel Shop sells food from three of the companies on the list; Fromm, NutriSource, and Zignature. Each of the companies has contacted us, and they want to get to the bottom of this as much as the FDA, maybe even more so. All three are family-owned companies that are genuine pet lovers that have been producing some of the highest quality pet foods in the world for many decades. I have included parts of their responses below. If you would like a full copy of their response, please stop by the store.

NutriSource/PureVita/Natural Planet/Tuffy’sIn addition to your pet’s overall health, transparency is of the utmost importance to us. On June 27, 2019, the United States Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) put a multitude of brands, along with NutriSource, in the position of defending ourselves in a confusing situation about grain-free dog diets and their potential link to canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).

  • The comprehensive health of EVERY SINGLE pet is extremely important to us. We are continuing our efforts to study DCM and closely monitor all the information that the FDA can provide. The FDA’s published updates have not concluded that there is a causal relationship between diet and DCM. [ Emphasis added ]
  • All NutriSource diets include supplemental TAURINE to boost naturally occurring levels derived from our high quality meats and fish. Due to the potential link between taurine-deficiency and DCM, we felt it important to take this step as a safeguard to protect pets until scientific research is complet [ Emphasis added ]
  •  We have committed funds for additional research on our diets and initial results have shown that our products deliver the recommended nutrients to support normal levels of taurine.
  • We have proactively funded independent research at Kansas State University to study pet health including the issue of canine DCM. [ Emphasis added ]

< Click to read Tuffy’s July 1, 2019 message regarding DCM concerns. >

 

Fromm responseAlthough no conclusive evidence relating diet to DCM has been scientifically substantiated, each of the recipes in our full line of grain-inclusive and grain-free dry foods is supplemented with taurine. In addition, our foods contain ample levels of cysteine and methionine which dogs also use to metabolize their own taurine. All of our grain-inclusive and grain-free offerings are held to the same high nutritional standard, and our variety of recipes allows our retailers and consumers to make buying decisions they are most comfortable with. [ Emphasis added ]

While the FDA continues their investigation, we want our retailers and consumers to feel confident knowing that Fromm has and will continue to follow the most up-to-date research. Our family-owned-and-operated company is dedicated to the health and wellbeing of pets and has been since we began making pet food in 1949.

< Click to read Fromm Response to Updated FDA DCM Complaint Reporting. >

 

ZignatureWhile DCM impacts less than one percent of U.S. dogs, with .000007% being supposedly related to diet, we recognize that these studies are of critical importance to those families whose beloved dogs have been afflicted by this heart diseases.

As you review the FDA’s most recent report, it’s important to understand the following:

  • The American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that there are 77 million pet dogs in the United States. Most dogs in the U.S. have been eating pet food without apparently developing DCM. [ Emphasis added ]
  • The FDA continues to believe that the potential association between diet and DCM in dogs is a complex scientific issue that may involve multiple factors and that the actual cause has still yet to be determined.
  • Among all the cases from all brands that were reported to the FDA, the overwhelming majority of impacted dogs belonged to breeds genetically predisposed to DCM, a disease that was first discovered in the 1980’s well before the grain-free diets were available for pets.
  • The FDA issued the June 27th update, even though it has no definitive answers yet, to solicit additional reports from pet owners and veterinarians to help further it’s investigation.
  • Is there a link between exotic proteins and DCM? – Based on the most recent data released by the FDA, and contrary to previous speculation, that does not seem to be the case. Most of the cases (more than 50%) reported to the FDA were for foods containing chicken, lamb and salmon. [ Emphasis added ]
  • How does Zignature formulate its food? – Our meticulously designed diets have been formulated by a thought-leading team of veterinarians, PhD animal nutritionists and veterinary research scientists to deliver the safest pet products on the market that exceed the industry’s AAFCO guide for balanced and thorough nutrition. [ Emphasis added ]

< Click to read Zignature Statement in Response to FDA Findings >

What should we do for our pets?

  • Stay informed and go beyond what you hear or read in the mass media (TV, Radio, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and be a critical consumer of information.
  • If possible, rotate your dog’s diet through several different protein and carbohydrate sources as well as brands of foods. If you are not sure how to do that, ask us. We have been recommending dietary rotation for many years. FMI – http://bit.ly/DietRotation
  • Do not be in a panic to immediately change what you are feeding. However, if you stop by, we would be glad to introduce you to other pet food options.
  • If you have a breed that is already genetically predisposed to DCM, and you are very concerned, strongly consider rotating diet your dog’s diet and possibly including some balanced raw diet or high meat content canned food.
  • Know that there are many pet foods available that are not grain-free; however, also know that there is still no scientifically substantiated link to DCM and grain-free diets. The foods cited by the FDA are primarily kibble or dry foods. Pet food comes in many other formats such as; canned, freeze-dried, and frozen, all of which have many benefits over conventional dry kibble. We have many right here at Green Acres.
  • Never stop reading the ingredient list on your pet’s food nor presume that all pet food companies are equal and are primarily concerned with your pet’s health. We have always preferred the small, family-owned companies that mainly focus on pet food as opposed to the megalithic multi-national corporation. We like companies like; Bravo, Eagle, Fromm, Fussie Cat, Grandma Lucy’s, Health Extension, Koha, Natural Planet, NutriSource, Primal, PureVita, Steve’s Real Food for Pets, Vital Essentials, and Zignature. We are not fans of the enormous multi-national conglomerates that control 70%+ of the pet food industry (Colgate-Palmolive, General Mills, Mars Candy, Nestle Candy, and Smuckers) as in our 25+ years of experience there are much better products available. If you want to know why, stop by and ask us or watch the documentary film Pet Fooled.
  • Purchase your pet food from locally-owned retailers who educate their staff and will spend time teaching you about what’s important when feeding your pet. No big-box store or online pet food marketer offers that same level of customer service or knowledge.
  • Subscribe to our email newsletter, Don’s Words, Woofs and Meows blog, and “Like” and follow the Green Acres Kennel Shop Facebook page. We will be updating this story as we get more information in all three areas.

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog
( http://www.words-woofs-meows.com )

 Shared Blog Post – FDA Updates on Heart Disease in Dogs – Hemopet – Dr. Jean Doddshttps://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2019/04/12/shared-blog-post-fda-updates-on-heart-disease-in-dogs-hemopet-dr-jean-dodds/

UPDATE! – Pet Nutrition – Grain-Free Foods and FDA Reports of Increased Heart Disease in Dogs – WDJ Blog Post – < https://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2018/08/06/update-pet-nutrition-grain-free-foods-and-fda-reports-of-increased-heart-disease-in-dogs-wdj-blog-post/

UPDATE! – Pet Nutrition – Grain-Free Foods and FDA Reports of Increased Heart Disease in Dogs – < https://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2018/07/27/update-pet-nutrition-grain-free-foods-and-fda-reports-of-increased-heart-disease-in-dogs/ >

Grain-Free Foods and FDA Reports of Increased Heart Disease in Dogs – < https://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2018/07/22/pet-nutrition-grain-free-foods-and-fda-reports-of-increased-heart-disease-in-dogs/ >

Podcasts from The Woof Meow Show
( http://www.woofmeowshow.com )

Podcast – Is Feeding A Grain-Free Food to Our Dogs Dangerous?, with Linda Case, MShttp://bit.ly/Podcast-FDA-Grain-Free-LindaCase-29SEP18

Web Sites

FDA Investigation into Potential Link between Certain Diets and Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathyhttps://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/news-events/fda-investigation-potential-link-between-certain-diets-and-canine-dilated-cardiomyopathy

Tuffy’s Pet Foods (NutriSource/PureVita/Natural Planet) – A Message Regarding DCM Concernshttps://nutrisourcepetfoods.com/images/content/Tuffy’s%20DCM%20Statement%20(7-1-19).pdf

Fromm Response to Updated FDA DCM Complaint Reportinghttps://frommfamily.com/connect/fda-dcm-20190701/

Zignature Statement in Response to FDA Findingshttps://www.zignature.com/statement-on-dcm/

 

________________________________________________________________________
Don Hanson is the co-owner of the Green Acres Kennel Shop ( greenacreskennel.com ) in Bangor, ME where he has been helping people with their pets since 1995. He is a Bach Foundation Registered Animal Practitioner (BFRAP), Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC), Associate Certified Cat Behavior Consultant (ACCBC), and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA). Don is a member of the Pet Professional Guild (PPG) and is committed to PPG’s Guiding Principles and the Pain-Free, Force-Free, and Fear-Free training, management, and care of all pets. Don produces and co-hosts a weekly radio show and podcast, The Woof Meow Show, that airs on Z62 Retro Radio WZON (AM620) and WKIT 103.3-HD3 and is streamed at http://bit.ly/AM620-WZON every Saturday at 9 AM. Podcasts of the show are available at http://woofmeowshow.libsyn.com/, the Apple Podcast app, and at Don’s blog: www.words-woofs-meows.com.  The opinions in this post are those of Don Hanson.

©7-Jul-19, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
< Click for Copyright and Use Policy >

Shared Blog Post – FDA Updates on Heart Disease in Dogs – Hemopet – Dr. Jean Dodds

On July 23rd I first updated you on a report by the FDA discussing a potential connection between grain-free pet foods and canine heart disease. Today while attending a webinar presented by Dr. Jean Dodds I learned of new information on this topic release by the FDA. This information indicates that “Based on the data collected and analyzed thus far, the agency believes that the potential association between diet and DCM in dogs is a complex scientific issue that may involve multiple factors.”

In her analysis of this new information from the FDA, Dr. Dodds notes “The framing of a possible connection between grain-free diets and DCM in dogs was premature and set off alarm bells across the veterinary and dog world communities.” I encourage you to read her complete blog article at https://www.hemopet.org/fda-updates-heart-disease-dogs/

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog

( http://www.words-woofs-meows.com )

Podcast – Is Feeding A Grain-Free Food to Our Dogs Dangerous?, with Linda Case, MShttp://bit.ly/Podcast-FDA-Grain-Free-LindaCase-29SEP18

UPDATE! – Pet Nutrition – Grain-Free Foods and FDA Reports of Increased Heart Disease in Dogs – WDJ Blog Post – < https://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2018/08/06/update-pet-nutrition-grain-free-foods-and-fda-reports-of-increased-heart-disease-in-dogs-wdj-blog-post/ >

UPDATE! – Pet Nutrition – Grain-Free Foods and FDA Reports of Increased Heart Disease in Dogs – < https://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2018/07/27/update-pet-nutrition-grain-free-foods-and-fda-reports-of-increased-heart-disease-in-dogs/ >

Grain-Free Foods and FDA Reports of Increased Heart Disease in Dogs – < https://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2018/07/22/pet-nutrition-grain-free-foods-and-fda-reports-of-increased-heart-disease-in-dogs/ >

Podcast – Is Feeding A Grain-Free Food to Our Dogs Dangerous?, with Linda Case, MS

Shareable Short link – < http://bit.ly/Podcast-FDA-Grain-Free-LindaCase-29SEP18 >

< Click to Listen to Podcast >

Grain-Free dog food has been all over the news since July 12th and sadly the information the mass media has reported been oversimplified and incomplete. The fact is this is a complex issue.

In this episode of The Woof Meow Show from September 29, 2018, Don speaks with canine nutritionist, science writer, and the author of Dog Food Logic Linda Case about this very issue, asking, Is Feeding A Grain-Free Food to Our Dogs Dangerous? Other issues addressed in the show are:

  • Should dog parents currently feeding their dogs a grain-free diet immediately switch to a non-grain-free dog food?
  • What is Dilated Cardiomyopathy and what is the role of Taurine in the disease and grain-free foods?
  • Does the FDA know with 100% certainty that grain-free food is the cause or could it be something else?
  • There has been some suggestion in posts on Facebook and other places online that one should only purchase dog food that has been tested via AAFCO feeding trials. Is that sound advice?
  • Is it important for dog parents to review the ingredients label when making decisions about what to feed their dog?

You can hear The Woof Meow Show on Z62 Retro Radio, AM620, and WKIT HD3 at 9 AM on Saturday. If you are not near a radio, listen on your computer at http://streamdb7web.securenetsystems.net/ce/index.cfm?stationCallSign=WZON or your smartphone or tablet with the free WZON 620 AM app. A podcast of the show is typically posted immediately after the show. You can download this show and others at http://woofmeowshow.libsyn.com/ and the Apple iTunes store.

< Click to Listen to Podcast >

#WoofMeowShow #PetNutrition #DogFood #Grain-Free #LindaCase

Contact Info

Linda P. Case, MS
AutumnGold Consulting and Dog Training Center
Mahomet, IL

(217) 586-4864

Autumngoldconsulting.com

https://www.facebook.com/pg/LindaCaseAutumnGold/posts/

https://thesciencedog.wordpress.com/

Recommended Resources

FDA Reports

FDA Investigating Potential Connection Between Diet and Cases of Canine Heart Disease – 12JUL2018https://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/NewsEvents/CVMUpdates/ucm613305.htm

Questions & Answers: FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine’s Investigation into a Possible Connection Between Diet and Canine Heart Diseasehttps://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/ResourcesforYou/AnimalHealthLiteracy/ucm616279.htm

How to Report a Pet Food Complainthttps://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/ReportaProblem/ucm182403.htm

Whole Dog Journal Articles

DCM in Dogs: Taurine’s Role in the Canine Diet – What is taurine-deficiency dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), and how can dog owners prevent it? (Hint: It involves more than just grain-free foods.) – The Whole Dog Journal – September 2018 – https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/21_9/features/DCM-in-Dogs-Taurines-Role-in-the-Canine-Diet_21901-1.html

Please Don’t Panic About the “Grain-Free Thing” – Whole Dog Journal’s Blog – 2AUG18 – https://www.whole-dog-journal.com/blog/Please-Dont-Panic-About-the-Grain-Free-Thing-21893-1.html

Articles on Don’s Blog ( http://www.words-woofs-meows.com )

 

UPDATE! – Pet Nutrition – Grain-Free Foods and FDA Reports of Increased Heart Disease in Dogshttps://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2018/07/27/update-pet-nutrition-grain-free-foods-and-fda-reports-of-increased-heart-disease-in-dogs/

Grain-Free Foods and FDA Reports of Increased Heart Disease in Dogs –  https://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2018/07/22/pet-nutrition-grain-free-foods-and-fda-reports-of-increased-heart-disease-in-dogs/

What Do You Feed Your Dog?http://bit.ly/WhatDoYouFeedYourDog

Some Myths and Facts – Part 1 – My story with Gus – Maine Dog Magazine – Winter 2017 – http://bit.ly/Gus-Nutrition

Book Review – Ruined by Excess, Perfected by Lack – The paradox of pet nutrition by Richard Pattonhttp://bit.ly/RuinedByExcess-BookReview

 

Podcasts from The Woof Meow Show
( http://www.woofmeowshow.com )

What do you feed your pets?http://bit.ly/WhatDoYouFeedYourPets-Podcast

Podcast – Pet Nutrition with Dr. Richard Pattonhttp://bit.ly/DrPatton-Podcast

Podcast – Pet Fooled – A Look Inside A Questionable Industry with Kohl Harringtonhttp://bit.ly/WfMw-Pet-Fooled

 

©29SEP18, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
< Click for Copyright and Use Policy >

UPDATE! – Pet Nutrition – Grain-Free Foods and FDA Reports of Increased Heart Disease in Dogs – WDJ Blog Post

< Updated 29SEP18 >

On July 22nd we informed you of a report issued by the FDA indicating an increase of dogs presenting with canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and a possible but unconfirmed link to specific ingredients in grain-free foods < click to review >.

On August 2tnd Nancy Kerns, the editor of the Whole Dog Journal (WDJ) published an article entitled “Please Don’t Panic About the “Grain-Free Thing” on the WDJ Blog. The title says it all and could not be a better assessment of how to treat this issue. Sadly, minutes after I read Kerns post, I watched a story NBC aired a story on their national news broadcast that did not present all the facts and is likely to create unnecessary alarm. As Kern’s suggests “…take a breath.” Read her post, and you will be better informed on this issue than the media in general.

< Click here to read the article >

Podcast – Is Feeding A Grain-Free Food to Our Dogs Dangerous?, with Linda Case, MS – http://bit.ly/Podcast-FDA-Grain-Free-LindaCase-29SEP18

©6AUG18, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
< Click for Copyright and Use Policy >

UPDATE! – Pet Nutrition – Grain-Free Foods and FDA Reports of Increased Heart Disease in Dogs

< Updated 29SEP18 >

On July 22nd we informed you of a report issued by the FDA indicating an increase of dogs presenting with canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and a possible but unconfirmed link to specific ingredients in grain-free foods < click to review > Since then Tuffy’s Pet Food, manufacturers of NutriSource, Pure Vita and Natural Planet has issued an updated report on actions that they are taking. I have included that statement below, emphasizing what I believe to be the key points.

Tuffy’s Pet Foods is issuing this statement to update our position related to the United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA) Statement regarding the potential link between Dilated Cardio Myopathy (DCM) and Grain Free dog foods.

Tuffy’s continues to research this matter and has gained a better understanding of the potential concerns raised by the FDA.  Today, to our knowledge, there simply is not a volume of research that allows for any statistically significant correlations or conclusions regarding any potential link between DCM in non-predisposed dog breeds and ingredients like peas, lentils, other legumes or potatoes.  The small amount of available data shows a lack of consistency at this time and more study is required to understand this issue.  Tuffy’s is aware that certain breeds, many large breed in nature may have a pre-disposition to DCM and that taurine levels in the food may play a role in helping these breeds avoid DCM.  Because of that understanding Tuffy’s already supplements taurine in our large breed diets and in our Adult diet.  

Given the uncertainty of the research surrounding the reported cases of DCM in breeds not genetically pre-disposed to DCM Tuffy’s is immediately supplementing taurine above the naturally occurring levels in all of our NutriSource and Pure Vita diets in the amount referenced by the FDA.  While the end results of studies into this issue are unknown, the responsible action is to err on the side of caution by delivering additional taurine as it will not have any adverse effect on pets to do so until such time as scientific study or regulatory agencies establish guidelines.

Tuffy’s offers diets that deliver healthy, effective solutions for pets.  As an industry leader in pet nutrition Tuffy’s grain and grain free NutriSource and Pure Vita diets all feature our exclusive Good 4 Life supplements and are ideally suited to rotational feeding or smooth introduction to pets.

Tuffy’s invites pet owners with concerns or questions to view a video statement from our family of ownership at www.nutrisourcepetfoods.com/fda-updates or to contact us directly at info@klnfamilybrands.com or toll free at 800-525-9155.

Tuffy’s remains committed in its support of any and all studies that promote the health and well-being of pets.

Podcast – Is Feeding A Grain-Free Food to Our Dogs Dangerous?, with Linda Case, MS – http://bit.ly/Podcast-FDA-Grain-Free-LindaCase-29SEP18

©27JUL18, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
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Pet Nutrition – Grain-Free Foods and FDA Reports of Increased Heart Disease in Dogs

Updated on 23JUL18

On July 12th the US Food and Drug Administration published a report online entitled FDA Investigating Potential Connection Between Diet and Cases of Canine Heart Disease. You can read the entire report by < clicking here >.

Since the FDA report was released, the mass media has been jumping all over this story causing concern for many pet parents. We believe this is unfortunate as the FDA report is anything but conclusive, nor is it backed by hard evidence.

So what should you do if you want to do the best for your dog?

  • Read the remainder of this article and get the “rest of the story.”
  • Know that there are many dog foods available that do not contain the ingredients that the FDA is concerned about, certain legumes and potatoes.
  • Do not be in a panic to immediately change what you are feeding, however, if you stop by we would be glad to introduce you to other dog food options that do not contain those ingredients.
  • Rotate your dog’s diet through several different protein sources and even brands of foods. Not sure how to do that, ask us. We have been recommending dietary rotation for many years. FMIhttp://bit.ly/DietRotation
  • Never stop reading the ingredient list on your pet’s food nor presume that all pet food companies are equal and are primarily concerned with your pet’s health.
  • Subscribe to our email newsletter, Don’s Words, Woofs and Meows blog, and “Like” and follow the Green Acres Kennel Shop Facebook page. We will be updating this story as we get more information in all three areas.

At Green Acres Kennel Shop we are committed to offering the best products for your pet’s nutritional needs. We do not add a pet food to our offerings without doing a great deal of research on the specific brand of food including the company behind it. No matter how popular a brand is, if we are not convinced that it offers sound nutrition, we will not sell it. If you have followed which brands we have carried over the years you know, we do not hesitate to drop a brand when necessary. We offer a wide variety of dog and cat foods from many brands in many formats; dry food (kibble), wet food (canned), freeze-dried raw, and frozen raw. Many do not include potatoes or peas. We will be watching this situation closely and providing updates through our email newsletter, Don’s Words, Woofs and Meows blog, and on our Facebook page.

The key concern addressed in the FDA report is that veterinarians have observed an increase of dogs presenting with canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). While certain breeds are genetically predisposed to DCM ( Great Danes, Boxers, Newfoundlands, Irish Wolfhounds, Saint Bernards, Doberman Pinschers, and American and English Cocker Spaniels ), some of the recent cases of DCM have occurred in breeds where DCM is atypical ( Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Whippets, a Shih Tzu, a Bulldog and Miniature Schnauzers, as well as mixed breeds ). The FDA report does not indicate the total number of DCM cases reported.

The FDA report than goes on to strongly suggest that the rise in DCM may be due to the increased use of grain-free foods, specifically those containing high levels of certain legumes or potatoes. The report states “…but it is not yet known how these ingredients are linked to cases of DCM.” Perhaps it is just poor wording, but this statement appears to say that the increase in DCM is directly related to legumes and potatoes, yet there is no evidence that this is the case. While there may be a correlation, there is no evidence of causation, at least yet.

There has been an increase in the percentage of pet parents requesting and feeding grain-free diets in the past several years. There has also been an increase in tick-borne diseases and the use of powerful chemicals to control ticks. I am not suggesting there is a link to DCM and the chemicals we use for ticks; I am just pointing out that there are potentially many other changes in our dog’s lives and environment that may correlate to the increase in DCM. If evidence is discovered, that proves the increase in DCM is caused by the composition of our dog’s food that would also suggest a serious deficiency in the regulations for the testing of pet foods.

The pet food industry is watching this situation closely and does want to understand it and make changes if the ingredients used in grain-free foods are indeed the cause. On July 19th on Petfood Industry.com, Tim Wall shared this quote from Greg Aldrich, PhD, Kansas State University pet food program coordinator, president of consultancy Pet Food and Ingredient Technology Inc.; “We may be jumping to some conclusions and over zealous speculation about what really underlies the challenge with DCM as it relates to what the FDA statement has been. There are probably more questions than there are answers at this stage of the game.”

The FDA was a bit more clear in an interview with Petfood Industry.com where Anne Norris, FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine health communications specialist stated; “The FDA is still investigating individual ingredients under the legume, pulse or potato “umbrella. So, I would suggest not taking intuitive leaps beyond what is explicitly stated in our public notice right now… It is still early in the investigation and right now we’re simply notifying the public, practitioners, and manufacturers that we are observing a signal that warrants further study, The common thread seems to be legumes and/or potatoes as main ingredients in the food. Currently, it’s a correlative link, not a causative one. We’re hoping that after receiving data from pet owners and veterinarians, we will have more data to further inform our investigation.”

 

Key points in the FDA report.

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is alerting pet owners and veterinary professionals about reports of canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs eating certain pet foods containing peas, lentils, other legume seeds, or potatoes as main ingredients. These reports are unusual because DCM is occurring in breeds not typically genetically prone to the disease.”
  • Canine DCM is a disease of a dog’s heart muscle and results in an enlarged heart. The underlying cause of DCM is not truly known, but is thought to have a genetic component. Breeds that are typically more frequently affected by DCM include large and giant breed dogs, such as Great Danes, Boxers, Newfoundlands, Irish Wolfhounds, Saint Bernards and Doberman Pinschers. It is less common in small and medium breed dogs, except American and English Cocker Spaniels. However, the cases that have been reported to the FDA have included Golden and Labrador Retrievers, Whippets, a Shih Tzu, a Bulldog and Miniature Schnauzers, as well as mixed breeds.”
  • Diets in cases reported to the FDA frequently list potatoes or multiple legumes such as peas, lentils, other “pulses” (seeds of legumes), and their protein, starch and fiber derivatives early in the ingredient list, indicating that they are main ingredients. Early reports from the veterinary cardiology community indicate that the dogs consistently ate these foods as their primary source of nutrition for time periods ranging from months to years. High levels of legumes or potatoes appear to be more common in diets labeled as “grain-free,” but it is not yet known how these ingredients are linked to cases of DCM. Changes in diet, especially for dogs with DCM, should be made in consultation with a licensed veterinarian.” [ Emphasis added ]

Responses from Pet Food Manufacturers

Tuffy’s (manufacturer of NutriSource, Pure Vita and Natural Planet )

Tuffy’s Pet Foods is aware of this FDA notification and as a responsible leader in the super-premium pet food industry we are wholly supportive of any study that improves pet health and safety. Tuffy’s has not been notified of any of its products being involved in this FDA notification and is conducting basic research into this matter.

Tuffy’s, maker of NutriSource, Pure Vita and Natural Planet pet foods offers a wide variety of solution based, nutrient focused diets that include our proprietary Good 4 Life system which supports gut health, skin and coat, odor control and brain function for optimum health and well-being. The Good 4 Life system is ideal for rotational feeding and allows for smooth transitions to any of our foods. Pet owners can learn more about the solutions we provide by visiting www.nutrisourcepetfoods.com

The FDA continues to recommend that changes in diet, especially for dogs with DCM, should be made in consultation with a licensed veterinary professional.

Tuffy’s has a toll free number listed at the bottom or an email address, also listed if you would like to discuss this issue with us.

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog ( http://www.words-woofs-meows.com )

< *Recommended to Read First >


*What do you feed your dog?
http://bit.ly/WhatDoYouFeedYourDog

*Pet Nutrition: Some Myths and Facts – My story with Gus – http://bit.ly/Gus-Nutrition

*Pet Nutrition – Should I Feed My Pet A Raw Diet? – http://bit.ly/ShouldIFeedMyPetARawDiet

*Nutrition – Why Rotating Diets Makes Sense – http://bit.ly/DietRotation

*Video – The Science and Dogma of Pet Nutrition with Dr. Richard Patton – A video of animal nutritionist, Dr. Richard Patton’s presentation, The Science and Dogma of Pet Nutrition, presented for Green Acres Kennel Shop in Bangor, ME on April 28th, 2016.  – http://bit.ly/Video-Dr-Richard-Patton

*Book Review – Ruined by Excess, Perfected by Lack – The paradox of pet nutrition by Richard Patton – http://bit.ly/RuinedByExcess-BookReview

*Book Review – Natural Nutrition for Cats: The Path to Purrfect Health by Kymythy Schultze – http://bit.ly/NatNutritionCats-BookReview

Reflections on 20 Years as a Pet Care Professional – Changes in Pet Food and Nutrition – part 1http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2015/11/23/reflections-on-20-years-as-a-pet-care-professional-changes-in-pet-food-and-nutrition-part-1/

Reflections on 20 Years as a Pet Care Professional – Pet Food and Nutrition – part 2http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2015/12/15/reflections-on-20-years-as-a-pet-care-professional-pet-food-and-nutrition-part-2/


Nutrition – Which Brand of Pet Food is the Best? – Part 1 –
http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2014/06/01/nutrition-which-brand-of-pet-food-is-the-best-part-1/

Nutrition – Which Brand of Pet Food is the Best? – Part 2 – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2014/07/01/nutrition-which-brand-of-pet-food-is-the-best-part-2/

Nutrition – Which Brand of Pet Food is the Best? – Part 3 – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2014/08/01/nutrition-which-brand-of-pet-food-is-the-best-part-3/

Nutrition – Determining True Pet Food Costshttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2008/11/08/nutrition-determining-true-pet-food-costs/

Pet Nutrition – How Much Fat Is In Your Pet’s Food?  – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2014/10/12/pet-nutrition-how-much-fat-is-in-your-pets-food/

Pet Nutrition – New Zealand dog diet study a wake-up call for dog nutritionhttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2017/05/19/pet-nutrition-new-zealand-dog-diet-study-a-wake-up-call-for-dog-nutrition/

Pet Nutrition –Vital Essentials® Pet Foodhttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/08/14/pet-nutrition-vital-essentials-pet-food/

Shared Blog Post – FDA on a Witch Hunt Against Commercial Pet Food? A Little Spritz of This Makes Pet Food Far Saferhttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/11/28/shared-blog-post-fda-on-a-witch-hunt-against-commercial-pet-food-a-little-spritz-of-this-makes-pet-food-far-safer/

Pet Nutrition – From Dr. Karen Becker – A Vegetarian or Vegan Diet Is Not Healthy For Your Dog or Cathttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2015/09/27/pet-nutrition-from-dr-karen-becker-a-vegetarian-or-vegan-diet-is-not-healthy-for-your-dog-or-cat/

Podcasts from The Woof Meow Show ( http://www.woofmeowshow.com )

 < *Recommended You Listen to First >

*What do you feed your pets? – http://bit.ly/WhatDoYouFeedYourPets-Podcast

*Podcast – Pet Nutrition with Dr. Richard Patton – http://bit.ly/DrPatton-Podcast

*Podcast – Pet Fooled – A Look Inside A Questionable Industry with Kohl Harrington – http://bit.ly/WfMw-Pet-Fooled

 

 

©22-Jul-18, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
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