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

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

< Updated – 17JUL19 >

< COMING SOON! – A podcast on this topic from The Woof Meow Show of 20JUL19 >

I am occasionally asked, by people that do not know me or the backstory on why I am so passionate about pet nutrition, “You sell pet food, why should we believe or trust anything you say on the topic?” I would be the first to tell them that they are right to question what I tell them. If you want to understand my motives, I encourage to read about my philosophy towards pet nutrition at < FMI – GAKS Philosophy on Pet Nutrition – http://bit.ly/GAKS_Nut_Phil >.

My inbox recently 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 not revealed by the FDA. Two of the posts come from well respected, independent authorities on pet nutrition. I have included links to both articles. The other two 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 PetfoodInsdutry.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.” [ Emphasis added ]

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.” [ Emphasis added ]

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. The increases in DCM in dogs 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 pet companies 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 )

GAKS Philosophy on Pet Nutrition http://bit.ly/GAKS_Nut_Phil

Pet Foods We Offer At Green Acres Kennel Shop http://bit.ly/GAKS_PetFood_Brands

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.

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

Shared Blog Post – Food Transitioning versus Food Rotating: What is the Difference?

I have been rotating what I feed my pets for years, and at Green Acres Kennel Shop we have been recommending dietary rotation to clients at least since 2012 when our Operations Manager Kate wrote about her experience rotating diets in our newsletter that May ( FMIhttp://bit.ly/DietRotation ).

On April 12th of this year, veterinarian Jean Dodds of Hemopet and NutriScan published an article on her blog on the same topic. The following are some of the key quotes from Dr. Dodds’ article.

Like humans, dogs should be eating a variety of nutritious foods, and not living on just one specific formula.”

No one dietary formula, no matter how “complete and balanced” it is, can meet all of an animal’s nutritional needs over an extended period.

“There is no one “perfect” food or perfect food combination that provides everything a human or animal needs to create optimum health over long periods.”

“Rotating protein sources not only ensures your pet will benefit from a varied amino acid and nutrient profile, it also reduces the risk he will form an intolerance to any specific animal protein source over time.”

You can read Dr. Dodds entire post, and I encourage you to do so, at https://nutriscan.org/food-transitioning-versus-food-rotating-what-is-the-difference

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/ >

Shared Blog Post – AAHA Vaccination Guidelines 2017 for Dogs – A Review by Dr. Jean Dodds

Veterinarian Dr. Jean Dodds reviews the newly published 2017 Canine Vaccination Guidelines released by the American Animal Hospital Association. Dr. Dodds recommendations somewhat from the AAHA guidelines stating “Overall, I applaud the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) for its transparency, website language, layout and tools that are very pet companion caregiver friendly. I particularly like the Lifestyle-Based Vaccine Calculator that helps pet parents determine if their pets need a lifestyle vaccination.”

Dr. Dodds also notes “The most significant change AAHA has made is on its position on antibody titer testing. Bear in mind that it is not a recommendation or an endorsement of titer testing in lieu of the three-year vaccination series of distemper, parvovirus and adenovirus. If this were the case, titers would be listed on AAHA’s official protocol. However, it is an admission by AAHA that titer tests are alternatives to vaccination. The proof is on the website. In-depth diagnostic web pages are provided to veterinarians. Additionally, the pet caregiver section mentions the titer test alternative on the main vaccination guidelines webpage.” [Emphasis Added]

Green Acres Kennel Shop has accepted titer tests when recommended by your veterinarian as a safer and healthier alternative to revaccination for many years and we also laud their new enlightened position.

You can read Dr. Dodd’s article at – https://drjeandoddspethealthresource.tumblr.com/post/166919932761/aaha-vaccination-guidelines-2017-for-dogs-review#

You can read the entire 2017 Canine Vaccination Guidelines document at – https://www.aaha.org/guidelines/canine_vaccination_guidelines.aspx

A PDF version of a summary of 2017 Canine Vaccination Guidelines document can be downloaded and printed at – https://www.aaha.org/public_documents/guidelines/vaccination_recommendation_for_general_practice_table.pdf

 

Recommended Resources

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

 

Shared Blog Post – Updated Canine Vaccination Guidelines by Nancy Kay, DVM – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2017/11/06/shared-blog-post-updated-canine-vaccination-guidelines-by-nancy-kay-dvm/

Vaccinations–Interviews with Dr. Ron Schultzhttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2013/07/15/vaccinations-interviews-with-dr-ron-schultz/

How to Report Adverse Reactions to Vaccines, Drugs, Devices, Foods, and Flea and Tick Products – http://bit.ly/ReportAdverseReactions

Complementary Medicine – Tikken – Vaccines, Aggression & Homeopathy — http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2014/10/06/complementary-medicine-tikken-vaccines-aggression-homeopathy/

Shared Blog Post – It’s Time to Put a Stop to the Mindless Over-Vaccination of Petshttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2017/07/05/shared-blog-post-its-time-to-put-a-stop-to-the-mindless-over-vaccination-of-pets/

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

Podcast – A Holistic Approach to Vaccines for Dogs – Part 1 w/Dr. Judy Herman – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2017/07/15/podcast-a-holistic-approach-to-vaccines-for-dogs-part-1-wdr-judy-herman/

Podcast – A Holistic Approach to Vaccines for Dogs – Part 2 w/Dr. Judy Herman – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2017/07/22/podcast-a-holistic-approach-to-vaccines-for-dogs-part-2-wdr-judy-herman/

Vaccinations- Why they are important, Core Vaccines & Vaccination Schedules w/Dr. Ronald Schultz (June 22nd, 2013) – http://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/WoofMeowShow-2013-06-22-Vaccinations-1.mp3

Vaccinations, Titer Testing, Non-Core Vaccines and Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex with Dr. Ron Schultz (June 29th, 2013) – http://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/WoofMeowShow-2013-06-29-Vaccinations-2.mp3

Vaccinations– Non-Core Vaccines for Cats and Adverse Reactions to Vaccines with Dr. Ron Schultz (July 6th, 2013) – http://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/WoofMeowShow-2013-07-06-Vaccinations-3.mp3

Vaccinations – The Rabies Challenge Fund with Dr. Ron Schultz (July 13th, 2013) – http://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/WoofMeowShow-2013-07-13-Vaccinations-Rabies_Challenge_Fund.mp3

Podcast – Holistic and Complementary Wellness for Pets – Our Personal Journey — http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/10/08/podcast-holistic-and-complementary-wellness-for-pets-our-personal-journey/