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FDA INVESTIGATES POTENTIAL COMPLICATIONS ASSOCIATED WITH GRAIN FREE DIETS
Grain Free Diets & Heart Disease
The FDA regulates pet food, just as they regulate human foods. In June 2018, they announced a link between “boutique,” exotic & grain free (BEG) diets and a rare form of heart disease called Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM). Dogs are significantly more likely to be impacted than cats. The exact link has not yet been determined, though it is currently believed to be linked to a deficiency in amino acids Taurine and/or Carnitine; studies are still underway. It is important to note that they have found just adding grains to the food or supplementing Taurine does not prevent development of DCM, so it may be an ingredient that is added into the GF diets that is leading to the disease.
AAFCO (American Association of Feed Control Officers) has set guidelines and recommendations foranimal feed based on scientific data and research, however they have no regulatory control over pet food companies nor do they personally certify any food. Legally, brands do not have to follow AAFCO guidelines or test to assure that the foods meet pets’ needs to be FDA approved.
The vets at Rehoboth Beach Animal Hospital recommend feeding a diet not only formulated but rather tested by AAFCO feeding trial to assure it meets pets’s nutritional needs.
• Brands that are known to test by AAFCO feeding trial include Royal Canin, Hill’s Science Diet, Purina Pro Plan, Iam’s and Eukanuba.
Symptoms of DCM include trouble breathing, coughing, exercise intolerance and weakness. Diagnosis requires xrays of the chest and possibly follow up with a veterinary cardiologist. If your pet has these symptoms, please schedule an appointment for evaluation ASAP.
Check out the FDA’s website for their most recent information events/fda-investigation-potential-link-between-certain-diets-and-canine-dilated-cardiomyopathy
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