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Dog food brands most linked to heart-disease reports named
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The Rainbow Bridge



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28 June 2019 - 9:17 am
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Wow, this kinda threw me off my chair this morning.

You’ll recall we wrote about the DCM grain-free connection in dogs a while back in the Tripawds Nutrition blog . Well, the FDA has come out and named the pet foods most involved with this condition. 

Dog food brands most linked to heart-disease reports named

U.S. FDA tallies 560 dogs affected since 2014

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today for the first time publicly identified the pet food brands most frequently associated with cases of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), a serious and potentially fatal heart disease. The vast majority of cases involve dogs, but a few cases involving cats have been reported, as well.

In an update on its investigation into the potential link between certain diets and canine DCM, the FDA listed 16 pet food brands that have been named in 10 or more reports of the disease.

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28 June 2019 - 2:58 pm
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It’s not just the grain free factor for DCM, it’s also peas/legumes & lentils. My dog Gretchen’s cardiologist told me not to put peas in her home cooked food. He also suggested that I cut back on the amount of sweet potato and increase the brown rice. She has mitral valve leaks. I have done what he suggested and for a 14 yr. old mix breed, she’s doing quite well now.

Chuy, showing everyone that Tripawds do everything 3 times better than regular dogs!

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29 June 2019 - 8:03 am
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I also saw this on and news this morning. They did mention grain free and peas. Taste of the wild I could not believe. I always thought that was a high brand dog food. About a year ago I switched to Orajen and happy they are not on the list. Brownie eats “feed the dog starve the cancer ” diet.

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29 June 2019 - 8:05 am
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CRAP….Origen is on the list! Guess I will be cooking for three.

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29 June 2019 - 3:22 pm
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Yep, unfortunately it seems not even the big premium brands are immune from this issue. It leaves me wondering “What now?”

Eleanor, good for you for home cooking! Thats wonderful. 

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29 June 2019 - 6:48 pm
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Wow, thank you for this! I never would have expected to see some of those names on the list! 

I was just considering a few of those brands. Our angel dog gypsy had one brand that she could eat with out having huge hot spots and horrible skin issues. I’ve been wanting to swap roane because it really was a cr*p brand. Guess I just narrowed the list.

         Hugs ❤ Bev, nurse Moe cat, Autumn's Angel Roane & Angel dog Gypsy 🐾

My sweet soulmate Roane was diagnosed with osteo in June of 2019. Had a rear leg amp on July 2nd & crossed the rainbow bridge to be with her sister Gypsy on the first day of Autumn Sept 23 2019.

Virginia




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29 June 2019 - 10:39 pm
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Hmmm….. okay, probably just me, but I guess I have a little skepticism as far as how the studies were carried out on such a relatively  small number and limited  scope.   Then there’s the “credibility ” of the USFDA itself (at least in my mind).   Sooo many variables beyond “just” the dog food that could contribute to those sad situation.   

Maube I missed it,  but did the USFDA spell out how many millions of pounds of each dog food eaxh company sold?   I dunno, just don’t  feel like  they connected  the dots well enough with this study

I found the response  from Taste of the Wild had some valid points and raised some good questions.  

Throwing  these thoughts  out simple from a pint of curiosity.   Anyone else share my skepticism that this study was too narrow in scope?

Amd thanks for the feedback on the amazing  GRETCHEN!!!  Good plan!!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!


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30 June 2019 - 10:06 am
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It’s not the brand of dog food it is the formula.  All of these foods have a large amount of pea protein and often it is split into different ingredients on the bag including lentils,chickpeas,pea flour,etc.  By splitting the ingredient list like this it makes it look like meat is the main ingredient when in fact more protein is coming from the legumes.  Many of these companies do not add taurine to their foods, although they might now.  Taurine is not found in peas but in meat.  Theoretically dogs can make taurine from other precursors (amino acids) found in meat.  Some of these dogs have low taurine levels but some are normal so I don’t think anybody really understands why some dogs have issues and many don’t.

Most dogs can handle grains just fine and if you are worried about corn and wheat then feed one with rice, oatmeal, or barley.  A lot of these foods on the list also have unique or exotic proteins such as pork or kangaroo and unless your dog has true food allergy (which is rare) you can rotate proteins but try to stick with more common ones.  I do realize that a lot of dogs on this site have cancer so you do want to limit carbs but I would focus more on meat than plant proteins.  Veggies do not seem to cause an issue.

When I first heard about this a year ago I did some research and was shocked to see how many companies did not add taurine and how many do not even have a nutritionist on staff.  I think that is why you do not see Purina, Royal Canin, or Hills on this list because a lot of science goes into those diets.  This list is simply a compilation of the foods that cardiologists reported that the affected dogs were eating so I do not think there is anything nefarious going on here.  I changed my dogs from the grain-free Fromm Large Breed Adult to the regular formula and I still like the brand.  I also rotate between flavors and brands from time to time.

I currently am advising my clients to avoid foods high in pea protein.  If you really think your dog has a food allergy you need to feed one novel protein and one simple carb (duck and potato/rabbit and rice/etc) or a hydrolyzed diet (my favorite is Royal Canin HP which has soy).  If you home cook your food just make sure you have an adequate mineral and vitamin supplement and you often need to add fish oil as well.  You can go to BalanceIt.com but I do not think they will advise on raw diets.

Pam

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30 June 2019 - 1:43 pm
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WOW thank you Dr. Pam, I feel so much more informed! Your clients are so lucky to have your knowledge about this issue. 

I love your advice to “feed one with rice, oatmeal, or barley” instead of corn or wheat. I hadn’t even considered that as an alternative.

And as for the lack of nutritionists on staff with these companies, that makes total sense about why the biggest manufacturers aren’t included. Bet they’re breathing a sigh of relief!

Sally, keep in mind that this was not a “study” that the FDA did, it’s a compilation of reported DCM cases being matched to the types of dog food those dogs ate before getting sick. There’s no way to skew the results as far as I know. Correct me if I’m wrong Dr. Pam.

I’m not sure what brand I’ll go with when Wyatt Ray finishes his latest giant bag of ToW but I’ll report back here I think. I hope others will too.

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1 July 2019 - 5:47 pm
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Dr. Pam needs to “publish” her response.   Chock full of well researched  and simply explained  nformation!

Amd thanks to Jerry and Dr Pam pointing  out this wasn’t  an actual “study”.  I get it.  I just remember  when EVO came out a long time ago and got piled on with .lots of “bad reviews” from self serving “studies”  funded by competitors that did turn out to be less than honest.

tazziedog said
It’s not the brand of dog food it is the formula.  All of these foods have a large amount of pea protein and often it is split into different ingredients on the bag including lentils,chickpeas,pea flour,etc.  By splitting the ingredient list like this it makes it look like meat is the main ingredient when in fact more protein is coming from the legumes.  Many of these companies do not add taurine to their foods, although they might now.  

  

So if I’m  reading this right,  when dog foods are given say a  five star rating (from someone like Dog Advisor or Whole Sog Journal), for having real chicken, or fish, or whatever for example, and the bag says a high percentage protein, etc., it could really be coming from the red lentils, whole chickpeas, whole pinto beans, pumpkin, squash,  etc, rather than the “meat”?

I say this with the understanding that the ratings would be PRIOR to this report.

Yep, I see several foods on there I have used!  They are on rhe lower end of their scale to some degree,  so I guess that’s  good

Okay, let me cut to the chase and be real specific. According to ORIJEN SIX :FISH:  

      “Orijen foods have 75 to 80 percent meat and they contain 38 to 42 percent protein.”

SOOOOO….What is an acceptable  percent to come specifically from  meat?,?

Thanks for this thread and continued input.  😎

Gratefully 

Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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1 July 2019 - 8:08 pm
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Sally, I am so happy you asked the question regarding protein. 

Question,

Can a dog with cancer have brown rice oatmeal.

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1 July 2019 - 8:10 pm
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Sally, I am so happy you asked the question regarding protein.

Question, Can a dog with cancer have brown rice and oatmeal.

Virginia




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1 July 2019 - 9:00 pm
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As far as brown rice and oatmeal, I can only say that they are okay, according  to The Dog Cancer Diet Book.   Please double check for yourself, but I do recall them as acceptable…can’t  remember why.though.

Here’s  another thing I found on Dog Advisor.  Again, simply  using Orijen Six Fish as an example so I can digest…tee hee… “digest”….all the information.  BASICALLY, it said this about a couple of foods I was checking into.  Some of the legumes DO ADD to the protein value, but they (meaning Dog Food Advisor) distinguished the amount that came specifically from the meats…and then added in the “extra” percentage of protein  from,the legumes, etc.  

Now, all that said and to just clarify in my feeble mind, the thrust of the compilation is saying that the foods with higher percentage  of protein coming from legumes rather than meats are a possible  factor in the heart disease??  And the Taurine that Dr Pam mentioned, basicall needs to come from the meats, right???.  

Wish this compilation  came from the opposite  approach! 569 dogs are “X” and never showed signs of heart issues because  of the common thread of so-and-so!!😎😎  Thinking that Honest Kitchen would lead the way, maybe??

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!


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2 July 2019 - 9:51 am
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Yes the legumes do raise the overall protein content which is why Dog Advisor separates out meat protein from other sources.  They did just put out new ratings of grain-free foods after the FDA report.  I do not think anybody knows an ideal meat protein ratio; I think small amounts of peas might be okay but someone will have to evaluate that.  I have in the past fed Nature’s Logic and they use millet as an alternate carb source but I am not sure how much protein is in millet. It is worth noting that grain-free is not the same as low-carb since potatoes and peas also have quite a bit of starch.

Taurine is only present in meat and different meats have different levels.  I saw a list at one time and if I remember right the more common meats such as chicken and turkey (especially dark meat) have higher levels than some exotic meats.  Taurine is also high in organ meats (liver/heart) as well as in seafood.  It is not clear if normal levels of taurine in the blood correlates to normal levels in the heart muscle so that is why dogs with DCM should have a taurine supplement even if blood levels are normal.  Cardiologists are looking at all of these factors to try and sort out the cause of this problem and most likely it is multi-factorial.  I have given my dog Julian a taurine supplement for the last 3 or 4 years because he tends to be overweight and he is not eating anywhere near what the bag recommends (the bag says 8-10 cups per day but he gets 4 cups per day plus a little canned).  Even though he is on a food that provides taurine it is based on serving size and he clearly is not getting the full amount.  Giant dogs are more prone to DCM so this is probably overkill but taurine is safe and it is not pricey.  

This is a confusing issue and we all want to feed the best for our dogs.  Even if you home-cook it can be hard to get taurine levels and micronutrients right unless you have a nutritionist to guide you.  When evaluated almost 85% of home-cooked foods are missing something; usually minerals, omega 3s, and fiber.  There are many websites that can help you with this and I think that BalanceIt.com also sells or recommends brands of supplements.

Pam

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2 July 2019 - 11:21 am
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brownie1201 said
Question, Can a dog with cancer have brown rice and oatmeal.

In The Dog Cancer Survival Guide , Dr. Dressler writes:

Most grains like corn and wheat are not good for dogs with cancer because they provide too much sugar. However brown rice and oatmeal are both healthy and filling, and there are advantages to adding small amounts to your dog’s diet. The polysaccharides found in the bran in these grains may help to fight cancer. They are also much lower on the glycemic index, which means they release lower levels of the simple sugars that cancer loves into the bloodstream.

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