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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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2 July 2019 - 11:27 am
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Dr. Pam thank you for all the detail, it’s very helpful. 

Sally, I didn’t see Honest Kitchen on this list. Not even close.

I also didn’t see Wysong Epigen on this list. They are a 100% grain-free and starch free line of food for cats and dogs, and their key ingredients do not use any of the carb sources listed in the DCM cases:

Epigen 90™: Chicken Meal, Organic Chicken, Meat Protein Isolate, Chicken Fat, Gelatin, Natural Flavor, Coconut Oil, Chia Seeds, Taurine, Calcium Carbonate, Calcium Propionate (a preservative), Choline Chloride, Apple Pectin, Fish Oil, Yeast Extract, Citric Acid (a preservative), Mixed Tocopherols, Rosemary Extract, Chicory Root, Yeast Culture, Minerals (Potassium Chloride, Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate), Vitamins (Ascorbic Acid [source of Vitamin C], Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid), Dried Bacillus licheniformis Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus oryzae Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus niger Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus lactis Fermentation Product. 

I really like this brand, although they are quite expensive as a food source for larger dogs. Still, they’ve been quietly doing their thing for many years. It’s been eight since we wrote about them in the Tripawds Nutrition blog . I think it’s about time we did.

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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4 July 2019 - 12:59 am
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Veterinarians are communicating this quite vigorously.  I got an email from mine yesterday with a link to the FDA release.  A friend said that his vet is communicating this at every appointment, and following up with other customers.  

Otis - 106 pound lab/Dane mix, lost his right front leg to osteosarcoma on Febuary 9, 2016.  Four rounds of carboplatin completed in April, 2016.  Lung mets August 25, 2016.  Said goodbye too soon on September 4, 2016.   Lost his adopted sister, Tess, suddenly on October 9, 2016. likely due to hemangiosarcoma.  

Wherever they are, they are together.

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4 July 2019 - 2:29 am
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Phew, interesting and yet so difficult. Not that I care much about the brands in the US because there’s only a few that are sold over here 🙂 

However: while I was cooking the Cancer Diet for Manni (and yes, that included brown rice and oatmeal but I also used quinoa and amaranth) I now feed Thilo canned food that is “human-grade”. I have been researching this topic far and wide and I still have yet to find absolute guidelines on: if your dog weighs x pounds it need x percentage of protein, x percentage of carbs, these x vitamins in x mgs plus definitely this, this and that. 

There are recommendations out there for raw feeding but those don’t really do that either. and then the breeds differ so extremely, too. If you start looking into that stuff you end up finding that you really need to be a certified bio-chemist because of where you eventually end up. -Thyroid issues that can be caused by food, that can cause (among 1000other things) bone issues (yeah, osteo, where did that word come from again??)

My vet told me a long time ago that back when they still did horrible tests on animals they wanted to see how long a dog would live if he was starved and how long if he was without vitamins and so on. -They apparently found that dogs can go without pretty much everything for a LOT longer than humans because their metabolisms seem to work quite differently. 

I personally try to stay away from high-starch veggies like potatoes, carrots and so on because Dr. Dressler was pretty convincing on that and, like The Honest Kitchen for example uses, too, I prefer the “human-grade” food for probably obvious reasons. Dr. Pam raises a valid point w the taurine and we should probably look out for that. 

I would just like to add that I had a dachshund when I was a child and as was the custom those days, he was fed with leftovers from our dinners. -he lived to be 18 years old. Just saying… 🙂

Guardian of Manni the Wonderdog. -Or was it the other way around?
Osteo and amputation in Dec 2015. Second, inoperable, primary osteosarcoma found in June 2017.
The end of our adventures came Dec 10, 2017. 2 years to the day.

Manni's blog -dogblog-

The Rainbow Bridge



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4 July 2019 - 9:38 am
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Great feedback Tina, thanks for sharing your take on this. Can I ask what food Thilo is eating?

Yep, the information about home cooking and raw feeding is confusing, contradictory and inconsistent. If I had the space in our RV to home cook for Wyatt I would, and I would need to feel comfortable with knowing that I was doing my best. No matter what we feed him, there are no guarantees. There are dogs here who ate raw, home cooked or super premium food all their lives and they still got cancer. And there are dogs who ate Ol’ Roy from Walmart who got cancer. And some dogs live longer on a diet of Ol’ Roy and some who eat everything out of the Survival Guide do not. It’s crazy and unpredictable.

All we can do is work with our vet to come up with a diet we are both comfortable using, and hope for the best. I’m just glad to see that vets like Dr. Pam are out there doing the research so we can all have a good conversation about diet. Things are changing, slowly, but they are.

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6 July 2019 - 2:05 pm
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Here is a link to an article on this subject from dogs naturally magazine titled The Truth About Grain-Free Dog Foods and DCM.

There are a bunch of adds to ignore, and they tend to advocate for raw feeding and are anti-kibble, but I think their discussion of amino acids including Taurine, and plant based proteins vs. animal based proteins is interesting.

Karen

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

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7 July 2019 - 11:27 am
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krun15 said
Here is a link to an article on this subject from dogs naturally magazine titled The Truth About Grain-Free Dog Foods and DCM.

  

Thanks Karen! Checking it out now.

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7 July 2019 - 11:46 am
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I also received a lengthy letter from Chewy that was informative with additional info akin to what Doc Pam was saying and a link to the update. It was somewhat attempting to minimize the risk or convey accurate info…I’m not sure. I can post if it’s ok. If not that’s ok too. 

Here and Now


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7 July 2019 - 5:17 pm
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This is from Chewy to me regarding questions about the topic and our return:

Hi there, 
 
I saw that you recently reached out to us in regards to the Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet NP Novel Protein Alligator Grain-Free Dry Dog Food with the following question:   
 
“Where can I find nutritional info on this food, for example what percentage of protein is coming from the alligator versus the legumes and/or is taurine added or is it naturally occurring in the alligator. I am also concerned about the recent FDA DCM warning.”  
 
Thanks for reaching out to us. While 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 well as pet parents, in general. The FDA released a warning to veterinarians and pet owners about reports of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs eating pet foods that contained peas, lentils, legume seeds, or potatoes as the main ingredients. However, the DCM cases reported to the FDA included dogs who ate both grain and grain-free diets.  
 
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 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. 
 
The need for dietary taurine has not been generally recognized because dogs are known to be able to synthesize taurine from the sulfur amino acids cysteine and methionine, as well as absorbing it naturally from the protein. Taurine deficiency is very uncommon in dogs who are fed a dry food diet (including grain-free kibble) but does occur in some large breeds due to genetics.  It will take time and considerable more research to determine if there’s a definite link between grain free foods and DCM. We are eager to learn more once the research has concluded and findings are released.  
 
I’ve also included a link for a recent update on that FDA warning, just in case you’d like to check it out: 
 
https://www.fda…..nd-cases 
 
I hope this information is helpful. I’ve also included the manufacturer contact info below:

(800) 919-2833
https://bluebuf…..m/contact/

Please give my love to the four-pawed pal who stole your heart. We love pet photos here at Chewy, sharing them around the office is a great reminder of who we’re helping every pawfect day. Click here to upload a picture or two. I’ll be wagging my tail in anticipation. If there’s anything else you may need in the future don’t hesitate to let us know, we’re always here to lend a helping paw!  🙂 
 
Best pet wishes,   
 

Customer Service   
Chewy  

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8 July 2019 - 7:09 am
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Thanks for sharing! I’ll be curious to know what the manufacturer of the food has to say. Feel free to share.

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8 July 2019 - 7:32 am
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I think that the Chewy letter is a little misleading, since I think up to 98% of the cases were eating grain-free .  The remaining few percent were dogs eating home-cooked, raw, or traditional kibble.  Also, many of the dogs were very young and small-breed which are not dogs at risk for DCM.  Certainly we need more research before we understand this issue but it seems like pea protein in high amounts is the big culprit combined with lack of taurine supplementation and an unbalanced diet.

Pam

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8 July 2019 - 9:01 am
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Great observation Dr Pam!

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8 July 2019 - 9:06 am
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I would agree it was misleading as the tone of the link embedded in it voices much stronger concerns than the letter itself. If you guys decide to delete the post bc it is misleading I totally understand. I almost added something about taking it with a grain of salt but didn’t like the way that sounded

:-/. 

I had already packaged up the food we had just received after reading Doc Pam’s earlier post as the ingredients were listed as “Alligator, Peas…” and I thought “Hmmm, Howww many peas?” 😉 because that made sense to me that that is a potential culprit and so high on the list of ingredients — that sounds like a lot of peas. 

I believe I read that the FDA reports included multiple dogs from the same household and that struck me as “what are the odds of that”. If they are eating the same food and not from the same litter (genetically predisposed in some way), the food would be highly suspect. 

Virginia




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8 July 2019 - 10:35 am
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benny55 said

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??

  

I think Karen has reached out to Honest Kitchen.  I have as well.  I DO believe in their products…even thpugh with three large dogs, it’s  out of my price range other than every now and then.  Back in the day,  I did use it a lot with Happy Hannah though.

Thanks fot posting the response  from Chewy.  It was a well thought out response and shows good customer  service.  For what it’s  worth, I think it is important to keep the post as a great comparison  to Dr Pam’s information. 

And Angel Tazzie,❤ we thank you again and again  for bringing us your Mom!  Her never-ending  contributions to this site have been invaluable!!!!  

Hugs

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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8 July 2019 - 12:09 pm
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I received a call from Blue Buffalo.Their statement was similar to that on their website. My posting doesn’t suggest I support the accuracy or inaccuracy of their statements…My inquiry was regarding their Vet Solutions Novel Protein Alligator. 

They said they are working closely with the FDA. They said to talk to my vet. They dismissed the pea and legume issues without my prompting. They said their foods are known more than other brands for having more of the stated animal protein versus other ingredients but could not give me percentage of alligator versus pea protein. They stated there have been no recalls and never a problem with this particular food (I will insert I believe it is extremely new, as in perhaps 2018?)(I also didn’t love that they dismissed the pea and legume issue with no research to back up the statements at a tenuous time).  

That is  all I have for now 😉 As stated, we decided to return the food. 

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