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Diet-Related Dilated Cardiomyopathy (Dcm)


Batmom
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Boutique, exotic (such as kangaroo), and grain-free dog foods are increasingly implicated in a type of heart disease called dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Boutique diets are those from smaller companies and even some larger ones who do not employ a board-certified veterinary nutritionist and do not conduct feeding trials or perform other research. In other words, many of our favorite food companies.


Diets that include a high volume of legumes (lentils, peas, chickpeas, alfalfa), potatoes, and sweet potatoes seem to be of particular concern. Home prepared diets, even those including a high volume of meat, are also of concern.


DCM is a miserable, insidious disease that often has few or no symptoms until it's too late to treat effectively. It's affecting all breeds of dogs, all sizes, all ages. Several greyhounds have been affected. It's affecting even dogs whose taurine level tests in the normal range -- adding taurine to the food or adding a supplement doesn't prevent or fix it. Until it's severe, you and your vet might not notice anything.
You need a
n echocardiogram from a board-certified veterinary cardiologist to diagnose it. A physical exam, x-ray, or EKG won't tell you if the dog has it or not.


Please review what you are feeding your dog. You may want to consider changing foods and/or scheduling an echocardiogram. If you are feeding or considering a home prepared diet, please also consider consulting a board-certified veterinary nutritionist to ensure the formulation provides adequate nutrients.



The following article provides a good overview of what is known so far:

http://vetnutrition.tufts.edu/2018/11/dcm-update/

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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My Penny, who is now 10, was diagnosed last June. I took her to my regular vet because she wasn't eating well, sometimes skipping a meal altogether. So unlike her! Vet noticed a heart issue immediately, so off we went to the canine cardiologist the following day. $900+ later, we had the diagnosis. I have been feeding TOTW Pacific Stream for several years, not so much because its grain free, but because after trying 4 other foods, this was the first one that didn't give all 3 of my dogs crystals in their urine. After much thought about this, I've decided to stay with it, but augment it with whole grains. Its oatmeal for the next few days, then whole grain rice, then maybe couscous. I have no idea if this will help my other two, but it makes me feel a tad less guilty. Penny is stable and doing well on her meds and supplements.

Funny aside: Penny is a very insecure girl, unhappy in strange places, especially if one of my other dogs isn't with us. The cardiologist is part of a big specialty practice, and, since we went in as emergency, we had to wait several hours in the waiting room. No matter where you sat, you were in line with either the front door, the check-in check-out desk, or the entrance hall to the exam rooms. I chose the furthest point, but was still near the hallway entrance. Well, Penny was very nervous. Penny had an upset tummy. Penny had gas. As people went past us, all of a sudden they would stand up straight, throw their heads back a bit, and kinda stutter step. One dog even threw his head up for a better sniff. I would just kinda shrug and smile. Poor Penny.

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I hope Penny does well!

 

 

Might be worth asking her cardiologist about diet?

Edited by Batmom

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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PS One of the more prevalent hypotheses is that it isn't the absence of grains that's an issue, but rather the presence of the other stuff (beans, peas, potatoes). It's thought that those less usual things may inhibit the dog's use of taurine or other nutrients. Some dogs have recovered completely once their diet has been changed.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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As Batmom says, it is the other ingredients which may be implicated, they are added to boost the protein levels, especially in exotic food, keeping the cost down but the appearance of protein high. Grains do not contain significant amounts of taurine, meat is one of the best sources of taurine, but if it's digestion is being impeded............

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There is an excellent FAQ about the issue here. (The site name says "taurine" but it isn't just about taurine deficiency.)



https://taurinedcm.org/taurine-dcm-faq/

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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