Itís Not Just Grain-Free: An Update on Diet-Associated Dilated Cardiomyopathy
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Thread: Itís Not Just Grain-Free: An Update on Diet-Associated Dilated Cardiomyopathy

  1. #1
    Senior Member Kathyy's Avatar
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    Itís Not Just Grain-Free: An Update on Diet-Associated Dilated Cardiomyopathy

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

    Way too brain dead to try to understand this tonight but here's an update on the grain free and DCM thing.
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    Re: Itís Not Just Grain-Free: An Update on Diet-Associated Dilated Cardiomyopathy

    Interesting... I thought it always had to do with taurine levels! But it seems the main issue is still peas, lentils, potatoes.
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    Senior Member ForTheLoveOfDogs's Avatar
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    Re: Itís Not Just Grain-Free: An Update on Diet-Associated Dilated Cardiomyopathy

    What still confuses me though.

    Farmina is under "BEG" or "boutique" stuff but many dogs have tested great on it. No cases of DCM on the charts yet. Even the pumpkin line. More dogs have tested with lower taurine on Purina (the non BEG) than Farmina so far.

    I still feel like I need more answers.
    Last edited by ForTheLoveOfDogs; 11-30-2018 at 01:48 PM.
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    Re: Itís Not Just Grain-Free: An Update on Diet-Associated Dilated Cardiomyopathy

    Farmina uses potato instead of lentils and peas (there is some pea fiber, but not as much as the others).

    Also - when I joined (very briefly - they recommended feeding Royal Canin) a group about DCM and checked their study results, they were testing taurine levels.. and yes, it affected pretty much every single food except Farmina and Royal Canin (ugh). But if DCM is caused by something else than taurine levels, it means that the data is pretty much useless in that aspect.
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    Senior Member ForTheLoveOfDogs's Avatar
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    Re: Itís Not Just Grain-Free: An Update on Diet-Associated Dilated Cardiomyopathy

    Quote Originally Posted by Francl27 View Post
    Farmina uses potato instead of lentils and peas (there is some pea fiber, but not as much as the others).

    Also - when I joined (very briefly - they recommended feeding Royal Canin) a group about DCM and checked their study results, they were testing taurine levels.. and yes, it affected pretty much every single food except Farmina and Royal Canin (ugh). But if DCM is caused by something else than taurine levels, it means that the data is pretty much useless in that aspect.
    The charts included dogs with DCM results. There is still correlation between DCM and low taurine (if it is taurine deficient DCM) but that's only one piece of the puzzle.. and not always the case of course. It is still relevant and I definitely like to know the foods that are obviously lacking something nutritionally.

    Even still. There are plenty of dog foods that do not contain peas, lentils or potatoes that are causing issues. Raw diets even.

    The diets just have to unbalanced or something. I don't know why they keep blaming grain free and "exotic ingredients" if it is this inconsistent. I will say that before all of this DCM stuff breeders were getting away from Peas/lentils because they were having infertility issues. I am definitely thinking there is something up with peas/lentils but.. something else is going on.
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    Re: Itís Not Just Grain-Free: An Update on Diet-Associated Dilated Cardiomyopathy

    The grain free and DCM is not established, it's simply being investigated.
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    Re: Itís Not Just Grain-Free: An Update on Diet-Associated Dilated Cardiomyopathy

    Good post, here is an excellent blog on the subject as well
    http://www.theoptimaldog.com/2018/08...veterinarians/
    Quote Originally Posted by ForTheLoveOfDogs View Post
    The charts included dogs with DCM results. There is still correlation between DCM and low taurine (if it is taurine deficient DCM) but that's only one piece of the puzzle.. and not always the case of course. It is still relevant and I definitely like to know the foods that are obviously lacking something nutritionally.

    Even still. There are plenty of dog foods that do not contain peas, lentils or potatoes that are causing issues. Raw diets even.

    The diets just have to unbalanced or something. I don't know why they keep blaming grain free and "exotic ingredients" if it is this inconsistent. I will say that before all of this DCM stuff breeders were getting away from Peas/lentils because they were having infertility issues. I am definitely thinking there is something up with peas/lentils but.. something else is going on.
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    Re: Itís Not Just Grain-Free: An Update on Diet-Associated Dilated Cardiomyopathy

    Casting Aspersions on All Grain-Free Products (Without Distinguishing Based on Protein or Amino Acid Content) Is Likely to Drive Consumers Away From Lower-Carbohydrate, Higher-Meat Pet Foods.
    I'd be curious to see what are those lower carbs/higher protein foods are that are grain free though. I haven't really seen any (Acana maybe but then again... the first golden retrievers that showed up with DCM were fed acana).

    I admit though - I'm clueless about the whole amino acid concentration thing. .. it's not exactly something that shows up on nutrition labels.
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    Re: Itís Not Just Grain-Free: An Update on Diet-Associated Dilated Cardiomyopathy

    I am likely to move my pup to a mix of Canidae with some grains and various grain free from orijen, acana, canidea
    Quote Originally Posted by Francl27 View Post
    I'd be curious to see what are those lower carbs/higher protein foods are that are grain free though. I haven't really seen any (Acana maybe but then again... the first golden retrievers that showed up with DCM were fed acana).

    I admit though - I'm clueless about the whole amino acid concentration thing. .. it's not exactly something that shows up on nutrition labels.
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    Re: Itís Not Just Grain-Free: An Update on Diet-Associated Dilated Cardiomyopathy

    Honestly, I rotate brands a lot. My newf has already been on 3 different foods, my 14yo has been on 10 different things, and my other 1yo on 5. I buy what's on sale or available, really... but I still steer away from peas and lentils (and lamb and rice, because that's too low on taurine anyway). I did Canidae for a while but I don't think the store I go to carries it. Maybe I'll try Zignature next or something.
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    Re: Itís Not Just Grain-Free: An Update on Diet-Associated Dilated Cardiomyopathy

    Quote Originally Posted by Francl27 View Post
    Honestly, I rotate brands a lot. My newf has already been on 3 different foods, my 14yo has been on 10 different things, and my other 1yo on 5. I buy what's on sale or available, really... but I still steer away from peas and lentils (and lamb and rice, because that's too low on taurine anyway). I did Canidae for a while but I don't think the store I go to carries it. Maybe I'll try Zignature next or something.
    Zignature and Acana in particular have had several cases of DCM. Zignature especially has been really, really bad. I would not even risk it.
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    Re: Itís Not Just Grain-Free: An Update on Diet-Associated Dilated Cardiomyopathy

    I am feeding acana at the moment. Any alternatives you would recommend?
    Quote Originally Posted by ForTheLoveOfDogs View Post
    Zignature and Acana in particular have had several cases of DCM. Zignature especially has been really, really bad. I would not even risk it.
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    Re: Itís Not Just Grain-Free: An Update on Diet-Associated Dilated Cardiomyopathy

    Any Zignature formula in particular? I've been feeding the duck formula to my papillon and she does very well on it. My AKK is on Canine Caviar. They really do seem to do better on grain-free than on food with grains (coat looks nicer, stool is firmer and smaller). What are safe but good-quality grain-free foods to feed now?

    Crystal the Papillon and Casper the Alaskan Klee Kai
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    Re: Itís Not Just Grain-Free: An Update on Diet-Associated Dilated Cardiomyopathy

    I honestly have no idea and can't in good conscience say what is a good alternative at this point. I don't know what the cause is.. just that Zignature and Acana have been having a lot of issues with DCM. All different formulas in Zignature has dogs testing low taurine and some with DCM.

    I personally switched from Acana to Farmina about a year ago. So far many dogs are testing well on it. My dogs are doing better on it than Acana.. but each dog is different. It's also hard to come by and needs to be ordered directly from the website if you don't have it in a local store.

    I do know that my ideas of grain free have changed. I don't think grain free is necessary or healthier for most dogs anymore. Better skin and coat is relative to the ingredients, balance of nutrients and protein/fat in a food. Ingredients I thought were useless fillers or controversial are actually fine and not an issue. I still can't get on board with corn. But rice, oats, etc. are not bad. Filler, yes. But so are potatoes/peas/lentils. I don't feel safe with peas/lentils for sure. Farmina has Brewers Yeast which I thought would cause my dog to be yeasty (she has allergies). But Brewer's Yeast actually contains a lot of vitamins and minerals as well as taurine. I thought my dog had issues with grain. I've had her on grain free foods for years. But when I finally, finally braved switching her to grain inclusive version of Farmina.. she did even better than any grain free food.

    Obviously some people can't do that because their dogs have true allergies.

    DCM will not usually show any outward symptoms and I believe that to actually find and diagnose it properly an echo cardiogram needs to be done. Some people are having it checked and sticking with the same food if everything is fine. Or switching anyway.

    Again.. I'm not an expert. But I do encourage others to join the Taurine-Deficient Dilated Cardiomyopathy group on fb and take what you will from it even though they have some serious biases.
    Last edited by ForTheLoveOfDogs; 12-02-2018 at 09:44 PM.
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    Re: Itís Not Just Grain-Free: An Update on Diet-Associated Dilated Cardiomyopathy

    I lasted about half a day in the FB group (which again, only focuses on taurine and not the whole problem). They encouraged everyone to use Royal Canin and said that by-products and corn are perfectly fine. I just found another group that encouraged Eukanuba and Bil-Jac... Saying that boutique foods are just a hype etc. Now, I do wish that websites like dogfoodadvisor would be way more concerned about the whole issue with their recommendations (and that's my main issue with dog food specialty stores as well - acting like it's not a big deal), but I definitely do believe that reading the ingredients of a dog food is important - and yes, I learned that from people who studied canine nutrition. Lots of people on that group switched to Purina Pro-plan too - but there were a bunch of cases that were fed that as well (although I can't remember if the cases were low taurine or actually had DCM - that group put both in the same boat). I mean, I understand that DCM is scary, but there's more to health than just worrying about taurine too...

    I looked into Farmina but my local store doesn't sell it and it's just really expensive to feed a large dog (let alone 3 dogs).
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    Re: Itís Not Just Grain-Free: An Update on Diet-Associated Dilated Cardiomyopathy

    I also looked at farmina and that takes our monthly dog food bill to $140 which is ridiculous, especially in light of how much crap I get for spending $80-85 now.
    Quote Originally Posted by Francl27 View Post
    I lasted about half a day in the FB group (which again, only focuses on taurine and not the whole problem). They encouraged everyone to use Royal Canin and said that by-products and corn are perfectly fine. I just found another group that encouraged Eukanuba and Bil-Jac... Saying that boutique foods are just a hype etc. Now, I do wish that websites like dogfoodadvisor would be way more concerned about the whole issue with their recommendations (and that's my main issue with dog food specialty stores as well - acting like it's not a big deal), but I definitely do believe that reading the ingredients of a dog food is important - and yes, I learned that from people who studied canine nutrition. Lots of people on that group switched to Purina Pro-plan too - but there were a bunch of cases that were fed that as well (although I can't remember if the cases were low taurine or actually had DCM - that group put both in the same boat). I mean, I understand that DCM is scary, but there's more to health than just worrying about taurine too...

    I looked into Farmina but my local store doesn't sell it and it's just really expensive to feed a large dog (let alone 3 dogs).
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    Re: Itís Not Just Grain-Free: An Update on Diet-Associated Dilated Cardiomyopathy

    There are just too many unknowns at this point. So many "could be's" out there.
    I'm sure eventually someone will hone in on the main culprit...if there is one. Could be a "mishmash" of several different things coming together in one bad combo that effects only some dogs and is difficult to pinpoint.

    Quote Originally Posted by Francl27 View Post
    snip Now, I do wish that websites like dogfoodadvisor would be way more concerned about the whole issue with their recommendations (and that's my main issue with dog food specialty stores as well - acting like it's not a big deal), but I definitely do believe that reading the ingredients of a dog food is important - and yes, I learned that from people who studied canine nutrition.snip
    I'm sure Dogfoodadvisor is very concerned, but there's just not enough information for them to go rearranging their stars or throwing stuff out there that isn't a known fact. For now, they're advising people not to panic or make rash decisions based on so few facts. Something I'm trying to do....trying.
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    Re: Itís Not Just Grain-Free: An Update on Diet-Associated Dilated Cardiomyopathy

    I have no problems feeding my dog a grain inclusive food, it's the high carbs that accompany those grains that bother me... The food i feed now has 20% carbs, and the food I'm switching to soon has 16%.

    I just have issues feeding carnivours high carb diets, and the only way to avoid this and still feed commercial food is to choose one of the grain free options.
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    Re: Itís Not Just Grain-Free: An Update on Diet-Associated Dilated Cardiomyopathy

    But grain free still has a lot of carbs because they just replace grains by peas, lentils, or potatoes, typically (I have yet to find a grain free food that doesn't).
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    Re: Itís Not Just Grain-Free: An Update on Diet-Associated Dilated Cardiomyopathy

    Quote Originally Posted by Francl27 View Post
    But grain free still has a lot of carbs because they just replace grains by peas, lentils, or potatoes, typically (I have yet to find a grain free food that doesn't).
    Yes true, but i have yet to find a grain inclusive kibble with under 30- 35% carbs, over here anyway.
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