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An Update on Diet-Associated Dilated Cardiomyopathy

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I found this article more helpful and informative than others I have read on the topic.

(Please excuse if this has already been posted and I missed it)

It's Not Just Grain Free

Thing is, what does one feed? I have been feeding grain-free kibble and canned food to all my dogs for years. Switching to non-grain-free would mean money saved (a lot) and if it's just as good or better then I would do that. Switching to raw sounds as if it might be better but the research says it is not, and I am not really prepared to make that switch. The article is not conclusive because the research isn't conclusive. 

Would be interested in your feedback on this.

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I am trying to find more info on this vet.  I think she may be the one that is a shill for the big pet food companies.  They are in direct competition with the smaller boutique companies that sell these exotic foods as well as companies selling raw food diets. She is the one that says cking ingredients is a waste of time.  She  is associated with Purina and they are funding a study at Tufts.  

 

The last I heard was to ck the first 5 ingredients and make sure they don't include pea meal, peas, legumes or potatoes.  

I have never fed grain free.  I just feed Fromm regular food for weight control.  

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If you find out she is funded by Purina or any other such company please let me know, as that would render her opinion invalid. One always has to know the source.

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She is.  Just Google her name and lots if stuff comes up.  One of the things is a nutritional study funded by Purina. 

That doesn't mean she is wrong but I would expect bias.   

What rang a bell was her statement that reading ingredients is not an accurate picture of how good the food is.  I have always heard the opposite.

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The article you  posted is a summary of a commentary published in the peer-reviewed Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, authored by five research veterinarians affiliated with 4 veterinary schools (Tufts, UC Davis, U of Illinois, and North Carolina State).  One of those five authors has received grant money from two companies that produces dog food (including several grain free formulations), the other four authors have not.  Which information in this summary morphs from "helpful and informative" to "invalid" and "unreliable" based on the fact that one of the five authors has done research sometime in the past three years that was partially funded by a company that produces dog food, including grain free formulations?

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17 hours ago, Hooper2 said:

Which information in this summary morphs from "helpful and informative" to "invalid" and "unreliable" based on the fact that one of the five authors has done research sometime in the past three years that was partially funded by a company that produces dog food, including grain free formulations?

Good point, @Hooper2.

Dietary deficiency of carnitine and taurine is only one form, though, of the causative factors for this disease. What comes to my mind, considering that it’s mostly large breed dogs which seem to inherit this problem genetically: I think of any number of strapping, healthy young athletes that drop dead suddenly on their playing field/ court. Only then is it discovered they had a type of cardiomyopathy. Could it be the rapidness with which they reach their size/weight, putting an overwhelming burden on what should be adequate nutritional intake- in dogs, as well?

 

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Who else would fund university research studies (@100s of $1000) on canine nutrition than pet food companies (the government, breed associations, AVMA, pet owners)?  If we do not accept the validity of peer reviewed studies based upon them being funded by pet food companies we would have no university research on this subject.  The key is the journal in which the studies are published and that journal’s peer review process.

 

If anyone is interested I can summarize what I learned in a graduate level class I took on writing research grant proposals and preparing the budget for a proposal.  Here is a teaser: the university takes >50% of the grant funding off the top (tufts “overhead rate” is currently 65%) and you can’t increase your salary with a grant.  It’s hard to be a paid shill when grant money goes to the university and they distribute it to the researcher.

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Just read this from a FB link.  She may be a "shill" for big pet food companies - but Tufts is pretty respected.  'Nuff said.

I started to fume a little when she said "don't think that homemade/raw is any better" - but then at least did acknowledge that by working with a vet nutritionist, it IS possible to make a balanced homemade raw diet!

Also:  I expect that is folks could afford to do it, and everyone tested all those nutritional levels in dogs fed all kinds of different foods - most might have *some* deficit in *something.*  My solution to that is:  rotate!!

My two cents' worth....

diane

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         https://avmajournals.avma.org/doi/full/10.2460/javma.253.11.1390

           https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0209112&fbclid=IwAR34do5G6el4MK-AOAkOuWgx2KOHNRrvmQ_idn0VA45ne7KePjxXbVEz3hE

  Both recently published and informative.             

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TY, all, for these links. Have gained an incredible amount of knowledge about dog nutrition... not to mention, that any cardiomyopathy could ever be reversible. It stands to be a pretty true statement: “we are what we eat”.

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Regarding the highest incidence being in golden retrievers, I just read the other day that DCM has been a known issue with goldens for some time and that as a result it was already a topic of conversation and concern in their community. It may be being more highly reported in that breed as a result. If that's the case the suggestion of potentially food related incidences being more prevalent in that breed may be exaggerated.

I'm just thinking out loud here so not sure just what that means in the overall picture, except perhaps that it may be more of a concern across all breeds than when it was previously suspected to be a bigger issues in susceptible breeds.

 

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You could well be correct, @GentleLake.

The other thought might be that these untested included ingredients were being used all the while by owners who wouldn't have known any different necessarily.

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Here are a couple more articles that may be useful in understanding the issues. I make no claims about the authors or their expertise, simply offering it for anyone who's interested.)

Canine heart disease has spiked - Here's why:

https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2019/08/05/nutritionally-related-dilated-cardiomyopathy-in-dogs.aspx?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=facebookpets_ranart&utm_campaign=20190805_nutritionally-related-dilated-cardiomyopathy-in-dogs&fbclid=IwAR0MCet4JWops8ehqn3E8oas2cWfDxkkIw475KwcTfYJg0Ab-lQprX3dG7Y

 

Bad Science and Big Business Are Behind the Biggest Pet Food Story in a Decade:

https://medium.com/@danielschulof_18279/bad-science-and-big-business-are-behind-the-biggest-pet-food-story-in-a-decade-5cdafae7be77

(The link in the article directly above to the retraction materials is also interesting IMO.)

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Dr. Freeman is one of the smartest, hardest working, most ethical veterinarians you could ever meet.  If she is concerned about nutritional DCM and recommends avoiding certain diets, I would take her advice.  She is a clinical nutritionist first and foremost and has her patients' best interest at heart.  She has indeed been paid to do some research for big pet food companies, including helping some of them develop new therapeutic diets.  I assure you that her intent is pure and she is the last person to endorse a food unless she believes in it.

I would refer clients to her and happily follow her advice for my own pets.  In fact, I have fed one of my dogs (who was diagnosed with heart disease 5 years ago) a diet she developed in conjunction with a cardiologist and other colleagues to help slow the progress of heart disease in dogs.

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