We know there are a lot of questions swirling around the recent FDA update to the DCM investigation.
it’s been a full year now since the FDA announced their investigation regarding an increase in cases of dilated cardio myopathy (DCM) in dogs potentially related to eating a grain free diet.
The agency published another update June 27th, including for the first time the company names of the foods reported to them since the investigation began.
We have read all of the information and consulted with the manufactures we carry. What did we learn? The most important thing we took away is pretty much the same conclusion almost a full year ago:
“Based on the data collected and analyzed thus far, the agency believes that the potential association between diet and DCM in dogs is a complex scientific issue that may involve multiple factors.”
We still know almost nothing.
The FDA and food manufacturers are scratching their heads.
- At first it was hypothesized that a lack of taurine may be causing the issue. Further investigation found that not to be true.
- The next suspect was exotic protein sources... except the latest findings say the most common protein in a majority of cases was chicken.
- Then they looked at changes in formulations... except most of the manufacturers have not changed their formulation in 4+ years and the spike in cases has happened in just the past year or so.
- Many of the brands are kibble based... but not all. There are also raw, semi-moist and wet foods included in the mix.
So what should we pet parents do?
At this point, we are all left in a wait and see holding pattern. The FDA has said this is a complex issue and is one not likely to find an easy answer to.
Experts say the one thing we shouldn't do is panic. If you look at the number of cases verses the number of bags sold, the percentage is very small (another factor that will make it hard to isolate the cause).
Dr. Heldman of Diamond Pet Foods, the manufacturer of Taste of the Wild, was interviewed by a respected veterinary news network following the FDA’s update and reported the following:
Heldman said Taste of the Wild is the largest brand of grain-free food, noting that 29 million bags have been sold in the U.S. since September 2017. She said that 53 reports of disease cases should be considered in the context of sales. "If the numbers were presented as a percentage of bags sold, we would be at the other end of the list," Heldman said.
Experts recommend that you continue taking your pup to the vet on a regular basis for checkups. They also stress that just because a brand was on the list, it does not mean it is more likely to cause DCM. The FDA released this report in hopes of getting more owners to be aware of and report cases.
The important takeaway here is understanding that "knowledge is power". Feed the pet in front of you. Nutrition is not an exact science for every dog. We always tell customers coming in to feed the best food you can afford. In the meantime, we will try to stay informed and pass any information on to you.
"Dogs first, always"