- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is still trying to determine why dogs eating certain types of pet food are seemingly more at risk of canine heart disease than others.
- Since alerting the public to the increasing caseload of dilated cardiomyopathy, or DCM, in dogs nearly a year ago, the FDA is for the first time identifying 16 pet food brands most frequently connected to the disease.
- Still, the agency said it has “not yet determined the nature of this potential link,” and urged dog owners to consult with a veterinarian for advice on their pet’s diet.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has identified more than a dozen brands of pet food it says are most frequently connected to a spike in reported cases of heart disease in dogs.
The FDA is continuing to investigate more than 500 reports of dilated cardiomyopathy, or DCM, in dogs eating certain types of pet food. A form of canine heart disease, DCM can cause congestive heart failure in dogs.
“We know it can be devastating to suddenly learn that your previously healthy pet has a potentially life-threatening disease like DCM,” Steven Solomon, director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, said Thursday in a statement. Because the FDA has “not yet determined the nature of this potential link, we continue to encourage consumers to work closely with their veterinarians.”
The FDA initially alerted the public to the cases plaguing dogs last July but did not specify food brands. The agency instead pointed to pet food labeled as “grain-free” and containing peas, lentils and other legume seeds and/or potatoes as their primary ingredients.
The probe now has the agency identifying 16 brands of dog food with the most frequently reported cases of DCM. Acana was named in 67 DCM reports, Zignature in 64 and Taste of the Wild in 53.
Pet food industry barks back
Zignature, for one, disputed any connection. “In parallel with the FDA investigation, our own third-party internal studies found no link between our high-quality pet food products and any of the other physical characteristics that correlate to DCM,” Zignature said in a post on its site.
Champion Petfoods, which owns Arcana and Orijen, is working on its own and with others in the industry to try to determine the cause of DCM, but objected to the FDA’s listing of brands.
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SOURCE: CBS News, Kate Gibson