FDA: Dogs Eating Certain Pet Foods May Be At Risk For Heart Disease

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The Food and Drug Administration came forth on Thursday with a warning to all dog owners. According to the agency, after investigating the potential link between canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and dog foods, their findings suggest that dog foods which are based on peas, lentils, and potatoes are possibly causing these enlarged heart problems in pets, explains NBC News.

DCM is actually more common in certain breeds, such as great Danes, Newfoundlands, boxers, Doberman pinschers, and St. Bernards; however, the FDA has stated that they found the disease to be popping up in other breeds who are not typically susceptible to the disease on a genetic level. Although the administration has not yet named any specific dog and pet food brands, they have reported that the affected dogs appear as though they have been fed certain types of dog food.

Doctor Martine Hartogensis, who is part of the FDA, has given a statement to journalists, explaining the agency’s concerns which led up to the research and investigation.

“We are concerned about reports of canine heart disease, known as dilated cardiomyopathy, in dogs that ate certain pet foods containing peas, lentils other legumes or potatoes as their main ingredients.”

“The FDA is investigating the potential link between DCM and these foods. We encourage pet owners and veterinarians to report DCM cases in dogs who are not predisposed to the disease”

A surfing dog named Sugar and Ryan Rustan paddle out during the Surf Dog Competition at the 8th annual Petco Surf City Surf Dog event on September 25, 2016 in Huntington Beach, California. Featured image credit: David McNewGetty Images

If a dog develops DCM, it will have an enlarged heart, struggle to function as normal, and may potentially come down with congestive heart failure, which can be fatal. Some symptoms may include weight loss, lethargy, and a cough. Pet owners seeing these symptoms should consider seeking a veterinary examination for their furry friend, and use heart drugs to treat these symptoms. In regards to the unusual development of DCM in atypical breeds, the FDA has also said which breeds they witnessed the development of the disease in, suggesting that this issue is possibly prevalent across all dog pure breeds and mixed breeds.

“However, the cases that have been reported to the FDA have included golden and Labrador retrievers, whippets, a Shih Tzu, a bulldog and miniature schnauzers, as well as mixed breeds.”

When questioned about the cause behind this, reports say a dietary deficiency is suggested as one reason, according to the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, cites NBC News. In contrast, a popular go-to website, Can I Give My Dog, has listed on their site that lentils are a health food which they claim is are not considered harmful for dogs. The site says, “They’re a great source of protein, zinc, iron and fiber but Fido could be gassy afterwards.” They also say that lentils help fight dog diabetes, further encouraging the ingredient.