Important points regarding the problem

  • A large number of dogs in the United-States and Canada are presently affected by DCM.We currently see 2 to 4 cases weekly in our practice (E-Vet Mobile cardiology services).
  • Clinical signs vary: from a new low-grade systolic heart murmur to cardiac insufficiency.
  • An individual predisposition seems to be present, because not all patients are affected equally. Even within family members, some dogs are more affected than others.
  • The period in which the food has been consumed does not necessarily correlate with the severity of the disease. Unlike primary DCM, young patients may be affected.
  • While large and medium breed dogs represent the majority of cases, small breeds and cats have also been presented with DCM.
  • Dog breeds predisposed to primary DCM canalso be affected.
  • Although the term grain-free is frequently used, the problem also occurs with exoticingredients and boutique diets.
  • The exact cause of the dysfunction is still not determined. Many ingredients such as lentils, chick peas, beans, kangaroo, venison, and many other ingredients are held accountable. An unbalanced nutrition, an inadequate proportion of ingredients, an impact of the ingredients on the absorption of taurine and the inclusion of undesirable ingredients are also part of the investigation.
  • Very few cases have been reported with animals on a hypoallergenic diet or on a grain free veterinary diet.
  • Other than Golden Retrievers, no taurine deficiencies have been noted in any of these affected patients. The current recommendations are to evaluate the taurine levels of Golden Retrievers and possibly Cocker Spaniels.



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