From Dr. Justin Shmalberg’s June 2019 article: Dilated Cardiomyopathy and Grain-Free Diets: Thoughts on the FDA Update

Fatal heart disease from pet foods? This is the alarming suggestion circling the internet again following the release of more information from the FDA. It’s important to view such information in a rational context and to use the opportunity to think about your pet’s nutrition broadly.

What do we know?

Veterinary cardiologists suggested that a heart condition known as Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) was occurring more commonly in Golden Retrievers and other breeds not commonly thought to be genetically predisposed (breeds in that latter category include Dobermans, Boxers, Great Danes). DCM has of course been reported in other breeds in smaller numbers, generally other medium- to large-breeds, but there was a concern that the overall number of atypical cases was higher than previously recognized. Some cardiologists suggested that many atypical dogs were fed grain-free diets. This led to interest from veterinarians, breed groups (specifically Golden Retriever owners), the public, and the FDA. The FDA has been accumulating data for months at the present time, and in the last week provided some more details than previously available.

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