The Food and Drug Administration identified 16 brands of dog food that have been linked to heart disease in dogs who consumed it, according to a report released by the agency on Thursday.
In the report the F.D.A. Named for the first time the pet food brands that are most commonly associated with adverse events. In descending order of most cases of heart disease are the brands: Acana, Zignature, Taste of the Wild, 4Health, Earthborn Holistic, Blue Buffalo, Natural Area, Fromm, Merrick, California Natural, Natural Balance, Orijen, Natural Diversity, NutriSource, Nutro and Rachael Ray Nutrish.
The disease was most commonly reported to the F.D.A. in Golden Retriever, but the report found that racial-specific social media groups and activities heightened awareness of the problem in these communities of Golden Retriever owners, who lacked the F.D.A. the diagnoses of their dogs.
Most of the listed dog foods are usually labeled as "grain-free" and, according to the report, contain a high proportion of peas, lentils, legumes or potatoes. Many of the dogs studied in the study had no genetic predisposition to the disease, the F.D.A. said.
Using an abbreviation for the disease, the agency said in its report that it "employed a number of science-based research tools to learn more about this genesis of D.C.M. and its possible connection with certain diets or ingredients. "
" We understand the concern that pet owners have about these reports: the diseases can be severe, even fatal, and in many cases are reported to eat as a grain-free labeled pet food.
In July 2018, the study began investigating diagnosed cases of the disease that were reported to the FDA. Since 2014, the agency has received reports of dilated cardiomyopathy in cats and dogs. Since then, 560 dogs with heart disease have been reported to the FDA, of whom 119 have died according to the report.
According to the Association's American Veterinary Medical estimates, there are 77 million pet animals in the United States, most of which do not develop dilated cardiomyopathy (FDA) said in a statement. John de Jong, president of the Veterinary Association, said on Saturday that the number of dogs affected by heart disease may not be very high, but the F.D.A. found a trend and informed consumers about it.
"The F.D.A. has the responsibility to report more than five or ten individual cases, "said Drs. de Jong.
"There are not five million dogs; it's still a small amount, "he added. "I also warn the consumer against throwing the baby out with the bath water."
Cardiomyopathy affects dogs by diluting the left ventricle of the heart. The last point at which the blood rests before the heart pumps it out, Dr. de Jong. This weakens the heart, which means that fluid can enter the lungs of a dog and cause coughing or illness. The disease can be treated with medication if you catch it early, he said.
Dr. de Jong said the trend of not having grain in a dog's diet could be a culprit.
"The whole grain-free thing is a popular myth," Dr. de Jong. "When they look at the relatives of dogs in the wild, such as coyotes, wolves and hyenas, they live off their prey. The animals they hunt are usually herbivores. So you're picking up grain anyway. "
The best thing a dog owner can do is consult a veterinarian," Dr. de Jong.
"That's not an overwhelming number of cases," he said. "We know it exists and we know it's a completely high correlation. Some of these diets might be enough.
"If it is not broken, you do not have to fix it."