The US Food and Drug Administration warns dog owners of a possible link between certain dog food brands and a serious form of canine heart disease.
The FDA has studied more than 500 cases of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs eating certain types of foods, according to their statement.
DCM is a disease that affects the heart of a dog and leads to muscle enlargement. Dogs with DCM easily become tired, cough and have trouble breathing.
FDA identifies 16 dog food brands
When the FDA first alerted the public to cases of DCM in 2018, the agency did not mention specific brands – only foods labeled as "grain-free" containing as main ingredients peas, lentils, other legumes and / or potatoes.
In the context of this investigation, the FDA has now identified 16 dog food brands, the most of which were frequently reported ete cases of DCM. The top three brands according to FDA are Acana, named in 67 reports; Zignature (64) and Taste of the Wild (53) report.
"We know it can be devastating to suddenly hear that your previously healthy pet is suffering from a potentially life-threatening disease like DCM. As a result, the FDA is committed to continuing our joint scientific investigation into the potential link between DCM and certain pet foods, "said Dr. Steven M. Solomon, Director of the Veterinary Medicine Center of the FDA.
Solomon says the FDA has not done this, determined the type of possible compound. But it encouraged dog owners to work closely with their veterinarians.
The results of the agency are inconclusive.
The agency has not asked companies to recall their products. "We provided information on case reports to these companies to help them make informed decisions about the marketing and formulation of their products," the FDA wrote.
"In parallel to the FDA investigation, our third-party internal studies found no link between our high-quality pet food products and any other physical properties that correlate with DCM," Zignature said in a statement on her website.
Zignature added, "Because we continue to have great confidence in our natural diets. To meet the needs of dogs suffering from allergies and intolerance to grain, we offer an exclusive line developed by our experienced formulation team which is nutritionally sound and grain integrating.
Champion Petfoods, the parent company of Arcana, stated that this is required and works "internally and with other industry leaders to explore the cause of DCM, to help Pet Lovers understand the facts," Champion said a written statement.
"… Of the 77 million dogs in the US, 0.5% to 1% have DCM and of the dogs with DCM are speculating less than 0.1% that they have DCM related to the diet, although this is not scientific is proven. In Champion's recipes, we put great emphasis on fresh and raw meat with animal ingredients between 60 and 85 percent of the final product. Legumes do not play a big part in Champion's recipes, and it has never been so.
CNN has contacted Taste of the Wild but received no response, and the company responded to the investigation in 2018, saying, "Scientists could not pinpoint the exact cause of DCM."
What can you do? Genetics with Appropriate Veterinary Treatment and Dietary Change According to FDA.
If a dog has signs of DCM or other heart disease, the FDA recommends contacting your veterinarian as soon as possible, and you may need to be warned in extreme cases such as sudden weaknesses or breakdowns Seek veterinary emergency care.
The FDA claims to continue the investigation of the compound and update the public as information becomes available.