As many of you are aware, on June 27th, 2019, the FDA posted an update on their investigation into diet-associated dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Dr. Aguirre has been monitoring the situation carefully as it may impact a number of our patients. The latest update from the FDA provided both a list of pet food brands that have been reported ten times or more, as well as, a list of breeds most frequently reported to the FDA during the investigation. While this update provides a step towards gaining a greater knowledge of the situation, the information is still challenging to interpret. Each brand listed in the report has a number of different formulas with a variety of ingredients. Golden Retrievers are the highest reported breed and as such, Dr. Aguirre believes an alternative diet is best recommended at this time for this breed in an abundance of caution. For other breeds, it remains a difficult decision as we try to balance their significant intestinal problems and the importance of limited ingredient diets with the possible risks associated with these types of foods. Until additional information is released, there is not enough specific information known to warrant a change in diet for every patient, and he recommends continuing your current diet until more information becomes available. As a precaution, Dr. Aguirre does recommend measuring taurine levels and performing a baseline cardiac evaluation in all patients who require a limited ingredient diet as part of their inflammatory bowel treatment protocol. Please contact us if you would like to schedule the recommended baseline evaluations and if you have any further questions or concerns.
In addition, we encourage you to explore the educational resources available on the following website created by the Clinical Nutrition Service Department at Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University.