Here at Centennial Animal Hospital, we offer weight management and nutrition services in Colorado Springs, CO. If you have a dog or cat and are concerned about their weight and nutritional intake we want to help you with professional veterinary care. Today, we want to share some information that can to light from a recent investigation.

FDA Investigation:

In an ongoing investigation conducted by the FDA, a correlation between grain free dog foods and canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) has been found. The study began in November 2018, with an update in February 2019, and the latest update June 2019. The latest update contained a list of pet food brands that were consumed by patients in the study.

Key Points:

  • This study noted a correlation between diet and DCM, not causation
  • More than 90% of DCM cases reported were eating grain free food
  • 93% of all reported diets contained peas and/or lentils
  • No correlation was found regarding protein source
  • General cardiac reports submitted to the FDA that did not have the diagnosis of DCM were not included in the study
  • Brands listed in the latest update were associated with 10 or more cases of DCM and may represent a more widely distributed product
  • Ingredients were more significant than the brand, and the FDA urges pet owners to work with their veterinarian to find the right food

What To Do:

If your pet is showing signs of early heart disease which can include weakness, shortness of breath, coughing, exercise intolerance or severe lethargy please give us a call to schedule a comprehensive physical examination with the doctor.
When switching foods, do so slowly over 2-3 weeks!

  • Day 1: 100% old food
  • Day 2-5: ¾ old food ¼ new food
  • Day 6-9 ½ old food ½ new food
  • Day 10-13 ¼ old food ¾ new food
  • Day 14 100% new food

If at any point your dog does not tolerate the new food (starts to get loose stools or vomiting), back up to the previous step and extend the duration of that step by another 4-5 days.

What We Recommend:

Switching to a balanced diet including grains.

We prefer to consider each unique pet before making nutritional recommendations, but in general our doctors and staff feed and recommend:

Pet foods by the 3 main companies that have veterinary nutritionists formulating a balanced diet. Purina, Hill’s and Royal Canin.

  • Purina Beyond Simple 9
  • Purina Pro Plan or Purina One
  • Science Diet Sensitive Stomach and Skin
  • Hill’s Healthy Advantage Oral Plus
  • Royal Canin

Our goal, as always, is to promote healthy pets and happy families. This includes being an advocate for your pet in every area of medicine, including nutrition. Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 719-528-1693.