Certain “grain free” pet foods may kill your dog

A recent inquiry by the United States’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA), suggests that certain brands of dog food are giving pets a deadly disease.
Samuel Helguero Montreal, QC

A recent inquiry by the United States’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA), suggests that certain brands of dog food are giving pets a deadly disease.

Reports that date as far back as 2014, correlate predominantly “grain-free” dog foods with the contraction of DCM, a severe and sometimes fatal illness.

Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a heart condition characterized by the hearts diminished ability to act in its primary capacity—as a pump.

Dogs with DCM often succumb to weakness, lethargy, weight loss, and can sometimes experience sudden death.

The brands Acana and Zignature, received the most complaints, numbering just above 60 cases for dogs consuming these brands on a regular basis. The former product, Acana, is produced by an Edmonton-based company called Champion Pet Food.

Another Champion product, Orijen, received more than a dozen reports of dogs with DCM.

In a statement addressed to the public, Champion Petfoods stated: “Our hearts go out to every pet and Pet Lover who have been impacted by DCM. We take this very seriously.”

“Our own research, and the millions of pets who have thrived by eating our food over 25 years, have shown that Champion pet foods are safe.”

According to CTV News, despite an absence of investigation by Canadian food agencies, the suspect products are still widely throughout Canada. Take Taste of the Wild and Zignature for instance. Both brands received more than 50 complaints and are easily available in Canada’s pet stores.

However, pet food is not regulated in Canada. Therefore, the hands of Canadian authorities have not been forced on this issue.

Notwithstanding, the FDA advises caution in jumping to conclusions. DCM can be attributed to a number of other factors, including genetic predisposition.

Indeed, Golden Retrievers, a breed that is implicated in a significant number of complaints, have a genetic predisposition to taurine-deficiency which has been found to lead to DCM.

Throughout their investigation the FDA has received reports of 560 dogs diagnosed with DCM, 119 of those have died. Moreover, little more than a dozen cats were found to have the disease, leading to the death of one-third.

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Samuel Helguero
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