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DogsAndTheMob

Grain-free dog food, taurine and cardiomyopathy

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https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0209112&fbclid=IwAR1S26D_WMmdBlI4-aNgIyte5nxBT26ZIo4FpIhTP9CeCnSMz87Lb0qrzKI

 

This study investigated 24 golden retrievers with taurine deficiency and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). All 24 dogs had been fed a grain free commercial dog food and in 22 cases the food had legumes in the top five ingredients. Twenty three of the dogs experienced reversal of their taurine deficiency and DCM when they were switched to another (non grain-free) dog food. One dog, which was switched to another grain-free food, did not show improvement.

 

This is the most compelling evidence I’ve yet seen on this topic. It seems as if golden retrievers are particularly at risk, presumably because of some genetic impairment of their ability to manufacture taurine. However, Golden Retrievers may be more likely to be screened for heart problems than some other breeds in the US, because the breeders’ code of ethics for golden retrievers requires it.

 

My dogs aren’t golden retrievers, but I’m not going to gamble their health on the probability that they’re not at risk; I don’t think enough is known about the problem. I’ve decided to switch them from their grain-free food to foods that don’t have legumes as a top ingredient. (Plant based proteins such as those from legumes don’t have taurine in them.) I’m struggling to find foods that I’m happy with, because quite a few of the foods with grain also have legumes as a top ingredient - presumably to increase the protein content. I’m not sure whether a high protein food with plant-based proteins is preferable to a lower protein food without. I think I’ll select several foods that meet my criteria, and then mix and swap foods, in order to increase the variety in their diet.

 

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0209112&fbclid=IwAR1S26D_WMmdBlI4-aNgIyte5nxBT26ZIo4FpIhTP9CeCnSMz87Lb0qrzKI

Edited by DogsAndTheMob

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That is really interesting & quite shocking,   I would be interested in which foods you select,  what % protein - fat - fibre, , are you looking for

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kayla1   

The taurine deficiency and DCM appears not to be solely related to a grain free diet as in the linked study not all diets being fed were grain free, and (with the exception of one dog) there was improvement noted both in dogs switched to a different grain free diet with taurine supplementation and in those switched to a grain inclusive diet with taurine supplementation. Also, in an earlier study (as cited in the linked study), Backus et al. (2003) identified taurine deficiency and DCM in Newfoundlands fed a diet of lamb meal and rice.

 

From another recent article here, summary and recommendations...

 

Quote

Importantly, although there appears to be an association between DCM and feeding BEG, vegetarian, vegan, or home-prepared diets in dogs, a cause-and-effect relationship has not been proven, and other factors may be equally or more important.

 

Quote

If DCM is diagnosed in a dog that is eating a BEG, vegetarian, vegan, or home-prepared diet, we recommend measuring plasma and whole blood taurine concentrations...

 

For dogs in which possible diet-associated DCM is diagnosed, we recommend the owner change the diet to one made by a well-established manufacturer that contains standard ingredients (eg, chicken, beef, rice, corn, and wheat). In the authors’ (LMF and JER) hospital, we recommend several specific products with a low sodium content that only contain standard ingredients.32 We also emphasize that changing to a raw or home-prepared diet may not be sufficient to improve cardiac abnormalities and may increase the risk for other nutritional deficiencies or infectious diseases. For dogs that require a home-prepared diet or that have other medical conditions that require special dietary considerations, consultation with a boardcertified veterinary nutritionist is recommended. 

 

 

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6 hours ago, kayla1 said:

The taurine deficiency and DCM appears not to be solely related to a grain free diet as in the linked study not all diets being fed were grain free, and (with the exception of one dog) there was improvement noted both in dogs switched to a different grain free diet with taurine supplementation and in those switched to a grain inclusive diet with taurine supplementation. Also, in an earlier study (as cited in the linked study), Backus et al. (2003) identified taurine deficiency and DCM in Newfoundlands fed a diet of lamb meal and rice.

 

From another recent article here, summary and recommendations...

 

 

 

 

I’m not sure what study you’re referring to, Kayla. In the study I quoted:

40 dogs were considered for inclusion; 16 were excluded due to inadequate imaging for DCM diagnosis (7 dogs) , no evidence of DCM (8 dogs) or normal taurine (1 dog). The remaining 24 dogs met the study criteria for Dilated Cardiomyopathy at baseline. The 24 dogs were fed 9 brands of dog food in 13 varieties, as summarised in table 2. As indicated by the second last column in table 2, all dog food brands and varieties were grain-free (G). However, the text contradicts this, saying 12 of 13 diets were grain free.

 

Quoting directly from the study:

“Twenty-three of 24 dogs had significant improvement in their echocardiographic parameters and normalization of taurine concentrations following diet change and taurine supplementation. Nine of 11 dogs diagnosed with congestive heart failure (CHF) had resolution of their congestion at follow-up with five no longer requiring diuretic therapy and four tolerating diuretic dose reduction by >50%.”

 

Twenty-one of 24 dogs were switched to a new diet following a diagnosis of taurine deficiency and DCM. For 3 dogs follow-up data including diet information was not available. No dog was switched to a diet that was reported in the baseline diet histories for the group. Seventeen of 21 switched to a grain-inclusive diet while 4 switched to a different grain-free diet. Only one dog was found to have a persistently low whole blood taurine concentration, despite diet change and supplementation. Of interest, this dog was switched to a unique but still grain-free variety of food with legumes within the top 5 ingredients and with a complete and balanced claim substantiated by the formulation method rather than feeding trials”

Edited by DogsAndTheMob

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6 hours ago, sandgrubber said:

Thanks sandgrubber; that’s very interesting. In particular, I was interested to read that DCM without taurine deficiency has also been diagnosed in dogs fed on grain-free dog foods.

 

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7 hours ago, PANDI-GIRL said:

That is really interesting & quite shocking,   I would be interested in which foods you select,  what % protein - fat - fibre, , are you looking for

Unfortunately, it’s not possible for me to determine the precise composition and protein sources of the various foods, and I’m finding it difficult to compare them. I’m putting together a spreadsheet summarising the information provided by manufacturers of various dog foods, which I’ll post in the next few weeks.

 

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kayla1   
31 minutes ago, DogsAndTheMob said:

I’m not sure what study you’re referring to, Kayla. In the study I quoted:

40 dogs were considered for inclusion; 16 were excluded due to inadequate imaging for DCM diagnosis (7 dogs) , no evidence of DCM (8 dogs) or normal taurine (1 dog). The remaining 24 dogs met the study criteria for Dilated Cardiomyopathy at baseline. The 24 dogs were fed 9 brands of dog food in 13 varieties, as summarised in table 2. As indicated by the second last column in table 2, all dog food brands and varieties were grain-free (G). However, the text contradicts this, saying 12 of 13 diets were grain free.

 

Quoting directly from the study:

“Twenty-three of 24 dogs had significant improvement in their echocardiographic parameters and normalization of taurine concentrations following diet change and taurine supplementation. Nine of 11 dogs diagnosed with congestive heart failure (CHF) had resolution of their congestion at follow-up with five no longer requiring diuretic therapy and four tolerating diuretic dose reduction by >50%.”

 

Twenty-one of 24 dogs were switched to a new diet following a diagnosis of taurine deficiency and DCM. For 3 dogs follow-up data including diet information was not available. No dog was switched to a diet that was reported in the baseline diet histories for the group. Seventeen of 21 switched to a grain-inclusive diet while 4 switched to a different grain-free diet. Only one dog was found to have a persistently low whole blood taurine concentration, despite diet change and supplementation. Of interest, this dog was switched to a unique but still grain-free variety of food with legumes within the top 5 ingredients and with a complete and balanced claim substantiated by the formulation method rather than feeding trials”

DogsAndTheMob, I'm referring to the study you linked to in your first post, Kaplan et al. (2018). 

 

The quotes in my post are from a separate article (link in my post).

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What about Taste of the wild , my Sister is going to get some for her dogs, as a change from  Stay Loyal, I haven't checked their formulas, do you think they're  both comparable 

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23 hours ago, PANDI-GIRL said:

What about Taste of the wild , my Sister is going to get some for her dogs, as a change from  Stay Loyal, I haven't checked their formulas, do you think they're  both comparable 

I wouldnt feed Taste of the wild, they are currently being investigated for having heavy metals in their food, i cant remember the exact details.. My daughter is on a few dog forums, and there are breeders on there losing whole litters and/or pups failing to thrive while mum was on TOTW and also the pups weened onto it.

 

My own personal experience with it.. My cast iron gut dog vomited a few hours after every meal of TOTW and sometimes overnight too. I had a bag of wetlands and High Prairie, and threw both bags in the bin.

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WOW!    @Christine_72   Thanks for letting me know,  poor Nugget he must have felt really sick,    I'll  ring my Sister  & suggest she try an Australian  made food,   Did this info come from  The Clean Label Project   when they test all the dog foods?  

What are you feeding  Nugget now,  does he enjoy 1 food more than others

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On 1/4/2019 at 7:24 AM, PANDI-GIRL said:

WOW!    @Christine_72   Thanks for letting me know,  poor Nugget he must have felt really sick,    I'll  ring my Sister  & suggest she try an Australian  made food,   Did this info come from  The Clean Label Project   when they test all the dog foods?  

What are you feeding  Nugget now,  does he enjoy 1 food more than others

Gosh , I wish i paid more attention to where this info came from. A lot of it came from first hand experience from my daughters acquaintances, too many to be a coincidence.

 

Stay loyal would have to be Nuggets favourite. I feed a variety of different dry foods, all pass the test of Mr Finicky :party:

 

My rotation:

 

Stay Loyal (Aussie Brand)

Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural (US brand)

healthy Everyday pets (Aussie brand). No potatoes/legumes/grains.

Holistic Select Anchovy small breed (US brand)

 

I've just recently add Wellness complete health Turkey/chicken to the mix, it is not a grain free food and uses oats as it's main carb. The DCM thing has been playing on my mind. 

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@Christine_72  Great minds, HaHa,  I also started feeding Wellness complete health small breed  Turkey, Chicken, oats,  the omega 3 is 2% ,  so I think it's great for skin ,  SAME reason  DCM

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12 hours ago, PANDI-GIRL said:

@Christine_72  Great minds, HaHa,  I also started feeding Wellness complete health small breed  Turkey, Chicken, oats,  the omega 3 is 2% ,  so I think it's great for skin ,  SAME reason  DCM

Haha Wow, of all the foods to pick, we chose the same one. I too feed the small breed :laugh:

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@PANDI-GIRL Did you notice the difference in smell between the grain free dry foods and the Wellness complete health? The grains frees have that meaty aroma, the wellness C.H has a grainy smell. It doesnt really matter to Nugget, as i add meat in with all his kibble, but i can tell haha

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Yes I could smell the grain Wellness,  Pandi loves it,  but I think she would eat anything,  She loves cold carrots & frozen green beans,  even leftovers of  Christmas tinsel ! 

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43 minutes ago, PANDI-GIRL said:

Yes I could smell the grain Wellness,  Pandi loves it,  but I think she would eat anything,  She loves cold carrots & frozen green beans,  even leftovers of  Christmas tinsel ! 

Keep her away from eating socks and underware and she should be OK. :)

Edited by sandgrubber
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