Zignature has the top most dcm cases from this report.
He was diagnosed with DCM 2 nights ago.
We had to put him down last night.
Not sure if there is a relation, we never got a chance to validate his taurine levels but put him on taurine supplement, but there wasn't enough time to see the effect as he got worse with breathing and bloating do to the DCM and myocardial arithmia, was in severe cardiac arrest.
I read on the possible link and the vet mentioned it could be related yesterday.
He was born with an enlarged heart, so dont know if that's related.
Who knows... we will miss him, I wish there was more we could have done.
Also want to point out we did do 50% BARF diet, my dog had alot of allergy and supposedly did have gluten intolerance.
Barf was not always feasible to give being on the road alot, so we also fed him zignature.
Since he was on it, alot of his conditions cleared up and I would say he was doing better overall health than on other brands (royal canine) till recently.
More work needs to be done before I would blame the brand.
Disclosure: worked at Mars a few years ago.
Just that these "your pet is a wild animal!" emotional insecurity brands slap an AAFCO tag on and call it a day or haven't been around for long enough to have any meaningful data.
Like...animals in the wild don't live very long, yo! Maybe pretending that your Boston Terrier is the king of the jungle isn't so good for him.
Just because the expensive brands get reported more doesn't mean the cheap brands are better.
Feeding your child chicken and rice instead of caviar and brie doesn’t mean you wouldn’t take your child to the hospital for treatments.
it's not always the recognition; in some cases it's an indicator of economic capability.
In other words : some people choose to feed their pets with cheap food because it is not economically feasible for them not to.
>Feeding your child chicken and rice instead of caviar and brie doesn’t mean you wouldn’t take your child to the hospital for treatments.
No, but the example can be made significant if you consider an extreme example.
If a family is incapable of providing a constant supply of food to their children and themselves due to economic hardship they're also less likely to pursue healthcare options due to the intrinsic costs of doing so. Travel, copays, time discussing social welfare options, etc. It all costs something.
In other words : the poor are in worse health than those that make more money.
There are still the big pet food issues like melamine contamination, but those seem to affect both large and small brands.
Now the vet has turned your pet into a recurring revenue source beyond labour-intensive checkups.
It’s kinda like Luxxottica: a lot of their brands are only available through brick and mortal clinics. You can’t buy them through an online provider because they won’t sell to them.
My vet told me to put my cat on it after he had stress-related urinary problems. The problems went away, but the food is stupid-expensive, I'm a little peeved at how the system is taking advantage of me, but I don't know what to switch to other than starting to give my cat tryptophan.
I tried several different types of shampoo (and a lack of shampoo), along with a spay on solutions. None of those helped. My vet suggested Iams, but that didn't seem to change anything, so I started using grain free dog food (at first Diamond Naturals) and he quickly improved.
Of course this was nearly 6 years ago, maybe now that he's older he'll be less sensitive.
If you're looking at the 3oz cans instead, they start around the same $0.45-0.55 range then migrate upwards quickly, so you're typically paying the same as Science Diet for anything except the cheapest of wet foods. At both sizes there are plenty of options that move up into the $2+ range.
It's remarkable to think about the profit margin there has to be on these, particularly when you look at the ingredient lists and find all the "meat by-products," "chicken by-products," "turkey by-products," "fish meal" and the like. For the price per pound of this stuff I might as well be buying them fresh fish, boneless/skinless chicken and the occasional New York strip steak or even a nice filet.
I guess it is good that they are being transparent with the data, but it is largely useless at this point as it isn't normalized at all and is in a way self-reported. You obviously can't conclude that chicken is bad and goat is good, but you can't really conclude anything else either. One potential mechanism is the taurine levels but the set of DCM cases contain low, normal, and high levels of taurine at similar rates. I think they are doing a reasonably good job, though. There are a number of controlled (though small sample size) studies ongoing.
FDA has observed a reporting bias for breeds like Golden Retrievers due to breed-specific social media groups and activities that have raised awareness of the issue in these communities and urged owners and vets to submit reports to FDA.
A dog can suddenly die from dcm, most dog owners dont perform an autopsy and there isn't much post mortem services available altogether.
I had the chance to get it diagnosed, the work put into the initial analysis ran up to nearly $5000(the treatment plan was for 10k, not including the potential 6 medicines and weekly blood analysis/vet visits, ecg if he did make it)
Not everyone has this option to afford it, nor does every pet have the time to reach diagnosis based on their condition.
I have a friend who fed his dog the cheapest kibble from grocery store, the dog suddenly passed.
He seeked an autopsy, nothing much could be done post-mortem.
That was the end of it.
The dog could have had dcm, or something else, but not enough work done in this field of dog cardiology.
He definitely was not feeding it grain free legumes diet food.
Zignature is one of the most expensive brands($110 a month worth of food i was paying), I would think owners purchasing this would be enabled to also afford expensive services to diagnose DCM more than others
Golden Retriever owners are a cult. (I'm a member.)
"Although the FDA first received a few sporadic reports of DCM as early as 2014, the vast majority of the reports were submitted after the agency notified the public about the potential DCM/diet issue in July 2018."
Then at the end of the article ...
"Another puzzling aspect of the recent spike in DCM cases is that they have occurred just in the last few years. "
It's not puzzling, it's because that's when the public was notified and more people reported cases!
Their typical died consists of a mixture of green or yellow split peas, pressure cooked for 43 minutes, then blended to a medium-thickness liquid, and cooked brown rice. This then gets mixed with raw mince (typically kangaroo or chicken), and grated / finely chopped raw vegetables consisting of one or more of the following: carrots, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage. They also get raw meat bones (lamb, kangaroo, chicken), as well as raw eggs. Oh yeah, they also low apples, particularly fujis, and berries. So the mixed food I make often contains chopped apples or frozen mixed berries.
I generally never feed them the same ratio, or same things consistently. Some weeks the mix I make them will have no peas, another week no rice, another week no meat. They often skip meals, or have fast days where they get no food only water and exercise, as I believe dogs are opportunistic scavengers well suited to gorging and fasting.
I rarely feed them any off the shelf dog food.
I can see the difference when I feed them off the shelf food, as their poops turn to, shall I say, shit. Whereas the mixture of cooked peas and rice, plus raw veg and meat and bones, makes their poop easy to pass, and well formed.
With regards to dry dog food, canned dog food, and those dog-roll things... Can you imagine eating nothing but dry dog food most your life? Or nothing but canned food most of your life? Or nothing but luncheon meat / devon most your life? Tell me that isn't going to have long term health consequences.
I used to be a proponent of raw diets for dogs, but I can’t pick a natural fallacy over clinical reality. Poop quality being whatever it is.
Have a look at the chart in the article ( https://www.fda.gov/files/dog_food_formulations_in_dcm_repor... ) where it says Review of the canine reports shows that most reports were for dry dog food formulations, but raw food, semi-moist food, and wet foods were also represented.
Edit to add: also, the 'more natural' diets indicated by the article are these niche pet food formulations that try to be more natural, but are just as cooked / processed as any other similar type of pet food, and potentially worse because, as others have pointed out, these niche brands lack the longitudinal research capacity of the big brands. Whereas my formulation is, as many have pointed out when they see what I'm making for my dogs, pretty much exactly what I eat: fresh raw and cooked vegetables, meats, and beans. If a fairly natural diet of raw and cooked foods kills me and my dogs, we're all fucked and might as well give up now.
Would be pointless for me to try to imagine this, I'm not a dog and my physiology is quite different. Humans have one of the weirdest diets out there because of our formative years as a species and need a varied diet. Some species like the Koala eat 1 thing for 99% of their diet and any major type of variety would cause them severe health issues.
With better studies than our current nutrition sciences (and ethics restrictions) can produce we could find out exactly the nutrients that a human needs every single day to be at optimal health and could package it up as a dry pellet food substance. You would be perfectly healthy eating such thing, many people would avoid it though because of the monotony of it. Once again though this can't be extrapolated to dogs, my dog fought me tooth and nail yesterday in order to try and eat some random dog diarrhea we came across on our walk; our eating habits and preferences as a species are just very different.
That's starting to sound like Beyond Meat's recipe!
Surely rice/peas will fuck up their digestion?
However from the article I cannot figure out, how long after the diet was changed before symptoms were noticed?
Maybe its just me but dogs need to eat actual meat and bones and real veggies. I grew up with our dog eating normal food: remains of the meats we ate, bones, lightly cooked meat purchased separately, certain vegetables etc. etc.
One day, we did buy dry dog food for him. He came up, looked at it, turned around and walked away. The next day we gave dry food away. We "spoiled" him with good normal food.
People might say its expensive. But really, looking at the thousands and thousands of dollars pet owners spend on their dogs already normal food prepared smartly is not that expensive.
Honestly if you cant afford to feed your dog/cat properly maybe you should not have a pet at all.
She does have to cook everything which takes a few hours though.
I just talked to my vet and he's told me to give her Hill's I/D for one or two months to dicard other causes.
From what I gather here from other comments it seems big brands have resources other brands don't although the quality of the ingredients may be lower although they are set in the right amount.
I won't ever feed again my dog other food than big brands you can find on your vet. And of course I'll be feeding her food with grain.
One potential upside: It can foster additional research to try to pinpoint the critical information. Keeping the list secret impedes potential new research.
Certainly it's reasonable for people to put out disclaimers and warnings that this isn't really sufficient information to base decisions upon etc. But that's different from saying we shouldn't have the info at all and it's reckless to put it out there.
During our quest, we also found that the best supplement was fish oil (pollock). Prior to the fish oil, he had all kinds of skin problems and inflammation. The fish oil was beneficial and required regardless of dog food brand we tried.
From my read, it's an ongoing research and no results/conclusions have been reached yet. They are posting names of brands as an effort to "being transparent with their investigation".
We did have a necropsy performed however it was inconclusive. She got a ton of exercise though as I took her to doggy daycare a majority of days during the week and our kid at home played with her often. Really sad that we apparently unknowingly did everything wrong (but with the best intentions) to ensure our dog died an early death. Fuck.
I hope you will consider that this report is discussing early stages of research, not conclusive findings. I don't think it's fair to beat yourself up for "doing everything wrong" when there's still so much uncertainty.
Some seem to go to great lengths to watch what they eat for their own bodies, but never their dogs.
I have to say I get the concept. Dogs just didn't evolve to eat the weird hard little grain-based pellets that a lot of people feed to them. Then again, humans didn't evolve to eat a modern Western diet either. Considering the number of fat and unhealthy dogs I see is starting to rival the number of fat and unhealthy people, perhaps that tells us something.
I don't have a dog, so didn't save the link, but for dog caretakers some literature review might do good (also, maybe consensus improved since then).
EDIT: obviously that doesn't necessarily translate to modern dry food.
http://skeptvet.com/Blog/2013/11/raw-diets-for-pets/ (this is a summary page linking to all of his posts on the topic)
We tried a raw diet with our dogs for about six months, and while there were some minor benefits (less stinky poops), we ultimately switched back to kibble.
The Skept Vet also has a post on the FDA report:
"Further data collection and research will be necessary to determine the precise relationship between diet and DCM in these cases. There are likely multiple factors involved, including the ingredients in the diet, the genetics or particular breeds and individuals, and others we may not yet know about. Pet owners feeding these diets don’t need to panic, since far more dogs on these diets do NOT have DCM than do. However, if you are feeding one of these foods, or a diet similar in composition, and especially if you are feeding this to a golden retriever, it would be a good idea to talk to your vet about screening your pet for DCM and considering a change in diet."
We don't feed our cats grain free, so they're probably getting enough taurine, but it might make sense to have them screened for heart disease.
I just switched him back to regular wet dog food. I'm beginning to think organ meat is necessary for canines. And reading through these comments has lead me to start looking into a BARF diet.
Coincidentally I also noticed this article yesterday on allergic reactions in humans to pea protein: https://www.cbc.ca/news/health/food-allergy-pea-protein-1.51...
Interestingly, I'm not sure why my parent post got downvoted so badly.
I pasted this link elsewhere in the comments, but I found this vet's analyses of raw food to be useful:
As it relates to anti-vax attitudes in pet owners, I've seen a lot of it. My dogs have exhibited sensitivity/side effects to some vaccines, but I'm still pro vax. There are animals in my neighborhood that can spread diseases like rabies and parvo, so it's not like I can just forego the vaccinations.
What we've done is work with our vet to spread out the vaccinations over longer periods of time, and separate some of the vaccinations (as opposed to having a multi-dose vaccination -- edit, I don't know if that's the right term, I'm talking about a single vaccination that prevents multiple diseases), and we've managed to mitigate most of the adverse reactions.
One cat food I saw listed tapioca as the 2nd ingredient. WTF - that's a starch, what is it doing in food for a carnivore? But it came in really good looking packaging, though.
So far she has done well on the bulk packs of canned Friskies and Fancy Feast (both Purina products) from Costco.
 Packaging laws say ingredients have to be listed in decreasing proportion.
 Ob. cat tax: https://imgur.com/a/JHBue4Y
Consult your veterinarian for dietary advice for your specific animal. You should trust their level-headed advice over emotionally-driven decisions from owners.
It’s refreshing to see a skeptical comment like yours, and I too find it interesting a lot of people reporting jumping ship from one trendy diet to another.
I've also seen a friends dog get very sick from raw food, but from bacteria. Required a vet visit for antibiotics.
This is one of those "EVERYTHING IS ON FIRE maybe possibly". A bad report. This will turn people off from listening to the FDA. I would have expected more research before releasing.
This is the way "vaccines causes autism" nonsense reach the public and stay there forever. Even if a retraction, correction or refine of the conclusions is published in 6 months it will never have the impact of this release, and many will think "they are paid by the affected brands to say that".