Balancing The Recent FDA Warnings And Food Sensitivities

Posted by Spectrum Veterinary Staff on Jul 9, 2019

The FDA is currently investigating a possible connection between grain-free diets and canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Here’s a recap of their update:

  • Between January 2014 and April 2018, the FDA received 560 case reports of diagnosed DCM – an increase that included breeds that were not genetically predisposed to the illness
  • A common dietary thread among the diagnosed canines, appears to be when diets included legumes, pulses (legume seeds), and/or potatoes as the main ingredients
  • While such plant-based proteins have previously been used in dog food, the proportion in certain diets (including those labeled as “grain-free”) has greatly increased
  • Since the investigation is still underway, the FDA is not advising pet parents make dietary changes based on the information they’ve gathered so far

(Take a look at the FDA’s full report, as well as their detailed Q&A.)

At Spectrum Veterinary, we realize any warnings from the FDA regarding foods can be a sensitive subject with pet parents. It is especially concerning to our allergy patients, who are already searching for an ingredient specific diet.

We wanted to reassure our clients that we are closely watching the FDA warnings. However, we would like to see more research around DCM before pet parents make dietary changes – as the FDA investigation is still underway. Should the FDA release new findings or recommendations regarding grain-free diets and DCM, we will respond appropriately.

Spectrum has found that there are 3 key links to maintaining the long-term nutritional health of your pet.

  1. Selecting foods with HIGH-QUALITY ingredients
  2. Utilizing a LIMITED ingredient diet
  3. ELIMINATING ingredients specific to your pet's sensitivities

Veterinarian recommended, research-based diets are the best option for long-term nutritional support and health. Our food test, utilizing synthetic reagents, has been specially developed to help identify food sensitivities and reduce the need for lengthy food trials. We also are continuously updating our food database to ensure we’re recommending the optimal diets for every pet tested. Our team will continue to monitor the FDA’s research and keep you updated on any further action we may take.

Topics: Pet Care, Veterinarians

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