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— There is a potential link between a canine heart condition and certain ingredients in dog food.
Diets high in potatoes and legumes may be linked to dilated cardiomyopathy, or DCM, a disease that results in an enlarged heart, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
“That’s a huge concern. It’s just tragic because our dogs are our family,” said Diana Sanders of Oakwood, owner of two labradoodles.
Grain-free dog food is popular now, but potatoes, peas, lentils, and other legume seeds are sometimes being used instead, said veterinarian Mark Bisoski at Twin Maples Veterinary Hospital.
“DCM is an unusual heart condition. It’s really only seen in a few dog breeds normally. So, the fact that it is showing up in new dog breeds is raising some red flags,” said Bisoski.
The disease usually affects large dog breeds, but there are new reports of it in medium breeds whose pet foods were high in potatoes or legumes.
“Double check your dog food. Look at the ingredients and see what the primary carbohydrate source is and check in with your food company and see if they have a veterinary nutritionist on staff,” said Bisoski.
While the investigation into the potential food-link to DCM continues, local dog owners say it’s better to be safe than sorry.
“I’m definitely going to look into the ingredients,” said Sanders.
Sarah Teske of Oakwood has three Bernese Mountain dogs.
“A balanced diet for them is so critical because I want them around as long as possible,” said Teske.
The FDA is urging dog owners and veterinarians to report any instances of DCM at this online portal.