(CBSDFW.COM) — Last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration begun investigating reports of canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs eating "certain pet foods," now the FDA is warning pet owners of 16 dog food brands that are closely linked to canine heart disease.
A recent 90 percent spike of DCM reports to the FDA in 2018 initiated this investigation. There were three reports in 2017 and 320 reported in 2018.
There have been 197 reports so far in 2019.
The commonality of the 16 brands is that many are dry foods labeled "grain-free," and contain a high proportion of peas, lentils, other legume seeds and/or potatoes as main ingredients.
Here is the list of the brands and the number of reported DCM cases related:
- Acana: 67
- Zignature: 64
- Taste of the Wild: 53
- 4Health: 32
- Earthborn Holistic: 32
- Blue Buffalo: 31
- Nature's Domain: 29
- Fromm: 24
- Merrick: 16
- California Natural: 15
- Natural Balance: 15
- Orijen: 12
- Nature's Variety: 11
- NutriSource: 10
- Nutro: 10
- Rachael Ray Nutrish: 10
The FDA stated that many of the case reports included dog breeds not previously known to have a genetic predisposition to the disease. But the majority of case reports were from golden retrievers, Labrador retrievers and Great Danes.
In a statement released by the FDA, they acknowledged the severity of the illness and assured pet owners that they're using a "range of science-based investigative tools" to learn more about DCM and its link to certain ingredients.
"We understand the concern that pet owners have about these reports: the illnesses can be severe, even fatal, and many cases report eating 'grain-free' labeled pet food," the statement said.
Pet owners are advised to contact their veterinarian as soon as possible if their dog is showing possible signs of DCM or other heart conditions, including decreased energy, cough, difficulty breathing and episodes of collapse.
This is an ongoing investigation and updates will be provided by the FDA as information develops.
for more features.