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Latest update from the FDA on DCM.

September 2019 

We have been following updates on DCM (Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy) and wanted to share with you the latest information we have from the FDA to keep our community informed. 

DCM is extremely rare.
The FDA report states that over a five-year period, about one dog in 160,000 was reported to have DCM. Death from DCM was even rarer: about one dog in 750,000. By contrast, of the 89,700,000 dogs in the US, roughly 1 in 15 will be diagnosed with cancer each year.

The 560 dogs that were diagnosed with DCM ate a wide variety of different foods:
grain-free, with grain, vegan, vegetarian, and made by many different companies. This variety has made it impossible for the FDA to be able to identify which kinds of brands of food are more likely or less likely to be linked to DCM. Many of the cases were linked to low taurine levels, but not all dogs were tuarine deficient. 

The only consistent factor among the dogs that contracted DCM was that every dog had eaten the same diet for months or years.
This points directly to one of the core nutritional approaches that Mud Bay has recommended for more than twenty years: variety. One of the best ways to protect a dog from any possible nutritional deficiencies or other nutritional issues is to give your dog different formulas of food with varying combinations of different proteins and carbohydrates. 

Based on the evidence available thus far, here are our recommendations for minimizing the likelihood of your dog contracting DCM:

  • VARIETY: Feed dogs food from different manufacturers containing different proteins and carbohydrates (if you include them) and in different forms (kibble, wet, raw).
  • WHOLE FOODS: Include organ-meat treats, raw food, and whole food supplements. 
  • YOU DON’T NEED TO SWITCH: If your dog is thriving on their current diet, resist the temptation to switch brands unless the FDA in the future finds a definitive link between DCM and a particular brand of food. Rather than switching brands, use variety and rotational feeding to diversify the nutritional profile of your dog’s diet. 

As scientists learn more about DCM, we’ll continue keeping those who care for dogs updated with useful, accurate information and recommendations. 

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