DCM

Article from UPI News Unspecified Section 2019 06 28

FDA names 16 dog food brands most linked to cases of heart failure. June 28
(UPI) –. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it has expanded a year-long investigation into links between certain dog foods and congestive heart failure, and has named more than a dozen brands most often associated with reported cases. The agency, which began investigating potential connections a year ago, on Thursday pointed to 16 brands it said are most frequently identified with more than 500 cases of dilated cardiomyopathy
(DCM) in dogs. While the underlying cause of DCM is unknown, it is believed to be a genetic component. Large and giant dog breeds are most typically affected. Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Great Danes and Pit Bulls are the most common dogs that acquire the disease, the FDA said, and dogs were fed dry food in nearly all of the reported cases. Canine DCM is a disease that effects dogs’ heart muscles, which can often result in congestive failure. We know it can be devastating to suddenly learn that your previously healthy pet has a potentially life-threatening disease like DCM, Steven M. Solomon, director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, said in a statement. That’s why the FDA is committed to continuing our collaborative scientific investigation into the possible link. The brands identified by the FDA are: Acana (67 cases), 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), Nutri Source(10), Nutro (10) and Rachael Ray Nutrish (10).

More veterinary news

Some of you may recall that there was a concern that grain-free diets may have a link to increased reports of DCM (dilated cardiomyopathy) in dogs.

I have done a cut & paste of some statements from FDA and following some of these statements, you will find a link to the full article.

 

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To date, the FDA has not established why certain diets may be associated with the development of DCM in some dogs. In the meantime, and before making diet changes, pet owners should work directly with their veterinarians, who may consult with a board-certified veterinary nutritionist, to determine the most appropriate diet for their pet’s specific needs. Between January 1, 2014, when FDA first received a few sporadic reports, and April 30, 2019, the FDA received 524 reports of DCM (515 canine reports, 9 feline reports). The vast majority of the reports were submitted to the FDA after its first public alert in July 2018. Some of these reports involved more than one affected animal from the same household, so the total number of affected animals is greater than 524.

The American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that there are 77 million pet dogs in the United States. Most dogs in the U.S. have been eating pet food without apparently developing DCM. It’s not known how commonly dogs develop DCM, but the increase in reports to FDA signal a potential increase in cases of DCM in dogs not genetically predisposed.  Golden Retrievers

Past publications and research suggest that Golden Retrievers may be genetically predisposed to taurine deficiency, which is well-documented as potentially leading to DCM.

Veterinary cardiologist Dr. Joshua Stern from the University of California at Davis has been studying the rise in cases of DCM in Golden Retrievers, including a potential dietary link. Many cases of DCM in Golden Retrievers are taurine-deficient. Pet owners who suspect their Golden Retrievers may be affected may wish to consult their veterinarian to discuss checking taurine levels or conducting an echocardiogram.

 

Pet Owners

If a dog is showing possible signs of DCM or other heart conditions, including decreased energy, cough, difficulty breathing and episodes of collapse, you should contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. If the symptoms are severe and your veterinarian is not available, you may need to seek emergency veterinary care. Your veterinarian may ask you for a thorough dietary history, including all the foods (including treats) the dog has eaten.

 

Here is a link to the latest updates on what FDA CVM (Center for

Veterinary Medicine) has found.

 

https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/news-events/fda-investigation-potential-link-between-certain-diets-and-canine-dilated-cardiomyopathy

Better nutrition

B-Naturals Newsletter – June 2019
Allergies? Digestion Problems? Liver Issues? Digestive Enzymes AND Probiotics Can Help Your Dog!
By Lew Olson, PhD Natural Health

I often get requests from people wanting digestive aids for their dogs. Based on the questions I receive, it seems folks either do not understand the differences between enzymes and probiotics or they get the two of them confused. This newsletter explains the differences and benefits of both so you can make the right choices for your dogs.
Enzymes and Probiotics are two different supplements that both support digestion, but each of them work differently to support the digestive system.

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Enzymes
Enzymes help break down proteins, fats and carbohydrates into smaller units so they can be more easily absorbed in the small intestine. There are certain health conditions and diseases that hinder the body’s ability to do this on its own, so adding enzymes to the diet helps assimilate the nutrients and aids in better digestion.
In humans, carbohydrate digestion starts in the mouth because humans have amylase in their saliva. However, dogs are carnivores and they do not produce amylase in their saliva, so the digestion of carbohydrates begins in their stomachs, as well as some protein digestion. Hydrochloric Acid is released in the stomach, which in turn, stimulates the production of pepsin. This starts protein digestion. Hydrochloric Acid (HCI) has a pH of one, which helps kill microorganisms.
Fats are only broken down (into lipids) in the small intestine. Bile releases and emulsifies the fats. The enzymes released from the pancreas contain pancreatin, which breaks down the fats in lipids. The enzymes released from the pancreas also include amylase, which reduces the carbohydrates to sugars or glucose. Protease helps break down proteins into amino acids. Lastly, the pancreas secretes bicarbonate to raise the pH 1 from the HCI in the stomach to a more neutral pH number.
When looking for a digestion aid, it is important to find an enzyme product that covers all stages of digestion. For dogs, this includes Ox Bile extract, which helps stimulate HCI production, and pepsin, which aids protein digestion in the stomach. For the small intestine, pancreatin and pancrealipase are important for fat digestion. Amylase is important for carbohydrate digestion. Trypsin is important for protein digestion.
Papain (made from papayas) and Bromelain (made from pineapples) are plants. These two enzymes are helpful for digestion as they help control gas and indigestion. Bromelain not only assists with proper digestion, it also helps inflammation if not given with food. Both Papain and Bromelain enzymes enhance the enzymes already produced in the body by the pancreas.
Some health issues can be helped by adding additional enzymes to the diet.
If your dog suffers from allergies, adding in enzymes to their diet can help break down the proteins that may be causing the allergic reactions.
Liver issues can be helped as well! Adding in enzymes to the diet can help with the digestion of fats. This helps relieve some of the stress that is on the liver.
Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD) is another common health issue with dogs and adding extra enzymes to the diet can help digest fats, proteins and starches for better digestion and absorption of nutrients.
Dogs suffering from autoimmune diseases and cancer can also benefit from extra enzymes because their bodies and organs are compromised. Adding additional enzymes to your dog’s diet can assist with the breakdown of proteins, fats and carbohydrates so the nutrients can be more easily absorbed.
If you are looking to change your dog’s diet, from a commercial food to a raw or cooked diet, adding extra enzymes to the meals helps ease the transition from one diet to another.
Lastly, if your dog suffers from inflammation issues, many enzymes help lower inflammation response.

Depending on the health condition of your dog, I recommend two supplements. For dogs needing an extra enzyme boost, there is Food Science Super Enzymes, which is a blend of digestive enzymes from both plant and animal based enzymes. For dogs with more serious digestive health issues, there is Berte’s Digestion Blend. This product contains pancreatic enzymes and amino acids, medicinal herbs and beneficial bacteria (probiotics). It also contains 500 mg of the amino acid l-Glutamine which helps heal the intestinal lining due to inflammation, assists in metabolizing proteins and sugars, and supports immune system function. This product was developed to help dogs with irritable bowel syndrome, colitis and ulcers.
Probiotics
The term Probiotics refers to the beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract. These bacteria help to keep the ‘bad’ or unfriendly bacteria in check. Common beneficial bacteria include lactobacilli and bifidobacteria, which are often called acidophilus and bifidus. These bacteria are thought to produce antimicrobial metabolites, which help support the immune system and aid in mucosal conditioning. When certain factors reduce the friendly bacteria, an overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria can result which can cause digestive upsets and yeast infections. Some things that can cause a reduction in the friendly bacteria include antibiotics, stress, illness, and diarrhea.
Using probiotics helps help keep the friendly bacteria in the digestive tract balanced and it can replenish the friendly bacteria lost through antibiotic use, illness and diarrhea. It helps maintain a healthier digestive tract and helps keep stools firmer. Probiotics are often a recommended supplement if your dog has Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD) or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) as these conditions can be associated with bacteria overgrowths in the digestive tract. It is very beneficial to add probiotics to your dogs’ diet after any antibiotic treatment or during stressful times such as changing diets, boarding, traveling, training, or after surgery. Probiotics contains a mix of beneficial bacteria and is an excellent supplement to support the digestive system.
Immediacare GI is another recommended product that helps firm up loose stools, supports rapid gastrointestinal balance associated with microflora imbalances, garbage gut, food sensitivities, stress, age, and traveling. It is also great for whelping moms, puppies and dogs that will take a paste form better during illness than a powder. This is a great supplement to consider for your first aid kit if you are \traveling with your pet this summer.
It is very safe to use both Probiotics and Enzymes together if needed. While both support digestive function, they each address different digestive issues. I hope that this information clarifies any confusion you might have had about the purpose for and benefit of these two supplements and how they support the digestive system.