PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is alerting pet owners about a possible link between grain free-dog food and heart problems.
According to the FDA, there have been reports of canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs eating certain pet foods containing peas, lentils, other legume seeds, or potatoes as main ingredients.
Canine DCM is a disease of a dog’s heart muscle which results in an enlarged heart. The disease makes it harder for the heart to pump, and heart valves may leak, leading to a buildup of fluids in the chest and abdomen. DCM often results in congestive heart failure.
Breeds that are typically affected by DCM include large and giant breed dogs, such as Great Danes, Boxers, Newfoundlands, Irish Wolfhounds, Saint Bernards and Doberman Pinschers.
But the FDA says the reports are concerning because DCM is happening in breeds that are not typically genetically prone to the disease. The reports have included Golden and Labrador Retrievers, Whippets, a Shih Tzu, a Bulldog and Miniature Schnauzers, as well as mixed breeds.
Some of the dogs affected have shown signs of decreased energy, cough, difficulty breathing and episodes of collapse.
The FDA encourages pet owners and veterinary professionals to report cases of DCM in dogs suspected of having a link to diet by using the electronic Safety Reporting Portal or calling their state’s FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinators.