Petfood Industry - January 2020 - 17

www.PetfoodIndustry.com | 17

T

he suggested potential link between dog
foods with legumes and cases of canine
dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is quite
unique in nutritional science. Historically,
nutritional science has been led by hypothesis development followed by well-controlled studies to test
the hypothesis, rather than collections of consumer
data and clinical observations as the U.S. Food and
Drug Administration's (FDA) DCM investigation
has focused on. The root cause of disagreement that
has transpired stems from dogmatic positions, which
have led to insurmountable ingredient demonization
without peer review and without complete study of all
known sciences involved. This approach has troubled
me deeply.
DCM has been considered a genetic or heritable
disease in dogs for decades, rather than a disease that
can be compartmentalized into two types: genetic
versus nutritional. This peer-reviewed position of
genetic predisposition appeared to be downplayed in
the current DCM situation due to the urgency of social
media and the rapid opening of a complaint portal. In
fact, FDA reported the cases were "unusual" because
some occurred in breeds not typically genetically
prone to the disease.

It would seem DCM is more common than has been
communicated. Literature revealed at least 26 breeds as
"high-risk" (over 1.1% incidence). Review of broad DCM
studies identified an additional 30-35 breeds reported.
The American Kennel Club has registered 193 breeds as of
2019 where the genetic pools are often shallow. It should
be noted that purebred dogs are at much higher risk than
are mixed-breeds. Among the limited FDA data, more
than 75% of dogs were in the high-risk category.

What known methods were taken
to separate genetic from nutritional
cases?
Research has clearly shown that genetic predisposition increases the likelihood that a particular
disease might occur. Common genetic disorders are
quite well known among humans (e.g., cystic fibrosis,
Down syndrome, sickle cell anemia) and not debated.

Are the breeds reported in recent
DCM cases unusual?
Without the review of breed pairings or genetic
assessment, how could this be a fair conclusion? What
should we know from the scientific literature?
Sisson (1995) stated there were estimates of DCM
in dog populations reported in the literature; Fioretti
(1988) reported 1.1% DCM in 7,148 dogs of multiple
breeds; and Purdue University reported 1,681 cases
in 342,152 dogs of multiple breeds (0.5%). Tidholm
(1997) stated that DCM is a disease not only affecting
certain dog breeds as has been suggested, but it is quite
common in many medium-sized and large-breed dogs.
All of this was reported well before legumes were
used in pet foods.
Industry January 2020

YAKOBCHUK VIACHESLAV I shutterstock.com

Communicating about DCM
to pet parents:
www.PetfoodIndustry.com/articles/8711


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Petfood Industry - January 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Petfood Industry - January 2020

Petfood Industry - January 2020
Contents
DCM and grain-free pet food: What will 2020 bring?
Speaking of…
News and Calendar
Smalls takes cat-first approach to customized pet food
Quality, sustainability to dominate 2020 pet food trends
Dissecting DCM: How genetics can impact canine nutrition
China’s 2019 urban pets consumer market hits 202.4B yuan
Combination feeding a popular option for pet parents
Petfood Forum Asia highlights pet food sustainability
CBD in pet foods: Has anything changed with legal status?
Onions and garlic offer flavor in the right amounts
Cat owners want first-class citizenship for their pets
New Products
Marketplace
Advertiser’s Index
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - CT1
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - CT2
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - Petfood Industry - January 2020
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - Cover2
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - 1
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - Contents
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - 3
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - DCM and grain-free pet food: What will 2020 bring?
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - 5
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - Speaking of…
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - CT3
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - CT4
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - News and Calendar
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - Smalls takes cat-first approach to customized pet food
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - 9
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - 10
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - 11
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - Quality, sustainability to dominate 2020 pet food trends
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - 13
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - 14
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - 15
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - Dissecting DCM: How genetics can impact canine nutrition
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - 17
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - 18
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - 19
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - China’s 2019 urban pets consumer market hits 202.4B yuan
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - 21
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - Combination feeding a popular option for pet parents
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - 23
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - 24
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - 25
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - 26
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - 27
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - Petfood Forum Asia highlights pet food sustainability
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - 29
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - CBD in pet foods: Has anything changed with legal status?
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - 31
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - 32
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - 33
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - Onions and garlic offer flavor in the right amounts
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - 35
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - 36
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - 37
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - Cat owners want first-class citizenship for their pets
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - 39
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - 40
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - 41
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - New Products
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - 43
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - 44
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - 45
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - 46
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - 47
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - 48
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - 49
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - Marketplace
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - 51
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - Advertiser’s Index
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - Cover3
Petfood Industry - January 2020 - Cover4
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