Peas identified as suspect ingredient after dog food linked to canine heart disease
A new study from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration highlights research linking certain dog foods to canine dilated cardiomyopathy, or DCM, a serious heart disease.
According to a report released Thursday, researchers compared traditional dog foods to those the FDA associated with DCM, looking at more than 800 compounds. Currently, peas are at the top of the list of ingredients related to compounds that may be related to DCM.
Diets reported to be associated with DCM are often labeled “grain free” and typically contain certain ingredients, including peas and potatoes, which are used to replace ingredients such as rice or corn.
Canine dilated cardiomyopathy is a fatal disease of the heart muscle of a dog that results in an enlarged heart and weak contractions. The disease has been largely linked to a genetic predisposition in certain breeds, including Doberman Pinschers, Great Danes, Boxers, and Cockers. But recent research has indicated that non-hereditary forms of DCM can occur in dogs and are often the result of factors such as underlying medical conditions and diet.
“I see this as a piece of the puzzle,” Dr. Lisa Freeman, professor and veterinary nutritionist at Tufts University in Massachusetts, told NBC News. “This research helps us narrow down the targets to look at so that we can focus on the most likely causes and get a response faster and prevent other dogs from being affected.”
After detailed analysis through a process called foodomics, the researchers found that the ingredient most strongly related to the suspect compounds was peas. However, the FDA is not yet considering banning peas in dog food. According to the agency, because “pulses and legumes have been used in animal feed for many years, [there is] no evidence to indicate that they are inherently dangerous ”.
Rather, the problem may be one of quantity, as the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine “indicates that legume ingredients are used in many ‘grain-free’ diets in a greater proportion than in most cereal-containing formulas. “. – Guardian