FDA Revisits Causes of DCM in Dogs

One of the biggest pet food controversies in recent years has been the FDA’s report on dilated cardiomyopathy (or DCM) in dogs. This report hypothesized that there might be a possible correlation between a dog’s diet, specifically grain-free foods, and the development of DCM. As a result, many pet parents rushed to change their pet’s diet.

In September of 2020, many scientific experts including Dr. Steven Solomon, Director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, came together in a virtual scientific forum. During this forum, scientists involved in researching DCM were able to collaborate and discuss various theories regarding the condition.

While this isn’t considered an investigative update, this forum did provide some much needed clarification and reassurance for many pet parents. Here are some of Solomon’s key remarks:

  • “Historically, DCM has been primarily linked to genetic predisposition in certain breeds, but in the context of these atypical cases, emerging science indicates that non-hereditary DCM is a complex medical condition that may be affected by the interplay of multiple factors such as genetics, underlying medical conditions and diet.”
  • “FDA has not taken regulatory action against or declared any specific pet food products unsafe or definitively linked to DCM. As the scientific community looks further into the role that diet may play in these cases, we hope to explore additional avenues about ingredient levels, nutrient bioavailability, ingredient sourcing, and diet processing to determine if there are any common factors. We have asked pet food manufacturers to share diet formulation information, which could substantially benefit our understanding of the role of diet.”
  • “The best thing you as a pet owner can do is to talk to your veterinarian about your dog’s dietary needs based on their health and medical history.”

Solomon concludes by saying that the FDA sees this as an ongoing investigation and they “look forward to continued engagement with scientists as opportunities arise. FDA will provide additional updates if or when substantive scientific information comes to light.” Dr. Solomon’s full remarks are available here.

PetFlow recommends asking your pet’s veterinarian for more info on DCM and if it can affect your dog.

If you have any questions about PetFlow products or recommendations, please reach out to our PetFlow team. You can reach us by phone at 1-888-316-7297 or send us an email over to [email protected]. Our team of knowledgeable pet parents are always here and happy to help!