The study titled “Investigation into Subclinical Diet- associated Dilated Cardiomyopathy in Four Dog Breeds” is progressing on schedule and nearing completion. Enrollment for the first part of the study is complete and a peer-reviewed manuscript describing the results has been published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine (DOI: 10.1111/jvim.16075). The results of this part of the study showed higher levels for cardiac troponin I in dogs eating grain-free dog foods or foods that have peas, lentils or potatoes in the top 10 ingredients. Cardiac troponin I is a blood marker that indicates injury to the heart muscle. Even mild elevations can be important but future studies will be needed to determine with certainty that this is the case in these dogs. We did not find echocardiographic (heart ultrasound) differences between dogs eating grain-free and grain-inclusive foods. If the low-level elevation of cardiac troponin I truly indicates low-level heart muscle injury then it may be too early in these healthy dogs to manifest as echocardiographic differences.
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