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.
The study titled “Investigation into Subclinical Diet-associated Dilated Cardiomyopathy in Four Dog Breeds” is progressing on schedule. Enrollment for the first part of the study is complete and we are in the midst of statistical analysis of the data in preparation for submission of a publication within the next few months. We are also following dogs enrolled at UF that have bloodwork or echocardiographic abnormalities for a year after a diet change is enacted, to determine if any of the abnormalities will improve with nutritional intervention.
Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is the second most common cause of heart disease in dogs, and medical management of the secondary signs is the only therapeutic option. The outcome for affected dogs depends on the stage of disease and the breed. Once diagnosed, dogs typically exhibit rapid and uniform progression to congestive heart failure (CHF), with most living less than 6 months.
Research update for scientific investigation of Diet-Associated dilated cardiomyopathy.