NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – There is a wide-ranging health alert for dog owners.
A new report has found that certain food brands may be linked to heart disease in pets.
The FDA is investigating more than 500 reports of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs linked to grain-free dog food.
The disease affects a dog’s heart muscle and can eventually lead to heart failure.
The agency is now releasing the names of 16 brands most frequently identified in the hundreds of cases reported so far.
For the full list of pet foods connected to DCM click here
Between Jan. of 2014 – when the FDA first received a few sporadic reports – and April of 2019, the FDA received 524 reports of DCM. The majority of the reports were submitted to the FDA after its first public alert in July 2018.
Some of these reports involved more than one affected animal from the same household, so the total number of affected animals is actually greater than 524.
As many as 60 reports of illness have been tied to certain pet food brands.
“I’m worried that dogs eating grain-free, that’s just the tip of the iceberg… my takeaway is don’t look at that list and just say ‘my dog is not eating that brand.’ Remember these are only the brands that have been reported,” Dr. Julie Churchill from the University of Minnesota said.
In the meantime, the FDA continues to encourage pet owners and veterinary professionals to report both symptomatic and asymptomatic cases of dogs and cats with DCM that are suspected to be linked to diet by using the electronic Safety Reporting Portal or calling their state’s FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinators.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)