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Hi all!

Luna eats Merrick Grain Free.

I'm part of forum for moms or people trying to conceive. One of the ladies lost her dog last night and she made a post advising to not have a grain free diet.

This is her post:

"Our very sweet, 5 year old French Bulldog Baxter passed away in his sleep last night. 4 months ago he was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure, caused by the grain free diet we were feeding him. He was immediately placed on many medications and a repeat echocardiogram was performed last month which showed that his heart was still very large and he would not live a full life. We didn’t expect him to go so quickly though.

Please, please do not feed your dogs grain free food. It is dangerous and life threatening for them. The FDA is currently is currently doing studies into this....Baxter is part of their data."

A lot of people commented that their vets made them switch from non grain free diets after noticing "rounded hearts in many dogs who eat grain free food."

Do any of you have hear about this?
 

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Patrica, this is not exactly correct advice. DCM is complicated. Dr. Dodds is a good one to read on this---she is one of the most level headed women/doctors out in the field & a very, very caring person. I admire her greatly.
There have been some recent studies that you will want to look at---the jury is very much divided on this issue. I have not taken my dogs off of grain free kibble (they only get 1/8 c. day) but even if they got more I would not be fearful. People are getting hysterical about something which has not been concluded. Read, read, read. It may involve a taurine defecit--a tiny bit of sardine almost killed Kitzel ---BUT only because he had an allergic reaction to sardines. Does that mean that all dogs should be taken off sardines? Absolutely not. It may be the way legumes are processed in certain dogs, but again that does not mean legumes are bad. We have a lot of homework ahead of us.
 

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I am so sorry about your friend’s dog. So sad.
Dr. Becker has had a couple of articles about this.
https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2018/09/19/food-related-heart-disease-in-dogs.aspx
https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2018/07/09/link-between-dog-food-taurine-deficiency-and-dcm.aspx

From what I have read, it seems that it is not just “grain free” that is the problem, it is grain free kibble resulting in a taurine deficiency, possibly from the processing and/or from the starch alternatives, such as potatoes, peas or lentils, that they are using instead of grains.
Personally, I don’t think that dogs need grains, so I avoid them, but it seems that certain processed grains can cause issues.
I think they are still trying to figure things out.
 

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Look on the back of your dog food---most dog foods have been supplemented w/taurine today. I give a "varied" diet so that I try to cover all my bases. I give 1/8 c. (Lisi actually doesn't get that much) in the AM w/scrambled egg w/a little (really little) bit of Gryuere cheese on the top). They get a few treats, very few--cherrioes, petite carrotts, small bite of feta or even lettuce or celery. At dinner I am transitioning to what used to be called "Kindly" from Honest Kitched (seed & veggie based) where I add my own protein. At the moment I am keeping them on the Stella & Chewies patties (rabbit or lamb) as I will be traveling abroad at the end of the month---for a month---and need something I can rehydrate that is not heavy. After we get back to the US I will transition them to fresh meat again w/this veggie base. I will also try to use more feta since they love that & once a week it will be a good change for them. Lisi likes fruit so I give her a couple of blueberries now & then, but Kitzi only eats apple. They are both good eaters usually---they have dentals on Fri. & I think L may have a bad tooth which makes her not eat so much of her kibble---we will see. She is a pig & when she started to walk away from her kibble we knew something was wrong. Good luck & let us know where you end up or what your research uncovers.
 

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Thank you Sandi. Luna eats chicken every night with her kibble because she loves it. In the morning she has a little of Merrick Lil' Plates (it is more like wet food). Before that she didn't eat anything at breakfast. So when I found out she liked the wet food in the morning, I got very excited.

She would eat anything, but I'm always afraid of giving her "human" food. I'm going to read about treats she can have during the day.
 

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There is a facebook page where you can read about the issue, and a website. I don't know that I would characterize the attention as being hysteria. The studies and gathering of case information and statistics are being done by universities. I was going to feed a grain-free product to one of my dogs which I had fed to another who passed away a year and a half ago when her heart failed during surgery. She was elderly and had been treated for cancer and the surgery was for another cancer, so I don't know if the food had anything to do with it. But my new dog is older and was frail, so I decided not to complicate matters by feeding a grain-free diet when there was no other reason to do so. She doesn't seem to have any allergies. She is doing quite well on a "grain friendly" kibble for the moment. Since she is older, I don't want to take chances.

Here is a link to the Facebook group, if you care to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TaurineDCM/?ref=bookmarks

(Hope it works … ) I have another link in another thread - I'll try to add it.


ETA Here is the AVMA Journal article. I think it's cited on the AKC website. https://avmajournals.avma.org/doi/full/10.2460/javma.253.11.1390

There's also a discussion on another thread here on SM
 

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I joined that group when the story first broke but I found it was a bit too radical for even me. They do not let people w/opposing views present the other side---so I have stopped going there.
 

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I joined that group when the story first broke but I found it was a bit too radical for even me. They do not let people w/opposing views present the other side---so I have stopped going there.
I agree with Sandi. It was our way or the highway in that group and they all sing the praises of the big 4 foods -- Purina, Royal Canin, Hills and one other. I just can't wrap my mind around a company like Purina who put out Beneful which has caused illness and death in so many dogs (my own nephew's dog almost died from it) being so healthy. I do know that they hve very deep pockets and like to keep their market share. This group points fingers at the marketing of the designer brands but NO ONE advertises more than Purina!! I'm just skeptical and think they want to squash the competition. It's not the grain it's the legumes and mainly amount of them that seems to be the issue. I add sardines to the foods with my fosters lately.
 

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I just read the main journal and web articles and some of the initial postings on that site. I long ago stopped reading posts, questions and answers from individual pet owners. I think it was intended to get the basic information out, that there are concerns and studies going on, and be careful and talk to your own vet. (Most vets don't get that much training in nutrition anyway, I believe, but they are better able than I to interpret scientific studies. But they don't want to put their own advice on the line, either.) As I mentioned in that other thread from a few months ago, over the years, various of my dogs ate Eukanuba for years, also Royal Canin over the counter and prescription, and did pretty well.

I failed terribly at home cooking with a sick elderly undersized schnauzer, so if I can feed a prepared diet, I will. Wanna buy a stock pot, food processor, scale, etc. etc that I used for two batches of food? :D
 

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I do not criticize RC or Eukanuba at all because sometimes you have to go a particular route. I fed my shunt dog w/RC & it kept him alive for longer than anyone thought possible. What I find difficult to accept is the bashing of a company just because it disagrees w/one that I favor. (I have that same attitude about political parties! but I won't discuss that here. :innocent:) Often there is more than one "right" way to do something---not just my "right" way.
 
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