Some pet food sold in Canada and US potentially linked to fatal disease

Jul 4 2019, 5:07 pm

A variety of pet foods available across Canada – as well as the US – are now being investigated by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in relation to concerns that the products may be linked to deadly canine disease.

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In a release, the FDA said the investigation centres around complaints received between January 1, 2014, and April 30 of this year.

The FDA said that during this time period, it has received a total of 524 reports of canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) that are potentially connected to particular dog food brands.

The majority of these reports, it added, were received after the agency issued its first public alert about a possible link between DCM and certain pet foods, back in July 2018.

Canine DCM, a disease of a dog’s heart muscle, can often result in congestive heart failure. The underlying cause of DCM is unknown, but is thought to have a genetic component. The disease typically affects larger breeds.

However, the FDA said that “many cases” of DCM being reported to the FDA have included smaller breeds of dogs as well.

The agency said it will “continue to investigate and will provide updates to the public” as information becomes available.

“We know it can be devastating to suddenly learn that your previously healthy pet has a potentially life-threatening disease like DCM,” said the FDA’s Steven Solomon. “That’s why the FDA is committed to continuing our collaborative scientific investigation into the possible link between DCM and certain pet foods.”

Solomon added that the FDA’s “ongoing work in this area is a top priority for the FDA.”

The brand at the top of the complaints list was Acana dog food, which is made by Champion Pet Foods, based in Edmonton.

The other brands identified include:

  • Zignature
  • Taste of the Wild
  • 4Health
  • Earthborn Holistic
  • Blue Buffalo
  • Nature’s Domain
  • Fromm
  • Merrick
  • California Natural
  • Natural Balance
  • Orijen
  • Nature’s Variety
  • NutriSource
  • Nutro
  • Rachael Ray Nutrish

In response, Champion Petfoods released a statement, saying its “hearts go out to every pet and pet lover” impacted by DCM.

“We take this very seriously and will continue to work internally and with other industry leaders on research into the cause of DCM in order to help pet lovers understand the facts,” the company said.

Champion said its mission “is to provide high-quality foods that are biologically appropriate and enhance the long-term health and well-being of cats and dogs and we carry out state-of-the-art nutritional research to ensure that our products remain that way.”