Dilated Cardiomyopathy in Dogs in Pasadena
You may have heard the concerns surrounding grain-free dog food and Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM). DCM is a major health concern for our dog patients here in Pasadena, and we want to explain this disease so that you are fully aware of its symptoms and how it may affect your pets. Our animal hospital offers different dietary options that can help lower your pet’s risk for DCM, and you can meet with your veterinarian to discuss the best options for your pet’s condition.
DCM is a disease that enlarges the lower chambers of the heart while also thinning the heart’s muscle wall. This causes the heart to lose its ability to pump blood to the rest of the body. The FDA has seen a correlation between grain-free dog food and DCM, and there have been over 500 DCM cases documented so far.
Breeds Predisposed to Dilated Cardiomyopathy
The dog breeds most predisposed to DCM include:
- Great Dane
- Cocker Spaniel
- Irish Wolfhound
Symptoms of DCM
The most common symptoms of this disease include:
- Exercise intolerance
- Weight loss
- Dyspnea (difficulty breathing/shortness of breath)
- Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)
Ways to Diagnose Dilated Cardiomyopathy
DCM can be detected and diagnosed with the aid of:
- Cardiac ultrasound
How Dilated Cardiomyopathy in Dogs Can be Treated
The goal of treating Dilated Cardiomyopathy in dogs is to manage cardiac failure, and the prognosis is generally guarded. Survival is typically months rather than years, but this may vary with breed.
Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer explaining how grain-free dog food and DCM are connected. In the mean time, we recommend feeding your dog food that is NOT grain-free.