Following The Canine Review’s earlier report that the FDA’s chief FOIA officer Sarah Kotler said the agency would provide the information TCR requested nearly one year ago in a Freedom of Information by the end of 2022 – the current number of dog DCM cases reported to the FDA since April 2019 – thousands of pet owners and veterinary professionals have reacted on TCR’s social media platforms.
When it comes to dogs and diet, there is an inordinate amount of false and misleading content available online, and it’s no surprise that pet owners have flooded TCR’s Facebook page to express their frustration and confusion following our FDA reporting.
We hear you and we’re fighting hard for the information that will help veterinarians answer you with more precision. TCR’s mission, in part, is the pursuit of information nobody wants to provide to the public and few if anyone dares to request. While we continue to fight the FDA, now with help from attorney David Schulz, TCR is referring all questions to our veterinary colleague Dr. Caitlin at AllTradesDVM.com. Of course, your best resource for your own dog is always your dog’s primary vet. We’re encouraging all owners to make an appt. today to discuss your dog’s diet if you haven’t in the past year.
Our veterinary colleague, Dr. Caitlin, offered this post responding to many of the comments and questions from pet owners:
“Looking to see if a specific food has been reported or not is asking the wrong question— like Lori pointed out, a small market share can mean that we never hear about a case on a certain brand, even if a formula is capable of increasing risk of DCM.
Many of the associated / implicated diets have a very small market share, making up only a fraction of a percentage of the dog food sold in the USA. Only a fraction of those dogs eating it will develop disease. Only a fraction of those will receive a diagnosis. This disease is diagnosed through echocardiogram, performed by a specialist, not a part of routine wellness exams. This disease does not always cause symptoms until advanced and severe. For some dogs, the first symptom will be sudden death secondary to an abnormal rhythm in the heart. Of those dogs that die suddenly, only some will receive a necropsy to determine cause of death. Further, only a fraction of those that are diagnosed will be shared publicly in a space online, and only a fraction of those will go “viral” and be widely seen.Instead, we should ask “what do cases have in common?”
And what they have in common is heavy use of pulse legumes (peas, lentils, chickpeas, etc) and/or novel protein ingredients (rabbit, bison, alligator, kangaroo, etc), as well as poor research and little expertise at the level of formula development.
TCR is gathering a group of leading veterinary professionals in their fields who have published peer reviewed research on DCM who may be willing to meet with members of the press. More to come.