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Possible Link Between Canine “Grain-Free” Diets and Heart Disease

A certain type of heart disease, dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), recently has been reported in unusually high numbers in dogs that are being fed diets that contain lentils, peas, other legume seeds and potatoes as main ingredients. Affected dogs are not breed types that usually are affected by DCM.

Clinical signs observed by owners and veterinarians have included signs of heart disease including lower energy, cough, difficulty breathing and in severe cases, collapse, but not every affected dog has shown these health changes.

If you are concerned about the food you have been providing for your dog, please contact your veterinarian so your dog can be evaluated in more detail. Ongoing studies to identify a link between certain diets and heart disease are being conducted at veterinary schools including U.C. Davis, Tufts University, North Carolina State University and the University of Illinois.

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Meri Stratton Phelps