FDA Quietly Issues 2020 Update on diet-associated DCM at Kansas State Forum 

  October 25 2020

09/29/2020, Kansas State held a virtual forum where stakeholders and researchers presented on the topic of Dilated Cardiomyopathy and diet. Speakers included industry members, veterinary researchers, and members of the FDA. On 10/16/2020, Kansas State distributed the materials online

    Perhaps most noteworthy in the materials is an update from the FDA, though their website has remained quiet since the July 2019 release. In the opening remarks to the forum, FDA's Dr. Steven Solomon says "We have tried to be careful in our messaging, and we recognize going forward not to speak on this topic publicly unless we are clarifying information or have something substantive to share. As I have said on numerous occasions, we are not looking to put out any additional information until we have more scientific certainty. ... Although CVM’s investigation must be driven by science and our public health mission, we are acutely aware that promoting transparency and public awareness may not be kind to everyone’s bottom line. I empathize with those of you who have experienced adverse consequences in your businesses, and with those of you in the veterinary community who have had your own challenges in sharing your scientific findings and trying to determine what type of diets to recommend to your clients and their pets."

What's important for pet owners to know is that these findings continue to support that there is a link between certain diets and the development of dilated cardiomyopathy.

The report is now publicly available, and the FDA is reportedly in the works of determining how to most effectively communicate updates on their findings to the public. In the meantime, and in the interest of transparency, here are the highlights of what was provided at the forum:

    Recovery seen with a change in diet is consistent with an underlying dietary etiology to these cases. Secondary DCM is only known to resolve when the underlying cause is addressed, and the additional therapeutic measures (pimobendan and ACE inhibitors) have not been documented to reverse cardiac disease, only stabilize patients, slow disease progression, and prolong patient survival. These findings further support that some aspect of legume-rich, grain-free diets contributes to the development of dilated cardiomyopathy and underscore the need for continued research. 

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Diet-Associated Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) in Dogs

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