Grain free food/DCM link? Peas and lentils...FDA investigation (thread renamed) - Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums
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post #1 of 60 (permalink) Old 03-27-2018, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
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Grain free food/DCM link? Peas and lentils...FDA investigation (thread renamed)

Does anyone give Taurine for the dogs. It is in pill or powder form. Lately I have been reading about Taurine and my breeder gives this to her dogs. She suggested Puritian Pride. Thanks
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post #2 of 60 (permalink) Old 03-27-2018, 07:03 PM
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Does anyone give Taurine for the dogs. It is in pill or powder form. Lately I have been reading about Taurine and my breeder gives this to her dogs. She suggested Puritian Pride. Thanks
Unlike cats who genetically can not make taurine, most dogs can make their own--there are a few breeds and an occasional dog who have a genetic failure, can't manufacture their own taurine and must be given a supplement.

There have been at least a couple of peer reviewed studies on this and Dobes are not one of the breeds who don't make their own taurine. (The only breed I remember offhand is Boxers and it is sometimes recommended that they get a taurine supplement.

I've now talked to five different cardiologists about supplementing taurine and only one thought it might be beneficial but he was one I talked to many years ago before the earliest study was complete and I heard later that he no longer recommended a taurine supplement.

The concensus of opinion has been that while it would do no harm--it's not necessary. I'd talk to your vet and if your dogs get regular cardio exams with the cardiologist and see what they say.

I do not give taurine any supplemental form based on what the cardiologists have told me.

PS I know it is available in pill form--I don't know if it is available as a powder.

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post #3 of 60 (permalink) Old 03-27-2018, 07:09 PM
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Wow... very interesting question. While i absorb pretty much everything on the internet with skepticism, I recently read that a taurine deficiency possibly being one of the causes for DCM in Dobermans.

I'm going right now to see if I can find it.

Well... I found an article on the subject, but not the one I read: https://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions...ine_deficiency

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post #4 of 60 (permalink) Old 03-27-2018, 08:13 PM
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I had my girl on raw for several months and did extensive research before starting. Taurine only came up as an issue to be addressed in raw fed cats, not dogs. I would imagine a good quality kibble would not need to be supplemented with it. I now feed a very well balanced and varied home cooked diet and do not supplement taurine.
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post #5 of 60 (permalink) Old 03-28-2018, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by 4x4bike ped View Post
Wow... very interesting question. While i absorb pretty much everything on the internet with skepticism, I recently read that a taurine deficiency possibly being one of the causes for DCM in Dobermans.

I'm going right now to see if I can find it.

Well... I found an article on the subject, but not the one I read: https://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions...ine_deficiency

John
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Darn bug! for a Luddite, you are sure quick on the trigger..

John
The Luddite says that I'm only quick on the trigger if it's something I've looked into. And I cheat--I read all the vet publications that the clinic where I've worked for an unbelievable 16 years gets--and I think we subscribe to all of them--the vet owner believes you can't have too many sources of information. We also have access to a whole bunch of vet information sources on line which we pay for.

The first studies on taurine definiciencies were on cats--the advent of commercial cat food had lots of cats dying young of a cardiac problem specifically caused by lack of taurine--one of the early very popular wet cat food manufacturers paid for a very comprehensive study which is why all commercial cat food has taurine included as a supplement. Years ago a vet told me about it--said that some country vet noticed that his town clients seemed to be loosing cats at younger and younger ages while the barn cats (who depended to some extent on catching and eating mice/rats etc--the raw meat is a reliable source of taurine) survived much longer. Don't know how accurate the story is but it's the kind of thing that could just be true.

I'm not sure if it's on line but one of O'Grady's studies on Doberman cardio at Guelf was on taurine deficiencies as specifically related to Doberman cardio.
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post #6 of 60 (permalink) Old 03-28-2018, 10:28 AM
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I just posted a link to a FB live stream of last night's DCM presentation at the Doberman Club of Dallas last night by cardiologist Dr. Sonya Gordon. Well worth watching. She does briefly address the topic of diet.


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post #7 of 60 (permalink) Old 03-28-2018, 10:45 AM
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Just went and read the petmd article--sounds like from that as if Doberman DCM might be related to cystiurimia (I spelled that wrong--the stone/crystal forming urinary tract disorder--but that particular crystal formation is uncommon in Dobes (there have been two cases reported on DT--one recently and the one from a few years ago by Megs and Thakoon).

I hadn't read anything about it before--all of the studies I read were related to primary taurine deficiencies which resulted from dogs who had a genetic failure so they were not synthesizing taurine themselves.

Interesting though...
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post #8 of 60 (permalink) Old 03-28-2018, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
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Just went and read the petmd article--sounds like from that as if Doberman DCM might be related to cystiurimia (I spelled that wrong--the stone/crystal forming urinary tract disorder--but that particular crystal formation is uncommon in Dobes (there have been two cases reported on DT--one recently and the one from a few years ago by Megs and Thakoon).

I hadn't read anything about it before--all of the studies I read were related to primary taurine deficiencies which resulted from dogs who had a genetic failure so they were not synthesizing taurine themselves.

Interesting though...
From what I gathered watching the FB presentation from Dr. Gordon, it does seem as if the cardiology community is concerned about grain free foods for all breeds. I haven't gotten to the end of the presentation, so I don't know if she'll go back and answer questions about that, but the brief amount of time she spent on it early on did seem to be across the board for grain free foods with lentils as a protein (maybe all legumes?).


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post #9 of 60 (permalink) Old 03-28-2018, 11:20 AM
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From what I gathered watching the FB presentation from Dr. Gordon, it does seem as if the cardiology community is concerned about grain free foods for all breeds. I haven't gotten to the end of the presentation, so I don't know if she'll go back and answer questions about that, but the brief amount of time she spent on it early on did seem to be across the board for grain free foods with lentils as a protein (maybe all legumes?).
MC - do you have a link to that presentation? I am curious about the grain free food thing. Especially the lentils...right now Radar is on a lamb/lentils GF all life stages food.

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post #10 of 60 (permalink) Old 03-28-2018, 11:24 AM
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Posted it here: https://www.dobermantalk.com/doberman...ation-dcm.html

It's about 90 minutes long.


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post #11 of 60 (permalink) Old 03-28-2018, 12:04 PM
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I saw where there was (or currently is?) a study that links insufficient taurine levels to a form of DCM in Golden Retrievers.


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post #12 of 60 (permalink) Old 03-28-2018, 12:07 PM
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Dr. Gordon does discuss this a bit in her presentation.


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post #13 of 60 (permalink) Old 03-28-2018, 07:44 PM
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But it seems like raw fed dobes are slightly less likely to get DCM and more likely to live into an older age. Wouldn't their diet be grain free? Wouldn't they lack taurine? I don't know this for a fact but doesn't it seem raw fed dobes get DCM less and live longer doesn't it?
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post #14 of 60 (permalink) Old 03-28-2018, 09:50 PM
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But it seems like raw fed dobes are slightly less likely to get DCM and more likely to live into an older age. Wouldn't their diet be grain free? Wouldn't they lack taurine? I don't know this for a fact but doesn't it seem raw fed dobes get DCM less and live longer doesn't it?
Where in the world are you getting that statistic? Because without any sort of study, I call that a big old no.


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post #15 of 60 (permalink) Old 03-29-2018, 07:28 AM
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I use food sources of taurine, salmon, turkey and whole eggs. Eggs are raw, salmon and turkey are freeze dried and reconstituted w/water. A single 'good' egg can have as much as 350mg of taurine per egg. The egg, with the turkey, salmon, and Missing Link gives me apx 1000mg of dietary taurine daily. Is it going to help? I don't know, but is it going to hurt? Absolutely not
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post #16 of 60 (permalink) Old 03-29-2018, 10:02 AM
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Where in the world are you getting that statistic? Because without any sort of study, I call that a big old no.
It's not a statistic, which is why I said "seems like" and "don't you think" and also why I posted it as a question. It's just an observation that I've seen many raw fed dogs live into older age.
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It's not a statistic, which is why I said "seems like" and "don't you think" and also why I posted it as a question. It's just an observation that I've seen many raw fed dogs live into older age.
I've seen a ton of kibble fed dogs live into old age. So, no, I don't think there's absolutely anything to what you said. And raw fed dogs don't lack taurine, either.


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post #18 of 60 (permalink) Old 03-29-2018, 12:11 PM
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Also, this link between dietary taurine and DCM isn't totally new - it was being studied by UC Davis way back in 2013, although it looks like it was inconclusive. They were looking at lamb diets as potentially being a problem then, although it was a really small study. http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/vmb/la...dfs/Torres.pdf

Dogs synthesize taurine from their diet naturally, and can actually produce it, and it is present in many foods, so it isn't typically added to dog food, whereas cats cannot, so it must be supplemented. It is considered a non-essential nutrient for dogs. HOWEVER, it is *possible* that it is a useful supplement for dogs that are diagnosed with DCM. That's to be determined - not enough evidence.

It seems as if the taurine deficiency DCM in DOGS may be only some breeds, but again, it's early to say. There's a good summary of what is out there so far here: https://caninelifetimehealth.org/all...sease-in-dogs/


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post #19 of 60 (permalink) Old 03-29-2018, 02:54 PM
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But it seems like raw fed dobes are slightly less likely to get DCM and more likely to live into an older age. Wouldn't their diet be grain free? Wouldn't they lack taurine? I don't know this for a fact but doesn't it seem raw fed dobes get DCM less and live longer doesn't it?
Gretchen_Red,

I don't think there is any significant evidence that raw fed Dobes actually do live longer and have a reduced likelihood of having DCM (or any other cardio issues as far as that goes.

I've seen occasional claims that this is the case but none were related to an actual study and were relying on anecdotal evidence to prove that raw feeding reduced likelihood of DCM and increased the probability that dogs (of any breed) lived longer.

I suppose that a dog fed exclusively raw (meat is assumed) would be on a grain free diet but I guess I just don't understand your point here. "Wouldn't they lack taurine?" Because they are fed raw? Or because it's grain free? Or?

Since dogs normally synthesize taurine I don't think it would make any difference if they were fed raw, or grain free or kibble.

There are some breeds that have been shown to have individual members of the breed that do NOT synthesize taurine. Those dogs should be on a taurine supplement (and they can be lab tested to see if they lack taurine) I know the American Cocker Spaniel folk have found that it shows up in their breed. And Boxers are another breed that has significant number of individual dogs who are taurine deficient.

I really don't think there is any convincing evidence that raw fed Dobes live longer or have a lower incidence of DCM than dogs fed some other way.

Just looking at my own Dobes from the first who was whelped in 1959 to my old boy who was whelped in 2005--all of them have been kibble dogs who get a variety of additional things but certainly wouldn't be considered "raw fed" dogs. And all but one dog have lived into the 9+ range (the exception was a dog with a kidney infection issue that we could not find an antibiotic that cured or controlled--he was euthanized at 7) and a couple of them have been LC dogs.

Maybe this is just luck on my part but I don't think I'd be offering it as proof that kibble fed dogs liver longer and have less DCM than raw fed dogs--I also know of raw fed dogs that lived long lives and weren't DCM dogs. I just don't think there is any conclusive evidence one way or the other.
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post #20 of 60 (permalink) Old 03-29-2018, 03:29 PM
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Also, this link between dietary taurine and DCM isn't totally new - it was being studied by UC Davis way back in 2013, although it looks like it was inconclusive. They were looking at lamb diets as potentially being a problem then, although it was a really small study. http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/vmb/la...dfs/Torres.pdf
I recently attended a seminar hosted by Mt Hood DPC presented by the Doberman Diversity Project folks--it was interesting and a number of things came up that were actually incidental to the main focus of the seminar. One of them was some commentary about both lamb and lentils in feeding dogs. It sounded like there was yet another study about lamb and lentils--the one that was mentioned is one that is still underway and it sounded like they hadn't arrived at any definite conclusions but the combination of lamb as a protein source combined with lentils as a carb source was suspect in providing inadequet nourishment.

And here's a really anecdotal report--I've been commenting for years when food discussions come up that back in the 1950's (as I recall) when a couple of dog food companies started making feeds using lamb--because as a novel protein source it was recommended to food allergy dogs. So for awhile it was the "thing" to feed--I tried it--on my dogs who didn't have allergies (don't ask--trying to get the "best" food possible would be the only explanation I have for switching from what was working just fine to something new) what I found was that within a few weeks several things happened. It got a lot harder to keep weight on my dogs--it took more food and their coats got dull, dry looking and in general they just didn't look as good as they had. I quit feeding lamb--and twice in later years with new formulations I tried it again--my dogs clearly didn't do well on lamb--so I quit trying to feed it. There's a study of two dobemans the first two times I tried lamb based kibble and 3 dogs the last time I tried it. So it doesn't mean much but lately (within the last 10 years) I have heard rumors of new studies looking at lamb--so there must be other people who didn't have good luck with it.

Just saying...

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Dogs synthesize taurine from their diet naturally, and can actually produce it, and it is present in many foods, so it isn't typically added to dog food, whereas cats cannot, so it must be supplemented. It is considered a non-essential nutrient for dogs. HOWEVER, it is *possible* that it is a useful supplement for dogs that are diagnosed with DCM. That's to be determined - not enough evidence.
YES! Exactly--and everytime the question of supplementing with taurie (or carnetine for that matter or both) I say the same thing. And in this I have been backed up by several board certified cardiologists--dogs make their own and while it does no harm to supplement either it's not necessary. For Dobes--there are other breeds who have individuals who do NOT produce sufficient taurine who would benefit by supplementing taurine.

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It seems as if the taurine deficiency DCM in DOGS may be only some breeds, but again, it's early to say. There's a good summary of what is out there so far here: https://caninelifetimehealth.org/all...sease-in-dogs/
Go and read the summary--it's worth the few minutes it takes.
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post #21 of 60 (permalink) Old 03-29-2018, 05:54 PM
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We used a vet diet based on Kangaroo for my allergic dog. His coat wasn't in the best shape (no hair loss but not as shiny as it should be), but then, he had allergies.
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post #22 of 60 (permalink) Old 03-29-2018, 07:19 PM
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We used a vet diet based on Kangaroo for my allergic dog. His coat wasn't in the best shape (no hair loss but not as shiny as it should be), but then, he had allergies.
Was that Iams/Eukanuba's Kangaroo and Oat? For a limited ingredient diet that was a pretty good one--so many of the alleged limited ingredient diets aren't actually limited (or novel) ingredients. I was told by the Iams rep actually--that because kangaroo was a very low fat meat that anyone feeding it just about had to also be giving at least something like fish oil otherwise the coat wouldn't look top notch.

Eukanuba sold their entire prescription line of food to Royal Canin--they are the ones who now have a Kangaroo and Oat.
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post #23 of 60 (permalink) Old 03-30-2018, 11:42 AM
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Thanks all. Sorry if I came off like I knew when I was talking about I was just trying to understand the Taurine thing and the raw thing better and get other's opinions as well.
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post #24 of 60 (permalink) Old 03-31-2018, 08:33 AM
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Dr. Goodwin, Baron's cardiologist, is also of the opinion that adding Taurine to the diet cannot hurt but that studies are not conclusive that it will help so I have not added it to Baron's regiment. He really is getting enough pills and shots! Also, on our last visit, Dr. Goodwin did speak about the discussion on grain-free diets and he is going to look into it more and if he finds anymore information, will let me know. He said they are concerned about the added lentils in the diets.
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post #25 of 60 (permalink) Old 08-24-2018, 03:02 PM
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The Luddite says that I'm only quick on the trigger if it's something I've looked into. And I cheat--I read all the vet publications that the clinic where I've worked for an unbelievable 16 years gets--and I think we subscribe to all of them--the vet owner believes you can't have too many sources of information. We also have access to a whole bunch of vet information sources on line which we pay for.

The first studies on taurine definiciencies were on cats--the advent of commercial cat food had lots of cats dying young of a cardiac problem specifically caused by lack of taurine--one of the early very popular wet cat food manufacturers paid for a very comprehensive study which is why all commercial cat food has taurine included as a supplement. Years ago a vet told me about it--said that some country vet noticed that his town clients seemed to be loosing cats at younger and younger ages while the barn cats (who depended to some extent on catching and eating mice/rats etc--the raw meat is a reliable source of taurine) survived much longer. Don't know how accurate the story is but it's the kind of thing that could just be true.

I'm not sure if it's on line but one of O'Grady's studies on Doberman cardio at Guelf was on taurine deficiencies as specifically related to Doberman cardio.
In 2001 my 6 yr old Doberman (Bailey) was at UC Davis diagnosed with DCM. The vet at the time (from Switzerland) said he knew of a study (back then!) that dogs that normally don't present with DCM were showing up....they were eating Lamb and Rice which is what my dog was on. So just by chance he put Bailey on Taurine. We did monthly follow-ups for a few months and over that time Baileys heart measurements improved and so did the contraction(i don't recall the technical term) of his heart, but the Dr said it basically improved and was within normal measurements. The Dr was surprised so he actually had other dr's do the measurements as well to ensure he wasn't being biased.

Bailey lived another 4 very healthy years! So, yes, absolutely 100% the taurine helped our dog.
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