It can be difficult to discern the best diet for your dog. However, according to the FDA, there are some things you shouldn’t feed Fido. New reports claim that potato, pea, and lentil-based pet food could put your dog at risk for developing dilated cardiomyopathy, which can lead to congestive heart failure. While most pet owners have heard of foods to avoid feeding their dogs like chocolate and grapes, some may not know that peas and lentils are also on the list of dangerous foods you should avoid feeding your dog.
What Is a Dilated Cardiomyopathy?
Dilated cardiomyopathy is a condition that affects canine hearts and leads to congestive heart failure. The disease causes an enlarged heart, decreased pumping function, and fluid build-up in the lungs.
How Is DCM Diagnosed?
When a pet owner suspects their dog may have DCM, they should contact their veterinarian. A thorough physical exam and a series of diagnostic tests (including chest X-rays, blood work, and an electrocardiogram) will help your veterinarian make a diagnosis. According to HealthLine , an echocardiogram can also confirm if your dog has DCM.
Are There Treatments Available?
Unfortunately, there is no treatment available to prevent or reverse dilated cardiomyopathy. At present, veterinarians can only treat symptoms as they arise. Medications might help regulate heart rhythm in some cases, but drugs do not actually slow disease progression. If your dog is diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, discuss various treatment options with your veterinarian.
What Are the Causes of DCM?
Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) occurs when a dog’s heart becomes enlarged and is no longer able to pump blood effectively. There are numerous factors that can contribute to DCM, but genetics, obesity, and poor diet are likely causes. This condition can lead to congestive heart failure, which has a mortality rate of more than 50 percent.
Is My Dog at Risk for Developing DCM?
Cardiomyopathy is a generic term for any disease that affects your dog’s heart muscle. While there are many forms of cardiomyopathy, one of them - dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) - has received a lot of attention in recent years because it’s often associated with dog food containing peas, lentils, and potatoes. Potato starches and pea proteins are in a large variety of dog foods and should be limited in their consumption. Speak with your vet for more info.