The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA, is working on two separate investigations about which dog and horse owners, respectively, need to be aware. One involves the possibility of a link between canine dilated cardiomyopathy, DCM, a type of heart disease in dogs, and a diet high in legumes and/or potatoes. The second investigation came about after six horses died as a result of consuming contaminated feed from Gilman Co-op Creamery and involves a common poultry and cattle feed additive.
As most of you know legumes refer to numerous seeds and pods we consume as food. The first things that I think when I hear the word "legume" are beans. The legumes mentioned in the FDA article list "peas" and "lentils" specifically, and the announcement also notes that this investigation includes "other legume seeds" as well as diets high in potatoes.
Dog foods that contain legumes or potatoes as the main ingredient are typically advertised as "grain free" foods or "all-natural." As many pet owners are aware, for the past few years "grain-free" has been advertised as one of the many "healthy" diets trending.
Smaller amounts of these foods are found in many pet food products. It's all about checking the ingredients on the label if you're unsure of what foods your dog is consuming. You can read a full explanation of the FDA investigation and learn more about DCM in dogs on the FDA's website. As always, when it comes to medical questions and concerns about your pets, ask a vet.
The investigation involving horses is narrowly confined to food produced by Gilman Co-op Creamery from one location in Gilman, Minnesota. However, the FDA issued a notice to make horse owners aware of the deadly effects of monensin, an antibiotic additive found in poultry and cattle feed. Although it may have benefits for poultry, cattle and other ruminants, unfortunately it is commonly known to poison horses.
If you're concerned about monensin poisoning in horses, read the FDA's webpage about how this affects horses, symptoms of poisoning and what to do if you think an animal has been poisoned.
Here are the full texts of the FDA articles:
FDA Investigating Six Horse Deaths Due to Contaminated Feed from Gilman Co-Op Creamery
Questions and Answers: FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine's Investigation into a Possible Connection between Diet and Canine Heart Disease
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