The study is open access, meaning that anyone can read it online for free! You can use the hyperlink above to open it yourself. While the paper is accessible in terms of being free to read, the language of an academic paper can be intimidating for people outside of the field or profession. Here are the important highlights for pet owners and other concerned members of the public:
Methods & Sample:
Methods & Sample:
- This study collected and analyzed records from dogs seen at the Tufts veterinary hospital by the cardiology or nutrition service and newly diagnosed with DCM between 2014 and 2018.
- Dogs were grouped by traditional and non-traditional diet, as well as whether or not they changed diet following diagnosis
- Traditional diets (TD) were grain-inclusive extruded (kibble) diets that did not contain peas/lentils/potatoes in the to 10 ingredients and are produced by manufacturers that meet the WSAVA recommendations for selecting a pet food
- Non-traditional diets (NTD) were grain-free, contained peas/lentils/potatoes in the top 10 ingredients, or are not produced by manufacturers that meet the WSAVA recommendations for selecting a pet food
- 71 dogs were included
- 56 were eating NTD at time of diagnosis and 15 were eating TD
- 18 breeds were represented total
- Among dogs eating non-traditional diets, those that changed diet had a significantly longer average survival time (337 days) than those that did not (215 days).
- Functional cardiac improvement was seen in dogs eating a NTD at time of diagnosis that switched to a TD.
- The number of dogs diagnosed with DCM at this specific hospital has increased over time.
The authors close the paper: "Our results are consistent with the results of 2 previous studies suggesting that in dogs with DCM eating nontraditional diets, diet change can be associated with significant improvement in some echocardiographic measurements. In addition, dogs eating nontraditional diets that had their diets changed had a significantly longer survival time compared with those that did not have their diets changed. The underlying cause and mechanisms of diet‐associated DCM are still not understood, but our findings emphasize the importance of prospective studies to better understand this issue as soon as possible."