Literature Discussed: "Responses in randomised groups of healthy, adult Labrador retrievers
fed grain-free diets with high legume inclusion for 30 days display
commonalities with dogs with suspected dilated cardiomyopathy." Bakke, A.M., Wood, J., Salt, C. et al. BMC Vet Res 18, 157 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12917-022-03264-x
Key Takeaway: Dogs eating a grain-free, legume-rich diet developed changes to their blood parameters after 30 days which are similar to changes seen in dogs diagnosed with DCM, which provides early evidence of potential pathology.
Summary: In light of ongoing concerns of diet-associated/non-hereditary DCM noted in the US among dogs eating grain-free and legume-rich diets, researchers conducted a short-term (30 days) feeding trial on a small group of Labrador retrievers. These dogs were selected from a colony at the Waltham Petcare Science Institute. Prior to inclusion, all dogs had baseline blood parameters measured as well as cardiac clearance via echocardiogram with a boarded cardiologist. 5 dogs were fed a grain-inclusive, no-pulse legume diet, and 6 dogs were fed a grain-free, pulse legume-rich (60% inclusion) diet. These were experimental diets formulated for the purposes of the study. Blood work was checked on days 0, 3, 14, and 28. Additionally, urine taurine was measured. The dogs were scheduled to receive end-of-trial echocardiograms, but due to the cardiologist falling ill, only six dogs were scanned.