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Greenwich Animal Hospital
430 W. Putnam Ave
Greenwich, CT 06830 USA
(203) 869-0534
Dear Clients,
Last fall you may have learned of a warning from FDA regarding a suspected link between certain kinds* of dog foods and heart disease in dogs - specifically, dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). FDA has recently updated its public notice and have included the dog food brands named most frequently in these cases reported to FDA.    

*While the term "grain-free" has been used extensively, the types of diets in question have now been expanded to also include certain pet foods containing a high proportion of peas, lentils, other legume seeds (pulses), and/or potatoes in various forms (whole, flour, protein, etc.) as main ingredients (listed within the first 10 ingredients in the ingredient list, before vitamins and minerals). 
Source: FDA

The potential association between diet and DCM in dogs is complex, may involve multiple factors, and is still being studied. While there are particular dog breeds known to be genetically predisposed to DCM, many "atypical" breeds of dogs not known to be genetically predisposed to the disease have been affected. (This phenomenon is actually what prompted veterinary cardiologists to take notice in the early days of this problem). 
Marketing firms have gotten us used to interpreting some ingredient words such as “by-products” as bad and others such as “grain-free” or “all natural” as good. You probably aren’t surprised to hear that reality is a little more complicated than fancy labels and commercials. 

While terms like “meat by-products” may sound alarming to us, often that term refers to organ meats such as heart and kidney which are rich in protein. Eliminating those meats from the diet could potentially be part of the problem. Clearly, there are still many remaining questions to be answered.

Until more research gives us a better understanding of exactly how these diets are impacting our dogs, please call us at (203) 869-0534 to discuss your dog’s nutrition if you've been feeding a boutique or "grain-free" dog food, or if your dog's food matches the description shared above. We'll work with you to help you make the best dietary choices for your best canine buddy. 

If your dog is showing possible signs of DCM, including decreased energy, coughing, breathing difficulties and collapsing episodes, please contact us as soon as possible. 

Additional Information:
- FDA Investigation into Potential Link between Certain Diets and Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy
- Dog food brands most linked to heart-disease reports named
- Questions & Answers: FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine’s Investigation into a Possible Connection Between Diet and Canine Heart Disease

Your friends at Greenwich Animal Hospital
Thank you for trusting Greenwich Animal Hospital with the care of your pet's health.
This electronic communication is being sent to you by VINx on behalf of Greenwich Animal Hospital - 430 W. Putnam Ave, Greenwich, CT 06830 USA.
(VINx is a division of the Veterinary Information Network, 777 West Covell Blvd, Davis, California, 95616, USA,
 (800) 454-0576)
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