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Echocardiographic phenotype of canine dilated cardiomyopathy differs based on diet type

Adin, Darcy, DeFrancesco, Teresa C., Keene, Bruce, Tou, Sandra, Meurs, Kathryn, Atkins, Clarke, Aona, Brent, Kurtz, Kari, Barron, Lara, Saker, Korinn
Journal of veterinary cardiology 2019 v.21 pp. 1-9
cardiomyopathy, demographic statistics, diet history, dogs, echocardiography, heart, ingestion, mutation, phenotype, retrospective studies, taurine, toxins
Canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) can result from numerous etiologies including genetic mutations, infections, toxins, and nutritional imbalances. This study sought to characterize differences in echocardiographic findings between dogs with DCM fed grain-free (GF) diets and grain-based (GB) diets.Forty-eight dogs with DCM and known diet history.This was a retrospective analysis of dogs with DCM from January 1, 2015 to May 1, 2018 with a known diet history. Dogs were grouped by diet (GF and GB), and the GF group was further divided into dogs eating the most common grain-free diet (GF-1) and other grain-free diets (GF-o). Demographics, diet history, echocardiographic parameters, taurine concentrations, and vertebral heart scale were compared between GB, all GF, GF-1, and GF-o groups at diagnosis and recheck.Dogs eating GF-1 weighed less than GB and GF-o dogs, but age and sex were not different between groups. Left ventricular size in diastole and systole was greater, and sphericity index was less for GF-1 compared with GB dogs. Diastolic left ventricular size was greater for all GF compared with that of GB dogs. Fractional shortening, left atrial size, and vertebral heart scale were not different between groups. Taurine deficiency was not identified in GF dogs, and presence of congestive heart failure was not different between groups. Seven dogs that were reevaluated after diet change (6 received taurine supplementation) had clinical and echocardiographic improvement.Dietary-associated DCM occurs with some GF diets and can improve with nutritional management, including diet change. The role of taurine supplementation, even without deficiency, is uncertain.