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Tahnee GR 07-05-2017 02:21 PM

Study on Low Taurine, Grain Free Foods and DCM in Goldens
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If you own a Golden and are feeding a grain free formula, please read this. Please feel free to share this as well.

The first stages of a study are underway with several related and unrelated goldens regarding low taurine levels and DCM. The study will be looking at any correlation between grain free foods, low taurine and DCM.

At first glance, the issue seems related to grain free foods containing plant proteins, especially peas and other legumes. This lowers the amount of meat protein, which is necessary for dogs to convert the amino acids needed for their bodies to manufacture taurine, an essential nutrient for life. An owner who has two Goldens with low taurine and DCM has stated it is possible the plant proteins attach to the taurine, preventing the dog's body from utilizing it. Some Goldens may be especially impacted by this.

I have attached a copy of the letter from Dr. Joshua Stern.

puddles everywhere 07-05-2017 03:15 PM

This has definitely opened my eyes and forced me to look at the indg. list more closely. While we do have peas there are no legumes and as it turns out it's not grain free :-) It does not contain wheat, corn or soy but does contain Barley grass and Taurine.

Tahnee GR 07-05-2017 03:51 PM

Here's a list of legumes. Peas are legumes

List of Legumes | Ms. Cranky - The Baby Edition

puddles everywhere 07-05-2017 04:34 PM

LOL very true... just that I've been looking at different labels and so many of them contain 5 or 6 different legumes not just the peas :-)
I was happy to see added iron but still out there reading labels.

Melfice 07-05-2017 05:10 PM

Thanks for the information, and making the thread here! People need to know all the info they can get about the food they feed their animals.

I'm very happy I moved my dogs to a raw diet, but Rusty was on grain free kibble for almost 5 years. I hope the damage will be repaired now that he is on a raw diet

hotel4dogs 07-05-2017 05:37 PM

Thanks for posting this!

rooroch 07-05-2017 05:44 PM

I have been feeding Acana Pacifica (Canadian formula) for 4.5 years and this has got me worried. I read the ingredients and analysis but there is no mention of taurine. I do not know how much of the protein comes from fish or peas, etc. My vet here refuses to do the test as he does not know how to get the results for this. I have tried another clinic with the same reply. I could get a taurine supplement from the uk, they don't sell it here for dogs just small doses for cats. Maybe I should do this. What do you think?

Tahnee GR 07-05-2017 05:58 PM

Here is the link from the letter above, to get taurine tested

Molecular Biosciences: Amino Acid Laboratory

Ugh, forgot you were in France. You might try contacting Dr. Stern to see if he might know how to do the testing in France.

Tahnee GR 07-05-2017 06:06 PM

This is the ingredient list for Acana Wild Atlantic

Whole Mackerel*, Whole Herring*, Whole Redfish*, Silver Hake*, Mackerel Meal, Herring Meal, Whole Green Peas, Red Lentils, Pinto Beans, Pollock Meal, Cod Meal, Catfish Oil, Chickpeas, Green Lentils, Whole Yellow Peas, Herring Oil, Sun-Cured Alfalfa, Yellowtail Flounder*, Natural Fish Flavor, Sunflower Oil, Dried Kelp, Freeze-Dried Cod Liver, Whole Pumpkin*, Whole Butternut Squash*, Kale*, Spinach*, Mustard Greens*, Collard Greens*, Turnip Greens*, Carrots*, *Red Delicious Apples, *Bartlett Pears, Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Mixed Tocopherols (Preservative), Chicory Root, Turmeric, Sarsaparilla Root, Althea Root, Rosehips, Juniper Berries, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Animalis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product. * Delivered Fresh or Raw.

Bear in mind that whole meats contain a lot of water. There are 6 legumes in the first 15 ingredients. I was told that a rough rule of thumb would be to take those whole meats and move them down 4 slots, to account for the water.

Even if taurine is listed as an ingredient, it may not be available for the dog to use. One owner of two affected dogs said it may be that the plant (legume) proteins bind to the taurine, preventing the dog from using it.

cubbysan 07-05-2017 07:41 PM

I feed Victor, I think it is okay, it does not have wheat, corn, or soy, but it has other grains, they also add taurine - but with everything I have read, I cannot tell. Nobody is giving enough details to what to really look for. If I called customer service, I would not even know what to ask.

Another question, is this just affecting golden retrievers or all breeds? Pretty scary, because some of the brands I have seen listed are always on the best of the best lists.

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