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Health & Science

Food & Drug Administration is Investigating Possible Link Between Pet Food and Canine Heart Disease

photo of dog
The FDA investigation centers on pet foods containing peas, legumes or potatoes as one of the main ingredients.

With the help of a Northeast Ohio company, the Food and Drug Administration is investigating a link between canine heart disease and dog foods containing legumes.

The FDA warning says the reports of canine dilated cardiomyopathy are "highly unusual" since it is occurring in breeds not usually predisposed to the disease.

The disease can cause an enlarged heart and congestive heart failure. It's usually seen in large dogs such as Great Danes, Saint Bernards and Doberman Pinschers. Although the disease is less common in smaller breeds, recent cases have included Golden and Labrador Retrievers, a bulldog and Miniature Schnauzers.

Early reports indicate the impacted animals consistently ate foods containing peas, lentils, other legume seeds or potatoes as main ingredients for months or years.

The FDA is investigating a potential link between those pet foods and the disease.

Orrville-based J.M. Smucker Co. said its in-house veterinarian is partnering with the FDA on the research into potential causes of canine dilated cardiomyopathy, but it’s not clear at this time whether diet plays a role.

Click here to report canine dilated cardiomyopathy.