A recent study by an internist (Janet Olson, DVM, DACVIM (Cardiology) found that in Golden Retrievers, grain free diets may be leading to heart disease. Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is becoming more prevalent in Golden Retrievers. Dr. Joshua Stern DVM, PhD, DACVIM (Cardiology) at UC Davis, started seeing a pattern and recognized that many cases had in common, grain free diets.

Taurine is an amino acid needed for healthy hearts and muscle. It maintains normal heart contraction. “According to Dr. Stern, the majority of cases they are are seeing at UC Davis are grain free diets that are high in legumes.”

If you insist on feeding your Golden Retriever a grain free diet, ask your veterinarian to check blood taurine levels. If levels are low, get chest radiographs. Or better yet, get off the grain free diet!

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