Pet food products widely available in Canada and United States are currently under investigation after complaints on the brand showed it might be linked to a disease that can be deadly for dogs.

CTV News has reported that the Food and Drug Administration in the U.S. has received more than 500 complaints since 2014, linking cases of canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) to certain brands of dog food.

DCM is known as a disease that makes it difficult for the heart of dogs to pump blood through the rest of their body, which can eventually lead to heart failure and their sudden death. Though prognoses can vary among breeds, the disease can still be fatal.

Researchers from Cornell University reported that predisposition, infection, and diet are believed to play a role in causing DCM.

Most DCM complaints came from Golden Retriever owners, but FDA believes this is likely because DCM information could have spread throughout golden retriever-focused social media groups. Other large dogs such as Great Danes and Doberman pinschers are known to likely develop the disease based on their genetic factors.

Many of the pet food products under investigation are grain-free and contain peas, lentils, pulses, and potatoes.

Acana, which is manufactured by Edmonton-based Champion Pet Foods, is the dog food brand that had the most complaints, while Orijen, another Champion Pet Foods brand, followed.

Champion said they take the matter seriously and is currently working with other industry leaders to investigate further on DCM.

“Our own research, and the millions of pets who have thrived by eating our food over 25 years, have shown that Champion pet foods are safe,” their statement reads.

FDA tells pet owners that there is no reason for them to stop using any specific dog foods at this poin until conclusive results have been found. They recommend owners to consult veterinarians best on their dietary concerns.

Original article appeared at CTV News. 

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