BENTONVILLE, ARK. — Pet care research and consulting firm, BSM Partners and the University of Missouri analyzed a retrospective survey that evaluated the annual incidence of canine cardiomyopathy (DCM) diagnosed by veterinary cardiologists across the Unites States. Veterinarians and scientists from the two organizations published their analysis in a peer-reviewed article which appeared in Frontiers in Animal Science. The analysis looked at the diagnosed incidences of DCM over time from 2000 to 2019 as well as the growth of grain-free pet food store sales between 2011 and 2019.

"Based on the data we received from veterinary cardiologists across the United States, we did not observe a significant increase in DCM incidence rate over time, which included the recent period when grain-free pet food sales grew exponentially," said Stephanie Clark, PhD, BSM Partners, an article co-author and a board-certified companion animal nutritionist. "The existing scientific literature indicates that nutritional factors can lead to the development of DCM, but we did not find a correlation in the DCM incidence rate to grain-free pet food sales."  

Researchers found the data reviewed did not indicate a significant increase nationally in DCM incidences from 2000 to 2019 while grain-free pet food store sales grew 500% between 2011 and 2019 according to Nielson Company. The data included more than 68,000 canine cardiology cases from veterinary cardiology referral hospitals. The average incidence rate of DCM, among these referral cases seen in participating hospitals during the survey period, was 3.9% (range 2.53-5.65%).

Stacey Leach DVM, an article co-author, and chief of cardiology and associate teaching professor of cardiology at the University of Missouri's Veterinary Health Center, noted, "This work is unique because we only examined cases of canine DCM diagnosed by veterinary cardiologists and is a significant addition to our understanding of DCM."

The peer-reviewed article from BSM Partners and the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Missouri is available at Frontiers in Animal Science.

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