Taurine deficiency is a known cause of dilated cardiomyopathy in several species including dogs and cats. Recent FDA warnings alerted dog owners to a link between certain nontraditional diets and dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs. Researchers will establish reference ranges for taurine concentrations in golden retrievers, a breed having a surge in reported cardiomyopathy cases. In addition, the team will compare taurine blood levels between golden retrievers eating traditional diets with those consuming nontraditional diets. The team’s goal is to identify relative risk of certain dog food ingredients in the development of both taurine deficiency and dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs. Information will provide much needed guidelines for veterinarians and the pet food industry on diet formulation. Updated information may help reduce and/or eliminate this risk for heart disease in golden retrievers and other breeds.
University of California, Davis
Joshua A. Stern, DVM, PhD