Taurine Deficiency Induced Dilated Cardiomyopathy in Golden Retrievers and Grain-Free Diets


We have recently become aware of a possible connection between Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) in golden retrievers and dietary taurine deficiency from grain-free diets and feel it is important to pass this information along to you, our clients.

While Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) is becoming more prevalent in golden retrievers, Dr. Joshua Stern, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (Cardiology) at UC Davis has started seeing a pattern. He recognized that many cases were due to dietary taurine deficiency in golden retrievers fed grain free diets. According to Dr. Stern, the majority of cases they are seeing at UC Davis are from grain-free diets that are high in legumes.

Taurine is an amino acid that is found in high concentrations in the heart and other muscles. Taurine deficiency as a cause of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is not a new issue and has been characterized as a cause of acquired DCM in dogs.

If you would like to learn more about this issue, click here to read the memo from Dr. Janet Olson, DVM, DACVIM (Cardiology) of Veterinary Cardiology Specialists.

If you have questions or concerns regarding your pet’s diet or if your pet is on or has been on a grain-free diet and you would like to discuss submitting a whole blood taurine level, please call our office.