DCM Research

  • Other Published Research
  • DCM Published Research
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is the most common cardiomyopathy in dogs, resulting in thinning of the heart muscle, decreased pump function, congestive heart failure, dangerous arrhythmias, and, often, sudden cardiac death.

 While DCM is a primarily inherited disease, other complex disease processes may also lead to DCM phenotype.

    Group 424

    DCM Incidence Study

    The peer-reviewed article, which appears in Frontiers in Animal Science, includes data that did not indicate a significant increase, nationally in DCM incidence over time, from 2000 to 2019, while grain-free pet food store sales grew 500% between 2011 and 2019. Researchers also found no correlation between the national DCM incidence rate in relation to grain-free pet food sales

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    Board-Invited Literature Review

    Journal of Animal Science (JAS) invited BSM Partners to conduct a literature review on dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs and the grain-free pet foods. The authors found no peer-reviewed evidence of a casual link between grain-free and legume-rich diets and DCM.

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    Digestibility Study

    Animal nutritionist and veterinarians from BSM Partners, the largest pet care research and consulting firm, and the University of Illinois, published the results of a six-month study that found both grain-inclusive and grain-free canine diets had no negative effect on digestibility or the fecal microbiome.

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    Group 424 1

    Echocardiograph Study

    Diet-associated dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) has been suspected in breeds that have not been previously noted to have a predisposition to the DCM phenotype. This study did not detect the development of cardiac dysfunction throughout the study period through the echocardiographic parameters measured, select cardiac biomarkers, or endomyocardial biopsies.

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    Group 425

    Taurine & Carnitine Correlation

    This study observed a poor to moderate correlation between circulating concentrations of taurine and carnitine and skeletal and cardiac muscle concentrations. The reliability of whole blood and plasma taurine and plasma carnitine samples or skeletal muscle samples to evaluate cardiac concentrations seems limited; caution should be given to research and clinical evaluation of the heart on blood parameters alone.

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    Research Team

    5e34f5 479af16cb4c744f0857dc4264a25d1be mv2 Dr. Bradley Quest DVM Previously the Senior veterinarian at Mars Petcare North America, Dr. Quest is a globally recognized pet care professional. Dr. Quest has worked exclusively in functional pet product research & development, clinical efficacy testing, process development and technical services for most of his career. He was one of the first pet food industry professionals to develop global standards for product safety and efficacy testing. Dr. Quest has developed and clinically tested many of the leading health benefit products in the pet food industry. Prior to working in the pet food industry, Dr. Quest actively practiced veterinary medicine as a partner in a private veterinary practice.
    5e34f5 7e3298549a3b465198d4c7b56b435495 mv2 Dr. Stephanie Clark PhD, CVT, PAS, CFS, Dipl. ACAS, VTS (Nutrition) Dr. Clark holds a doctorate from Southern Illinois University in animal nutrition and is a certified veterinary technologist and food scientist. She also has her veterinary technician specialty in clinical nutrition. Her main studies focused on digestibility and the microbiome of working dogs and horses. Dr. Clark received two awards for “Outstanding Researcher”. She continued with her post-doctorate at Mayo Clinic, in collaboration with the pet food industry, where she was also awarded the first two grants to support therapy dog welfare and earned her title of Assistant Professor of Medicine.
    5e34f5 c0159e33ee984ff3bf3649978326d5ab mv2 Dr. Sydney McCauley PhD, PAS, Dipl. ACAS Dr. McCauley holds a PhD in animal nutrition from Virginia Tech. There she was awarded the John Lee Pratt endowment to research the relationship between glucose and fatty acid metabolism, using stable isotope tracers, in low birth weight neonatal pigs and the role on metabolic diseases later in life. Additionally, Dr. McCauley’s focus was on improving growth and performance in low birth weight neonates with a concentration on carbohydrate metabolism as well as protein synthesis and degradation in skeletal muscle.
    5e34f5 a3f4b27db5004cc1a76375fd6d12d131 mv2 Dr. Renee Streeter DVM, DACVN ​Dr. Streeter is a Veterinarian and Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Nutrition. She obtained her undergraduate degree in animal science from Cornell University and worked as a farm animal nutritionist before attending veterinary school at Ross University. Her clinical rotations were done at Cornell University’s college of veterinary medicine, where she stayed on to do her Clinical Nutrition residency. Thereafter she worked in general practice and nutrition. Currently she helps industry clients through her position as the Clinical Nutrition Services Practice Principal at BSM Partners and helps veterinary patients as a Clinical Nutritionist, taking referrals through veterinarians.
    5e34f5 142509bd9f5d4fe8b460e49c9aa54523 mv2 August Konie MS, MBA Previously, Mr. Konie has led various multi-billion-dollar companies at executive levels whose teams included Food Safety, Quality Assurance, Laboratory Service and Regulatory Compliance. He has worked abroad standardizing programs in Asia and Europe with various start-ups, as well as, collaborating on quality systems with several food companies in South America and served on many technical committees.

    Research Partners

    University of Missouri, Veterinary Health Center

    Chief of Cardiology: Dr. Stacey Leach, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Cardiology)

    Kansas State University, College of Veterinary Medicine

    Clinical Associate Professor of Cardiology: Dr. Justin Thomason, DVM, DACVIM (Cardiology)

    Washington State University, College of Veterinary Medicine

    Assistant Professor Cardiology: Dr. Ryan Baumwart, DVM, DACVIM (Cardiology)

    The Heart Vet

    Owner: Dr. Eva Oxford, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (Cardiology)

    The University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Animal Science: College of Agriculture, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences

    Assistant Professor: Dr. Maria Cattai de Godoy, PhD

    Shiva Garimella, PhD, CFS and August Konie 

    Involved in “Incidence of Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy Diagnosed at Referral Institutes and Grain-Free Pet Food Store Sates: A Retrospective Survey”

    Virginia Tech University, School of Animal Science

    Associate Professor: Samer W. El-Kadi, PhD

    University of California San Diego, Biochemical Genetics Laboratory

    Carnitine Analysis and Method Development
    Clinical research supervisor: Jon Gangoiti

    FIOS Genomics and MS’Omics

    Ongoing Research

    Despite much discussion regarding the hypothesized link between grain-free and legume-rich diets and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), more data is needed to draw sound conclusions about the relationship between nutrition and canine cardiac disease.

    To better understand this issue, BSM Partners has made a significant commitment to develop and implement multiple scientific studies. These include original research related to:

    Amino Acids

    BSM’s scientists will be examining amino acid levels in the cardiac and skeletal muscle of dogs and how dogs absorb amino acids from different types of diets.


    BSM’s scientists will be examining foodomics from the four test diets varying in carbohydrate sources and amount of animal-protein amount.


    BSM’s scientists will be examining metabolites and metabolic pathways in multiple samples to understand which, if any metabolites may be up- or down-regulated pending dietary changes. 

    Anti-Nutrient Foods

    BSM’s scientists will be examining anti-nutrient factors throughout the extrusion process to assess how different carbohydrates respond to the manufacturing process of extruded kibbles.

    You decide.


    The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a law that requires the full or partial disclosure of previously unreleased or uncirculated information and documents controlled by the U.S. government, state, or other public authority upon request.


    FDA CVM 2020

    2020-11-30 2020-8151

    FOIA 2020-8151, which we are still waiting on, is based on the CVM’s statement of over 1,100 cases at the K State Symposium. As of February of this year, we are still waiting.


    Incidence Study


    We asked several universities to participate in our DCM research. Unfortunately, we were turned down by a major veterinarian who claims DCM was on the rise.


    Shuloff 2019

    2018-03-27 2019-1704

    In the Shuloff FOIA files, you can clearly see different things were redacted from our original FOIA.


    University Record Release Requests


    We asked specific universities for information and received these responses from their records offices. These are universities that had gone to the FDA’s CVM stating that DCM was on the rise. Again, either unwilling to share information or do not have those records created.

    Additional Resources


    Below is a wide variety of educational resources. If you would like to share additional resources, please contact us using the form on our homepage.

    *BSM Partners does not endorse any organization noted here, nor the data or services they may provide*


    Diet Related DCM

    The Disconnection Between Grain Free Foods & DCM

    Dilated Cardiomyopathy Dogs Forum

    BEGging for Answers? Feeding Trials + DCM Research

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