We remain open to provide care for your pets. We are following the direction of government and regulatory authorities and have implemented hospital and visit protocols to keep both you and our team safe. For regular updates on our hours and visit protocols, please follow our social media platforms.

Grain-Free Diets and Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Lately, there had been a lot of chatter about the link between grain-free diets and heart disease. Where is this information coming from, and what do you need to know? 

Cardiologists across the US have been noticing a rise in a condition called Dilated Cardiomyopathy in breeds that are not known for this condition – most notably in Golden Retrievers. There have been more than 70 deaths associated with this condition.

After many lab tests, genetics tests, etc., the one common link was their diet. Almost all of the dogs were fed a grain-free +/- novel protein diets that were high in legumes and lentils.

This association is so strong that the Food and Drug Administration of the United States has launched a full investigation. Studies are also ongoing in the cardiology departments of major veterinary universities in the US.  See the following links for more information.

  1. FDA Investigation into Potential Link between Certain Diets and Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy
  2. UC DAVIS Veterinary Medicine Center form Companion Animal Heath

What is DCM?
Dilated Cardiomyopathy is a heart condition in which the muscles of the heart become weak and decreases the ability to pump blood around the body. The heart itself enlarges and can lead to murmurs, irregular heartbeats and heart failure. In the early stages, no signs are noticed at home or often on a physical exam by your veterinarian. As the disease worsens, patients may become lethargic or tired from exercise, coughing, difficulty breathing, abdominal distension, collapse, or death.

Is this Condition Treatable? 
From further investigating these “diet-induced DCM “ cases, when detected EARLY, the condition can be reversible with treatment. If not detected early, these cases may progress to permanent heart damage, potentially heart failure and death.

What can we do until we know more? 
While the studies and investigations are ongoing, the cardiologists are recommending avoiding the diets that list peas, chickpeas, potatoes or lentils as their first ingredients. Ensure you are feeding diets that meet the AAFCO standards, including diet trials that meet these standards. If you have any concerns about your dog, talk to your veterinarian regarding blood testing and heart evaluation.

UC DAVIS Veterinary Medicine

If you have any questions, please give us a call at 506.382.0061.

Written by: Dr. Nicole Hobbs-Ford, DVM

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COVID-19: Additional measures we are taking

Dear Clients,

Due to the close contact that our work requires, we have taken additional measures to protect you and our team while providing care for your furry family members.

The following changes are effective as of Tuesday, March 24, 2020:

1. We are currently operating a “closed waiting room” policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain in your vehicle and use your cell phone to call us at 506.382.0061. We will take a history from outside of your vehicle, and bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. We will then return to your vehicle with your pet to discuss our recommended treatment plan. If you do not have a cell phone please knock our door to let us know you have arrived and then return to your vehicle.

2. We are continuing to accept appointments for urgent or sick pets, as well as time-sensitive puppy/kitten vaccinations. All other services will be scheduled for a later time.

3. We are still OPEN with the following hours: Monday to Friday: 8:00 - 5:00 pm and Saturday 9:00 am - 2:00 pm.

4. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 3-5 business days as our suppliers are dealing with increased demand and are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible. We will advise you as soon as your order arrives. Please call us when you arrive to pick up your order, but do not enter the hospital. Our staff will bring your order to your car and take payment over the phone. You can also use our online store and have your food delivered directly to your home. To sign up for the online store, visit our website.

5. For the time being, we are not accepting cash as payment. Credit cards and debit card payments are still available.

Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our roles. As such, we have taken measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus.

Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid and any updates will be provided as changes occur.

- Your dedicated team at Mountain Road Animal Hospital