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Canine Cardiology Clinical Studies

The Cardiology service at the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) strives to provide comprehensive and innovative research through clinical trials. Primary Care Veterinarians may refer companion animals for cardiology clinical trials due to symptoms of heart disease or detection of potential heart abnormalities. Aside from clinical trials, the Cardiology service provides state-of-the-art cardiovascular diagnostic services and therapies, including medical therapy and minimally invasive interventional therapies. To learn more about the Cardiology service at the OVC, please click here.

A brown dog is laying down next to a glass bowl of kibble.

Evaluating Grain-Free Diets and Cardiac Function in Dogs

Scientific Title: Plasma Metabolomic Profiles and Owner Feeding Practices in Dogs with Systolic Dysfunction or Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Study Investigator: Dr. Shari Raheb

Graduate Student: Sydney Banton (PhD)

Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a common heart disease in dogs, often caused by genetics. Recently, there has been concern about grain-free dog diets possibly contributing to DCM, but the majority of dogs eating these diets are still healthy. It is important to understand why some dogs may develop heart problems while eating grain-free diets and other dogs do not.

Inclusion criteria:

  • Two groups of dogs will be included in this study:
    • Healthy dogs >1 year of age that have been eating the same grain-free kibble diet for ≥ 6 months
    • Dogs with suspected cardiac dysfunction (and no additional comorbidities) that have been eating the same grain-free kibble diet ≥ 6 months
  • Dogs will be ineligible if they are receiving cardiac medication or their diet has been recently changed.
  • Breeds including Doberman, Boxer, Irish Wolfhound, Newfoundland, Great Dane, Cocker Spaniel and Portuguese Water Dog or mixes of these breeds will be ineligible to participate.

Questions about these studies?