Objective: To determine signalment, history, clinical signs, blood and plasma taurine concentrations, electrocardiographic and echocardiographic findings, treatment, and outcome of dogs with low blood or plasma taurine concentrations and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).
Design: Retrospective study.
Animals: 12 client-owned dogs with low blood or plasma taurine concentrations and DCM.
Procedure: Medical records were reviewed, and clinical data were obtained.
Results: All 12 dogs were being fed a commercial dry diet containing lamb meal, rice, or both as primary ingredients. Cardiac function and plasma taurine concentration improved with treatment and taurine supplementation. Seven of the 12 dogs that were still alive at the time of the study were receiving no cardiac medications except taurine.
Conclusions and clinical relevance: Results suggest that consumption of certain commercial diets may be associated with low blood or plasma taurine concentrations and DCM in dogs. Taurine supplementation may result in prolonged survival times in these dogs, which is not typical for dogs with DCM. Samples should be submitted for measurement of blood and plasma taurine concentrations in dogs with DCM, and taurine supplementation is recommended while results of these analyses are pending.