DCM in dogs is just the latest scare to motivate the masses…


Anyone remember the dreaded Alabama Rot breaking out in our dogs in the UK? Remember? Two years ago. What a headline. Absolutely terrifying. It was all over the news and we gobbled it up. People were hiding in bunkers ready to commit Hari Kari with their pets. We posted at the time asking everyone to calm down, highlighting a number of reasons this disease, while clearly horrible for the handful of dogs afflicted, was likely a bit confused with something that’s always been there and was in that respect, a big, strange mountain out of a molehill. The article was well-received by most though I was accused of being reckless by others. No mention of Alabama Rot in dogs since. Gone. Or, most likely the-disease-that-looks-like-Alabama-Rot is still occurring at such tiny rates as being “normal in the average dog population”.

skin lesions from alabama rot in dogs
Alabama rot in dogs

Then last year we had APN in dogs. This was curtains for the raw dog food industry. Melbourne University had found that raw chicken (particularly chicken necks) causes paralysis in dogs. We carefully considered this study and again posted, asking everyone to calm down, highlighting the great number of flaws in this face-palm industry effort to scare pet owners off feeding their pets a real diet. That article of mine was extremely popular, it really did the rounds. Again, in all modesty, it was well-received by most but criticised by a number of industry mouthpieces who were apoplectic. No mention of APN in dogs since. Gone. Or, most likely still occurring at such tiny rates as being “normal in the average dog population”.

Then we had DCM in dogs fed grain-free foods. Undoubtedly, you guys now know the truth behind the DCM “scare” by now. I have spoken about it a number of times (this is an issue that has popped up in dry pet food through the years, though historically in cereal-based muck) but for the best piece behind this latest bit of corporate-infused BS, a blatant and atrocious attempt to slow the growth of more natural food products (and thus decline of high margin, cereal-based crap preferred by the industry), you really have to check out this guys article on the whole recent scandal about DCM in dogs. It gives you a really flavour of how rotten the whole industry is now, exposing the manufacturers rolling around the bed with regulators. I’ve contacted him for a chat. It’s superb. Hopefully he agrees and we can get him on the podcast.

Q: What have these things diseases got in common?

A: You’re going to hear no more about them.

The next pants-filler is around the corner for the unsuspecting pet owner, you can be put your last dollar on that. And most will. They will concoct some nonsense, produce the “study”, fund their various sources and mouthpieces and engage highly convincing media campaigns by groups with very believable names, ensuring it hits the internet ground running, so you feel you’re surrounded. The media will then be informed and BOOM you got your masses worried. And worried folks spend.

To borrow the words of Gil Scott-Heron, why wait for the next one? Might as well panic now and avoid the rush.


Dr. Conor Brady

After a doctorate studying the effects of nutrition on the behaviour and gut morphology of animals, five years with Guide Dogs as a trainer and supervisor, some success on Dragons Den with the finest raw dog food company and the last few years both writing and speaking on canine nutrition and health, I can say with some confidence that the pet food and drug industry cares not a jot for the health of your pet.